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Publication numberUS2543101 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 27, 1951
Filing dateJul 20, 1944
Priority dateJul 20, 1944
Publication numberUS 2543101 A, US 2543101A, US-A-2543101, US2543101 A, US2543101A
InventorsJr Carleton S Francis
Original AssigneeAmerican Viscose Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Composite fibrous products and method of making them
US 2543101 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 27, 11951 c, s, FRANClS, JR 2,543,101

AND METHOD OF MAKING THEM COMPOSITE FIBRCUS PRODUCTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 20, 1944 INVENTOR.

ATTORNEY 1951 c. s. FRANCIS, JR 2,543,101

COMPOSITE FIBROUS PRODUCTS AND METHOD OF MAKING THEM Filed July 20, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. m 6.

ATTORNEY Patentecl Feb. 27, 1 951 COMPOSITE FIBROUS PRODUCTS AND METHOD OF MAKING THEM Carleton S. Francis, Jr., West Harwich, Mesa,

assignor to American Viscose Corporation, Wilmington, Del., a corporation of Delaware Application July 20, 1944, Serial No. 545,885

This invention relates to composite products comprising at least one layer of prefabricated textile material and at least one layer of feltlike material, and in which one surface of at least one felt-like layer is exposed and the other surface is securely and substantially permanently anchored to a textile layer.

The present application is a continuation-inpart of my pending applications Serial No. 300.- 8'76, filed October 23, 1939, now Patent No. 2,- 459,803, Serial No. 405,102, filed August 1, 1941, now Patent No. 2,483,404, and Serial No. 530,553, filed April 11, 1944, now Patent No. 2,437,689.

In said prior applications there are disclosed various fibrous products, such as textiles, felts, and papers formed from a mixture of at least two types of products, one of which is potentially adhesive, anda process of forming fibrous products from such mixtures of fibers by rendering the potentially adhesive fibers in the mixture tacky to bind fibers in the product. According to the teachings of those applications there may be obtained felt-like fibrous bats or similar masses which are thick and soft and characterized by extremely low density and high porosity, or stiffer and firmer, more boardlike products may be obtained which are relatively non-porous or substantially impermeable, depending upon the percentage of potentially adhesive fibers present and/or the degree of activation thereof, that is, whether merely softened to the extent that they engage and interlock with each other and with the non-adhesive fibers, or are softened to the point where they lose their fibrous structure and flow to form a continuous film of binding material. Those prior applications further disclose methods of reinforcing the fibrous felt-like bats by anchoring the same to a textile material.

It is the general object of the present invention to provide felt-like fibrous bats of the type disclosed in my-copending applications aforementioned of advantageous properties and a wide scope of usefulness. Another object is to provide such felt-like products with additional support or reinforcement. Still another object is to provide such products which combine in a single structure the properties of thickness, low density and high permeability, with the strength and toughness normally associated with products of greater density and a lower degree of permeability. Another object is to provide felt-like products comprising bats or the like which are capable of withstanding severe flexing or bending stresses and strains without damage to the interfelted structure of the bat. Still another object is to pro- 19 Claims. (Cl. 154-101) vide composite products of the type aforesaid, in which at least some of the fibers comprising the felt-like bat are extremely short and less than normal feltable length, i. e. fibers which cannot be felted by conventional. procedures. A still further object is to provide composite products of the type mentioned, in which the non-adhesive fibers comprising the felt-like bat comprise wool stock, and which products have the properties of a high quality first-grade wool felt, such as hand, heat-insulating properties, volume or bulk, strength, etc. Still a further object is the provision of artificial leather articles closely simulating real leather products.

These and other objects are achieved by the present invention in accordance with which a composite product is formed from at least one felt-like bat or web, comprising potentially adhesive fibers and non-adhesive fibers, and a supporting or reinforcing textile fabric to which the body of the bat or web is bonded or anchored, so as to leave at least one exposed surface exhibiting felt-like characteristics, the fibers in the bat or web being bonded together due to activation of the potentially adhesive fibers to a tacky condition.

The term textile fabric includes textiles made by any mode of associating yarns, such as weaving, knitting, netting, lacing, crocheting, or braiding. Such fabrics will be hereinafter referred to generally as textile fabrics comprising interlaced yarns. The fabric may comprise potentially adhesive.fibers, non-adhesive fibers, or mixtures of the two types.

By potentially adhesive is meant those fibers which are capable of being rendered adhesive upon the application of heat either alone or in conjunction with swelling or solvent agents. By non-adhesive is meant those fibers which are not rendered adhesive by the treatment used in activating the potentially adhesive fibers.

