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Publication numberUS3206785 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 21, 1965
Filing dateNov 27, 1962
Priority dateNov 27, 1962
Publication numberUS 3206785 A, US 3206785A, US-A-3206785, US3206785 A, US3206785A
InventorsHeil Richard A
Original AssigneeHeil Richard A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor mat
US 3206785 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 21, 1965 R. A. HEM.

FLOOR MAT Filed Nov. 2v, 1962 mw R um. Lm Q RZ/ mi@ w# Wi w\ m/W d f/ h2 /M f fm rectangular mat such as a long runner.

United States Patent 4O 3,206,785 FLOOR MAT Richard A. Heii, 16305 Woodlawn East Drive, South Holland, Ill. Filed Nov. 27, 1962, Ser. No. 240,357 1 Claim. (Cl. 15-215) This invention relates generally to floor mats and specifically to a floor mat which removes dirt, soil, dust, Water and snow from the shoes of the public stepping thereon in ya semi-automatic manner.

Accordingly, a primary object of my invention is to provide a oor mat which very effectively removes dirt, soil, dust, and water from the publics shoes in a semiautomatic manner.

Another object is to provide a door mat which may be made in sections of any convenient size, and then individual sections readily joined to one another to make a mat of any desired nal size or shape.

Yet a further object is to provide a floor mat which, though composed of two or more sections, gives the appearance to the eye of being a single large mat.

Another object is to provide a floor mat having a side to which a beveled edge may be joined or integrally formed.

Yet another object is to provide a :door mat which automatically drains liquids, such as melted snow, therefrom.

A further object is to provide a iioor mat having a plurality of projections so contoured and angularly positioned as to expose a maximum area of wiping or scraping surfaces to the greatest number of shoes passing thereover.

Yet a further object is to provide a floor mat which is Ysafe and can be readily arranged to fit in any given regularly or irregularly shaped area, cannot be bent out of shape and will stay in place on its anchoring surface better than similar mats.

Yet another object is to provide `a floor mat which is substantially pilfer-proof.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon a reading of the following description of the invention.

My invention is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

. FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a portion of my composite floor mat;

FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of a single unit of my composite floor mat;

FIGURE 3 is a section taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1 said section being to an enlarged scale;

FIGURE 4 is a top view of a typical mat projection to a larger scale than that of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a sectional View taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIGURE 1 said section being taken to an enlarged scale; and

FIGURE 6 s a schematic diagram illustrating the range of angles of divergence of the walking public.

Like reference numerals will be used to refer to like parts throughout the following description of the drawings.

My composite fioor mat is indicated generally at 10 in FIGURE 1. The mat, in this instance, is composed of a plurality of sections 11, 12, 13, 14, each of which is secured in 'abutting engagement to its neighbor. In this `instance each mat section is of the same exterior dimensions, but it should be understood that it is quite within the scope of my invention to employ mat sections of different dimensions. Such varying dimensioned sections may be particularly useful for example when an irregularly shaped mat is desired, as contrasted to a conventional Mat section 11 3,206,785 Patented Sept. 21, 1965 has an integrally formed beveled edge 15 along one exposed side. A separately formed beveled edge 16 is secured to the other exposed side of corner section 11 by means which will be further described hereinafter.

It will be understood that whether the beveled edges are formed integrally with or separately from the balance of the mat, they will be so contoured that their abutting edges will lie along a common meeting line 17.

Each mat section has a plurality of fingers or projections extending upwardly from its working face or top surface. Referring to FIGURE 3, for example, a plurality of working projections are indicated at 20, 21, 22 extending upwardly from the top `surface 23 of the mat. The projections are preferably integrally connected to base 24.

A typical projection or finger is illustrated in detail in FIGURE 4. The projection is pyramidical in shape and in the illustrated embodiment four wiping or scraping surfaces 25, 26, 27, 28, have been formed about the periphery, it being understood that the term pyramidical refers to a solid having at least three planar surfaces forming its periphery as will be appreciated from its accepted definition. Each of the surfaces 25 to 28 is substantially planar, but for ease of moulding, and for strength, the surfaces may have a very slight curvature. Likewise although the intersections of the surfaces may form a sharp edge, the corners between adjacent surfaces are preferably rounded for ease in moulding. The wiping surfaces terminate in a substantially flat top surface 29 to avoid the formation of a point which would be more easily torn and displaced than a flat surface. Since the pyramidical shape terminates short of its natural apex the solid form is in effect a truncated pyramid.

