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Publication numberUS3227456 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1966
Filing dateDec 15, 1961
Priority dateDec 15, 1961
Publication numberUS 3227456 A, US 3227456A, US-A-3227456, US3227456 A, US3227456A
InventorsEric O Sonneman
Original AssigneeEric O Sonneman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf ball coated with a surface active chemical agent
US 3227456 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 3,227,456 GOLF BALL COATED WITH A SURFACE ACTIVE CHEMICAL AGENT Eric 0. Sonneman, 7400 S. Bennett Ave., Chicago 49, Ill. No Drawing. Filed Dec. 15, 1961, Ser. No. 159,787 6 Claims. (Cl. 273-235) The present invention relates generally to methods and to compositions for improving the flight characteristics of bodies moving through fluid media. More particularly, the invention is directed to a method of decreasing the effective impedance to flight of an object, such as a ball, moving through the air or through the atmosphere.

It has long since been established in aerodynamic studies that several factors affect the flight of an object as it moves through a gaseous medium. Bernoullis theorem and the principles embodied therein explain a number of phenomena associated with the behavior of fluids, including both liquids and gases. Application of the theorem to gases compels the conclusion that when the velocity of a flowing stream of gas increases, its pressure decreases, and vice versa. The principles help to explain many aspects of the flight of a projectile, or of a ball or of other objects in air. As the ball flies, it ordinarily spins and a layer of air clings to the spinning ball. This air layer or sheath is carried around with the ball. The relative velocity of the air at any point near the ball can be regarded as made up of two components, one due to the Wind or gaseous movement and the other due to the spinning of the ball. If, for example, the ball is spinning in a clockwise direction while moving toward the left in still air, the effect is the same as if the ball were spinning on a stationary axis in a wind directed toward the right. Above the ball, the wind component and the component due to spinning of the ball have the same direction, while below they have opposite directions. Thus, the relative velocity is greater at the top surface than at the bottom, and according to Bernoullis theorem, the pressure is increased at the bottom and reduced at the top. This unbalanced pressure would cause the ball to rise as it moves forward. Alternatively, if, in the same environment and under comparable general conditions, the ball were spinning counterclockwise, the unbalanced pressure would tend to cause the ball to drop as it moves forward.

In addition to those phenomena the comprehension of which is aided by application of Bernoullis theorem, there are other characteristics of motion of particles in fluid media related to the viscosity and the density of the medium and to the velocity and to the shape of the body moving therethrough. The system of units encompassing the many parameters involved is known as the Reynolds number. The flow of a fluid such as air past a solid body may be either streamline flow or turbulent flow depending in part on the shape of the body and in part on other factors. In a streamline body, and under conditions giving large Reynolds numbers, essentially no resultant forces are applied to the body and the drag is small. Resistance to flight motion under these conditions is due almost entirely to skin friction, i.e., the tangential forces on the surface due to the friction of the air itself, and streamline flow obtains. Turbulent flow is typical of the flow around bodies not specially shaped to move easily through fluids. The motion of such bodies through a gas such as air, for example, is characterized by a dead region of small velocity and low pressure immediately behind the object, followed by a turbulent wake. Such a flow exerts a powerful drag upon the moving body, and much energy is required to force such a body rapidly through the fluid. Skin friction forces are confined to a very thin sheath, or layer, enveloping the body and called the boundary layer. The motions Within this boundary layer 3,227,456 Patented Jan. 4, 1966 are very complex and provide the factors determining whether the flow will be streamline or turbulent.

When the Reynolds number is small as in the case of a body, such as a golf ball, not specially shaped to move easily through fluid, the skin friction forces cause a turbulent wake exerting a powerful drag on the body.

It is an important concept of the present invention that in addition to the exclusively mechanical forces described such as skin friction and wake drag, there are other complex forces postulated to be of an electrical, an electromagnetic, or electrostatic nature which exert important and significant influences on the motion of bodies traveling through fluid media. These forces are believed to exert their influence either independently of or by their effect upon other factors. It is also within the proposed hypothesis that the nonmechanical electromagnetic or electrostatic forces may be, at least in part, the result of mechanical forces rather than completely independent of and unrelated to such forces. For example, skin friction or other fluid flow phenomena may produce electrostatic or electromagnetic charges especially on materials such as plastics, natural and synthetic rubber, and, under suitable conditions, on metals as well. It is postulated that these electrical charges can, in appropriate circumstances, constitute important impedances to the flight or motion of bodies moving through a fluid medium such as air.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a composition and a process for treating an object to improve thereby the flight characteristics of such an object in air or other gaseous media.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a surface coating composition to prevent the development and accumulation of electrical charges on objects in contact with a gaseous medium.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a treatment which will reduce the effective resistance or the impedance to the movement of an object through a gaseous environment.

