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Publication numberUS2986777 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1961
Filing dateAug 31, 1956
Priority dateAug 31, 1956
Publication numberUS 2986777 A, US 2986777A, US-A-2986777, US2986777 A, US2986777A
InventorsRobert E Carter
Original AssigneeC H Masland And Sons
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carpet molding
US 2986777 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

R. E. CARTER CARPET MOLDING June 6, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 31, 1956 lNVE TOR fioerf E1 araf BY M2 ATTORNEYS.

Jung 6, 1961 CARTER 2,986,777

CARPET MOLDING Filed Aug. 51, 1956 Sheets-Sheet 2 M- 71;? %Z ,ZZ

i/ I; G I Z0 l l i 6 I {a 33 I 5/ l v 'wwnlna 47/ I I l A a A A A l 1 2% f l .1 I 1 \uyulillllllllllllllllllllllllllllltLA H U ya ff gi/.


June 6, 1961 R. E. CARTER 2,986,777

CARPET MOLDING Filed Aug. 51, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet a INVENTOR United States Patent M 2,986,777 CARPET MOLDING 1 Robert E. Carter, Mount Holly Springs, Pa., assignor to C. H. Masland and Sons, Carlisle, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Aug. 31, 1956, Ser. No. 607,316 7 Claims. (Cl. 18--'56) The present invention relates to the molding of carpet to conform to a contour.

A purpose of the invention is to predispose a carpet to assume a molded contour, the carpet when forced flat having forces which predispose it to reassume the molded contour.

A further purpose is to produce a carpet which can be forced down flat but which has a predisposition when given an opportunity to reassume a predetermined molded contour, by moistening the back of the carpet, pressing the carpet at its opposed faces to conform to the predetermined contour, spreading the carpet by pull at its edges distributed around the periphery preferably at four points and most desirably at at least six points, and drying the carpet while it is still in the predetermined contour. 7

- A further purpose is to apply heat preferably as steam ."to the back of the carpet, desirably through ports distributed over the adjoining die, in order to moisten and heat the carpet, and preferably also to cut off the steam at about the time the dies fully seat.

' A further purpose is to spread the carpet by lateral pull applied during the process of mating of the dies, and

preferably shortly before the dies fully mate, desirably releasing the lateral pull a short time after the dies fully mate, for example 15 to 20 seconds in a particular embodiment.

A further purpose is to dry the carpet while it is in the molded contour by drawing air through the car- A carpet.

Further purposes appear in the specification and in the claims.

In the drawings I have chosen to illustrate a few only of the numerous embodiments in which my invention may appear, selecting the forms shown from the standpoints of convenience in illustration, satisfactory operation and clear demonstration of the principles involved.

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic central vertical section through a preferred embodiment of the invention, showing the dies separated, the carpet blank inserted for molding and the clamps attached.

FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the application of steam to the bottom die and to the back of the carpet.

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the dies closed.

, FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the application of lateral pull.

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing I the cutting off of the steam flow.

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, showing the lateral pull released.

FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 illustrating the clamps opened.

Patented June 6, 1961 FIGURE 8 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the application of vacuum while the dies are closed.

FIGURE 9 is a view similar to FIGURE '1 showing the upper die raised, while vacuum is still being ap'plie and the carpet conforms to the lower die.

FIGURE 10 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing the vacuum cut off. Y FIGURE 11 is a view similar to FIGURE the carpet.

FIGURE 12 is a view of an alternate similar to FIG- URE 3, showing the dies reversed, with the application of steam and vacuum through the top die.

FIGURE 13 is a fragmentary diagram showing the back of an unmolded carpet.

FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary diagram similar to FIGURE 13 showing the back of a carpet after molding in accordance with the invention.

FIGURE 15 is a diagrammatic vertical cross'section through a carpet showing the pile and the back.

FIGURE 16 is a longitudinal axial section through one of the clamps.