The height of each pyramidical projection may vary to some extent depending upon the material of which the mat is formed and the service. I prefer that the height fall within the range of 3A; inch to 1/2 inch. If the height is less than inch, the projections tend to wear away too quickly. When the height gets muct above 1/2 inch, the projections may bend too easily, with the result that they do not scrape material from the soles of shoes as effectively as they might and there is the possibility of breakage. In the indicated range sufhcient wear is insured to make the mat last an economically useful length of time and, at the same time, the stiffness of each projection is sufficient to very effectively wipe dirt, soil, dust, water and other materials from the soles of shoes stepping on the mat. In effect, the weight of a person standing on projections of this length bends the projections under the sole of the shoe. As a result the projections literally scrape the soil or extraneous matter from the persons shoes automatically in the very process of walking over the surface of the mat. The bend of the projections occurs as a persons body weight is applied. to the mat surface. Further, since the shape of the fingers is pyrarnidic rather than cylindrical or `conical more surface area of the mat projections actually contacts the soles of the persons shoes. As a result more dirt, soil, dust, etc. is removed by the abrasive action of the shoe soles and the mat projection. In addition the pyramidical shape is stronger physically than a cylindrical or conical shape. The useful life of a mat of my design therefore will be greater than the useful life of a mat with equal size projections of equal length and physical volume but not having projections of substantially pyramidical sha e.

Iii areas where the mat will be subjected to extremely hard use, as in schools, horizontal land Vertical shifting of the projections can be even further reduced by webbing a portion of the projections. That is, material may be formed between adjacent projections as indicated at 21a in FIGURE 3 to provide additional stiffness. Anywhere from l0 to 20 percent or more of the projections may be E webbed, but, in any event, the webbed areas should be so arranged as not to interfere with drainage from the mat.

The particular arrangement of the projections on the mat surface is of importance in my invention. `By long observation I have noted that only a very small minority of persons walk with their toes pointed straight ahead, that is, in a direction parallel to their direction of movement, or when considering a number of people, the direction of traffic. A few people walk pigeon-toed and a much larger number of people walk with their toes pointed divergently outwardly. I have discovered that the most effective way of removing dirt, soil, and extraneous matter from the soles of shoes is to have the surface of the soles of the shoes scraped or wiped against the projections at right angles to the scraping or wiping surfaces carried by the projections. For ease of description I define the angle formed between the direction of traffic and the direction of point of a persons toes as the angle of divergence. In FIGURE 6, I have diagrammatically shown a range of angles of divergence for right shoes which will be found in almost any random sample of the walking public. The direction of traffic is indicated at 30 and the extreme angles of divergence are indicated iat 31 and 32. As can be quickly appreciated from FIGURE 6, the angle of divergence in an outward direction from the direction of traic is considerably greater than the angle of divergence in an inward direction. Similarly, a great many more people walk with theirl toes pointed slightly outwardly than with their toes. pointed inwardly. A range of angles of divergence is lindicated at 33. The dotted arrow 34 represents the median angle of divergence of the shoes of the walking public.

Referring again to FIGURE l, the individual rows, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 are each formed of projections in which the working face is oriented at an angle dilierent from the working face of the projections in the adjacent rows. That is, the scraping surface '10 of projection 20a is disposed perpendicular to a vertical plane which diverges approximately 10 degrees to the right of the direction of traffic. The shoe soles of a person whose angle of divergence is approximately l degrees would, therefore, strike perpendicularly against scraping surface 40. As the shoe sole slid into engagement with the scraping surface 40, a maximum scraping area would be presented to the shoe sole.

The working surface 41 of projection Ztlb is positioned perpendicularly to a vertical plane which is coincident with the direction of traffic 30. That is, the shoe soles of a person who walks with his toes pointed straight ahead would strike perpendicularly against the scraping surfaces 41 in row 37.

In similar manner, the scraping surface 43 of projection 20c is disposed perpendicular to a vertical plane cincidiing with the path of motion of shoe soles having an yangle of divergence of minus degrees to the direction of traffic 30.

