US 2631946 A
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Patented Mar. 17, `1953 PROCESS FOR MAKING ASPHALT IMPREG- NA'IED FLOOR COVER/ING Fred C. Schueler, Fulton, N. Y., assigner to The Schueler,Engineering Co., a partnership App-licatioi'i` September 16, 1948;,Seri'a1No". 49,536
This invention relates tothel production of oor covering or the like having anupp'er layer of plastic and a lower layerof asphalt-impregnated' backing material.
By the term plastic, Imean organic'chemical compounds of syntheticorigin, flowable at-certain temperatures and hard at other temperatures, and which at some-stage of production are subjected to high temperatures for evaporating solvents, curing or setting the plasticinto its final hardened' state. Hereinafterv I use lthe terms owable plastic or heat convertible synthetic resins to mean such Aplastic when in a viscous owable state.
In the floor covering'industry the backing-material most used' consists of mixtures ofl libres felted into an absorbent web such as paper. Synthetic fibres, vegetable libres, or animal libres such as'wool, may be usedV as a-backingweb in my invention-'so -long as theV resultant webA is capable of being impregnated with asphalt'to the desired degree.
Felted webs'made on paper machinery-usually have a substantially smooth surfaceonone side, often however bearing the* marks of theu Fourdrinier or cylinder-Wires uponV which is rested. The opposite side of theweb which'has'not'been in contact with the-wire screen is usually-comparatively roughand notsuit'able for-receiving a thin plastic -lm or layer. I use the"y terms backing material,l backing web, backing and web to meanv a strip comprising absorbent, porous'or permeable material capable of' beingimpregnated or saturated with asphalt'mixtures and' preferably 'formed from felted bres.
-Asphalt has been used to' weatherproof and give strength' to' felted backingwebs in" many typesv of licor and vroof coverings. The'usual process has consisted of passing the absorbent web through a vat of hot asphalt ina liquid state whereby the asphalt impregnates or saturates the web, the surplus asphalt being 'later' removed by squeezing rolls.
' Such saturating asphalts are ordinarily compoundedwith varying amounts of volatile oils, such as naphtha, to givel the mixture greater fluidity, more penetrability, etc. There maybe one or more volatile oils inthe mixturefeach having a diierent temperature at. which it will vaporize. At low temperatures the asphalt mixture is viscous and has a lowl degree of owability, but at higher temperatures of 200 F. to300 F. itlbecomes thin andwill easily and quickly permeate an absorbent web. At these higher temperatures. however, the volatile oil.,i withthe,y
l 2 lowestI vaporizationpoint, `forms a .-gasate that temperature which producesbubblesand will blister'V or .discolor any plastic hlm-carried. on the web. Y
The high temperature required for treating or curing both :thermoplastic andthermosetting plastics has, prior `to thisl invention,-made-it impossible touse therewith .an asphalt impregf nated backing web. Commencingatabout 200 some of' the volatile oi-ls in the asphalt vaporiza and forms blisters under-the plastic iilinandas the temperature becomes. higher. the asphalt'in the `felt comesto the. surface and discolorswthe ornamental plastic coating making it. u-nserviceable.
A To avoid this blistering-f and discoloration-it has yheretofore been proposed to.l print the\usual mineral and oilf'printing'colors 1on-- an already hardY plastic film and vto. then cement theY `lm with suitableradhesives 'to an-alreadyasphalt impregnated web thus tor-ming a laminated oor covering. The machinery and-processes `necessary toproduce suchaffloor-coveringhave-proved complicated and theV product has-consequently been` expensive to manufacture. Y l
As--explained in .my copending applications. Serial No. 10,417, of February-24,Y 1948,and Serial No. 31,486 of June 7,1948, lhavedeviseda'method of` producing ornamental floorvcoveringsrby a continuous rotary process in. Which-the patterns are in colored plasticsV rather -thanin-the=usual printing fluids.
