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 numberUS20050145262 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/503,335
PCT numberPCT/US2003/002740
Publication dateJul 7, 2005
Filing dateJan 30, 2003
Priority dateJan 30, 2002
Also published asCA2474379A1, WO2003063642A2, WO2003063642A3
Publication number10503335, 503335, PCT/2003/2740, PCT/US/2003/002740, PCT/US/2003/02740, PCT/US/3/002740, PCT/US/3/02740, PCT/US2003/002740, PCT/US2003/02740, PCT/US2003002740, PCT/US200302740, PCT/US3/002740, PCT/US3/02740, PCT/US3002740, PCT/US302740, US 2005/0145262 A1, US 2005/145262 A1, US 20050145262 A1, US 20050145262A1, US 2005145262 A1, US 2005145262A1, US-A1-20050145262, US-A1-2005145262, US2005/0145262A1, US2005/145262A1, US20050145262 A1, US20050145262A1, US2005145262 A1, US2005145262A1
InventorsDavid Dunton, Martin Vasas
Original AssigneeDunton David P., Vasas Martin M.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Twisted wire mascara brush with mixed long and short bristles
US 20050145262 A1
Abstract
A mascara brush has long and short bristles extending from a twisted wire core. The short bristles may be provided in more than one length. The tips of the long bristles form an outer surface of the brush, and the tips of the short bristles form at least one subsurface of the brush. The mascara brush is made by placing long and short fibers between the parallel wires of a “U” shaped wire form, and twisting the wire form. The wires are supported for placement in the wire form by a pick bar, the notches of which are partially filled with long fibers and partially filled with short fibers. The long and short fibers are provided from at least two fiber feed towers. A metering plate under one feed tower partially restricts the volume of the notches of the pick bar, so that the tower only partially fills the notches. A lift cam under the other fiber feed tower selectively supports fibers from entering the notches of the pick bar, so that the pick bar can be passed under the tower to the other tower for partial filling.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(26)
1. A mascara brush comprising:
A) a twisted wire core;
B) first and second pluralities of interspersed fibers secured in the twisted wire core, each fiber forming two bristles extending outwardly from the twisted wire core to respective bristle tips; and
C) the bristles including long bristles formed by the first plurality of fibers and short bristles formed by the second plurality of fibers, the tips of the long bristles forming an outer surface of the brush and the tips of the short bristles forming at least one subsurface of the brush.
2. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein the first and second pluralities of interspersed fibers are substantially the same length and are respectively offset with respect to the twisted wire core such that each fiber forms a long and a short bristle.
3. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein the first plurality of fibers forms the long bristles of the mascara brush and the second plurality of fibers are shorter than the first plurality of fibers and form the short bristles of the mascara brush.
4. A mascara brush as defined in claim 3, wherein the second plurality of shorter fibers is centered with respect to the twisted wire core.
5. A mascara brush as defined in claim 3, wherein the second plurality of shorter bristles is offset with respect to the twisted wire core, wherein the brush includes a first set of short bristles having tips forming a first subsurface of the mascara brush and a second set of short bristles having tips forming a second subsurface of the mascara brush.
6. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, and further comprising a third plurality of fibers interspersed with the first and second pluralities of fibers, each fiber of the third plurality of fibers also forming two bristles extending outwardly from the twisted wire core to respective bristle tips.
7. A mascara brush as defined in claim 6, wherein the first plurality of fibers forms the long bristles of the mascara brush, and the second and third pluralities of fibers are shorter fibers of different lengths and form the short bristles of the mascara brush.
8. A mascara brush as defined in claim 7, wherein the second and third pluralities of short bristles are centered with respect to the twisted wire core.
9. A mascara brush as defined in claim 7, wherein at least one of the second and third pluralities of fibers is offset from the twisted wire core and thereby forms short bristles of different lengths.
10. A mascara brush as defined in claim 7, wherein there are at least four pluralities of fibers, each plurality of fibers forming bristles extending outwardly from the twisted wire core to bristle tips, wherein the bristle tips form an outer surface and multiple subsurfaces of the mascara brush.
11. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein the short bristles have lengths in the range of 30% to 80% of the lengths of the long bristles.
12. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein at least two of the pluralities of fibers are formed of different material.
13. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein at least two of the pluralities of fibers have different diameters.
14. A mascara brush as defined in claim 1, wherein at least two of the pluralities of fibers have different cross-sectional configurations.
15. A method of making a mascara brush comprising the steps of:
A) providing two substantially parallel wires;
B) positioning a first plurality of fibers between the two wires;
C) positioning a second plurality of fibers between the two wires and interspersed with the first plurality of fibers;
D) twisting the two wires to form a twisted wire core with each fiber forming two bristles extending from the twisted wire core to respective tips; and
E) the fibers being positioned between the two wires such that the bristles extending from the twisted wire core include long bristles the tips of which form an outer surface of the mascara brush and short bristles the tips of which form at least one subsurface of the mascara brush.
16. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 15 and further comprising positioning first and second pluralities of fibers of substantially the same length offset with respect to each other and the two substantially parallel wires.
17. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 15, wherein the first plurality of fibers are longer than the second plurality of fibers.
18. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 17, wherein the first and second pluralities of fibers are positioned centered with respect to the two substantially parallel wires.
19. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 15 and further comprising the step of positioning a third plurality of fibers between the two substantially parallel wires, wherein the first plurality of fibers are long fibers, the second plurality of fibers are short fibers, and the third plurality of fibers are short fibers shorter than the second plurality of fibers.
20. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 17, wherein all the pluralities of fibers are positioned centered with respect to the two substantially parallel wires.
21. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 19 wherein at least one of the pluralities of short fibers is offset with respect to the two substantially parallel wires.
22. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 15, wherein positioning the pluralities of fibers between the two substantially parallel wires comprised of supporting the fibers in a pick bar and introducing the two substantially parallel wires respectively above and below the pluralities of fibers supported in the pick bar.
23. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 22, wherein the two substantially parallel wires are a “U” shaped wire form and the step of twisting the two substantially parallel wires includes clamping the “U” in a twisting apparatus.
24. A method of making a mascara brush as defined in claim 15, wherein the respective pluralities of fibers have different physical characteristics.
25. Apparatus for making mascara brushes comprising:
A) A first fiber tower for dispensing fibers;
B) A second fiber tower for dispensing fibers different than the fibers dispensed by the first fiber tower;
C) a pick bar having notches for receiving fibers, and means for sequentially positioning the pick bar under the first and second fiber towers;
D) a metering plate positioned under the first and second fiber tower and adjacent the pick bar when the pick bar is positioned under first the fiber tower, the metering plate positioned to permit fibers to partially fill the notches of the pick bar, wherein the pick bar is partially filled with fibers from the first fiber tower and is further partially filled with different fibers when positioned under the second fiber tower;
E) means for introducing two substantially parallel wires respectively above and below the fibers in the pick bar; and
F) means for twisting the two substantially parallel wires to form a brush.
26. Apparatus for making a mascara brush as defined in claim 25 and further comprising:
G) a fiber lift cam for lifting fibers being dispensed from the second fiber tower, wherein the fiber lift cam is operable to prevent the pick bar from receiving fibers from the second fiber tower until it has received fibers from the first fiber tower.
Description
PRIORITY

