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Publication numberUS3303609 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 14, 1967
Filing dateNov 23, 1964
Priority dateNov 23, 1964
Publication numberUS 3303609 A, US 3303609A, US-A-3303609, US3303609 A, US3303609A
InventorsRichard Machenry
Original AssigneeFmc Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fibrous mulch
US 3303609 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 3,303,609 FIBROUS MULCH Richard MacHenry, Prospect Park, Pa., assignor to FMC Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Delaware No Drawing. Filed Nov. 23, 1964, Ser. No. 413,278 2 Claims. (Cl. 479) This invention relates to a mulch for promoting the germination and growth of grass seed and other seedpropagated ground covers.

While the mulch or cover of the present invention is useful in establishing a stand of grass on flat and rolling plots of ground, its greatest utility is in connection with the seeding of the steeply sloped banks of highways cuts and fills, which are particularly subject to erosion.

One of the commercially practiced methods of establishing grass on highway slopes is to spray the area with a slurry of grass seed, fertilizer and wood fibers. A particular wood fiber used for this purpose is a green dyed fiber sold by the International Paper Company under the trademark Turfibe-r. As the wood fibers dry they cover and blend in with the granular dirt particles and tend to hold them in place but the bond is not very strong and to obtain an adequate cover for mulching purposes and to restrict erosion, Turfiber is applied in an amount of about 2000 pounds per acre of ground. An apparatus commonly employed for this type of seeding and mulching operation is one known as a Hydroseeder which consist of a tank truck of about a thousand gallons capacity with a circulating pump and water turret for spraying the mixture onto the slope. Because of the fact that wood fibers tend to clump together even when wet, the nozzle of the turret becomes clogged when more than about 330 pounds of fibers are dispersed in the 1000 gallons of water and thus to apply the required 2000 pounds of .wood fibers to an acre of ground necessitates the use of about six truck loads of the water mixture. From the site of the project, a trip of several miles is often required to get the Water and mulching ingredients. Thus it will be seen that seeding and mulching in this manner is none too satisfactory and is costly, even though considerably more economical than some other methods.

It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a mulch and erosion protection cover which can be economically applied and which mixes with the dirt granules and bonds together so firmly in an open irregular latice-like structure that only a relatively light or thin covering is required.

According to the present invention the cover comprises randomly arrange-d water-insoluble hydrophilic fibers which have the characteristic of strongly bonding to one another after being initially layed from a water slurry. Fibers useful for this purpose are described in U.S. Patent No. 3,156,605 issued November 10, 1964 and other but similarly useful fibers are described in British Patent No. 945,306, published December 23, 1963. The particular fibers which have been found to be useful are hollow or tubular fibers of regenerated cellulose having a relatively thin wall (preferably an average wall thickness of not more than three microns as described in the above mentioned U.S. patent) and a width or breadth at least ten times the wall thickness. Such fibers have a water retention, that is the ability to retain water, at least about double that of a solid fiber of like mass and "ice composiion and this in itself is a big advantage in a mulch. Moreover, these thin walled hollow fibers, when wet and limp olfer relatively large surface areas and as the water evaporates strong hydrogen bands are established between overlapping or crossing fibers whereby a high-strength web is produced.

The thin-walled hydrophi-lic regenerated cellulose fibers are readily dispersable in water and because of the better bonding a much less weight of fiber is required to give erosion protection than is the case with wood fibers. However, at least at the present time, these fibers are relatively expensive and it is probably not economically feasible to use such fibers alone. It has been found that a mixture of wood fibers with about 5% thin-walled hollow fibers will provide a cover equal for erosion protection purposes to that of twice the weight of wood fibers alone. Thus a mixture of 1000 pounds of wood fibers and 50 pounds of thin-walled hollow fibers of the type described in the above U.S. patent will provide a cover for one acre of ground equivalent to that of 2000 pounds of wood fibers alone. This fiber mixture is deposited on the ground in the same manner as the wood fibers alone, that is to say a slurry of fibers, grass seed and fertilizer is pumped or sprayed from a tank truck. Since the weigh-t of the fiber mixture is only about half the weight of the necessary amount of wood fibers alone, only about half as many trips need be made for water and the labor cost is therefore considerably reduced. The thin-walled hollow filaments not only bond to themselves as they dry but also bond to the wood fibers, so that the entire fiber cover is effectively held together.

Preferably, all the fibers are white rather than green or other dark color inasmuch as the white fibers reflect the heat of the sun and prevent the seeded :area from becoming too hot. Of course in those parts of the country where it is normally cool, or in naturally shaded localities it may be desirable to use colored fibers and the thin-walled regenerated cellulose fibers may readily be produced in any color that may be desired. Preferably also the fibers should be as long as the spray nozzle is able to accommodate without clogging; thus far, fibers ranging from one-quarter to one-half inch long have been found to be effective, although fibers of greater length are also feasible.

The cover laid down as described hereinabove conforms to irregularities in the ground and clings closely to the ground so that no staking is required to hold it in place. It does not have to be removed inasmuch as the grass readily penetrates the open character of the cover. The fibers separate in time due to the ravages of the weather and gradually penetrate and become a part of the turf.