It is the principal objects.ofthisIinventionwto enable such. Y ornamental plastic. patterns ytoe-be deposited on a backingl webfwithoutany blisteringror discoloration, When/the floWable plastic is` subject to essential high ytemperatures and yet t0 have theweb impregnated-with-asphalt; I .thus secure the Along f wearing l and :decorati-ve qualities of a plastic upper layer-,andthe Weather resistant qualitiesof anvasphalted ylower #layer by acontinuous rotaryprocess and-vatlow expense,
The essence of my invention-,is-torst deposit theiiowable plastic ornamentationfon what` I.; c'all an untreated, backing webfratherfA thanronuan asphalt impregnated web. *Since the-untreated web is comparatively inert,- the 'ilowablefpla'stic' may be passed through solvent evaporatin'g. ovens; curing or setting ovensatzhigh temperatureslwith noy deleterious effectaon'the'plastic ornamentation cron ther-felt web.v As the lplastic-is curedl'and hardened, it becomes bonded-bythe'at/to theupper layer of libres of the-' fe1ted lWebfarld their-twol cannot be separated` without tearing thefrelt.
By the- Word untreated.` I. do :not meanlth'at other coatings or impregnating liquids may not be present in or on the felted web but mean that such coatings or impregnating liquids, if present, are non-asphaltic and contain no other material tending to discolor or blister plastic under heat. For example, to smooth or level ofi the upper surface of the felted backing, I may apply a coating such as mineral and oil, by any well known process, in order to eliminate the Wire screen marks mentioned above or to level off stray upstanding bres or tufts in the felt. This smoothing coat may be bonded to the felt by heat or otherwise and the owable plastic layer is then deposited on the smoothing coat.
If a smoothing coat is usedY which contains volatile oils or has a solvent as a vehicle, the solvents or volatile oils are evaporated out in a drying or heating oven prior to applying the viscous ilowable plastic layer thereon. I thus avoid any tendency for the smoothing coat to blister or discolor the plastic during passage through high temperature ovens. I may use glue, silicate of soda, clay mixed With a suitable adhesive or plastics as a smoothing coat preferably free of any volatile oils.
After depositing ilowable plastic on the felted web, with or without a smoothing coat, and curing or setting the same into a flexible hard condition, I then impregnate the backing with the asphalt mixture. By so doing, I have discovered that the volatile oils in the asphalt can be so controlled by proper temperatures that no discoloration or blistering takes place in the hardened plastic layer.
I may impregnate with any desired amount of asphalt but prefer what I call one hundred per cent saturation whereby the felt absorbs approximately its own weight in asphalt. Each bre thereby becomes coated with the impregnating or saturating liquid but n-ot to the extent that the liquid will ooze out of the felt upon the application of pressure thereto.
I have discovered that the amount of asphalt to give the desired percentage of saturation can be predetermined in the following manner. If one hundred per cent is the desired percentage and the raw felt web weighs one-eighth of a pound per square foot, I use one-eighth of a pound of asphalt per square foot. If the asphalt weighs about sixty-eight pounds per cubic foot, a layer covering one square foot and weighing one-eighth of a pound will be approximately twenty-two thousandths of an inch thick.
`By using any of the well known types of coating devices such as knife coaters, roll coaters, etc., I then :adjust the coater to deposit a layer of asphalt twenty-two thousandths of an inch deep on the surface of the felt web opposite to that upon which the plastic is carried. Pure asphalt at room temperature is a hard solid substance and volatile oils are mixed'with it to make it pliable and viscous. I provide a coating pan with a heating device therein, such as heating coils, to maintain the asphalt mixture in a viscous owable state. I prefer to use a coating roll which revolves in the heated coating pan and transfers a layer of molten asphalt, of the desired thickness, to the web by reverse coating, but may use direct coating, if desired.
The asphalt when deposited on the web may be at about 200 Fahrenheit at which temperature it is molten but quite viscous. The felt web with its layer of decorative hardened plastic and its opposite layer of molten asphalt is then passed through an oven at a temperature of about 250- 300 Fahrenheit. At 250-300 Fahrenheit the asphalt becomes thin and loses much of its viscosity so that it sinks into the felt becoming absorbed therein and thoroughly coating each fibre. It permeates the felt down to the hardened plastic layer, imparting great tensile strength and long wearing qualities to the felt of the web without blistering or discoloring the plastic.