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application 60/353,036 filed Jan. 30, 2002.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention herein relates to a mascara brush with a mixture of long and short bristles substantially uniformly deployed along a twisted wire core, wherein the mascara brush has an outer surface defined by tips of the long bristles and one or more subsurfaces defined by the tips of the short bristles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Mascara brushes are used to apply mascara to eyelashes and to comb and shape the eyelashes. Thus, the mascara brush must perform multiple functions. First, the mascara brush must pick up mascara from a mascara bottle and carry it to the eyelashes. The mascara brush generally passes through a wiper, and the physical characteristics of the mascara brush must cooperate with the wiper so that the mascara brush is loaded with an appropriate amount of mascara. Next, the mascara brush is used to apply and spread the mascara on the user's eyelashes. Then the mascara brush is used to separate and comb the bristles, and further spreading of the mascara along to the eyelashes occurs in this operation. The steps of applying and spreading, separating and combing may be repeated without reloading the mascara brush, provided the mascara brush is capable of carrying a sufficient amount of mascara.

The type, size, disposition and other characteristics of the bristles determine how well the mascara brush performs its desired function. It has been found desirable to provide mascara brushes with bristles of different lengths to achieve the functions described above.

A mascara applicator with bristles with different lengths is disclosed in Fitjer U.S. Pat. No. 4,961,665. The mascara brush of the '665 patent is formed by offsetting fibers in a “U” shaped wire form, i.e. the fibers are positioned so that a portion of the fiber forming a short bristle extends one way from the “U” shaped wire form and a portion of the fiber forming long bristle extends the other way from the “U” shaped wire form. The “U” shaped wire form is then twisted to form the twisted wire core of the brush. This results in a mascara brush with a first helix of short bristles and a second, adjacent helix of long bristles. While the mascara brush has the desired feature of a mixture of long and short bristles, the bristles are divided into two distinct helixes of long and short bristles rather than being uniformly distributed throughout the brush. This brush also affords no opportunity to vary the size or other characteristics of the long bristles and the short bristles, since one fiber integrally forms both a long bristle extending one way from the twisted wire core and a short bristle extending oppositely from the twisted core.

