US 3164655 A
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Jan. 5, 1965 J. E. HOWARD ETAL 3,164,655
METHOD OF MAKING BREAST PADS, CUPS AND FRONTS 0 rigina1 Filed May 15, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Alli!! I INVENTORS JACK E. HOWARD, LEW/5 A. KAPLA/V Jan. 5, 1965 J. E. HOWARD ETAL 3,164,655
METl-DD QF MAKING BREAST PADS, CUPS AND FRONTS Original Fil ed May 15, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 52 FIG. 0
v mmvroxs 53 7' JACK E. HOWARD,
LEW/5 A. KAPLAN A TTORA/E) United States Patent Office 3,164,655 Patented Jan. 5, 1965 3,164,655 METHOD OF MAKING BREAST PADS, CUPS AND FRONTS Jack E. Howard and Lewis A. Kaplan, both of Los Angeles, Calit'., assignors to United Cellular Products Corp., LOs Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California Continuation of application Ser. No. 109,935, May 15,
1961. This application May 1, 1964, Ser. No. 365,237
8 Claims. (Cl. 264-321) This application is a continuation of our application Serial No. 109,935 filed May 15, 1961 and now abandoned.
This invention relates to breast pads, cups and fronts for use in brassieres and other garments and to the method of making the same.
It is an object of our invention to manufacture improved garment parts of the class described.
It is a more particular object of our invention to make such parts from foam material such as polyurethane, with the parts being formed from dry finished material rather than molded from raw material in liquid form.
Inessence, our invention contemplates starting with foam material in the form of elongated blocks of square cross section. From these blocks the desired blanks are cut by mechanical means. The blank for a breast pad or cup takes the form of a concave-convex blank generally resembling a cone. It has a convex and preferably curved outer surface and a concave preferably curved inner surface. This blank is then placed in a two part mold of smaller dimensions and subjected to heat and pressure simultaneously in order to mold it permanently into the precise contours which are desired in the finished product. It should be noted that the blank must have a concavo-convex contour which generally follows the contours of the mold, which in turn generally resembles the contour of the female human breast. It is accordingly possible through the application of heat and pressure to modify the shape of the blank to that of the desired finished product without exceeding the limits of moldability of the material employed.
It is a further object of our invention to carry the breast pad, cup or front which is so formed an additional step or steps toward completion by laminating to one or both ides thereof a covering layer of cloth or other suitable material. This is preferably accomplished simultaneously with the formation of the pad, cup or front, so that only one operation is needed to form the finished product. supplying cloth coverings for each side of the pad and is a substantial improvement thereover for the reason that the laminated cloth cannot shift or move with respect to the pad or vice versa. g
It is a further object of the invention to make a complete breast front for a brassiere. or other garment'which comprises a pair of breastcups rather than a single breast cup and which includes material between, beneath and beside the cups. The front may be covered with cloth This eliminates the separate sewing operations of and completed to the point where it comprises substantially a complete brassiere except for the straps which hold it on the body of the wearer. -With our invention, it is accordingly possible to form the complete front portion of a brassiere without any sewing whatsoever.
It is also among the objects of our invention to provide br e ast pads, cups and fronts and a method of making the same having the advantages and benefits set forth above and described in detail hereinafter in this specification. Our invention also comprises such other objects, advantages and capabilities as will later more fully appear and which are inherently possessed by our invention.
While we have shown in the accompanying drawings preferred embodiments of our invention, it should be understood that the same are susceptible of modification and change without departing from the spirit of our invention.
Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a block of raw material from which the blanks are cut;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a cut blank;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the machine used for cutting the blanks;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of a mold in open position, with the configuration of the lower part of the mold shown in dotted lines and the closed position of the mold indicated in phantom lines;
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the frame used for holding the mold;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional View of a blank held between two layers of cloth on the frame before insertion into the mold;
FIG. 7 is a top plan View of a blank laminated with cloth after molding and before trimming;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on line 88 of FIG. 7, with the blade of the trimming die shown in phantom lines;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the trimming die;
FIG. 10 is a sectional view taken on line 1010 of FIG. 9, showing the cutting edge of the trimming die;
FIG. 11 is a top plan view of a pair of blanks secured together along the one edge for use in molding a complete breast front;
FIG. 12 is a front elevational view of a complete breast front;
FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of a mold for forming a complete breast front, with the mold shown in open position and the configuration of the lower part of the mold shown in dotted lines.