It is obvious that I could impregnate the untreated felt in other ways such as by passing the web through a vat or between coating rolls and thus cover both the upper and under surfaces of the web with asphalt. However, in so doing, I find that the plastic decorative patterns are difficult to clean of asphalt and that the percentage of impregnation is difcult to predetermine. It is preferable to keep the decorative plastic surface out of direct contact with the asphalt and to allow a predetermined amount of the impregnating liquid to permeate from the opposite side of the web to the underside of the plastic layer as in my process.
In using thermoset plastics with my invention for example Bakelite, the plastic upon passing through the subsequent step of asphalt-heating has no tendency to resoften even if the heating device is a hot air oven with indirect convection. However with thermo-plastic plastics which VI prefer to use because of their greater pliability for example Vinylite or Koroseal which are vinyl resins, I have found that a hot air type of oven for heating the asphalt may resoften the plastic ornamentation and may cause it to be stripped off in patches on the guide rollers.
With thermoplastics therefore, I prefer to use a radiant-heat type oven such as the type using infra red bulbs. The web passes through such an oven with the plastic layer on the bottom and the viscous asphalt layer on the top. Since the asphalt is black, it attracts the heat rays of the infra red bulbs, which are placed above the moving web, and the plastic on the bottom of the web is not heated to the point of resoftening.
I have also discovered that I can use a smoothing coat as above-mentioned between the plastic and the felt web, and that such a coat can be light colored or white pigmented and therefore tend to repel such heat rays and protect the under layer of plastic from resoftening. In addition, I can also so compound my thermoplastic in a well known manner, that the resoftening temperature will be relatively high and the compound will thus have a less tendency to become tacky under the heat of the asphalting oven.
My invention can be used to great advantage in the manufacture of roof coverings. The colorfu1 ornamentation formed from owable plastics and deposited on an after-impregnated porous backing web creates an attractive roofing material and, in addition, has the weather resistant and vapor barrier qualities of plastic lms. The hardened plastic layer tends to prevent water from seeping into the backing material and tends to prevent the volatile oils still present in the asphalted backing from evaporating, thus pro-. longing the useful life of the roof covering.
It is obvious that I can use the apparatus shown for depositing and hardening iiowable plastic as a means for depositing and impregnating the asphalt by adding heating devices to the pans, pipesv and rolls thereof. For example, I can produce hardened plastic patterns on an untreated web for several days and wind the same in suitable, rolls. I can then substitute viscous asphalt for Viscous plastic in the coating pan, heat the necessary parts of my coating apparatus and run the' astigmaplastic coated-webs-through'the device .withfthev ness ofthe plastic andasphalt layers greatly.
exaggerated for clarity.v
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation of a back ing. webupon which a layer of viscous, owable, plastic has been deposited.
Fig. 3 is a-view similar. to Fig. 2, showing. the plastic. after. it has passed throughzthe. evaporatset.
4l5 ingvand setting oven and has been permanently Fig.v 4 is. ayiew .similar toFigs. 2 and 3, of the backing .-.web .turned upside down so that the set plastic pattern is on the under surface of the web anda layer of molten asphalt of predetermined thickness has been deposited on the other surface v of the web.
Fig. 5 is a similar View showing the backing,
web impregnated with the asphalt down to the plastic layer.
Fig. 6 is a view similar to Fig. 2 showing the usegof a smoothing coat between the web and the plastic.
As shown inFig. 1, A is a coating pan containingV a viscous, .owable plastic P in a background color. I is an applicator roll which revolves in pan A and picks up a film of plastic P, transferring it byV reverse coating to a printing roll 2. 3 is a doctor roll, which revolves in the same direction as roll I to remove the surplus plastic P while 4 is a doctor blade to kscrape, the plasticA from roll 3 back into pan A.
W is a backing web which may be of any absorbent, porousmaterial, fibrous or otherwise, to which an impregnating liquid may be added for giving long wearing or otherdesirable. qualities. It is preferably of untreated felt and is carried by a guide roll 6 beneath printing roll 2.