The fibers present in the felt-like layer, and which may also comprise the textile fabric reinforcement may be composed of a wide variety of materials, and may comprise any material capable of being formed into fibers which have an inherent tackiness upon heating totemperatures below that at which the non-adhesive fibers are damaged or rendered tacky and which are non-tacky at room temperature. Examples of the potentially adhesive fibers include thermoplastic fibers, such as those of cellulose acetate or other cellulose esters and ethers or mixed esters, such as cellulose acetate propionate or cellulose acetate butyrate, in plasticized condition; also, resins, either permanently thermoplastic or thermosetting but in the thermoplastic state, formed by the polymerization or condensation of various organic compounds such as coumarone, indene or related hydrocarbons, vinyl compounds, styrene, sterols, phenol-aldehyde resins either unmodified or modified with oils, urea-aldehyde resins, sulfonamide-aldehyde resins, polyhydric alcohol-polybasic acid resins, drying oil-modified alkyd resins, resins formed from acrylic acid, its homologues and their derivatives, sulfuroiefine resins, resins formed from dicarboxylic acids and diamines (nylon type); synthetic rubbers and rubber substitutes, herein called resins such for example as polymerized butadiene, olefine polysulfides, isobutylene polymers, chloroprene polymers; and fibers formed from a resin comprising the product of copolymerizing two or more resins, such, .as oopolymers of vinyl halide and vinyl acetate, copolymers of vinyl halide and an acrylic acid derivative; and also a mixture of resins, such as a mixture of vinyl resins and acrylic acid resins or methacrylic acid resins, a mixture of polyolefine resins and phenol-aldehyde resins, or a mixture of two or more resins from the different classes just named. There may be employed also fibres made from rubber latex, crepe rubber, gutta percha, balata, and the like.

Further, the fibers may be mixtures of the cellulose derivatives with resins or rubber, such for example, as a mixture of cellulose nitrate and an acrylic acid resin, or a mixture of benzyl cellulose and a vinyl resin, or a. mixture of ethyl cellulose and shellac.

A preferred class of vinyl resins from which the fibers may be formed are the copolymers of vinyl chloride with vinyl acetate or vinyl cyanide and after-chlorinated copolymers of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate.

The resins above mentioned may be classified (a) Heat non-convertible resins such for example as glycol polybasic acid resins, vinyl resins (particularly those of the preferred class above) and the acid type phenolaldehyde resins, and the like.

(b) Heat-convertible or thermosetting resins such for example as glycerol-polybasic acid resins, polyolefine resins, phenol aldehyde resins and the like.

An element-convertible resin (which becomes infusible through the action of certain elements, such as oxygen and sulfur) such for example as glycerol-polybasic acid-drying oils resins and olefine-sulfur resins.

Among the non-adhesive fibers which may be u ed are wood pulp fibers, cotton, flax, jute, kapok,

silk, wool stock," leather dust and the like, or synthetic fibers of cellulosic compositions, such as a cellulose or regeneratedcellulose, cellulose derivatives, such as cellulose esters, mixed cellulose esters, cellulose ethers, mixed cellulose ethers, cellulose hydroxy-ethers, cellulose carboxyethers, cellulose ether-xanthates, cellulose mm- The fiber-forming material from which the fibers are produced may contain added agents for obtaining special effects. For example, the parent fiber-forming material for the potentially adhesive fibers may contain hardening agents in the case of resins, for instance; while the fiberforming material for either the potentially adhesive or the non-adhesive fibers may contain latent activating agents, dyes, pigments, mothproofing agents, water-proofing agents, and the like.

The fibers may be pre-formed in any suitable manner. Thus, either type of fiber may be obtained by cutting previously fomed continuous filaments to the desired length, or, in the case of the potentially adhesive fibers or of the nonadhesive fibers when prepared from organic filmforming material, the fibers may be pre-formed by dispersing, such as by spraying, the fiberforming material while in flowable condition, that is, in solution, plastic, or molten condition, under suificient pressure to form a multiplicity of fibers, into a setting fluid, e. g. a liquid or a gaseous atmosphere, as taught in my copending application Serial No. 381,292, filed March 1, 1941, now Patent No. 2,357,392.