Additional aims and objects of the invention include the following: to provide chemical compositions for application to moving bodies traveling through space to obviate the development and buildup thereon of electrical, electromagnetic, or electrostatic charges; to provide a chemical treatment effective to reduce the electrical inter attraction 'and/ or repulsions between a body and a surrounding gaseous medium, and to improve thereby the flight characteristics of a body moving through space; to provide a coating composition which applied to the surface of a ball, such as a golf ball, is conducive to increase the distance of flight of the ball in response to a propelling force applied to the ball; to provide a chemical composition suitable as an additive for paints, lacquers and other film forming materials to impart improved electrostatic and electromagnetic properties to articles treated with the film forming preparations.

Other and further objects of the invention Will become apparent from a reading of the following specification. For the purpose of disclosure and not by way of limitation, the invention will be described and explained with reference to its application to a golf ball.

In a preferred embodiment of this invention a ball, such as a golf ball, is treated with a composition including a surface active agent. An important, surprising, and heretofore unexpected result of this treatment is that in normal average use the flight range of the treated ball is increased. This increase in flight range of the treated balls is in the order of 10 to 40 percent over the flight range of identical but untreated balls. This unexpected and remarkable effect is believed to be associated with and the result of the elimination of electrostatic, electromagnetic, or other electrical charge either induced or otherwise present on the ball, or developed on the ball in flight. The neutralization of or the prevention of the accumulation of these charges on the ball has the effect of reducing overall impedance to flight. The total skin friction is in effect reduced and the boundary layer characteristics and forces are modified. It is believed that one of the results of this unique chemical treatment is to promote or to establish streamline flow where turbulent flow conditions would otherwise obtain.

It is a concept and principle of this invention that the compositions as used increase the initial thrust of self energized or otherwise impelled bodies. An important feature of flight bodies treated in accordance with the practice of this invention is that the accumulation of undesirable surface charges is obviated. Still other possible beneficial uses, results, and effects will be apparent to those skilled in the relevant art.

It has been observed that the benefits and beneficial effects of the products and processes of the invention are not completely independent of the velocity of the treated body and, in fact, it has been found that the reduction in flight impedance is greater for relatively low velocities, at least under certain conditions. For example, in the case of golf ball flight, measurements and tests carried out establish that while the effect of treatment is relatively small for very fast flying golf balls having a velocity of about 250 ft. per second, or approximately 170 miles per hour, the effect upon treated golf balls traveling at lower or moderate velocities is very marked. Thus average golfers will, in accordance with the practice of this invention, be enabled to increase the distance of their drives and their approach shots without exceeding the legal velocity limits established by the U.S.G.A. (250 ft. per sec. at 75 F., for balls weighing 1.62 oz. and having a diameter of not less than 1.68 inches.) It is to be reasonably expected that the remarkable benefits of the invention established and demonstrated for golf ball flight will have corresponding parallel counterparts in increasing the initial thrust of missiles, rockets, and planes etc., and providing a smoother and more steady takeoff for such bodies.

In a series of experiments carried out to study the phenomena associated with the practice of this invention, it was established that the desired results are obtain-ed through the application of coating compositions containing a particular type of chemical agent. Research and testing have established that these particular types of chemical compounds are responsible for the phenomenal and remarkable effects observed. The chemical agents referred to include but are not necessarily limited to the group of chemical compounds known as surface active agents. As used herein the term surface active agent is of considerable scope including such diverse materials as quaternary ammonium salts; cationic, anionic, and nonionic wetting agents, detergents, dispersants, and antistatic compositions; fatty acid esters of polyethylene glycol derivatives; other types of synthetic surface active agents; and proprietary anti-static compositions, etc. These chemical agents may be used singly, and in other applications improved results are realized by combining two or more active ingredients. In the light of the disclosure and teaching of this invention, the selection and evaluation of particular preferred and effective compositions and the determination of the most suitable concentrations for any agent or combination of agents will be well within the capabilities of those skilled in the art.

The classes of chemical compositions listed above are representative of those chemicals which find utility in the practice of the invention. These materials have in common certain properties which include the ability and propensity to affect the distribution of and/or retention of electrical charges on materials treated with these materials. It is believed that these special conductive properties are responsible, at least in part, for the remarkable and unexpected effects realized in the practice of this invention. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and other chemicals will occur to those skilled in the art. Moreover, as research provides new chemical compounds, as yet nonexistent, there will be among these many new chemical agents which, in the light of the teaching of this invention, will be recognized as having potential utility in its practice. Not all chemical compounds of the general broad classes disclosed are equally effective for the intended purpose, and, as would be expected, some members of the group are to be preferred over the others, especially for applications. Not any and all concentrations are equally effective, but the selection of suitable concentrations for a given specific chemical compound or mixture of compounds may be determined by simple procedures well within the capabilities of those skilled in the relevant art.