FIGURE 17 is a diagrammatic top plan'view showing one suitable distribution of the clamps. v

FIGURE 18 is a perspective of a convenient form-of bottom die fora particular application. 1

Describing in illustration but not in limitation and referring to the drawings:

There is a need in various industrial applicationsfor a carpet which will conform to a contour, that is, a nonflat surface having various convex or concave contours or curvatures. In the past this requirement" has been met in the case of automobile carpet by'cutting the carpet according to a pattern and sewing the pieces to- 1 showing gether to produce the various bulges in much-the same manner that clothing is made. New automobile models, however, in some cases employ a depressed floor having a threshold at the doors which is raised relative to the lower point of the floor and having a raisedtunnel (for the drive shaft) across the middle; with elevated flange portions at the sides. With the pronouncedly dished arrangement above described, it will be very difficult to obtain a good fit by cutting and sewing components- I have discovered that I can predispose a carpetto assume a contoured shape, while at the same time permitting the carpet to be temporarily forced down flat forpurposes of shipment, storage or otherwise. When the carpet is released from the temporarily applied forces which have compelled it to assume a flat shape, it will nevertheless be predisposed to assume the molded contour.

In accordance with the invention, I moisten and preferably also heat the back of the carpet, and mold the carpet between contoured dies, and desirably simultaneously with the deforming of the carpet to conform to the mating dies, I pull the carpet laterally at at least four edge points distributed around the periphery, and preferably at at least six and most desirably at least eight edge points. While the carpet is conforming to at least one of the dies it is dried. This has the effect of predisposing the carpet to assume convex or'concave bends or humps as required by the contour of the dies at various points. 1 a

The invention is applicable to tufted carpet of the character made on a needling machine, to woven carpet such as velvet, tapestry, Wilton and Brussels, and also to knitted carpet, as well as any other types of carpet. The invention is primarily applicable to pile fabrics, but it is also applicable to carpets which are fiat fabrics.

The molding effect is primarily a readjustment orsetting of the back of the carpet, both Warp and weft, which suitably comprises jute, cotton, rayon, nylon, or other suitable natural or synthetic fibers as desired. The invention is applicable notwithstanding that a rubber-,9;

latex back may previously have been applied and cured on the back of the carpet.

While the invention finds its widest application in automobile carpet, it may be used for example in carpet for airplanes, boats, stairs, landings, and other special shapes as desired.

Considering now the drawings in detail, I illustrate an automobile carpet 20 having a pile 21 and having a backing22. The carpet is to be molded between a top die 23 and a bottom die 24. The particular molded contour as illustrated on the dies includes a central depression 25 at each side, separated by a tunnel hump 26, and surrounded by side flanged raised portions 27. It will be understood that suitable cutouts and reinforcements will be applied as required by the particular design. These, however, form no part of the molding, and are therefore not shown.

The carpet is molded from a carpet blank 28 which is desirably positioned with its pile uppermost in the preferred embodiment, but which may be placed with its pile down and the dies reversed as shown in FIGURE 12 as later described.

The carpet desirably has a rubber latex or plastic back 30 which is not impervious to air and moisture, but permits moisture including steam, and air for drying, to flow through the back of the carpet. This coating performs no special function in the present invention except that it does not interfere with the molding and is itself molded along with the carpet.

The bottom die has openings or ports 31 distributed 'at intervals of every few inches over its surface for distribution of steam and desirably also for circulation of air, and the top die likewise preferably has openings or ports 32 for distribution of air.

When-the carpet is placed between the dies, clamps 33 distributed around the periphery suitably at four or preferably six or eight edge points, desirably near the corners on three or more'sides. are attached to the carpet near the edge, but lateral pull is not yet applied in the step of FIGURE 1.