The fibers may be of any length, and the nonadhesive fibrous material may comprise those fibers or fibrils which occur in waste products, such as cotton linters, shear fiock, that is the fuzz removed from fabrics and felts during shearing operations, so-called leather dust or "leatherflock that is, short leather fibers obtained by shaving down leather, the short fiufiy waste thrown out of carding and/or combing machines, wool stock or waste, the waste from reeling, warping, winding, weaving, and cap bottoms, the waste from slubbing, roving, and wool tops, and in fact, all short fibers or fibrils which ordinarily do not find use in the manufacture of commercial products.

The felt-like bat may be formed by commingling the two types of fibers in any appropriate manner, as by carding, blowing in accordance with the eachings of my co-p'ending application Serial N 530,953, filed April 14, 1944, now abandoned, or the potentially adhesive fibers may be formed by spraying a suitable fiber-forming composition into a chamber containing a setting fluid, the non-adhesive fibers being separately blown into or formed in the same chamber, so that they are associated with the potentially adhesive fibers concurrently with formation of the latter, as

thofatty acids, cellulose thiourethanes; natural taught in my above mentioned application Serial No. 381,292, filed March 1, 1941, now Patent No. 2,357,392.

The commingled fibers are deposited or collected in the form of a bat or webin which the fibers may extend in haphazard relation without sive and non-adhesive fibers and which has a full nap or pile which is felted until the woven structure is obscured. After the woven construction is shrunk and the nap felted in the usual manner,

the felt is subjected to heat to render the resin fibers tacky which effects an adhesion or bonding of the felted nap fibers.

The bat may also be pre-formed and needled or plated to the textile fabric reinforcement. In this case, the potentially adhesive fibers and the non-adhesive fibers may be commingled and the mixture is permitted to deposit, or is caused to be collected in the form of a bat or web. Such pre-formed bats or webs may be applied and then anchored to the fabric in a. subsequent step in the procedure of manufacturing the new final reinforced felt structures. If the bat is preformed, it may be desirable to partially activate the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a preliminary binding together of the mixed fibers and permit handling of the web without damage thereto.

Alternatively, the potentially adhesive fibers and non-adhesive fibers comprising the felt-like bat may be commingled, if desired, simultane-.

ously with formation of the potentially adhesive fibers, and the fibers may be deposited concurrently with commingling thereof, on the surface of the textile fabric to which anchoring is intended, and this latter procedure constitutes the preferred embodiment of the invention.

The anchoring may be the result solely of bonding between the potentially adhesive fibers in the bat or web (and/or fabric) obtained by appropriate activation, or it may be the result of the use of a separate layer of adhesive for this purpose interposed between the fabric and the bat or web. Alternatively, a thin continuous film, or a web of fibers, of a thermoplastic material which may be of the same or different composition as the potentially adhesive fibers in the bat or web may be used as the adhesive layer and may be rendered adhesive for bonding the components of the product at the same time as the fibers in the web or bat and/or fabric are activated. When such a thin continuous film or web of fibers is used, it may be disposed between the fabric and bat or it may be placed on the side of the fabric opposite the bat, activation in such case causing the penetration of such film or fibers through the interstices of the fabric or conversely the projection of the bat or main web through the fabric interstices to join the components into a unitary product. The use of a film applied by coating, spraying, or impregnating, may serve to seal the fabric surface of the product or provide a sealing membrane within the body of the product when disposed centrally therein.

Among the methods which may be used for the activation of the fibers (and the adhesive layer when it is of a, potentially adhesive material) are the following, which methods may be practicedsingly or in combination.

(a) When the potentially adhesive fibers are thermoplastic they may be activated by heat applied with or without pressure, and a preferred method of activation is to blow dry hot air through the product. In treating webs of considerable thickness the air may be blown first in one direction and then in the opposite direction through the web to avoid non-uniform activation and to minimize dislocation of the fibers in the web.

(b) The potentially adhesive fibers may be activated by applying to the fibrous mixture a solvent or swelling agent or mixtures thereof with diluents, under such conditions of concentration and temperature as to render the potentially adhesive fibers tacky. For example, fibers of or- \ture is a non-solvent therefor, but which at a higher or lower temperature is capable of activating the potentially adhesive fibers.

Also when the mats, webs, or the like comprise thermoplastic fibers, they may be activated by subjecting them to steam, with or without pressure, especially where it is desired to produce a product characterized by extreme softness, low density, and relatively great thickness. It is also possible to activate the activatable fibers present in the fibrous web or mat by subjecting the same to a high frequency electric current as disclosed in the co-pending application of Frederick C. Wedler Serial No. 512,489, filed December 1, 1943, now abandoned.