The surface active chemicals and the anti-static or the conductive surface chemicals of this invention may, in the practice of this invention, be applied to bodies propelled under their own power, or propelled by external power or impetus. Mechanical application of the chemicals of this invention to the surface to be treated may be any convenient method such as dipping, spraying, aerosol spraying, swabbing, wiping, etc. The active ingredient may be dispensed in aqeuous solution, in solutions of oragnic solvents, and from solvent mixtures or from emulisons etc. Application may be by means of sponges, cloths, etc. which have been pretreated with compounds useful in practice of this invention. Binding agents such as gums, resins, plastics, adhesives, latex emulsions, and other suitable substances may be used to improve the bonding and the adherence of the active chemical agents to the treated surface. Similarly, those and other agents may be used to reduce or otherwise modify the water solubility of the active material deposited on the treated surface. Such auxiliary components contribute to the permanency of the coating and prevent premature loss of the active principle from the treated surface. The active ingredients of the compositions useful in the practice of the invention may be included in paints or in the other coating compositions for special applications.

The concentration of the active principle to be used 15 not critical and optimum concentration for specific applications may be determined by simple tests well within the capability of those skilled in the art.

For the purposes of illustrative disclosure and not to be construed in any way as a limitation, there are presented below detailed recitations of preferred embodiments of the invention covering both the chemical compositions and the methods of application.

Example 1 Parts Hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride 6 Octadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride 93 Octadecenyl trimethyl ammonium chloride 1 Example II Parts Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate 70 Water plus mutual solvent 30 Prepare a 0.5 percent solution of the above mixture in water or in a water and alcohol solution and apply to the surface of the object to be treated. Allow the treated object to dry leaving a film of the surface active agent thereon. The synthetic surface active agent, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, is sold by American Cyanamid 5. Co. under the trademark Aerosol t, and by Geigy Chemical Corp, under thetrademark Alrowet D-65.

Example 111 Sorbitan monooleate (non-ionic surface active agent) Apply a dilute aqueous solution of the fatty acid ester to the surface of the objectto be treated.

Example IV Polyoxyethylene derivative of nonyl phenol (Makon of the Stepan Chemical Co.) 3 A dilute aqueous solution of the surface active agent is applied by dipping or by spraying, or by other suitable.


Other examples include the following, all of which are applied from dilute solutions containing in the range of from'about 0.2 percent to about 1 percent of active agents.

Example V Alkyl-aryl sulfonate (e.g. Alkanol DW, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.)

Example V1 Polymer of ethylene oxide (e.g. Polyethylene Glycol- 4000, Union Carbide Corp.)

Example VII Sodium Z-ethylhexyl sulfate (anionic) (Tegitol Penetrant 08, Union Carbide Corp.)

Example VIII Cationic surface active agents such as:

l-hydroxyethyl, Z-heptadecenyl glyoxalidene (Geigy Amine O) l-hyd'roxyethyl, Z-heptadecyl glyoxalidene (Geigy Amine S) (Geigy Industrial Chemicals, Geigy Chemical Corp.)

Example IX Benzyl ether of octyl phenol (condensed with ethylene oxide) (Triton CF-lO, Rohm & Haas Co.)

Example X Fatty acid esters Acrawax C (synthetic Wax) Glyco Products Co. Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate (Tween 20, Atlas Powder Co.) Polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80, Atlas Powder Co.)

Example XI Monoester of polyethylene glycol and lauric acid (Polyethylene Glycol 400, monolaurate, Glyco Products Co.)

In addition to the specific examples depicted above, other chemical agents may be used. Preferred treating compositions may contain mixtures of two or more surface active agents, or anti-static, or conductive surface chemicals. Proprietary products containing one or more chemical agents effective for the purposes of this invention are suitable. Among such products are:

Merix Anti-Static #79, Merix Chemical Co.

Merix Anti-Static #79OL, Merix Chemical Co.

Merix WIPE, Merix Chemical Co.

Merix 7MAG, Merix Chemical Co.

Preparation 4834B, Catalysts 8065, and Aerostat C, sold by Ciba Company.

While disclosures of preferred embodiments of the products and of preferred methods of use and application of the invention have been provided, it will be apparent that numerous modifications and variations thereof may be made without departing from underlying principles of the invention. It is therefore desired by the following claims to include within the scope of the invention all such variations and modifications by which substantially the results of this invention may be obtained through the use of substantially the same or equivalent means.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination, a golf ball and an outer coating on said ball, said coating consisting essentially of a surface active chemical agent disposed substantially uniformly over the surface of said ball in an amount suflicient to modify the flight characteristics of said ball, said surface active agents being adapted to reduce the frictional drag of said golf ball in a gaseous medium through which said golf ball is moving, and consisting of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.