I0 is-a supply pipe from a container of viscous lowable plastic in another color, not shown, Whichfeeds ya swinging supply pipe I I having an orice I2 fromV Whichthe colo-red plastic is discharged in a stream to form a zig-zag pattern I3 on background plastici?. I may also provide a container forplastio 2 i, in still another color,
there beinga plurality oforiiices22, in the bottom, 23 so that droplets 24 willalso fall on either doctor, roll lil or the plastic background P on roll I.
This construction is explained in my copending application, Serial No. 31,486, led June 7, 1948, and produces a colored design in viscous flowable plastic which is smeared by a smearing or mottling member C into what is known as a marbleized pattern. The smeared pattern in plastic is smoothed by the piling up action of the roll 2 as it reverse coats the web W at 'I at a greater speed than that of the web.
The web W with its smoothed pattern of plastic then passes through an evaporation oven 40 which may be at a temperatureof about 250 and which evaporates the solvents from the plastic.
After the evaporation of the solvents, the web passes through a setting oven 50, at a temperature of about 375 Fahrenheit during which time the plastic is cured or hardened into its inal tough state.
The web W with its set plastic layer S then leaves the oven 50 and is coated with a layer 60 of` molten 'asphalt lof a predetermined -thickness.;;. An asphalt coating roll 62.is provided whichpref-:a erably revolves in reverse coating relationship to web Wand which has .a doctor roll 163;.and doctor blade Mito remove surplus.: asphalt-:ando to adjust the thickness of v.the layer, of. asphalte. 50.v The. asphalt` coating 'pan :.66 .contains` as pl'ialtf.; in a molten.state,fmaintained Selby-heating coils-"f 6'l,161- or in any suitable manner.
A Itroll 'I0 is Vprovided .wherebyzgthe web-is v1re-r:- versed. uponv f. itselig. bringing;A the ,f decorativas' plastic surface.;v to the under side.; and they asphalt: coating to the upper side of the'giwebzy- The .web .is,.then;passedthroughs an;..oV en-,8 0f of the infra red bulb' typegwhichgmay beat atenr-fy perature from 200 to. 300 Fahrenheitv and which causes theiasphaltto become extremelyfluid and.; thm. Asit passes .throushthe oren, the asphalt; sinks ,intov the feltyveb,l permeatingeveryaperff ture ,and .coating everyfibra-until .it disappears as a separate .layerentirelm f A roll 953 is provided to again reversertl,1eMW ;I;;,t
after it has been impregnated with asphalt and guides the web to subsequent,processesvwhichg may be cutters, Winders, orsimilarmachinesfforg handlingl the nal product after it has dried outa;
The ovens used in Ymyprocess-maybe rof any,I well known typeus,ing infra-red ,bulbs I 00,org other radiant heating means., and 0f Cours,alicell-.L not be constructed inthe manner ,-shovvngnece,Sr- :iA sarily. Similarlyanyof the plastic,depositing, methods, shownin my copendingv app1icati0n,;.Serial No. 31,486, filed June.7, 194,8,k onSQlial ..1\T0.;. 10,417, of February 24, 1948, maybe usedgtdformg the decorative layer of loWable plastic von web; W, the particular one shown irl-,this ,application being merely for illustration purposes, g
I may, of course, operate the 'asphalt coatingpA roll 62 at a greater speed than the web -W, to pila; up a heavy layer of asphalt ontheweb, lfor exfg. ample at a ratio of 3 tov 1 or greater. Although v not shown in the drawings, I cancause theweb to pass through the various ovens in festoons,w to secure a longer period ofA heatby the 'use` of; suitable idler andguide rolls, or I can use fes toons for ,theV purpose .of cooling .the web, after;-V it has corne out of oven 80. v
Itis apparentthatthe ra,w;felt web useding'` my process canl begiven a base or sizing coating.; of heatresisting material such-'as'.enamel for.;- the purposeof smoothing the surface ofthe web.; to; receive the Ornamental iiowable plasticacoatf. ing. In fact, the web may be of anyy vsuitable material and may be treated with any suitable impregnating liquids. providedneither Webznor f liquidwill deteriorate `the plasticunderthe high temperature of the setting oven.