A plasticizer may be applied to the fibers and/or to the product before partial activation. The plasticizer may function to increase the flexibility of the fibers and, when employed with thermoplastic fibers, the plasticizer may serve, in addition, to lower the thermal softening point. The plasticized thermoplastic fibers can be rendered adhesive by heating to a temperature below that at which the non-thermoplastic textile fibers associated therewith would be detrimentally affected by such heating. The plasticizer may be allowed to remain in the product, or it may be removed by suitable treatment, such as washing and extraction, thus again elevating the thermal softening point of the thermoplastic material and preventing reactivation upon ironing.

During or after partial activation, the products may be compacted, if it is desired to produce a web of increased density, and the compacting may be effected in any suitable manner, as by pressing, squeezing, and tensioning. For example, the mechanically applied pressure exerted on the activated material during and/or after activation, and/or during calendering, embossing, printing, or dyeing will effect compacting of the fibers. Also, the fibrous mat or web, in activated condition, may be passed between pressure rolls to compress the mixed fibers, or it may be subjected to tension in one or both directions.

The partially set or bonded web or bat may then be placed on one or both sides of a textile fabric and the fibers drawn partly through the fabric by means of barbed needles, after which the product is subjected to heat and pressure to further activate the inherent tackiness of the potentially adhesive fibers and cause a permanent adhesion of the fibers in the bat or bats and anchoring of the felt-like bat or bats to the fabric base. As an alternative, the commingled fibers in unfelted condition that is, without any activation of the potentially adhesive fibers may be placed on one or both sides of a textile fabric reinforcement and needled thereto in the usual manner, after which the product is subjected to heat and pressure to effect activation of the potentially adhesive fibers and binding of the fibers in the product, and of the layer or layers of bonded fibers to the fabric base.

Instead of needling the partially felted or unfelted bat to the fabric support, the bat may be plated on the surface of the fabric. In this embodiment the surface of the fabric may be provided with a layer of liquid adhesive material or with a fibrous layer which preferably comprises i potentially adhesive fibers or such fibers admixed in the bat and to secure a permanent adhesionand anchoring of the bat to the fabric.

According to the preferred embodiment of the invention, a layer of binding material consisting of or comprising potentially adhesive fibers is applied to at least one surface of a textile fabric, and commingled potentially adhesive fibers and non-adhesive fibers are air-deposited thereon, and the whole is subjected to heat and pressure to effect binding together of the fibers and of the various layers making up the composite product. The fabric may comprise potentially adhesive fibers, or mixtures thereof with non-adhesive fibers, all of the potentially adhesive fibers, wherever they occur in the composite structure, being simultaneously activated to thereby bind fibers together throughout the entire structure. Preferably, the binding material disposed between the felt-like bat and the textile fabric consists of potentially adhesive fibers which are formed by spraying the fiber-forming material into a setting atmosphere, and the fibers are deposited on the fabric concurrently with their formation.

If the textile fabric reinforcement comprises either potentially adhesive fibers, or a mixture containing such fibers, the layer of binding adhesive material between the fabric and felt-like bat may be dispensed with, at least at some parts of the composite product, and the felt-like mat may be deposited directly on the fabric, after which the product may be treated to activate all of the potentially adhesive fibers occurring at all parts thereof, to bind binders therein, and to effect anchoring of the layers together. product may be activated in any suitable manner, as previously recited herein, but the preferred method of activation involves the use of hot air currents and, where the binding material between the layers comprises potentially adhesive fibers, activation may be carried to the point where such potentially adhesive fibers lose their fibrous structure, and flow to form a continuous film of binding substance.

The potentially adhesive fibers comprising the binding layer between the felt-like bat and the fabric, and the potentially adhesive fibers comprising the fabric, if any, may be the same as or different from the potentially adhesive fibers comprising the bat. The potentially adhesive fibers comprising some of the layers making up the final composite structure may be more readily actlvatable and rendered tacky at a lower temperature or by a lesser period of heating than the fibers comprising remaining layers, and the layers may be assembled in such manner that those comprising the more readily activatable fibers occur at one surface of the product, or at an intermediate point therein, or the activatability of the fibers may increase progressively from The one surface of the product to the other, depending upon the manner in which heat is to be applied thereto. This method of assembling the various layers is especially advantageous where it is desired to simultaneously activate the potentially adhesive fibers at all parts thereof, and where it is desired to activate the fibers comprising the binding layer between adjacent textile fabric layers and felt-like layers to the extent that such fibers flow to form a continuous film, while merely softening or deforming the fibers at other parts of the product to cause the same to coalesce by interlocking together.