Although the projections in each row are disposed with their scraping surfaces in parallelism with one another, it should be understood that this is merely exemplary. The projections in each row may be oriented at different angles. Likewise it is not essential that the projections be formed in rows. However this is the preferred method of forming my mat since `a maximum number of projections can be formed in a given area. If rows are employed, it should be understood that they may be offset or parallel with one another. Further, the angularity of the projections is preferably `correlated to the angles of divergence of the walking public. That is, if 40% of the public walk with their toes pointed outwardly from 9 degrees `to 11 degrees, about 40% of all projections over the surface of the mat should have an angle of divergence of very close to l0 degrees.

D FrOm a practical standpoint, particularly when considerlng the problems of die design, it may be feasible to limit the number of angular variances. Two series only 0f projections having wiping surfaces disposed at right angles to, first, the direction of traiiic as defines by a VertiCal plane and, secondly, to some fixed angle of divergence therewith between 5 and 10 will be most suitable.

The number of projections per unit of surface area may vary a wide range. For projections of 3/8 to 1/2 inch in height, I prefer that from about 20 to about 30 projections per square inch be provided. It should be understood, however, that this figure is merely a preferred number and that a greater or lesser number may be employed, depending upon the circumstances. Y

Referring again to FIGURE 3, it Will be noted that the upper or exposed surface 23 from which the projections extend upwardly is inclined. In this instance Section 11 lis inclined in two directions, the inclined surfaces meeting at a low point 4S. In FIGURES 1 and 2, I have shown a plurality of vent holes 49, 50, 51, 52 formed in the mat adjacent the low area. The vent or drain holes enable liquid matter, such as melted snow, to drain from the mat int-o the surface located therebeneath. The provision of such drain holes is, however, optional and will depend upon whether the anchoring surface upon which my mat rests is capable of absorbing and draining away the liquid.

Referring again to FIGURE 3, my mat is shown as attached to an anchoring surface 54, such as a concrete floor, by anchoring means S5. In this instance the anchoring means comprises -a fastener receiving member 56, which is embedded in the concrete 54. The fastener receiving member has a threaded bore which receives a threaded fastener 57 which extends through a bore in the mat itself. The fastener has an expanded upper portion or head 58 which bears against -a clamp or hold-down member 59. In this instance the hold-down member is a rubber washer within which a plurality of depressions 60 are formed. The depressions are so disposed that they will each be aligned with and receive the upper end of stub projections 61, 62 which extend upwardly from surface 23. As best seen in FIGURE 3 the height of the stub projections and the thickness of the hold-down member yand fastener head is such that the uppermost portion of the head does not extend above the uppermost level of the main projections 20, 21, etc., and thereby provides no obstruction which may cause a person to stumble.

Referring now to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that the under-surface of my mat has formed thereon a plurality of ridges 63, 63a, 63b, etc. are arranged substantially parallel to one another, and the second series 64, 64a, 64b, etc., are disposed substantially perpendicularly to the other series. While I have shown the ridges tas perpendicularly disposed with respect to one another this 1s merely the preferred mode of arrangement. Actually the ridges should only be disposed in directions non-parallel to one another. By disposing the ridges in non-parallel relationship to one another a maximum frictional resistanceto slippage of the mat over the anchoring surface is provided.

Means for connecting mat sections to one another to form'a composite mat of any desired size are illustrated best in FIGURES 3 `and 5. In FIGURE 3 the adjacent mats 11 and 14 are each formed with edges 67, 68 respectively. These edges are substantially vert-ical so that the mats may be butted against one another edgewise. In this instance a recess has been formed along the edge of each mat. Recess 69 has been formed in mat 11, and recess 70 in mat 14. The connecting member, in this case a rubber or plastic dumbbell shaped strip of material 71, has been slid into the recesses 69 and 70. The coritour of the -connector is, of course, complementary to the contour of the recesses when the adjacent mat sections are butted against one another. The mat sections are thereby rmly held against one another. Although I have illustrated and described a dumbbell-shaped corinector, it should be understood that any other suitable form of connector is quite within the scope of my invention. The end result is that a composite mat, made up of any suitable number of individual mat sect-ions, may be built up at will. If ya given space X is maintained between adjacent projections on each mat section, the projections adjacent the edges of each mat should be located one-half that distance, or X/2, `from the edge. When the two mat sections are butted against one another, the dist-ance between adjacent projections is again X. The result is, so far as the eye can detect, a continuous, uniform mat surface.

