Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20040177916 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/395,666
Publication dateSep 16, 2004
Filing dateMar 24, 2003
Priority dateMar 12, 2003
Publication number10395666, 395666, US 2004/0177916 A1, US 2004/177916 A1, US 20040177916 A1, US 20040177916A1, US 2004177916 A1, US 2004177916A1, US-A1-20040177916, US-A1-2004177916, US2004/0177916A1, US2004/177916A1, US20040177916 A1, US20040177916A1, US2004177916 A1, US2004177916A1
InventorsYen-Li Chang
Original AssigneeYen-Li Chang
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method for manufacturing a basketball
US 20040177916 A1
Abstract
In a method for manufacturing a basketball, a basketball semi-product that includes an inflated bladder and a winding layer surrounding the bladder is prepared. A large-area rubber sheet and a large-area polyurethane sheet are prepared, and are interconnected fixedly so as to form a two-layer sheet. The two-layer sheet is cut to form a plurality of cover panels, each of which includes a small-area rubber sheet and a small-area PU sheet that abut against each other. The cover panels are adhered to an outer surface of the winding layer so as to form a ball body which has an outer surface that is formed with a channel network among the cover panels. The ball body is subsequently vulcanized.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(3)
I claim:
1. A method for manufacturing a basketball comprising the steps of:
(A) preparing a basketball semi-product, which includes an inflated bladder and a winding layer surrounding said bladder;
(B) preparing a large-area rubber sheet and a large-area polyurethane sheet;
(C) interconnecting fixedly said large-area rubber and polyurethane sheets using glue to form a two-layer sheet;
(D) cutting said two-layer sheet into a plurality of cover panels, each of which includes a small-area rubber sheet and a small-area polyurethane sheet that abut against each other, each of said small-area rubber sheets being sandwiched between said winding layer and a respective one of said small-area polyurethane sheets; and
(E) adhering said cover panels to an outer surface of said winding layer so as to form a ball body which has an outer surface that is formed with a channel network among said cover panels; and
(F) vulcanizing said ball body.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, between the steps (E) and (F), further comprising a step of placing said ball body into a semi-spherical lower mold half having a circular upper end opening, and a step of placing a semi-spherical upper mold half on said lower mold half such that said upper and lower mold halves define a spherical chamber therebetween and such that said ball body is surrounded by an assembly of said upper and lower mold halves, thereby permitting said ball body to be vulcanized within said spherical chamber under pressure and heat.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1, after the step (F), further comprising a step of adhering a plurality of rubber strips to said winding layer along said channel network.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a basketball, and more particularly to a method for manufacturing a basketball that has an outermost layer made of PU (polyurethane).

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Because PU is a waterproof, anti-wear, and soft material, it is generally used to form the outermost layer of a basketball to increase the resiliency and durability of the basketball. Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional basketball is shown to include an inflatable bladder 91 that is made of rubber, a winding layer 92 surrounding the bladder 91 so as to fix the shape of the bladder 91 when inflated, a plurality of small-area rubber sheets 93 adhered to an outer surface of the winding layer 92, and a plurality of small-area PU sheets 94 adhered respectively to outer surfaces of the small-area rubber sheets 93. During manufacture, a large-area rubber sheet is cut to form the small-area rubber sheets 93, which are adhered to the winding layer 92 one by one. An assembly of the bladder 91, the winding layer 92, and the small-area rubber sheets 93 is placed into a mold (not shown), and is subsequently vulcanized, after which the outer surfaces of the rubber sheets 93 are coated with glue. The small-area PU sheets 94 are pressed respectively against the outer surfaces of the small-area rubber sheets 93 one by one so as to form a ball body. Finally, the ball body is placed into another mold (not shown) for heating and curing. The aforesaid conventional method for making a basketball is disadvantageous in that it takes a relatively long time to adhere the small-area PU sheets 94 to the small-area rubber sheets 93 one by one after the small-area rubber sheets 93 are adhered to the winding layer 92, thereby increasing the manufacturing time and costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The object of this invention is to provide a time-efficient and cost-effective method for making a basketball that has a PU outermost layer.