However the felt-like bat and fabric are anchored together, after activation, and compacting, if the latter is employed,the product is treated to deactivate the adhesive fibers, that is to render the adhesive fibers non-tacky so as to fix the new relationship of the mixed fibers throughout and at all parts of the composite product, wherever the adhesive fibers occur.' If activation has been accomplished b heat, deactivation may be accomplished by cooling, or by heating at the same temperature for a prolonged period, or at a higher temperature, in the case of thermosetting resins; and if activation is by means of a solvent, deactivation may involve extraction of the solvent as by washing, evaporation, or decomposition.

In the drawing there is shown apparatus suitable for practicing the invention.

Figure 1 is a side elevation of one embodiment of suitable means for carrying out the preferred form of the invention;

Figure 2 is a side elevation of another embodiment of means for carrying out the invention;

Figure 3 is a plan view of an article in accordance with the invention;

Figure 4 is a plan view of another type of article according to the invention; and

Figure 5 is a plan view of still another article according to the invention.

When using the apparatus shown in Figure 1,

a textile fabric 2, is unwound from roller 2a,

and is then carried by an endless belt 3, which is made of flexible material such as textile, metal, leather, or the like, which belt is preferably positioned in a horizontal plane at the base of chamber 4. Preferably belt 3 is provided with a multiplicity of small uniformly distributed perforations and runs continuously over a similarly uniformly perforated false bottom or screen 5. As belt 3 passes under chamber 4, a composition suitable for forming potentially adhesive fibers is dispersed b means of the spray gun 6 into a gaseous atmosphere contained in chamber 4. Any material which is not formed into fibers is caught on shelf 1 and may be removed at intervals. Solvent may be removed from chamber 4 through a screened vent 8 by means of a suction device (not shown). The potentially adhesive fibers thus formed are deposited on the surface of fabric 2. The fabric is then carried by belt 3 from chamber 4 into chamber 9.

Potentially adhesive fibers are formed by spraying a suitable composition into chamber I0 by spray gun II. Any material which is not formed into fibers is caught on shelf 12. Solvent may be removed from chamber ID through a screened vent [3 by means of a suction device (not shown). The potentially adhesive fibers thus formed are withdrawn from chamber In and blown into chamber 9 through conduit I4 by blower l5. Simultaneously, a multiplicity of non-adhesive fibers are blown into chamber 9, preferabl in a direction opposite to that of the potentially adhesive fibers through conduit l6 by blowerll. The fibers are scattered about in chamber 9 by the turbulence of the air streams, and are thoroughly mixed together before settling out. The two types of fibers are thus brought together at a point sufiiciently removed from the point of deposition to permit good commingling during deposition. The mixed fibers then come to rest on the layer of potentially adhesive fibers distributed on the surface of fabric 2. Air may be permitted to escape from chamber 9 through a screened exhaust pipe I8.

The product |9, comprising the various layers is carried on belt 3 from chamber 9. Positioned along the path of travel of belt 3 is an endless foraminous belt 20. The belt 3 and product 19 pass between rollers 2| and 22 and through a heating zone. As the product passes through such zone, air drawn into heatng cabinet 23 through inlet 24 is directed onto product I9 by means of conduit 25 through the action of blower 26. The

- heated air is drawn downwardly through the product by means of the exhaust pump 21 and discharged to the atmosphere. 4

The product l9, in which the potentially adhesive fibers are now in activated condition, passes from the heating zone between rollers 28 and 29 and directly into a confined cooling or deactivating zone, at which point cool air is directed on the product by blower 36 through conduit 3| and drawn downwardly therethrough by means of exhaust blower 32.

The product undergoes a certain amount of compacting as it leaves chamber 9, and hence decreases in thickness as it passes through the heating zone, and the rollers 28 and 29 ma be suitably adjusted to take into account such changes in the product due to the force or the air-current thereon. Rolls 28 and 29 may be spaced apart so that they serve merely to assure confinement of the product l9 between the belts in the heating zone without exerting substantial pressure thereon; or they may be adjusted to apply a substant al compacting pressure to reduce the product so that the hat of interfelted fibers is of any thickness and density desired. Rolls 33 and 34 are'preferably spaced apart the same distance as rolls 28 and 23 so that these two pairs of rolls cooperate to maintain the proper thickness of the product |9 during cooling. Additional pairs of rolls may be interposed between the pairs 28, 29 and 33, 34 to assure that the desired thickness is produced.