In the step as shown in FIGURE 2, a suitable steam valve (not shown) is opened, and steam is applied through pipe 34 to a steam chest 35' which communicates with and forms a closed chamber over the back of the lower die 24, and thus admits steam to the back of the carpet resting loosely on the lower die. While the carpet can be previously moistened with cold water, the heat in addition to the moisture is very desirable. It is preferable to use high pressure dry steam, suitably at a pressure in excess of 100 p.s.i.g. and preferably at about 200 p.s.i.g., as the setting action is accomplished without introducing excess moisture which must be removed by drying, although if desired wet steam or low pressure steam at p.s.i.g. or above may be used In the next step, as shown in FIGURE 3, the dies 23 and 24 begin to close, deforming the carpet to conform to the die contour, preferably by movement of the upper die against a stationary lower die. The molding pressure applied to the mating dies will vary with the depth of deformation of the carpet and the thickness and stiffness of the carpet, but, for example, in a suitable case, it may be of the order of 50 pounds per square foot of carpet. Higher pressures may be used as long as the pile is not crushed and lower pressures may be used as long as the carpet is properly molded.

In the next step, as shown in FIGURE 4, preferably While the carpet is being deformed and before the dies have fully mated, lateral pull at the edges, preferably at at least four points distributed around the periphery and preferably at six or eight points, is applied to the clamps, as through air cylinder and piston combinations 36 acting on cables 37 over pulleys 38 which move the clamps outward in guideways 40 and thus spread the carpet. The lateral pull at each point may for example in a particular case of an automobile carpet be of the order of 50 pounds, preferably of the order of pounds. For convenience in illustration, the various views eliminate the parts not under particular discussion in the view, and therefore the pulling devices are not shown in certain of the other views where their function is not primarily being discussed.

It is very desirable in the present invention to apply the spreading pull at the edges concurrently with the deformation of the carpet, as this permits relative and cooperative readjustment to avoid crinkling or creasing which might otherwise occur if the mating of the dies were accomplished independently of the lateral spreading pull. Less desirably the lateral spreading pull can be applied before the dies begin to deform the carpet and still less desirably the lateral spreading pull can be ap plied after the carpet is fully deformed by the mating of the dies.

In the next step, as shown in FIGURE 5, the steam is cut oif, so that the carpet can be later dried. This is desirably accomplished about the time that the dies fully mate.

After the dies have fully mated, and preferably in a particular embodiment about 15 to 20 seconds after full mating has been accomplished, the lateral pull is released as shown in FIGURE 6. This is desirably accomplished by reversing the air cylinders so that they advance. The clamps 33 are then desirably released so that after the molding operation is completed, the carpet can readily be removed. The release of the clamps is shown in FIG- URE 7.

In the next step, as shown in FIGURE 8, with the steam of course cut off from the steam chest, air is blown through the carpet to dry it. This is desirably accomplished by opening a suitable valve, not shown in FIG- URE 8, to connect vacuum conduit 41 to the steam chest and thus suck air through the carpet. Since there are desirably holes or ports in the top die and also in the bottom die, air is free to flow through the holes in the top die, through the pile, then through the back of the carpet, and then through the holes in the bottom die, and finally through the steam chest 35 and out the vacuum conduit 41. It is preferable to apply heat at this stage to the top die as through electric heater 42, thus further assisting in the drying operation. The temperature of the upper die will preferably be in the range of to 250 F. While vacuum is still be applied to the steam chest and the bottom die, the top die is preferably raised, as shown in FIGURE 9, thus increasing the access of the carpet to air flow and facilitating drying. The raising of the top die is assisted by the holes or ports in the top die, since the vacuum does not interfere with separating the dies in view of the presence of the holes.

As soon as tthe carpet, resting on the bottom die, as shown in FIGURE 10, is dry, the vacuum is cut off, leaving a molded carpet placed on the bottom die, as shown in FIGURE 10. In a suitable example, the total time of application of vacuum may be of the order of about 1 minute. The completed molded carpet is then removed, leaving the bottom die, ready to receive the next carpet blank for molding a new carpet.