Neuner U.S. Pat. No. 6,279,583 discloses a mascara brush with multiple length fibers. This brush is made by placing fibers between the parallel wire segments of a “U” shaped wire form and twisting the parallel wire segments to hold the fibers and form bristles extending outwardly, all of which are long bristles. Thereafter, a groove or series of grooves are cut or ground into the partially formed brush, thereby creating some shorter bristles. The parallel wire segments are then further twisted to complete the formation of the twisted wire core with shorter bristles disbursed amongst the longer bristles. Clearly, a vestige of the groove or grooves remains even after the stem is further twisted, wherein the long and short bristles cannot be uniformly distributed along the stem. Also, by cutting a longitudinal groove across the helically deployed bristles, bristles of varying lengths are created, i.e. the resultant brush is made up of long bristles and shorter bristles of varying lengths, especially depending on the width of the groove cut to form them. This method provides no way to make a brush with short bristles having different characteristics than the long bristles.

Therefore, there is a need for an improved mascara brush that incorporates both long and short bristles, without the drawbacks of the prior art attempts to make such a brush.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is a principal object of the invention herein to provide an improved mascara brush having long and short bristles.

It is an additional object of the invention herein to provide an improved mascara brush having long and short bristles that are evenly distributed throughout the brush.

It is also an object of the invention herein to provide a mascara brush that has long bristles and has short bristles of different lengths distributed throughout the brush.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a mascara brush that has an outer surface and a plurality of inner surfaces formed by the tips of shorter bristles.

It is another object of the invention herein to provide a mascara brush wherein the tips of long bristles form an outer surface of the brush, and the tips of short bristles form an inner surface of the brush.

It is a further object of the invention herein to provide a mascara brush with long and short bristles wherein the long and short bristles have differing characteristics, such as differing diameters, materials, or other characteristics.

It is another principal object of the invention to provide a method of making a mascara brush with the features set forth above.

It is a further principal to provide apparatus for making a mascara brush with the features set forth above.

In carrying out the invention herein, there is provided a mascara brush having a twisted wire core. A plurality of fibers are captured by the twisted wire core, the twisted wire core dividing each fiber into two bristles extending generally oppositely from the twisted wire core. The bristles include long bristles having tips defining the outer surface of the brush, and short bristles having their tips below the outer surface of the brush. The long bristles and the short bristles are substantially uniformly distributed along the twisted wire core. According to one aspect of the invention, the short bristles are substantially the same length, and the tips of the short bristles form a subsurface of the brush displaced inwardly from the outer surface.

According to additional aspects of the invention, the long bristles are formed from long fibers, each long fiber forming two long bristles extending from the core, and the short bristles are formed from short fibers, each short fiber forming two short bristles extending from the core. According to another aspect of the invention, fibers forming short bristles are offset with respect to the twisted wire core to provide a plurality of subsurfaces.

The invention is also carried out by selecting a ratio of long and short bristles, and by selecting the kinds of fibers from which the long and short bristles are formed. According to a particular feature of the invention, the short bristles are formed from fibers that are stiffer than the longer bristles, and the greater stiffness may be achieved by use of larger diameter fibers for the short bristles, fibers of stiffer material for the short bristles, or solid fibers for the short bristles when the hollow fibers constitute the long fibers. Alternatively, the long bristles may be stiffer than the short bristles.

In further carrying out the invention herein, each fiber may be offset in the twisted wire core to form one long bristle and one short bristle. A plurality of fibers are captured in the twisted wire core in two groups, one group having its long fibers extending in a first direction and the other group having its short fibers extending in the same first direction. The fibers of the two groups are substantially uniformly intermixed along the twisted wire core, so that the long and short fibers are also uniformly distributed along the twisted wire core.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the long bristles and the short bristles may each comprise bristles of different characteristics, such as material, size or configuration.

The invention herein also resides in a method of manufacturing a mascara brush having long and short bristles uniformly distributed along a twisted wire core, the method including preparing a pick bar with notches for collecting fibers and for presenting the collected fibers to the untwisted “U” shaped wire form of a twisted wire core. The pick bar is placed under a first fiber tower and the notches are partially filled with fibers dimensioned for forming short bristles of the mascara brushes. The pick bar is then placed under a second fiber tower and long fibers are added to the short fibers to fill the notches of the pick bar. The pick bar may also be placed under additional fiber towers to add fibers having different lengths or other characteristics, and to place additional fibers in additional extending positions. The pick bar holds the fibers as they are positioned between the wire legs of the “U” shaped wire form. The wires are deployed generally at the center of the fibers, but may also be offset with respect to some or all of the fibers depending on the loading of the pick bar. The “U” shaped wire form is then twisted to capture the fibers with long and short bristles extending therefrom, and with the long and short fibers substantially uniformly distributed along the twisted wire core.

According to additional aspects of the method, the fiber towers for the long and short fibers are adjacent, and the long fibers are lifted as the pick bar passes thereunder to a position under the short fiber tower. A metering plate is positioned with respect to the notches of the pick bar so that the pick bar is partially filled with short bristles. The pick bar is then positioned under the long fiber tower, and the long fibers are permitted to fill the remainder of the notches of the pick bar. Additional fiber towers and positions of the metering plate are used to add additional fibers to the pick bar. The long fibers may also be loaded first.