When using the apparatus shown in Figure 2, a composition for forming potentially adhesive fibers is dispersed into a setting medium contained in chamber 35 through spray gun 35. Material which does not form fibers is co lected on shelf 31 and recovered at intervals; solvent is removed through screened vent 38 by means of a suction device. (not shown). Simultaneously, a multiplicity of non-adhesive fibers are blown into chamber 35 through conduit 39 by blower 49. The mixed fibers come to rest on the surface of endless belt 4| made of flexible material such as textile, metal, leather, etc., which belt is positioned in a horizontal plane at the base of deposited on End portion of the belt. the suction' at other points thereof is increased so that theintermingled fibers are drawn downwardly through chamber 35 onto successive portions of belt 4|, which assists in a uniform distribution of the fibers over the belt surface, and results in the production of a bat or,web of uniform thickness throughout.

The bat 44 is carried on the belt 4| from chamber 35, past rollers 45, 46 from which a fabric 41 consisting of potentially adhesive fibers is unwound and laid upon bat 44.

The bat 44 carrying fabric 41 is carried on belt 4| through chamber 48. A potentially adhesive fiber-forming composition is dispersed in chamber 48 by gun 49. Any material which does not form fibers is caught on shelf 50; solvent is re moved through a screened vent 5| by suction means (not shown). Simultaneously, a multiplicity of non-adhesive fibers are blown into chamber 48 through conduit 52 by blower 53. The fibers which are commingled in chamber 48, finally come to rest in the form of a mixed fibrous bat on the top of fabric 41, to form a product consisting of two bats of interfelted fibers disposed on the respective surfaces of fabric 41.

The composite product is carried from chamber 48 on belt 4|. Positioned along the path of the belt 4| is an endless screen belt 54. The product and belt pass between rollers 55 and 56 and through a heating zone. As it passes through such zone, air drawn into heating cabinet 51 through inlet 58 is directed to the product by means of conduit 59 through blower 69. heated air is drawn downwardly through the product by means of the exhaust pump 6| and discharged to the atmosphere. The product, in which all of the potentially adhesive fibers occurring at all parts thereof are now in activated condition, passes from the heating zone through rollers 62 and 63 and directly into a confined cooling or deactivating zone, at which point cool air is directed on the product by blower 64 through conduit 65, and drawn downwardly therethrough by means of exhaust blower 66.

The product comprising the two bats of interfelted fibers disposed on opposite surfaces of the fabric reinforcement, und rgoes a certain amount of compacting and hence decreases in thickness as it passes through the heating zone, and the rollers 62 and 63 may be suitably adjusted to take into account such changes in the bats due to the force of the air current thereon. Rolls 62 and 53 may be spaced apart so that they serve merely to assure confinement and contact of the product between the belts in the heating zone without exerting substantial pressure thereon, or they may be adjusted to apply a substantial compacting pressure to reduce the bats to any thickness desired. Rolls 61 and 68 may be spaced apart the some distance as rolls 62 and 63 so that these two pairs of rolls cooperate to maintain the proper thickness of the product during cooling.

Figure 3 illustrates a product according to the invention, which comprises a bat 69 of interfelted potentially adhesive fibers and non-adhesive fibers in which the fibers are bonded together due to the tackiness of the potentially adhesive fibers after activation, one surface of the bat being exposed, and the other surface bein anchored to a textile fabric support Ill by means of an adhesive layer 10a.

Figure 4 illustrates a 3-ply product, such as that made in accordance with Figure 2, in which The bats H and 12 are disposed on opposing surfaces of fabric 13, and Figure illustrates a multilayer product, in which textile fabric supports 14 and 15 are disposed between bats of interfelted fibers 16, H and 18. In all cases, the felted webs or bats comprise bonded fibers as described hereinabove.

The ratio of potentially adhesive fiber to other fiber used in the felt-like layer and/or the fabric layer may also vary widely depending on the properties of the two types of fibers and may be regulated to suit the purpose for which the product is destined, but in general a minor proportion, preferably from 5 per cent to 45 per cent, usually from 5 per cent to twenty per cent, of the synthetic resin fiber will be employed. This minor proportion is generally sufficient even when the non-adhesive fibers are extremely short, the reinforcement or support provided by the textile fabric being especially valuable in such constructions. When a greater degree of strength or a closer bonding of the component fibers is desired, their percentage may be relatively high, whereas in soft felts in which it is desirable to have a comparatively small amount of bonding of the component fibers, the percentage will be relatively small.