Referring now to FIGURE 5, a separately formed bevelededge section 16 has been shown. In this instance the beveled edge has been formed with a recess 72 therein which receives a suitable connecting member 73, similar to or even identical with the connecting member which joins adjacent mat sections to one another. Alternately, the beveled edge may be integrally formed with the mat section.

The use and operation of my invention is as follows:

A mat made according to the foregoing description may be installed either with a special hold-down device such as I have illustrated in FIGURE 3, or by any other suitable means. Once in place, the mat will automatically scrape or wipe dirt, soil, and other extraneous material from the soles of shoes as persons step across it. The mat has many possible uses but probably its most basic application will be as an entrance mat. Preferably it will be molded out of rubber or a thermo-plastic material such as polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene, which may be either a standard polyethylene or a low-pressure Ziegler type polyethylene. A mat may be composed of one mat section equivalent to any one of sections 11, 12, 13 and 14 of FIGURE l. In this event, it may be most expeditious to integrally form bevealed edges 15 about the periphery of the mat section. If a larger mat is desired, a plurality of sections may be joined one to another by any one of the aforementioned means, and the mat built up to any desired size. Once the mat is built up it will give the appearance of one long solid mat rather than a series of connected mats, due primarily to the placement of the projections along the edges of each mat section a distance equal to one-half the distance the projections are spaced from one another within the periphery of the section.

In locations in which the mat may be subjected to extremely heavy traflic and a build-up of water or melted snow and ice will occur, the drainage feature illustrated best in FIGURE 3 may be provided. The upper surface of the mat may be inclined, either towards the center or toward the edge and vent holes provided, if necessary. The provision of vent holes presupposes, of course, an anchoring surface suitable for absorption and removal of the drained liquid. No matter which direction the surfaces incline the top surfaces of the individual projections will lie in substantially the same plane. Preferably the height of the projections will fall within the aforementioned 1%; to 1/2 inch length whether or not an inclined upper surface is employed.

The projections illustrated best in FIGURES 1 through 5 very effectively scrape or wipe the dirt, soil, dust, water and other extraneous matter from the soles of the shoes, since a substantially planar surface is placed perpendicularly to a vertical plane which is coincident with the line of divergence of the shoe. Since it is not feasible to force people to walk with their toes pointed in a single direction, I have so arranged the projections that a Wiping or scraping surface of each projection will be perpendicular to a line of force as defined by a vertical plane which falls within the range of angles of divergence. Preferably a larger number of projections than otherwise will be arranged with their wiping and scraping surfaces perpendicular to the vertical plane defining median line 34 of the walking public.

My mat is extremely safe, since it has no holes in which to catch heels. This is a particular advantage in connection with womens spike heels. Further the method of joining the individual mat sections is such that no ridges, depressions or projections are present to cause tripping. If the mat is to be used in an area which may be approached in several directions, the edges may be beveled to provide a smooth incline and thereby avoid the possibility of a heel snagging against the edge of the mat. Further, there are no wires joining the individual units as are present in link mats. Incidentally, since there are no wires, my mat cannot be bent out of shape as link mats occasionally are in handling and cleaning operations. As the links become bent and twisted out of shape over a period of time, they become progressively more dangerous, but the upper surface of my mat stays constant over the life of the mat or wears down evenly so that no irregular projections are possible.

My mat is substantially pilferage-proof. Pilferage, in most experts opinion, is a spur of the moment occurrence. That is, it is done quickly without much forethought. The particular method of attachment I have provided is unusual and almost impossible to undo without the proper tools. If Allen head screws are used as the connecting members 57, pilferage is almost completely eliminated since few people carry Allen head wrenches in their pockets.

Another safety feature of my mat is that the backing prevents slippage along the surface of the floor when the mat is not attached by any means other than its own weight. To my knowledge, mats are either smooth backed or, if they have ridges, have them running in one direction. By running ridges in non-parallel directions, and preferably in directions perpendicular to one another, maximum slippage resistance is provided.

Another advantage of my mat is that should, for any reason, a particular mat section be damaged beyond repair or its appearance be so defaced that it needs replacement for appearance sake, the mat sections adjacent may be quickly disassembled and a new section slipped in place. It is thus not necessary to replace the composite mat in its entirety. This is a considerable economic advantage in areas in which large mats must, of necessity, be used, such as in the public school system.