According to another aspect of the invention, the pick bar is partially filled with fibers having a short portion extending one way and a long portion extending the other way. Oppositely offset fibers are then loaded to complete filling of the pick bar. The fibers are captured in a twisted wire core to provide a mascara brush with short and long bristles uniformly distributed along its length.

The invention also resides in apparatus for carrying out the foregoing method aspects.

Other and more specific objects and features of the invention herein will be understood from the following description of the preferred embodiments and from the claims, taken together with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cosmetics container including a mascara brush according to the invention herein;

FIG. 2 is a schematic cross-sectional view of the mascara brush FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged segmental schematic side elevation view, partially cut away, of the mascara brush of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a schematic side view, partially in section and partially cut away, of the mascara brush passing through the wiper of the cosmetics container of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view, partially schematic, of a pick bar used in a method of making mascara brushes according to the invention herein;

FIG. 6 is a schematic side elevation view of apparatus for making mascara brushes according to the invention herein;

FIG. 7 is a schematic top view of the apparatus for making mascara brushes of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a schematic side view of the apparatus for making mascara brushes of FIG. 6, showing the pick bar being loaded with short fibers;

FIG. 8A is an enlarged segmental view of the pick bar being loaded with short fibers;

FIG. 9 is a schematic from view of the apparatus for making mascara brushes of FIG. 6, showing the pick bar being loaded with long fibers;

FIG. 10 is a top view of the pick bar, loaded with long and short fibers;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view a “U” shaped wire form having long and short fibers therebetween, clamped in apparatus for twisting the wire form and fibers into a mascara brush according to the invention herein;

FIG. 12 is a schematic side elevation view, partially cut away, of another mascara brush according to the invention herein;

FIG. 13 is a schematic top view of a pick bar, loaded with fibers for making the mascara brush of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a segmental, schematic side evaluation view of another mascara brush according to the invention herein;

FIG. 15 is a schematic top view of a pick bar, loaded with fibers for making the mascara brush of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a segmental schematic side elevation view of another mascara brush according to the invention herein;

FIG. 17 is a schematic top view of a pick bar, loaded with fibers for making the mascara brush of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a segmental schematic side elevation view of another mascara brush according to the invention herein; and

FIG. 19 is a schematic top view of a pick bar, loaded with fibers for making the mascara brush of FIG. 18.

The same reference numerals refer to the same elements throughout the various figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIG. 1, a cosmetics container 1 generally comprises a mascara brush 10 mounted on an applicator rod 12 extending from a cap 14. The cap 14 fits on the threaded neck 16 of a bottle 18, which contains a supply of mascara. The applicator rod 12 extends through the neck 16 and the brush 10 is thereby positioned within the bottle 18 to pick up mascara between uses. The neck of the bottle has a wiper 20 disposed therein, which is seen in sectional view in FIG. 4, for removing excess mascara from the applicator rod 12 and the brush 10 as they are removed from the bottle 18.

The mascara brush 10 is also illustrated in FIGS. 2-4. It has a twisted wire core 22 made up of two wire legs 24 and 26, as is well known in the art of mascara brushes. Each fiber is captured between the first and second legs 24 and 26 of the twisted wire core, which divides each fiber into two bristles extending oppositely from the twisted wire core 12.

The mascara brush 10, according to the invention herein, is characterized by having long bristles, such as long bristles 28 and 30 shown in FIG. 2, the long bristles 28 and 30 being the extending portions of a single fiber 32. The mascara brush 10 is further characterized by having a plurality of short bristles, such as short bristles 34 and 36, which are also the extending portions of a single fiber 38 captured between the first and second legs of the twisted wire core 32. As will become more apparent from the following description of the method of making the mascara brush 10, the long and short bristles are substantially uniformly distributed along the length of the twisted wire core 22, such that they are substantially uniformly distributed throughout the mascara brush 10.

This is well-illustrated in FIG. 3, where one turn of the twisted wire stem 22 is shown with alternating long and short bristles extending from between the two wires 24 and 26. As will be apparent from the description of the method for making the brush 10, the deployment of long and short bristles may not be precisely alternating, but is nevertheless substantially uniform in that the long and short bristles are mixed together in their deployment between the twisted wires forming the core 22.

The tips of the long bristles 28, 30, together with the tips of the other long bristles, form an outer surface 40 of the mascara brush 10, the outer surface 40 being schematically shown in FIG. 2. The tips of the short bristles 34 and 36, together with the tips of the other short bristles, form an inner or subsurface 42 of the mascara brush 10, also schematically shown in FIG. 2. Because the long bristles extend further, they are less densely distributed in the area between the outer surface and subsurface than the total bristle population within the subsurface 42 of the mascara brush 10. Thus, the longer bristles extending from the subsurface to the outer surface are well adapted for combing and separating action with respect to the eyelashes. With reference to FIG. 4, the long bristles and short bristles are wiped differently as the mascara brush 10 passes through wiper 20. The long bristles are toward the outside of the brush, and are wiped more vigorously. The short bristles are wiped less vigorously, and tend to carry more mascara for performing the application function of the mascara brush.

