US 2290608 A
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y 1942- G. H. EVANS $290,608
FOIL CRUMPLINGMETHOD AND APPARATUS Filed Feb. 18, 1939 2 Sheets-Sheet l July 21, 1942. G. H. EVANS 2,290,603
FOIL CRUMPLIING METHOD AND APPARATUS I Filed Feb. 18, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 gi 5555555555 QEQ @fiiiifiififii 3 W 66017011 0 UNITED STATES FICE FOIL CRUMPLING METHOD AND APPARATUS George H. Evans, Washington, D. 0., assignor of one-half to Richard K. Stevens, Washington,
Application February 18, 1939, Serial No. 257,234
This invention relates to a method and apparatus for embossing sheet materials and more particularly to the crumpling of metal foil.
It has been found that very attractive display and sign apparatus may be produced by incorporating a reflector formed from a sheet of metal foil which has been crumpled or embossed in such a manner as to project reflected light rays in all directions. Such apparatus is disclosed in copending applications Serial Numbers 216,361 and 253,191, respectively filed by the present inventor on June 28, 1938, and January 27, 1939. In preparing the foil for use as a reflector it was found that it was preferable to have the surface embossed so as to produce a multitude of small angularly positioned reflecting facets which, preferably, are more or less irregular in their shape and location. That is, while geometrically arranged embossings are satisfactory to a degree, it is preferred to eliminate a pattern, which is produced by a geometric arrangement.
It has been found that the known methods of crumpling or embossing sheet materials are not adaptable to use in preparing metal foil in this manner.
crumple the material to produce the desired effect. On the other hand, the apparatus which might produce the surface in the desired manner has been found to mutilate the foil in such r a manner that it is not usable. Needless to say it is extremely tedious and impractical to produce the foil by hand crumpling for commercial purposes.
The present invention contemplates a method and apparatus for mechanically handling and treating the foil so as to produce the desired formation thereof and without harm thereto. In addition, the method and apparatus is extremely simple and inexpensive so that it may be practiced on a commercial scale at a great saving of time and money. Furthermore, the sheets of foil which are treated according to the present invention are found to have an even distribution of reflecting facets so that the sheet becomes an ideal reflecting member for the desired purpose.
Briefly, the present invention comprises progressively embossing a sheet of material in one direction, and then treating the sheet in precisely the same manner in at least one or more different directions, in as many steps. This operation may be accomplished by passing the sheet through a pair of rollers having projec- The apparatus that will accommodate the foil without harming it does not sufliciently preferably flexible and resilient in nature. In the first operation these rollers may be so located with respect to each other so that the projections barely intermesh. In succeeding operations the rollers may be. arranged so that the projections intermesh to a greater degree in each individual operation. While the preferable form of projections resemble fingers extending radially from the roller, other formations such as ridges of various types or honeycombs have proven to work satisfactorily. Furthermore, these formations may be applied to the foil by means other than rolls, such as by various platen formations and the like.
The novel features that I consider characteristic of my invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both in its organization and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts throughout and in which:
Figure 1 is an enlarged fragmentary view in cross-section of a sheet of crumpled material;
Figure 2 is a diagrammatic View showing the various stepsof the process;
Figure 3 is a diagrammatic plan view showing an arrangement of apparatus which would be suitable for conducting the process;
Figure 4 is a schematic diagram showing the manner in which the projections on the rolls intermesh to a greater degree in succeeding steps of the process;
Figure 5 is a fragmentary view in perspective of one form of roll having finger like projections arranged geometrically thereon;
Figure 6 is a fragmentary view of a pair of opposed resilient projections bearing against each other; 7
Figure 7 is a diagrammatic view of a platen arrangement suitable for use in this process;
Figure 8 is a diagrammatic view in elevation of a modified platen arrangement for handling the foil;
Figure 9 is a plan View of a roll having fingers irregularly located thereon;
Figure 10 is a plan view of a roll having substantially straight ridges extending radially therefrom;
Figure 11 is a plan view of a roll having curved tions extending radially therefrom, which are 55 ridges extending therefrom;
Figure 12 is a plan view of a roll having honeycomb ridges eXtending therefrom.