The products may be used as fiat felts, per se, or they may be molded or shaped over threedimensional objects and are particularly useful for such latter purposes since they may be drawn fairly tautly over objects or surfaces having rounded or squared contours or other configuration departing from a simple single-plane fiat surface while maintaining continuity of the interfelted structure and without bursting or tearing. Thus the products may be used as fillers for various purposes, as fillers for chair cushions, or other pieces of upholstery, and their ability to undergo fiexing when associated with springs or the like without tearing and resultant lumpiness is particularly advantageous when the products are so used. The laminated products comprising the organic fibers may also be used as acoustic aids,

for example, sound deadeners, or as heat insulators, shock absorbers, rug or carpet linings, etc. Products useful as shoe stiifeners may be obtained, and in that case the anchoring layer preferably comprises permanently thermosetting fibers, while the fibers comprising the felt-like bat and the reinforcing fabric are permanently thermoplastic.

The invention has the advantage that very light weight, thick, felt-like structures may be obtained which are characterized by low density, high porosity and permeability, without sacrifice of firmness er tensile strength. Inexpensive products may be manufactured from short fibers occurring in waste materials without requiring the utilization of an unduly large percentage of potentially adhesive fibers, and the products may be subjected to severe flexing and bending stresses and strains without disintegration or tearing at any part thereof. The invention is also of special advantage for the production of products of clothlike character and it is possible to make use of short, waste fibers, such as wool waste, and obtain cloth-like products having substantially all the benefits of a wool fabric, such as warmth, feel, and the like.

Since change may be made in practicing the above invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, it is to be understood that the foregoing description and specific illustrations are given by way of exemplification only, and the in- 12 vention is not to be limited except as defined by the appended claims. I

I claim:

1. In a process for producing a composite product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material, in which one surface of two of the feltlike layers is exposed and the other surface thereof is substantially permanently anchored to a layer of the textile fabric, the steps comprising depositing a multiplicity of discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers on both faces of the textile fabric, superimposing thereon a mixture of nonadhesive fibers and potentially adhesive fibers, and activating the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a binding together of the non-adhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product.

2. In a process for producing a composite product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material, in which one surface of two of the feltlike layers is exposed and the other surface thereof is substantially permanently anchored to a layer of the textile fabric, the steps comprising depositing a multiplicity of discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers on both faces of the textile fabric, superimposing thereon a mixture of nonadhesive fibers and potentially adhesive fibers, and activating the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a binding together of the non-adhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product and deactivating the activated fibers.

3. In a process for producing a composite product having the externalappearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material, in which one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and the othersurfacethereofissubstantially permanently anchored to a layer of the textile fabric, the steps comprising forming a potentially adhesive, fiber-forming plastic material into a multiplicity of discontinuous fibers, depositing such fibers concurrently with their formation on both surfaces of a textile fabric; commingling a multiplicity of discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers with a multiplicity of non-adhesive fibers, depositing the mixed fibers on the fabric surfaces carrying the first-mentioned potentially adhesive fibers, and activating the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a binding together of the nonadhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product.

4. The process of claim 3, wherein the mixture of potentially adhesive fibers and non-adhesive fibers is air-deposited on the surfaces of the fabric carrying the potentially adhesive fibers.

5. In a process for producing a composite product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material, in which one surface of two of tthe feltlike layers is exposed and the other surface thereof is substantially permanently anchored to a layer of the textile fabric, the steps comprising forming a potentially adhesive, fiber-forming together of the non-adhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product.

6. The process of claim 5, wherein the mixture of potentially adhesive and non-adhesive fibers is air-deposited onv the surfaces of the fabric carrying the-potentially adhesive fibers.

7. In a process for producing a composite product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least-one layer ofrtextile fabric comprisin interlaced .yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material in which one surface of two of the feltlike layers is exposed and the other surface thereof is substantially permanently anchored to a layerof the textile fabric, the steps comprising forming a potentially adhesive, fiber-forming plastic material into a multiplicity of discontinuous fibers, depositing such fibers concurrently with their formation on both surfaces of a textile fabric; separately forming a potentially adhesive fiber-forming plasticmaterial into amultiplicity of discontinuous fibers, associating the last-mentionedpotentially adhesive fibers concurrently with their formation with a multiplicity of discontinuoushon-adhesive fibers, depositing the mixed fibers on the fabric surfaces carrying tially all portions of the felt-like layers, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, said layers being assembled so that one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and all of the layers being substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

10. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material each formed from a mixture of cotton linters and discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, said layers being assembled so that one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and all of the layers being substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

11. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least.v two layers of felt-like material each formed from a mixture of shear flock and discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, said layers being assembled so that one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and all of the layers being substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

12. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns, at least two layers of felt-like material each formed from a mixture of short leatherffibers and discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers, the fibers in the feltlike layers being'autogenously bonded together,

the first-mentioned potentially adhesive fibers,

and activating .the potentially 'adhesive'fibers to effect a binding together of the non-adhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product. v

8. In a process not having the external appearance and charac-v teristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fab-ricjcomprisin'g interlaced yarns and at least ,two'layers of felt-like material in which one surface of two of the 'feltlike layers is exposed and the other surface there'- for producing a composite prod and a layer of adhesive material disposed between each layer of fabric and each layer of feltlike material, said layers being assembled so that one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and all-of the layers being substantially permanentlyanchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

of cotton linters and discontinuous potentially of is substantially permanently anchored to a layer of the textile fabric, the steps comprising forming a potentially adhesive, fiber-forming plastic material into a multiplicity of discontinu ous fibers, depositin such fibers concurrently x with their formation on both surfaces of a textile fabric comprising potentially adhesive fibers, separately forming a potentially adhesive fiberforming plastic material into a multiplicity of discontinuous fibers, associating the last-mentioned potentially adhesive fibers concurrently with their formation with a multiplicity of disconuous non-adhesive fibers, depositing the mixed fibers on the fabric surfaces carrying the firstmentioned potentially adhesive fibers, and activating the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a binding together of the non-adhesive fibers by the activated potentially adhesive fibers wherever the latter occur in the composite product.

9. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least two layers of felt-like material each formed from a mixture of short leather fibers and discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers which occur at substanadhesive fibers, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, and a layer of adhesive material disposed between each layer of fabric and each layer of felt-like material, said layers'being assembled so that one surfaceof two of the felt-like'layers is exposed and all. of the 'layers being substantially permanently anchored solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

14. A composite product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns, at least two layers of felt-like material formed from a mixture of shear flock and potentially adhesive fibers, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, and a layer of adhesive material disposed between each layer of fabric and each layer of felt-like mat erial, said layers being assembled so that one surface of two of the felt-like layers is exposed and the other surface thereof is substantially permanently anchored to one surface of a layer of the textile fabric.

15. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of a textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns and at least one layer of felt-like material, disposed on each surface of the fabric, each of the felt-like layers being formed from a mixture of discontinuous, nonadhesive fibers and discontinuous, potentially adhesive fibers which occur at substantially all portions of the felt-like layers and have an inherent tackiness on heating, the fibers in the feltlike layers being autogenously bonded together, and all of the layers of the product being substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

16. A product as in claim 15 wherein the fabric comprises potentially adhesive fibers.

17. A composite, reinforced, felt-like product comprising at least one layer of textile fabric comprising interlaced yarns, at least one layer which comprise the mixed fibers in felt-like form,

of felt-like material disposed on each surface of A the fabric, and a layer of adhesive material disposed between the layer of fabric and each feltlike layer, each of the felt-like layers being formed from a mixture of discontinuous nonadhesive fibers and discontinuous potentially adhesive fibers which occur at substantially all portions of the felt-like layers and have an inherent tackiness on heating, the fibers in the felt-like layers being autogenously bonded together, and all of the layers of the product being substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

18. A product according to claim 17, wherein the layer of adhesive material disposed between the fabric layer and each felt-like layer comprises potentially adhesive fibers.

19. A process for producing a composite, reinforced, product having the external appearance and characteristics of a felt-like product and comprising at least one layer of textile fabric and activating the potentially adhesive fibers to effect a bOIldil'lg together of the non-adhesive fibers by the potentially adhesive fibers whereever they occur in the product and produce a product in which the layers are substantially permanently anchored together solely by adhesion at their surfaces.

CARLETON S. FRANCIS, JR.

REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

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Classifications
U.S. Classification442/278, 156/148, 264/112, 19/145, 19/302, 156/498, 156/62.2, 425/130, 425/404, 112/80.7, 28/117, 425/115, 264/122
International ClassificationD21H27/34, G10K11/16, D04H13/00, D21J1/00, G09B29/10
Cooperative ClassificationD04H13/001, D04H13/007, D21J1/00, D21H27/34, G09B29/102
European ClassificationD21J1/00, D04H13/00B5, D21H27/34, D04H13/00B, G09B29/10B