The fibers 32, 38 respectively forming the long bristles 28, 30 and the short bristles 34, 36 may be different. For instance, the fibers 32 forming the long bristles may be hollow fibers, and the fibers 38 forming the short bristles may be solid fibers. The long bristles and short bristles may both be hollow fibers or solid fibers, but they may be of different diameters and/or materials. One or both of the long and short bristles may be quadralobal or have some other distinctive cross section, characteristic or other physical property. Also, the ratio of the number of long bristles to the number of short bristles may be varied, and the total number of combined long and short bristles in the mascara brush may be varied. Thus, the mascara brush 10 has extremely flexible design parameters.

In a preferred embodiment, the fibers forming the long bristles are 0.005 inch diameter hollow bristles, and the fibers forming the small bristles are 0.003 inch diameter solid fibers. Approximately 30 to 35 long fibers and approximately 20 to 25 short fibers are provided per turn of the twisted wire core 22, wherein the brush 10 has a total of about 50 to 60 fibers per turn of the twisted wire core 22. The long fibers are about 0.300 inches long after trimming, i.e. the brush 10 has a diameter of about 0.300 inches. The twisted wire core is made of 0.029 inch diameter wire, and has a diameter of about 0.050 inches. Thus, the long bristles have a length of about 0.125 inches extending from the twisted wire core. The short bristles are formed of fiber that is about 0.200 inches in length. After deducting the diameter of the twisted wire core, the short bristles extend about 0.75 inches from the twisted wire core. Thus, the short bristles may be in a range of 30-80% of the length of the long bristles, i.e. a “short” bristle is defined as a bristle having a length of 30% to 80% of a long bristle.

Because the tips of the short bristles form a subsurface (shown at 42 in FIG. 2) that is well-adapted for applying mascara or other cosmetics, it is preferable that the short bristles are only lightly wiped to remove excess mascara. This is achieved by coordinating the length of the short bristles and the size of the wiper so that that diameter of the subsurface is slightly greater than the size of the wiper orifice.

As is known in the art, the size of the brush will be varied depending on the particular application. The brush 10 is useful when made of short fibers in range of about 0.130-0.230 inches, long fibers in the range of about 0.200-0.400 inches (after trimming), and twisted wire cores made from wire in the range of about 0.022-0.066 inches. These dimensions are not, however, intended to be all inclusive or limiting.

The foregoing description of the mascara brush 10 is a preferred embodiment and is illustrative only. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the parameters of a mascara brush are selected to work with a particular mascara product, which itself has varying properties of viscosity, drying time, and the like. However, those skilled in the art will also readily recognize that a brush having a combination of long bristles and short bristles, the ratio of which can be varied, and where the long bristles and short bristles may themselves have different sizes, materials and characteristics, presents numerous opportunities for optimizing the performance of a mascara brush for use with various mascara formulations or with other cosmetics. In addition, other preferred embodiments of mascara brushes in accordance with the invention are described below.

FIGS. 5-11 illustrate the method of making the mascara brush 10. Most twisted wire brushes are made on a Zahronski brush making machines, and the method of making the brush 10 may be carried out with a Zahronski machine 60, only the relevant portion of which is shown, and modified as shown in the figures and described below.

FIG. 5 illustrates a pick bar 50 for use in the brush making machine 60. The pick bar 50 is characterized by a series of notches 52, 54, etc. along a top rail 56. The notches 52, 54 are filled with fibers that become the bristles of the brush. Thus, the width, depth and spacing of the notches 52, 54 determine how many fibers will be incorporated into a brush. The notches 52, 54 are typically in the range of 0.040-0.060 inches deep and 0.030-0.050 inches wide. They also typically have a spacing between them that may correspond approximately to their width. The rail 56 is typically 0.050 inches wide. One skilled in the art will appreciate that these dimensions may be varied as required to make a particular brush.

The pick bar 50 defines a ledge 58 adjacent the rail 56, and spaced below the bottoms of the notches 52, 54. The ledge 58 accommodates one leg of a “U” shaped wire form introduced under fibers received in the notches 52, 54, as more fully discussed below. The pick bar in FIG. 5 is shown from the side that can be said to face inwardly on the brush making machine 60, so that the ledge 58 is visible in FIG. 5.

FIGS. 6-9 show elements of the brush making machine 60. In its usual configuration for making brushes with bristles of the same length, the machine 60 would be provided with a single fiber tower for holding the fibers, and would cycle the pick bar under the tower to collect fibers in the notches of the pick bar.