Referring specifically to the drawings, it will be seen in Fig. 1 that it is desired to crumple a sheet of foil I so as to produce a heterogeneous array of small reflecting facets 2 of irregular shape and location. These facets 2 are located in planes that are angular with respect to each other, the lines between the facets being sharply defined By such an arrangement, the light falling upon the foil I is broken up and reflected in substantially all directions so that it may be seen uniformly at very wide angles and in all directions. It will be understood that though the preferred formation comprises these irregularly shaped and positioned reflecting facets 2, sheets having substantially regular and/or geometrically arranged embossings may be used and produced according to this method.
As shown in Fig. 2, the method comprises the passing of a sheet of foil I through a first set of rolls 3 which may be arranged to emboss or crumple the sheet I to a light degree. It has been found that more satisfactory results are obtained by treating the sheet I to only a slight degree in the first operation, in view of the fact that the foil is not capable of stretching, and consequently it must be indented in such a manner as to permit the surface to be gradually drawn in so that the sheet will not be torn or otherwise mutilated. After being initially crumpled by the rolls 3, the sheet is then turned at right angles and passed through a second set of rolls 4. In the event that a regular pattern was formed in the embossing of the sheet by the first step, these patterns are readily broken up by turning the sheet 90 and passing it through the second operation. Furthermore, in the second operation, the rolls may be positioned closer together so that the roll formations will intermesh to a greater degree and crumple the foil with deeper embossings. It has been found that for many purposes these two steps are sufficient, provided the second operation is arranged to emboss the sheet to a sufficient degree. Likewise if the rolls are properly set with respect to each ohanical unit as diagrammatically illustrated in Figure 3. A supply roll I of the metal foil may be arranged to feed the foil onto a travelling web 8, whereupon the foil is cut into sheets I by any suitable type of knife 3. The sheets of foil I are then transported to guide members Iii which direct the leading edges of the sheets I between the rolls 3. As the sheets I pass between the rolls 3, they may drop upon a second travelling web I I, which will transport the sheets I through another set of guide members I0 and between the rolls 4. As the travelling web II is arranged to travel in a direction. substantially 90 from the direction of rotation of the rolls 3, the sheets I will automatically be turned 90 when they enter between the rolls 4. When the sheets pass between the rolls 4 they may drop upon a third travelling web I3 which is arranged at an angle of approximately with respect to the direction of. rotation of the rolls 4, whereby the sheets I will be transported into a third set of guide members II] and between the rolls '5. As the sheets pass through the rolls 5 they may be received by another travelling web I5, which is arranged to travel in-a direction at 90 to the direction of rotation of the rolls 5. The sheets I are then passed through another set of guide members It! and between the rolls 6 As the sheets I pass through this final. step they may be received upon a travelling web II which carries them to a.receiving bin 18, whereupon the sheets I are automatically stacked.
The rolls are provided with a plurality'of projections 20 as best shown in Figure 5. Preferably these projections ZI? are in the form of radially extending finger like members which are closely positioned together. In the event that the projections 28 are geometrically arranged around the surface of'the roller, as shown in Figure 5, they can be'so constructed as to intermesh with the similar projections 20 of a cooperative roller, as indicated in Figure 4. Consequently these members may be fabricated from any desired material such as metal,wood, molding compositions or the like. On the other hand, it has been found that by forming these roll, as shown in Figure 5, or they may bearever, it is preferred to pass the sheet through additional rolling operations in which event the sheeti is turned 45 from its position in the second step and'passed through a third set of rolls 5 which are positioned slightly closer together than the rolls 4. Finally, the sheet may then be turned 90 and passed through another set of rolls 3 which may be closer together than'any of the preceding sets of rolls. In the event that it is desired to use only the first two operations it will be understood that the second set of rolls 4 will be positioned somewhat closer together than shown in the four steps'previous, so that the formations on the rolls will intermesh to a greater degree. On the other hand, if it is preferred to pass the sheet through the additional steps, so as to produce a reflecting surface of high quality, the rolls 4 will be positioned only slightly closer to each other than the rolls 3, and the succeeding sets of rolls, 5 and 6, will be positioned successively closer to each other than the preceding set.
This method may be accomplished by one meranged on a web 2| which may be secured around the rolls, as shown in Figure 4. In the event that the resilient projections 20 abut each otherthey will merely bend without damage 'to themselves or to the foil, as shown in 'Figurefi. The finger like projections have been particularly useful for the present method in view of the fact that the embossings formed in a-previous step are not flattened by successive steps, but are accentuated'to a greater degree.