Our breast pads, cups and fronts are preferably formed of foam material such as polyurethane foam, which material is first reduced to the form of substantially rectangular blocks 10 having a substantially square cross section somewhat greater in both dimensions than that of the desired finished product.
A cutter 11 is used to cut a plurality of substantially conical blanks 12 from the block 10. The cutter 11 comprises a lathe having a holder 13 for holding and rotating the block 10. A curved cutting blade 14 is guided through a plurality of rollers 15 upon the pivotal movement of an elongated control arm 16, to which one end of the blade 14 is attached.
A new block 14) is started by moving the blade 14 from the edge of the block 10 to the center and then withdrawing it to cut away a conical end section which is discarded. This leaves an inwardly directed substantially conical and slightly curved surface on the end of the block 10 which forms the inside of the first blank 12. ,The cutting arm assembly is then moved along the cutter a short distance (usually a fraction of an inch) toward the opposite end of the block 10. The blade 14 is then again moved to the center of the block 10 to cut the first blank 12, this cut forming the outside of the first blank 12. A trimming blade 17 is moved a short distance past the edge of the block 10 after each cutting operation to remove the corners from the block 10 before the next blank 12 is cut. The cutting operations are repeated in the manner described, with each movement of the cutting blade 14 cutting another blank 12 from the block 10 until the end of the block 10 is reached.
The hollow conical blanks12 which are so formed are then placed within a mold having a male part 20 generally conforming to the contour of the human female breast and a female part 21 which is formed complementarily thereto. A plurality of molds may be mounted for operation by a single hydraulic press. The blank 12 is generally inserted in the mold by fitting it within the female part 21, which is preferably directed upwardly as shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. A single blank 12 is inserted within each mold.
The mold parts and 21 are preferably formed of solid aluminum and are secured to'a pair of heating plates 22, which have electric heating rods 23 imbedded therein. Heat is transmitted from the rods 23 through the heating plates 22 and mold parts 2% and 21.
The heating plates 22 are in turn mounted on carrier plates 24, which are mounted on vertically directed rods 25. In the embodiment shown, the female part 21 is mounted for sliding upwardly movement to closed position upon the upward movement of the piston 26 of a hydraulic unit 27.
When the mold is closed, the blank 12 is held between the parts 2i? and 21 of the mold and subjected to heat and pressure simultaneously. Ina typicalmolding operation, heat of 320 F. was applied simultaneously with pressure of 120 pounds per square inch for two minutes and forty seconds.
After application of the heat and pressure, the mold is opened and the molded blank removed. The blank 12 after its removal from the mold permanently assumes the contour of the spacebetween the mold parts 2% and 21. It should be noted that all of the dimensions of the blank 12 must be somewhat greater than those of the finished breast pad or cup. The crosssectional thickness of the blank 12 must also be greater than the distance between the parts 26 and 21 of the mold when they are in closed position.
Different portions of the pad are compressed to a greater or lesser degree during the molding operation, depending upon the variations in the spacing between the parts 2% and 21 of the mold. The rigidity of the various portions of the pad varies in accordance with the degree of compression. The edges of the pad are customarily subjected to greater pressure in order to provide a more rigid area which is substantially self-supporting. The center portions of the pad are customarily less compressed in order to provide a softer area of greater thickness. The distance between different portions of the mold parts 20 and 21 may be varied as desired to produce different types of pads or cups. The length, width and contour of the mold parts 20 and 21 may also be varied as desired.
A layer of cloth may be laminated to one or both sides of the blank 12 at the same time and by the same molding operation which is used to mold the blank 12. The cloth used for this purpose is preferably a stretch type of material such as Helenca or stretch nylon, which will follow the contours of the mold parts 20 and 21 without any undesirable overlapping or folding of the cloth material.
The cloth is preferably held around the pad by means of a rectangular frame 36, which includes a fixed inner bar 31 and a somewhat resilient outer bar 32, which can be opened and closed to removably hold one or more layers of cloth between the bars 31 and 32.
An outer layer 33 and an inner layer 34- of suitable cloth material are fitted upon and held by the frame 30, with the blank 12 disposed between the layers of cloth. Before the outer bar 32 is tightly closed, the cloth is preferably pulled taut to avoid any undesirable overlapping or folding during the molding operation. Suitable adhesive material such as a vinyl or rubber cement or plastisol may be applied to one or both sides of the blank 12 and/ or the cloth to assure bonding of the cloth layers 33 and 34 to the blank 12.