To make the brush 10 and other brushes having long and short bristles, the machine 60 has two fiber towers 64 and 66 extending upwardly from base 62. The pick bar 50 is cycled under these fiber towers 64 and 66 in two steps. The first fiber tower 64 is for short fibers, cut to a length of approximately 0.20 inches or another desired length for the short fibers. The short fibers are designated by the number 38, are stacked between side frames 68 and 70 of the first tower 64. The fibers are positioned with respect to the path of the pick bar by a spacing plate 72, seen in the top view of the fiber towers provided in FIG. 7. The fiber spacing plate 72 is positioned on an adjustable tower back wall 74. The spacing plate 72 compensates for the short length of the fibers 38, in order to center them with respect to the ledge 58 of the pick bar 50. This can sometimes be achieved by the adjustable back wall 74.

The second fiber tower 66 holds long fibers 32 a between side rails 76 and 78. The fibers 32 a are cut to a length slightly longer than the long fibers 32 of the mascara brush 10, and are therefore given the number 32 a, it being understood that the exterior of mascara brush 10 generally will be trimmed, thereby forming fibers 32 of the finished mascara brush 10. The long fibers 32 a are positioned within the tower by adjustable tower back wall 80 forming the back of the fiber tower 66.

Vertical fiber tamper 82 is provided for the fiber tower 64 and a similar vertical fiber tamper 84 is provided for the fiber tower 66. These tampers pack the fibers in the fiber towers and cause them to feed into the notches of the pick bar 50. With reference to FIG. 7, the machine 60 is also provided with a horizontal fiber tamper 86, which operates to maintain the fibers against the fiber spacing plate 72 and the tower back wall 80.

The pick bar 50 is reciprocated to be selectively positioned under the long fiber tower 66 and the short fiber tower 64, in order to accumulate fibers for making the mascara brush 10. With reference to FIGS. 6 and 8, the pick bar 50 is moved under the long fiber tower 66 to reach its position under the short fiber tower 64, where the notches 52, 54 are partially filled with short fibers 38. In order to present the pick bar 50 in an empty condition under the short fiber tower 64, a fiber lift cam 90 is associated with the long fiber tower 66 and operates to lift the long fibers 32 a above the pick bar as the notches 52, 54 of the pick bar travel to their position under the short fiber tower 64. The fiber lift cam can be seen in position under fibers 32 a in FIG. 7, and the fiber lift cam 90 is shown engaging and lifting the long fibers 32 a in FIG. 8.

As shown in FIGS. 6-9 and particularly FIGS. 8 and 8A, the machine 60 is provided with a metering plate 92 which supports the lower surface of the stack of fibers 38 in the short fiber column 64. The metering plate 92 is adjustably positioned so that the upper portions of the notches 52, 54 of the pick bar 50 are above the top surface 94 of the metering plate, and the lower portions of the notches 52 and 54 are below the top surface 94 of the metering plate. Thus, short fibers 38 from the short fiber column 64 fill only the upper portions of notches 52, 54, in order to partially fill the pick bar 50 with short fibers. It will be appreciated that the metering plate 92 may be adjusted upwardly or downwardly in order to control the number of short fibers 38 loaded into the pick bar 50, and therefore also adjust the ratio of short fibers to long fibers in the finished mascara brush 10.

As the pick bar 50 is retracted from the metering plate 92, the short fibers 32 fall into the bottoms of notches 52, 54 such that the notches are only partially filled. With reference to FIG. 9, the pick bar 50 is next positioned under the long fiber column 66, with the fiber lift cam 90 retracted. The long fibers 32 a are thereby loaded into the remaining space in notches 52, 54, etc. of the pick bar 50. If desired, the long bristles 32 a may be loaded into the pick bar 50 first; however, in utilizing the machine 60 described herein, it is more advantageous to apply the lift cam 90 to the longer bristles.

A scraper 96 is provided at the lower end of sidewall 68 of the short fiber column 64. The scraper 96 engages the rail 56 of the pick bar, and removes any excess fibers stacked above the notches 52 and 54 that could adversely affect the desired ratio of short fibers to long fibers as the pick bar moves from under short fiber column 64 to a position under long fiber column 66.

With reference to FIG. 10, the pick bar 50 is shown from a top view, with short fibers 38 and untrimmed long fibers 32 a shown loaded in the notches 52, 54, etc. The short fibers 38 are centered over the ledge 58 of the pick bar 50. As is well known in the brush making art, a “U” shaped wire form 100 as seen in FIG. 11 has its first leg 24 inserted along the ledge 58, under the fibers 32 and 38 a, and its parallel second leg 26 positioned over the fibers. The “U” shaped wire form and the fibers are transferred to a twisting station, schematically shown in FIG. 11, wherein the tip of the wire form 100 is captured in a clamp 102, and the two legs are captured in a motorized chuck 104. The motorized chuck 104 is operated to twist the wire form 100 into a twisted wire core 22, capturing the fibers 32 a, 38 therebetween. The long fibers 32 a are then trimmed to provide the outer surface 40 of the finished mascara brush 10.