The resilient fingers 20 have many desirable features which cannot be obtained by the meet other types of materials. For instance, in view of the fact that the metal foil is not capable of stretching, it'must be gathered in by the action-of the embossing units so as to produce the formations without mutilatingthe foil. This maybc readily accomplished by the use of resilient embossing members because they are capable of bending and giving way slightly to theevent-that the tension of the 'foil becomes too great. Furthermore, due to their resilient nature and their adhering characteristics, the projections slightly grip the surface of the'foil and gather it in by their resilient action in returning to their normal position.
In addition to these features the resilient projections are not prone to damage or mutilate the foil. In view of their relatively soft composition they do not cut or mash the foil, as harder materials might do. Instead, however, they are capable of bending or becoming deformed to temporarily give way and in resuming their normal position they act to crumple the foil to a greater degree. As the projections are apt to be moved from their normal position, to a considerable extent, during "the embossing operation, they consequently tend to crumple the foil to a greater degree, than rigid members would, by their resilient action in returning to their normal position.
As shown in Figure 4 the succeeding sets of rolls may be successively arranged closer together so that their respective formations 20 may intermesh to a greater degree. As the foil is passed by the travelling web 8 through the guide members ID to the rolls 3, it is crumpled to a slight degree by the cooperative action of the projections 28 as heretofore described. It is preferable to provide this preliminary crumpling to gather the foil sufliciently to permit the deeper embossings which are made by the succeeding steps. While deeper embossings might be made in a single operation by the use of flexible members 20, it has been found that a single operation does not break up the surface of the foil into a sufiicient number of facets 2. Accordingly, it has been found preferable to perform but a slight embossing action in the first step.
After passing through the first step, the foil may be turned as described above and passed through successive sets of rolls or embossing members as indicated in 4, and 6. Each of these successive sets of rolls are arranged so that their projections intermesh to a greater degree than those in the prior step. By such an arrangement the foil is gradually gathered in and the surface thereof broken up into any desirable number of facets 2, without danger of damaging or mutilating the foil. It will be noted that the geometrical arrangement of the projections may be formed so that they intermesh similarly to the teeth in a set of gears, and consequently it is not necessary that these projections be formed of resilient material. Due to the additional desirable features of the use of such material, however, they have been found to be considerably more practical in commercial production. Though the guide members have been shown associated with the first set of rolls only, in Figure 4, it will be understood that they may be associated with the succeeding sets of rolls as indicated in Figure 3. As a matter of fact, the guide members are more useful in association with the succeeding sets of rolls, due to the fact that the foil is crumpled to a greater degree and the leading edges may be turned sufiiciently so that they might not enter between the projections in the proper manner and, consequently, would be folded over or doubled up in some undesirable manner. The guide members It, however, are arranged to direct the leading edges of the foil sheets I to the proper position between the embossing projections of the rolls.
In lieu of the rollers hereinbefore described other mechanical arrangements may be used to accomplish the method as well. For instance a pair of platens may be arranged to press against each other, and preferably these platens are arranged to progressively meet each other in an angular direction. Such an arrangement is specifically illustrated in Figure 7, wherein a lower platen 25 is provided with the projections 20 extending upwardly therefrom. This platen 25 is secured to a hinge 26 secured to one edge there-' jections 20 of the lower platen 25, and a sheet of foil may be laid thereon. The upper platen may then be dropped downwardly so that the projections 26 intermesh and crumple the foil, said projections 28 intermeshing progressively away from the hinge 26 so that the foil sheet may be crumpled progressively and be permitted to draw in.
Still another arrangement which may be suitable is shown in Figure 8. This arrangement likewise comprises a flat lower platen 25, but instead of having an upper platen hinged thereto, a curved platen 33 may be arranged above said lower platen 25. The upper platen as may be positioned in such -a manner that it can rock back and forth across the lower platen 25 and may be operated by a roller 3i which is adapted to oscillate so as to press each portion of the upper platen 3t against the lower platen 25. Instead of a rigid platen the upper member 38 may be in the form of a flexible web which forces against the lower platen 25 in a progressive manner. It may readily be understood that other mechanical arrangements may be effected, such as combining a roll to oscillate over a platen, or arranging individual units of embossing members so that they may progressively bear down upon a basic platen. 7
As mentioned heretofore, in describing the roll illustrated in Figure 5, the radially extending projections 26 may be arranged geometrically around the surface of the roll, or they may be irregularly located thereon in an unsymmetrical manner or may be staggered such as shown in Figure 9. These projections do not have to be specifically located with respect to each other when they are formed of a flexible and resilient material, in view of the fact that no damage is effected upon themetal foil in the event that these projections become more or less superimposed, as they merely bend upon abutting each other and do not act to cut the sheet of foil.