In Fig. 2, I show a porous web W upon which a layer of ornamental flowable plastic P has been deposited. The plastic is viscous at this stage and has no tendency to permeate into the web. In Fig. 3, I show, the flowable plastic S after it has been converted by high temperature to a final hard state. Upon curing or setting of the plastic, it becomes bonded to the surface fibres of the web W.
As shown in Fig. 4, the next step in my invention is the depositing of a layer of viscous asphalt 60 of predetermined depth on the side of the web opposite to that carrying the hard plastic. In Fig. 5, the asphalt 60 is shown as having been heated and having permeated through the porous web impregnating the same to a predetermined proportion.
In Fig. 6 I show the porous web W with a 7. smoothing coating L, applied thereto and a layer of owable plastic deposited on the coat.
1. The process of continuously producing a webof oor covering material having a hard, pliable layer of decorative, thermo set, plastic, bonded to an asphalt-impregnated backing web which comprises the steps of successively depositing a layer of flowable, thermo setting plastic, in decorative patterns, on one surface of a continuously moving, asphalt-permeable backing web; subjecting the moving web, and its layer of thermo setting plastic, to heat suicient to set the plastic into a hard, pliable, decorative, layer bonded to the web; coating a layer of flowable asphalt only on the opposite uncoated surface of said continuously moving web without contacting the decorative plastic surface thereof with said asphalt and subjecting the moving web, and its'plastic and asphalt layers, to heat suicient to liquify the asphalt and to cause it to impregnate the backing web.
2. The process of continuously producing a web of floor covering having an upper layer of hardened, synthetic resin, in a decorative pattern bonded to a lower layer of asphalt-impregnated backing material which comprises the steps of roll-coating a layer of flowable, viscous, synthetic resin, in decorative, colored patterns, onto one surface of an asphalt-permeable backing web continuously moving in a direction opposite to that of the roll at the point of contact therewith; hardening said layer of synthetic resin while traveling on said moving web; roll coating a layer of flowable, viscous asphalt onto the opposite surface of said moving web; overturning said moving web to bring the asphaltic layer to the top and liquifying said asphaltic layer, by the application of heat, until it has completely permeated into said moving web down to the under surface of said plastic layer.
3. The process of continuously producinga web of floor covering having an upper layer of hardened synthetic resin, in a decorative pattern and a lower layer of asphalt-impregnated backing material which consists in first forming a heat hardened layer of said synthetic resin, in a decorative pattern on one surface of a continuously moving web of said backing material, and, subsequently, impregnating liquied asphalt into said moving web only from the opposite surface thereof without contact with the decorative, hardened pattern on said upper layer.
4. The process of continuously producing a web of floor covering having a hard, pliable layer of decorative thermo plastic material on an asphalt-impregnated backing web which comprises the steps of depositing a layer of flowable thermo-plastic material, in decorative patterns, on one surface of a continuously moving asphaltpermeable, backing web; then hardening said thermo plastic decorative patterns on said web; then depositing a layer of iiowable asphalt only on the opposite surface of said continuously moving web and then exposing said layer of flowable asphalt to radiant heat until it has liquied and permeated into said moving backing web while shielding said plastic layer from said radiant heat.
5. The process of continuously producing a web of iioor covering having a hard pliable layer of decorative thermo-plastic material on an asphalt-impregnated backing web which comprises the steps of coating a light colored layer on the upper surface of Ya continuously moving asphalt-permeable backing web then coating a layer of flowable thermoplastic material, in decorative patterns, on said light colored layer; thenY hardening said thermo plastic decorative patterns while traveling on said web; then coating a layer of dark colored flowable asphalt only on the opposite uncoated surface of said movingy web of backing material and then directing radiant heat only at said layer of dark colored asphalt until it has liquied and permeated into said moving web as far as said light colored layer Without exposing said plastic layer to said radiant heat.
6. A process as specified in claim 1 including the step of controlling the percentage of saturation of asphalt in said backing material by controlling the vertical depth of the layer of viscous asphalt coated thereon.
FRED C. SCHUELER.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the le of this patent:
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