As illustrated in FIG. 11, when the fibers 32 a, 38 are removed from the notches of the pick bar 50 and positioned between the parallel legs 24, 26 of the “U” shaped wire form 100, the long fibers and short fibers are intermixed and become substantially uniformly distributed along the length of the wire form. When the wire form 100 is twisted to form the twisted wire core 22 of the brush 10, the long and short fibers remain substantially uniformly distributed along the length of the brush. While it is not possible to place the fibers with one long fiber alternating with one short fiber in every instance, the way the fibers are accumulated in the pick bar and thereafter handled in accordance with usual brush making techniques results in a mascara brush that has no concentrations of long bristles or short bristles, which can therefore be said to be substantially uniformly distributed along the length of the brush.

With reference to FIG. 12, another mascara brush 110 according to the invention herein is schematically illustrated. The mascara brush 110 has short bristles 112, 114 and 116, etc., and long bristles 120, 122 and 124, etc., that are captured in a twisted wire core 130. As with brush 10 described above, the brush 110 is characterized in that the long and short bristles are interspersed along the length of the brush. The mascara brush 110 differs from the mascara brush 10 described above in that a single fiber forms a long bristle and a short bristle, for example, the short bristle 112 and the long bristle 120 are formed by a single fiber 132 captured in the twisted wire core 130.

With respect to FIG. 13, the mascara brush 110 is made by loading fibers 132, 134 into the notches 52, 54, etc. of pick bar 50. The fibers 132 have a long end extending to one side of the pick bar 50. These fibers may be placed in the pick bar at one fiber tower of the modified Zahronski machine 60 described above, with the back wall adjusted as required for the desired placement. The other fibers 134 have a long end extending to the opposite side of the pick bar 50, and may be placed in the pick bar at the other fiber tower of the modified Zahronski machine. A “U” shaped wire form 100, not shown in FIG. 13, has one leg inserted below the fibers on ledge 58 of the pick bar and one leg positioned above the fibers. The “U” shaped wire form is twisted to form the twisted wire core 130 that separates the fibers into long and short bristles, the long ends of the fibers being trimmed as required.

The mascara brush 110 has an outer surface formed by the tips 134 of the long bristles 120, 122, 124 and a subsurface formed by the tips 136 of the short bristles 112, 114, 116, and has its long and short bristles substantially evenly distributed along the length of the brush. Because each long bristle and short bristle are made from one fiber, the mascara brush 110 lacks some of the flexibility of design choice of the mascara brush 10 described above, although it should be noted that because the pick bar 50 is loaded from two fiber tower stations, the mascara brush 110 can be made from a mixture of two kinds of fibers. Therefore, the mascara brush 110 has improved features that are useful for many applications.

FIG. 14 shows another mascara brush 140 according to the invention herein. The mascara brush 140 has long bristles 142, first short bristles 144, and second short bristles 146. Thus, the mascara brush 14 is characterized by having three surfaces, namely, an outer surface defined by the tips 143 of the long bristles 142, a first subsurface defined by the tips 145 of the first short bristles 144, and a second subsurface defined by the tips 147 of the second short bristles 146. The first short bristles 144 are about 75-80% of the length of the long bristles 142, and the second short bristles are about 35-40% of the length of the long bristles 142.

The brush 140 with its three surfaces is advantageous in that the long bristles forming the outer surface are useful in combing eyelashes. The first subsurface formed by the first short bristles 144 provides a good application surface, and the second subsurface formed by the second short bristles 146 supports mascara product more closely adjacent the application surface formed by the surface formed by the first short bristles 144 such that the mascara product is drawn to and dispensed from the first short bristles 144. The bristles 142, 144 and 146 of the mascara brush 140 extend from a twisted wire core 141, and it will be appreciated that one partial helix of the mascara brush 140 is shown schematically in FIG. 14 for claritive illustration, but that the mascara brush is actually a fill and bushy brush.

FIG. 15 illustrates the method of fabricating the mascara brush 140, wherein long fibers 150 are placed in the notches of pick bar 50, substantially centered on ledge 58 of pick bar 50 except for any excess length to be trimmed upon completion of the fabrication of the brush. Thus, each long fiber 50 forms two long bristles 142. Short fibers 152 are also placed in the notches of the pick bar 50, but are off center with respect to the ledge 58 of the pick bar 50. Therefore, the longer portion of the fibers 152 form the first short bristles 144, and the second, shorter portion of the fibers 152 extending the other way from the picker bar form the second short bristles 146. It will be appreciated that the fibers 150 and 152 are loaded on the pick bar 50 at two fiber towers of a modified Zahronski brush-making machine. The mascara brush 140, by virtue of the first short bristles and second short bristles being formed from one fiber, and with an approximately even mix of long and short fibers being placed in the pick bar 50, results in the outer surface of the brush being defined by the most tips, and the inner surfaces being defined by approximately half as many bristle tips. Noting that the outer surface has a greater diameter and therefore more surface area, there is less disparity between the numbers of bristle tips per unit of surface area. This indicates another aspect of the design flexibility achieved by placing two lengths of fiber in the pick bar to fabricate a mascara brush.