In some cases the molded carpet will be removed and trimmed and the edges bound as a separate operation:

It will be evident, however, that where desired the trimming of the edges may be accomplished while the carpet is in the mold, for example, during drying in the position of FIGURE 8.

While I prefer to introduce the steam and the vacuum through the bottom die and place the back of the carpet down against the bottom die during the molding, I may, if desired, reverse the procedure, as shown in FIGURE 12 and as already briefly mentioned. In this case the back of the carpet will be uppermost, as it is desired to apply the steam and the vacuum against the back of the carpet to avoid crushing or matting the pile.

Prior to the molding, the carpet back 22, as shown in have a disposition to make the carpet lie flat. After molding, however, the back of the carpet is shaped or distortedas indicated at 45in FIGURE 14, so that it is predisposed to fit conformably with the shape of the molding dies, and if placed on a flat surface such as a floor the molded carpet will tend to form humps and cavities corresponding to the similar configuration of the dies. In this connection it will be understood, of course, that while the dies have the same general shape, due allowance has been made for the thickness of the carpet between the dies in determining the proper shape of the dies.

While the carpet is predisposed to assume the molded shape, it may be forced flat, as by flattening it or folding it or rolling for shipment, but in any case the molded carpet when released from the temporary flattening force or pressure will tend to assume the molded contour.

As shown in FIGURE 16, the preferred clamp comprises a slide 46 sliding in the guideway 40 and engaged by the pulling cable 37. The slide mounts a clamp support 47 which pivots at 48 a main clamp lever 50 whose upper end forms a clamping handle. The main clamp lever 50 has a yoke-like pivot end, the two sides of which straddle a clamp jaw support 51 pivoted at 52 on the clamp support, suitably behind the pivot of the main clamp lever with respect to the jaw. At the end remote from the pivot 52 the clamp jaw support carries a movable jaw 53 which cooperates with a fixed jaw 54 held by the slide 46.

A toggle link 55 is pivotally connected at 6 at its lower end (in clamping position) to the clamp jaw lever 51 and at its upper end at 57 (in clamping position) to the main clamp lever. A stop pin 58 prevents the toggle link from throwing too far in clamping position beyond dead center. It will be understood that any other suitable type of clamp may be used if desired.

Considering the top plan view of the press, as shown in FIGURE 17, the upper die 23 is supported by supporting structure 60 and is guided by vertical guides 61 and moved up and down by an air cylinder and rod combination 62. The clamps 33 are distributed in this case at six spaced points adjacent the corners, but in some cases it will be preferable to oppose the clamps on the X axis and also oppose the clamps on the Y axis. In this view the steam conduit 34 connects with the steam chest beneath the lower die and the vacuum conduit 41 similarly connects to the steam chest beneath the lower die. A vacuum pump 63 is shown connecting to the vacuum conduit 41 through a gate valve 64.

FIGURE 18 illustrates a die, suitably the bottom die, which may be used in the present invention and which may consist of metal, or of a suitable plastic adapted to stand the operating temperature. It will be understood that the detail of the contour of the die will vary with the particular contour which is to be molded.

It will be noted that in the apparatus of FIGURE 12, when a similar molded carpet is desired, bottom die 23 corresponds in contour to top die 23 of the form of FIG- URE 1, and top die 24' corresponds in contour to bottom die 24 of the apparatus of FIGURE 1.

While the process of the present invention changes the fundamental contour to which the particular piece of carpet tends to return, it should be emphasized that it is not intended to and does not affect the inherent flexibility of the carpet, and more specifically does not make it stiffer and non-resilient.

In view of my invention and disclosure, variations and modification to meet individual whim or particular need will doubtless become evident to others skilled in the art to obtain all or part of the benefits of my invention Without copying the method, apparatus and structure shown, and I, therefore, claim all such insofar as they fall within the reasonable spirit and scope of my claims.