While the preferred form of projections resemble finger-like structures, as shown and described heretofore, it has been found that other arrangements may be used particularly, if they are formed of flexible or resilient material. For instance, a roller may be arranged with corrugations extending axially thereof, as shown in Figure 10, or the ridges of the corrugations may be twisted in any desired manner so as to form irregular embossings in the foil, as shown in Figure 11. Still another arrangement comprises a honeycomb structure as shown in Figure 12. This structure may be formed in any suitable design and may comprise a plurality of narrow ridges crossing and interlocking with each other so as to form a surface resembling a honeycomb.
Although certain specific embodiments have been shown and described of the invention, it is are possible. It is contemplated that the roller patterns disclosed in the various figures of the drawings may be combined as desired. The invention, therefore, is not to be restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the prior art, and by the spirit of the appended claims.
1. The method of embossing metal foil sheet material which comprises passing a sheet through a first embossing step and thereby embossing the whole surface of the sheet, turning the sheet 90, passing said turned sheet through a second embossing step and again embossing the whole surface of the sheet, turning said sheet 45", passing said sheet through a third embossing step and again embossing the whole surface of the sheet, turning said sheet 90, and passing said sheet through a fourth embossing step and again embossing the whole surface of the sheet whereby the sheet material will be embossed in a plurality of directions.
2. Apparatus for embossing sheet material which comprises at least two sets of embossing members, said members being adapted to deform the whole surface of said sheet, each of said sets of members being arranged successively closer together whereby to exert an increased embossing pressure, and means for turning a sheet between each successive set of said members.
3. Apparatus for embossing sheet material which comprises four sets of embossing members, said members being adapted to deform the whole surface of said sheet, means between the first and second sets for turning a sheet 90, means between said second and third sets for turning a sheet 45, and means between said third and fourth sets for turning a sheet 90 whereby the sheet material will be embossed in a plurality of directions.
4. The method of crumpling metal foil sheet material which comprises successively deforming the whole surface of a sheet to increase the amount of material in a; given area without materially stretching the sheet, turning said sheet about an axis perpendicular to the plane of said sheet between the successive deforming steps, and increasing the pressure applied in each successive deforming step.
readily evident that many modifications thereof 5. Apparatus for embossing sheet material which comprises at least two sets of embossing members, said members having spaced resilient projections extending therefrom, said projections being positioned over the entire embossing surfaces and adapted to deform the whole surface of the sheet, and means for turning a sheet between each successive set of said members.
6. The method of crumpling metal foil sheet material which comprises successively passing said sheet between sets of embossing units to deform the whole surface of said sheet so as to increase the amount of material in a given area without materially stretching the sheet, and turning said sheet about an axis perpendicular to the plane of said sheet between the successive sets of embossing units whereby the sheet material will be deformed in a plurality of directions and the surface thereof crumpled into facets of approximately equal diameter.
7. The method of crumpling metal foil sheet material which comprises successively passing said sheet between sets of embossing units to deform the whole surface of said sheet progressively across the surface thereof so as to increase the amount of material in a given area without materially stretching the sheet, and turning said sheet about an axis perpendicular to the plane of said sheet between the successive sets of embossing units whereby the sheet material will be deformed in a plurality of directions and the surface thereof crumpled into facets of approximately equal diameter.
8. Apparatus for embossing sheet material which comprises a lower embossing member in the form of a platen having spaced resilient projections extending from its upper surface upon which the sheet material is supported, and an upper embossing member including an embossing surface having spaced resilient projections extending therefrom, said upper member being positioned over said lower member so that the extremities of the projections extending respectively therefrom will contact the surfaces of said sheet material when in embossing position, said members being adapted to be moved relative to each other to emboss said sheet material progressively thereacross.
GEORGE H. EVANS.