The frame is fitted around the mold part 20 and the heat and pressure act to laminate the cloth layers 33 and 34 to the blank 12. Because of its ability to stretch, the cloth forms a single layer on each side which follows the contour of the blank 12. The part as removed from the mold is shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings. Excessive material is removed from the edges by means of a trimming die 35 having a contour corresponding to the contour of the finished pad or cup. The lower edge of the trimming die 35 comprises a pointed blade 36. Downward pressure is applied to the trimming die 35 to cut and trim excessive material from around the edges of the molded blank. The same, trimming operation is also used to remove excessive foam material from the edge of the blank when the layers of cloth are omitted.
Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12 of the drawings, the same method and apparatus can be used to form a complete breast front or a brassiere or other garment. In forming a complete breast front 50. two blanks of identical configuration with the previously described blank 12 are cut from a block of somewhat larger cross section. These blanks are then placed side by side and fastened together by adhesive, with their adjacent edges slightly overlapping, as shown in FIG. 11 of the drawings. The blanks are then placed simultaneously within a mold having two parts 52 and 53 forming the pattern of a complete breast front. The same molding process is then used, after which the excessive material is trimmed from the edges, leaving a complete breast front 50. The front includes a pair of substantially conical breast cups 54, with flat portions 55 disposed between, beneath and beside the cups 54. The front 50 accordingly comprises substantially a complete brassiere except for the straps which secure it to the body of the wearer. One or more layers of cloth may be laminated to the front 50 in the manner described above.
Since the foam material is capable of being easily stretched, even after molding, a non-stretchable front may be formed by laminating non-stretch cloth to the flat portions 55 or by laminating to the front 54 a complete layer of non-stretch cloth of the same general contour as the front 50. The portions of this non-stretch material which fit within the breast cups 54 would have to be sewed or folded to follow the contour of the cups 54.
It should be understood that the source of pressure need not necessarily be hydraulic and that the source of heat need not necessarily be electric. Any suitable sources of heat and pressure may be used.
In addition to stretch material, the cloth layers may be formed of thermoplastic material. In forming the front 513, a layer of non-stretch thermoplastic material may be used to provide a non-stretchable front. Non-stretchable thermoplastic material may also be used on one or both sides of the breast pads or cups either alone or in combination with a layer of stretch cloth material.
1. The method of forming a unitary seamless breast pad from completely cured polyurethane foam material comprising providing a thin hollow generally conical blank of integral foam material only slightly greater in cross sectional thickness than the pad being formed, the inside and outside surfaces of said blank having the same porosity as said foam material, placing said blank between the parts of a two-part mold, said mold parts engaging the inside and outside surfaces of said blank, said mold parts defining between them the cross-sectional and peripheral configuration of the pad being formed, applying pressure to said mold parts to compress the cells of said blank and deform said blank into said configuration, applying heat to said mold parts simultaneously with said pressure, said heat being applied to the inside and outside surfaces of said blank, said heat penetrating substantially completely through the cells of said blank to cause said cells to become permanently reformed into their compressed positions.
2. The method described in claim 1, in which the pressure applied to said mold parts is approximately pounds per square inch of mold area and the heat applied to said mold is approximately 320 F.,' such heat and pressure being applied simultaneously for approximately two minutes and forty seconds. i
The method described in claim 1, in which different edges are bonded together during .the molding portions of said blank are compressed to substantially difierent degrees to provide said pad with adjacent por- 1 tions of varying cross-sectional thickness for supporting or moving the breast.
4. The method described in claim 1, in which a pair of said blanks are placed in side by side relationship within a mold with their edges overlapping, and said overlapping operation to form a complete breast front.
5. The method described in claim 1, and forming said blanks by cutting said blanks from a block of foam m'ate- 8. The method described in claim 1, in which the pressure applied to said mold parts is approximately 120 lbs. per square inch of mold area and the heat applied to said mold is approximately 320 F.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS a 751,302 2/04 Kraft et al. 128-481 1,322,081 11/19 Ayres 264-157 XR 2,702,769 2/55 Alderfer 264-321 XR 2,946,713 7/60 Dusina et al 264321 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 804,001 11/58 7 Great Britain.
ALEXANDER H. BRODMERKEL, Primary Examiner.