2. In combination, a golf ball and a coating composition distributed substantially uniformly over the surface thereof in an amount sufficient to modify flight characteristics of said ball, said composition consisting essentially of an electro-conductive chemical agent effective to obviate accumulation of unneutralized electric charges on said surface of said golf ball to extend thereby the flight distance of said ball moving through air in response to a finite impulse force applied to said ball and propelling said ball through said air,

said agent consisting essentially of about 6 parts by weight of hexadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride,

about 93 parts by weight of octadecyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, and

about 1 part by weight of octadecenyl trimethyl ammonium chloride.

3. In combination, a golf ball and a coating on said ball, said coating consisting essentially of a surface active chemical agent disposed substantially uniformly over the surface of said ball in an amount sufiicient to modify flight characteristics of said ball, said surface active agent being adapted to reduce the frictional drag of said golf ball in a gaseous medium through which said golf ball is moving, and consisting of sodium 2-ethylhexy1 sulfate.

4. In combination, an outer golf ball and a coating on said ball, said coating consisting essentially of a surface active chemical agent disposed substantially uniformly over the surface of said ball, said surface active agent being present in an amount sufficient to reduce the frictional drag of said golf ball in a gaesous medium through which said golf ball is moving, and consisting of l-hydroxyethyl, Z-heptadecenyl glyoxalidene.

5. In combination, a golf ball and an outer coating on said ball, said coating consisting essentially of a surface active chemical agent disposed substantially uniformly over the surface of said ball, said surface active agent being adapted to reduce the frictional drag of said golf ball in a gaseous medium through which said golf ball is moving, and being selected from the group consisting of quaternary ammonium salts, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, sorbitan monooleate, polyoxyethylene derivatives of nonyl phenol, alkyl-aryl sulfonates, high molecular weight polymers of ethylene oxide, sodium 2-ethylhexyl sulfate, l-hydroxyethyl Z-heptadecenyl glyoxalidene, 1 hydroxyethyl 2 heptadecyl glyoxalidene, ethylene oxide condensation product with the benzyl ether of octyl phenol, polyoxyethylene sorbi tan monolaurate, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate, monoester of polyethylene glycol and lauric acid, and combinations thereof.

6. In combination, a golf ball and an outer coating on said ball, said coating consisting essentially of a surface active chemical agent disposed substantially uni- 7 formiy over the surface of said ball, said surface active agent being adapted to reduce the frictional drag of said golf ball in a gaseous medium through which said golf ball is moving, and consisting of l-hydroxyethyl 2-heptadecyl glyoxalidene.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,066,516 1/1937 Bugg 273-62 XR 2,332,196 10/1943 Bjorsten.

2,392,863 3/1946 Myers.

2,393,863 1/1946 Myers Ill-138.8 2,416,254 2/1947 Gilbert 117138.8 2,450,474 10/1948 Grobner 156146 2,627,901 2/1953 Simon et a1. 117-138.8

8 2,649,143 8/1953 Simon et a1. 117138.8 2,822,558 2/1958 Vandervort et a1. 15--21.l 2,967,376 1/1961 Scott 106-287 3,033,704 5/1962 Sherrill et a1. 117-1395 5 FOREIGN PATENTS 70,728 7/ 1959 France.

1,231,399 9/ 1960 France.

OTHER REFERENCES Schwartz et 211.: Surface Active Agents and Detergents," vol. II, 1958, pp. 269-271, 572-574, 688 and 703.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6290615Nov 18, 1999Sep 18, 2001Callaway Golf CompanyGolf ball having a tubular lattice pattern
US6383092Nov 18, 1999May 7, 2002Callaway Golf CompanyGolf ball with pyramidal protrusions
US6461253Jun 1, 2001Oct 8, 2002Callaway Golf CompanyAerodynamic surface geometry for a golf ball
US6471605Aug 9, 2001Oct 29, 2002Callaway Golf CompanyGolf ball with pyramidal protrusions
US6632150Dec 18, 2002Oct 14, 2003Callaway Golf CompanyGolf ball having a sinusoidal surface
US6802787Oct 9, 2003Oct 12, 2004Callaway Golf CompanyGolf ball having a sinusoidal surface
US7060777Dec 7, 2004Jun 13, 2006Callaway Golf CompanyPolyetherurethane copolymer
US7101952Dec 8, 2004Sep 5, 2006Callaway Golf CompanyPolyurethane material for a golf ball cover
US7121961Apr 8, 2005Oct 17, 2006Callaway Golf CompanyLow volume cover for a golf ball
U.S. Classification473/385, 473/378
International ClassificationA63B37/14, A63B37/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B37/0003, A63B37/14, A63B37/0022, A63B45/02
European ClassificationA63B37/00G, A63B37/14