Further, my mat sections may be used by architects and designers to achieve pleasing aesthetic designs and coniigurations in the design of buildings. The mats may be molded in any color that is practical and it is quite possible to use two or more colors or a blend of colors in a single mat. For example, a composite mat, or even a single mat, may be made up in a checkerboard type of design. Similarly, special edgings such as beveled edges in contrasting colors may be used.

Although a preferred embodiment and several variations of my invention have been illustrated and described, it will be at once apparent to those skilled in the art that considerable modifications may be made without departing from the basic spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is my intention that my invention be limited, not by the above described exemplary description, but solely by the scope of the hereinafter appended claim.

I claim:

A floor mat which quickly and effectively removes foreign material from the shoes of users stepping thereon, said floor mat including, in combination,

a base,

a plurality of projections extending generally upwardly from the base,

each of said projections having at least one substantially planar working surface,

the cross-sectional area of each of said projections decreasing in a generally upward direction,

the generally correspondingly positioned substantially planar working surfaces of the projections in any shoe-sized area on the base being disposed in at least two non-parallel planes,

many of the working surfaces in said shoe sized area provided which make tripping 7 8 lying in parallel planes disposed substantially per- 2,205,802 6/40 Scheidemantel et al. 15-215 X pendicularly to vertical planes containing the median 2,512,310 6/50 Corson 15-215 angles of divergence of the walking public from the 2,659,687 11/53 Moore 15A- 49.1 direction 0f fac, 2,680,698 6/54 Schnee 15-2l5 the upper substantially planar mat surface from which 5 2,701,890 2/55 Moor 15 215 the projections extend being inclined to thereby facilitate drainage of fluids deposited on the mat, and FOREIGN PATENTS a plurality of drain apertures communicable with the 266,082 2/27 Great Britain. 10W points 0f the inclinee 681,922 10/52 Great Britain.

References Cited by the Examiner 10 100754 1/41 Sweden' UNITED STATES PATENTS CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner. 771,809 10/04 Burnell 15-215 WALTER A. SCHEEL, Examiner,

A1,948,826 2/34 Peterson 15-215

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US771809 *May 2, 1904Oct 11, 1904Queen Mfg CompanyMat.
US1948826 *Apr 25, 1932Feb 27, 1934Peterson Christen JFloor mat or floor covering
US2205802 *Jan 25, 1939Jun 25, 1940Brunswick Balke Collender CoPit mat for bowling alleys
US2512310 *Jan 28, 1949Jun 20, 1950Corson William GRubber floor mat
US2659687 *Feb 11, 1952Nov 17, 1953Tucker Moore Minerva BuchananFloor covering
US2680698 *Dec 3, 1949Jun 8, 1954Francis Schnee RobertPlastic floor coverings
US2701890 *Nov 22, 1950Feb 15, 1955American Mat CorpFloor mat
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4280729 *Sep 4, 1979Jul 28, 1981Janusz MorawskiFloor mat
US5018235 *Sep 12, 1989May 28, 1991Kimberly-Clark CorporationMat holder
US5142733 *Dec 14, 1990Sep 1, 1992Kimberly-Clark CorporationMat holders
US5350478 *Nov 5, 1992Sep 27, 1994Milliken Research CorporationMethod of manufacturing a washable, dirt binding nap mat having a rubber backing and nap free rubber edges
US5815995 *Aug 1, 1996Oct 6, 1998Diversified Industrial Technologies, Inc.Slip-resistant floor covering system
US6061980 *Feb 5, 1999May 16, 2000Malcolm A. PoiencotCushioning pad
US7488525 *Apr 7, 2006Feb 10, 2009Sof' Solutions, Inc.Impact-attenuating, firm, stable, and slip-resistant surface system
US8409688 *Jan 28, 2010Apr 2, 2013Oluwafemi Ajibola AfolabiWater Draining foot mat
US20070087154 *Apr 7, 2006Apr 19, 2007Bird Elouise RAn Impact-attenuating, Firm, Stable, and Slip-resistant Surface System and Method for Providing the Same
US20110183102 *Jan 28, 2010Jul 28, 2011Oluwafemi Ajibola AfolabiWater Draining Foot Mat
U.S. Classification15/215, 428/60, 404/32, 404/19
International ClassificationA47L23/00, A47L23/24
Cooperative ClassificationA47L23/24
European ClassificationA47L23/24