Having thus described-my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:

. 1. The method of molding carpet to conform to ajcontour, which comprises moistening the back of. the carpet, gripping the carpet at'at least four spaced locations around its periphery while avoiding grippingat intervening locations, exerting predetermined resilient outwardly. directed pulling forces independent'of one another at the gripping locations which pulling force takes up any slack and permits yielding inward as the predetermined pulling force is exerted, thereby preferentially spreading the carpet while permitting yielding in intervening locations, pressing the carpet on its opposed faces to'con-form to a predetermined contour, and drying the carpet while it is in the predetermined contour.

2. The method of molding carpet to conform to a contour, which comprises moistening the back of the carpet, moving contour cooperating dies together against the front and back of the carpet to press the carpet between the dies when the dies are closed, gripping the carpet at at least four spaced gripping locations around its periphery while avoiding gripping in intervening locations, and while the dies are closing and just before the dies fully close exerting predetermined resilient outwardly directed pulling forces independent of one another at said gripping locations, which pulling forces take up any slack which may develop by outward motion and permit yielding inwardly as the predetermined pull is exceeded, so as to spread the carpet and allow yielding at certain locations.

3. The method of claim 2, which comprises first applying steam against the back of the carpet and thereby softening the carpet.

4. The method of claim 2, which comprises circulating air through the carpet while it is in the molded contour to dry the carpet.

5. The method of claim 2, which comprises heating the carpet at the side remote from the back, and applying vacuum to the back of the carpet simultaneously and drawing air through the carpet to dry the carpet after it has been molded.

6. The method of claim 2, in which the carpet has sharp corners, which comprises exerting the pulling force immediately adjacent each sharp corner on each side of said sharp corner.

7. The method of molding carpet to conform to a contour, which comprises placing the carpet between separated dies carrying the desired contour, and one of which has ports and is referred to below as the ported die, the back of the carpet adjoining the ported die, gripping the carpet at at least four spaced localities around the periphery with intervening localities at which no gripping takes place, applying steam to the ported die against the back of the carpet, bringing the dies progressively together, as the dies are moving together and before they have fully reached mating position exerting predetermined outwardly directed pulling forces independent of one another at said gripping localities, which pulling forces take up any slack by outward motion and permit yielding of the carpet inwardly as the predetermined pull is exceeded by the force exerted by the dies, about the time the dies fully mate cutting off the steam, thereafter releasing the pull at the edges, applying vacuum to the ported die, separating the dies, cutting off the vacuum after the dies are separated and removing the carpet from the dies.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,661,018 Stroud Feb. 28, 1928 1,777,393 Butterworth Oct. 7, 1930 2,120,328 Ferngren June 14, 1938 2,143,928 Troy Jan. 17, 1939 (Other references on following page) UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,759,217 Peterson Aug. 21, 1956 2,190,807 .Steinberger Feb. 20, 1940 2766506 R105 16'11956 2,251 }243 .Randall July 29, 1941 2,285,967 Hardy June .9, 1942 F PATENTS 2,304,989 Snowdon Dec. 15, 1942 5 6,751 Great Bntam Mar. 17, 1914 2,305,433 Kyle Dec. 15, 1942 2,382,219 Ferris Aug. 14, 1945

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3058154 *Jul 10, 1961Oct 16, 1962United Cellular Products CorpApparatus and method for making breast fronts
US3078516 *Jan 13, 1959Feb 26, 1963Stevens & Co Inc J PApparatus for forming automobile floor mats
US3115678 *Oct 7, 1960Dec 31, 1963Collins & Aikman CorpApparatus for molding plastic carpets
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U.S. Classification264/101, 264/DIG.730, 223/70, 38/14, 428/85, 38/12, 223/57, 264/324, 139/391, 254/200, 156/222, 38/3, 156/229
International ClassificationB29C51/08, B29C51/26
Cooperative ClassificationB29C51/262, B29C51/08, B29L2031/7322, Y10S264/73
European ClassificationB29C51/26B2, B29C51/08