With reference to FIG. 16, another mascara brush 160 according to the invention is illustrated. FIG. 16 is also schematic in that a portion of one helix of the brush 160 is shown, and it will be appreciated that the brush 160 in its entirety is a fully bristled mascara brush similar in general appearance to the brush 10 of FIG. 1. The mascara brush 160 is comprised of a twisted wire core 162, from which extend long bristles 164, first short bristles 166, and second short bristles 168. Thus, the mascara brush 160 has an outer surface defined by the tips 165 of the long bristles 164, a first subsurface formed by the tips 167 of the first short bristles 166, and a second subsurface formed by the tips 169 of the second short bristles 168.

The structure and method of manufacture of the brush 160 is illustrated in FIG. 17, showing a pick bar 50 having notches 52, 54, etc. The pick bar is used with a modified Zahronski machine having three fiber towers, which place long fibers 170, first short fibers 172, and second short fibers 174 in the notches 52 and 54 of the pick bar 50 in a desired ratio. All of the fibers are substantially centered with respect to the parallel wires of a wire form introduced to the ledge of the pick bar 50 and twisted to form the twisted wire core 162. Thus, the long fiber 170 forms two long bristles 164, the first short fiber 172 forms two of the first short bristles 166, and the second short fiber 174 forms two second short bristles 168.

As with the cosmetics brushes described above, the fibers 170, 172 and 174 may each have different characteristics, such as material, diameter, hollow center, quadralobal or other cross sections and the like, providing a substantial range of design parameters for adapting the cosmetics brushes for myriad applications. It will also be appreciated that one or both of the short fibers 172, 174 could be offset with respect to the core 162, providing one or two additional subsurfaces of the cosmetics brush 160.

With reference to FIGS. 18 and 19, a mascara brush 180 according to the invention herein is illustrated. The mascara brush 180 is characterized by being made of four fiber lengths captured between a twisted wire core 182. Therefore, the mascara brush 180 has long bristles 184, the tips 185 of which form an outer surface of the brush. The mascara brush 180 has first short bristles 186, the tips 187 of which form a first subsurface of the mascara brush 180. A third subsurface of the mascara brush 180 is formed by the tips 191 of third short bristles 190.

With reference to FIG. 19, the long bristles 184 are formed from long fibers 194 placed in notches of the pick bar 50, the first short bristles 186 are formed from first short fibers 196 placed in the notches of the pick bar, the second short bristles 188 are formed from second short fibers 198 placed in the pick bar 150, and the third short bristles 190 are formed by third short fibers 200 placed in the notches of the pick bar 50. It will be appreciated that the Zahronski machine used to make the mascara brush 180 is modified to have four fiber towers respectively loading the four fiber lengths to the pick bar 50, with metering plates adjusting the relative amounts of each of the four lengths of fibers that are loaded into the pick bar.

It will be appreciated, however, that the fibers are dispersed substantially evenly along the length of the twisted wire brush.

For the mascara brush 180, the fibers are centered with respect to the wire form used to create the twisted wire core 182, thereby creating a brush with an outer surface and three subsurfaces. It will, however, be appreciated that one or more of the short fibers could be offset with respect to the wire form, wherein the mascara brush 180 would have additional subsurfaces. As with the above brushes, the characteristics of the fibers may be different providing a wide range of design parameters of the cosmetics brush.

Accordingly, mascara brushes have been described which are useful for many applications and offer the brush designer a multitude of possible combinations of features for adapting the mascara brush to a particular mascara or other cosmetics product or application. It will be appreciated that the embodiments described herein are illustrative only, and that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, which is limited only by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8136536 *Sep 24, 2008Mar 20, 2012Elc Management LlcShape memory polymer mascara brush
US8256437Jul 31, 2009Sep 4, 2012L'oreal S.A.Mascara brush including bristles of various diameters
US8578948Feb 9, 2012Nov 12, 2013Elc Management LlcShape memory polymer cosmetic brush
EP2149314A1Jul 30, 2009Feb 3, 2010L'orealMascara brush with various bristle diameters
Classifications
U.S. Classification132/218
International ClassificationA46B9/02, A46B3/18, A45D40/26
Cooperative ClassificationA46B3/18, A46B9/021, A46B2200/1053
European ClassificationA46B3/18, A46B9/02A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 14, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: HCP PACKAGING USA, INC., CONNECTICUT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BRIDGEPORT METAL GOODS MANUFACTURING COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:020649/0519
Effective date: 20040806