[0006] According to this invention, a method for manufacturing a basketball includes the steps of:

[0007] (A) preparing a basketball semi-product, which includes an inflated bladder and a winding layer surrounding the bladder;

[0008] (B) preparing a large-area rubber sheet and a large-area polyurethane sheet;

[0009] (C) interconnecting fixedly the large-area rubber and polyurethane sheets using glue to form a two-layer sheet;

[0010] (D) cutting the two-layer sheet into a plurality of cover panels, each of which includes a small-area rubber sheet and a small-area PU sheet that abut against each other, each of the small-area rubber sheet being sandwiched between the winding layer and a respective one of the small-area PU sheets; and

[0011] (E) adhering the cover panels to an outer surface of the winding layer so as to form a ball body, which has an outer surface that is formed with a channel network among the cover panels; and

[0012] (F) vulcanizing the ball body.

[0013] Because the small-area rubber and PU sheets of each of the cover panels are attached to the winding layer simultaneously, the manufacturing time and the manufacturing costs of the basketball are considerably reduced.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] These and other features and advantages of this invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of this invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0015]FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional view of a conventional basketball;

[0016]FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a bladder of a basketball that is manufactured by using the preferred embodiment of a method according to this invention;

[0017]FIG. 3 is a partly sectional perspective view illustrating the step of forming a winding layer on an outer surface of the bladder in the preferred embodiment;

[0018]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a cover panel of the basketball made by using the method of this invention;

[0019]FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating the step of adhering the cover panels to an outer surface of the winding layer to form a ball body in the preferred embodiment;

[0020]FIG. 6 is a schematic sectional view of the preferred embodiment illustrating the step of placing the ball body of FIG. 5 into a spherical chamber that is defined between upper and lower mold halves; and

[0021]FIG. 7 is a schematic sectional view of the preferred embodiment illustrating the step of forming a plurality of rubber strips within a channel network that is defined among the cover panels.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0022] Referring to FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, the preferred embodiment of a method for manufacturing a basketball according to this invention includes the steps of:

[0023] (A) preparing a basketball semi-product (B1) (see FIG. 3) in a known manner, the basketball semi-product (B1) including an inflated bladder 31 (see FIG. 2) and a winding layer 32 (see FIG. 3) surrounding the bladder 31, the bladder 31 being provided with an air valve 311 (see FIG. 2);

[0024] (B) preparing a large-area rubber sheet (not shown) and a large-area polyurethane sheet (not shown);

[0025] (C) interconnecting fixedly the large-area rubber and polyurethane sheets (not shown) using glue to form a two-layer sheet (not shown);

[0026] (D) cutting the two-layer sheet (not shown) into a plurality of cover panels (C1), each of which includes a small-area rubber sheet 33 (see FIG. 4) and a small-area PU sheet 34 (see FIG. 4) that abut against each other, each of the small-area rubber sheets 33 being sandwiched between the winding layer 32 and a respective one of the small-area PU sheets 34, as shown in FIG. 8; and

[0027] (E) adhering the cover panels (C1) to an outer surface of the winding layer 32 so as to form a ball body (B2) (see FIG. 5) which has an outer surface that is formed with a channel network 35 among the cover panels (C1), one of the cover panels (C1) having a hole (C11), through which the air valve 311 of the bladder 31 extends; and

[0028] (F) vulcanizing the ball body (B2).

[0029] Because the small-area rubber and PU sheets 33, 34 of each of the cover panels (C1) are attached to the winding layer 32 simultaneously, the manufacturing time and the manufacturing costs of the basketball are considerably reduced.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 6, in order to vulcanize the ball body (B2), the ball body (B2) is placed into a semi-spherical lower mold half 41 having a circular upper end opening. Then, a semi-spherical upper mold half 42 is placed on the lower mold half 41 such that the upper and lower mold halves 41, 42 cooperatively define a spherical chamber therebetween and such that the ball body (B2) is surrounded by an assembly of the upper and lower mold halves 41, 42, thereby permitting the ball body (B2) to be vulcanized within the spherical chamber under pressure and heat.

[0031] Preferably, a plurality of rubber strips (C2) are adhered to the winding layer 32 along the channel network (35), as shown in FIG. 7.

[0032] With this invention thus explained, it is apparent that numerous modifications and variations can be made without departing the scope and spirit of this invention. It is therefore intended that this invention be limited only as indicated by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7066853Sep 30, 2004Jun 27, 2006Yen-Li ChangMethod for manufacturing an inflatable ball and a ball made with the method
Classifications
U.S. Classification156/170, 156/186
International ClassificationB29D22/02
Cooperative ClassificationB29L2031/54, B29D22/02, B29L2031/52
European ClassificationB29D22/02