Applicant is aware of the fact that ordinary rayon and other cellulose fibers have been proposed for this use but they have never been effective for preventing erosion on slopes because they do not adhere together with sufiicient strength to form an integral web. The thin-walled hollow fibers as described in the above referred to patents have the unique property of bonding very strongly when laid together from a water suspension and subsequently dried and even more importantly the bond retains considerable strength when the fibers are subsequently rewetted.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:

1. A method of impeding soil erosion and promoting plant gro'wthcomprising depositing on the soil a cover compnising randomly arranged thin-walled water-insoluble hydrophilic fibers having an average wall thickness not 3 4 exceeding about three microns and a water retention of References Cited by the Examiner at least about double that of a solid fiber of like niass UNITED TA PATENTS and 1,871,050 8/1932 Eveland 47 9 2. The method set forth 1n cla1m 1, wherem wood 5 1,962,806 6/1934 Clapp cellulose fibers are deposited along with the thin-walled 3 15 05 11 /19 5 Anderer et 1 1 2 157 water-insoluble hydrophlilic fibers, with the water-insoluble T hydrophilic fibers constituting about 5% of the total ABRAHAM STOhE Primary Exammer' weight of the deposited fibers. R. E. BAGWILL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1871050 *Oct 31, 1930Aug 9, 1932Eveland Samuel SMethod of mulching
US1962806 *Mar 3, 1931Jun 12, 1934Albert L ClappAgriculture
US3156605 *Mar 25, 1960Nov 10, 1964Fmc CorpRegenerated cellulose fiber
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831317 *Mar 29, 1973Aug 27, 1974RhodiacetaAgricultural substrates
US4297810 *Mar 3, 1980Nov 3, 1981Hansford William BSprayable hydromulch
US4357780 *Jul 17, 1980Nov 9, 1982Ball Harry JFibrous web for planting seeds, method of using same, apparatus for producing same
US4414776 *Mar 29, 1982Nov 15, 1983Ball Harry JFibrous web for planting seeds, method of using same, apparatus for producing same
US4805343 *Oct 20, 1986Feb 21, 1989Southeastern Illinois College FoundationOsmotic fiber systems
US5163247 *Apr 19, 1991Nov 17, 1992Kimberly-Clark CorporationAgricultural mulch and row cover
US5746546 *Jan 24, 1996May 5, 1998Stabilizer, Inc.Soil stabilization composition and method
US6076299 *Feb 10, 1997Jun 20, 2000Fibert Products CompanyFormed from finely divided paper, finely divided wood, a water absorbing guar gum and a surfactant; pellets have a bulk density of 25-30 pounds/cubic foot; reduce water run-off and soil erosion
US6821332Dec 29, 2000Nov 23, 2004Stabilizer Solutions, Inc.Malleable surface material
US7125449Nov 22, 2004Oct 24, 2006Stabilizer Solutions, Inc.Clay, decomposed granite and wax; suited for non-turf basefall field applilcation such as pitcher's mound and base paths; add cohesiveness between the particles
US7452445Dec 2, 2005Nov 18, 2008Yeun Foong Yu Paper Mfg Co. Ltd.Non-woody fiber mulching mat and production method thereof
US20130180167 *Jul 19, 2012Jul 18, 2013E I Du Pont De Nemours And CompanyBiodegradable Landscape Fabric
USRE35989 *Aug 27, 1996Dec 15, 1998Hubbs, Jr.; James J.Soil conditioning product and process
WO1997027368A1 *Jan 13, 1997Jul 31, 1997Hubbs James J JrSoil stabilization composition and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification47/9, 162/157.6
International ClassificationA01G13/02
Cooperative ClassificationA01G13/0268
European ClassificationA01G13/02S2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 15, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: BALBOA INSURANCE COMPANY C/O THE PAUL REVERE EQUIT
Owner name: JOHN HANCOCK MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY JOHN HA
Owner name: KELLOGG CREDIT CORPORATION A DE CORP.
Free format text: AGREEMENT WHEREBY SAID HELLER AND RAYONIER RELEASES ALL MORTGAGES AND SECURITY INTERESTS HELD BY AVTEX ON APRIL 28, 1978, AND JAN. 11, 1979, RESPECTIVELY AND ASSIGNS ITS ENTIRE INTEREST IN SAID MORT-AGAGE AGREEMENT TO ASSIGNEE;ASSIGNORS:WALTER E. HELLER & COMPANY, INC. A NY CORP.;ITT RAYONIER INCORPORATED, A DE CORP.;AVTEX FIBERS INC., A NY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:003959/0350
Effective date: 19800326
Owner name: NEW ENGLAND MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY 501 BOYL
Owner name: PAUL REVERE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY THE C/O THE PAU
Free format text: AS SECURITY FOR INDEBTEDNESS RECITED ASSIGNOR GRANTS , BARGAINS, MORTGAGES, PLEDGES, SELLS AND CREATES A SECURITY INTEREST WITH A LIEN UNDER SAID PATENTS, SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS RECITED.;ASSIGNOR:AVTEX FIBERS INC. A NY CORP.;REEL/FRAME:003959/0219
Effective date: 19810301
Owner name: PROVIDENT ALLIANCE LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY C/O THE
Owner name: WALTER E. HELLER & COMPANY, INC., A CORP. OF DEL.
Free format text: AGREEMENT WHEREBY AETNA RELEASES AVTEX FROM ALL MORTAGES AND SECURITY INTERESTS IN SAID INVENTIONS AS OF JANUARY 11,1979, AND ASSIGNS TO ASSIGNEE THE ENTIRE INTEREST IN SAID MORTAGE AGREEMENT TO ASSIGNEE;ASSIGNORS:AETNA BUSINESS CREDIT, INC., A CORP. OF N.Y.;AVTEX FIBERS, INC, A CORP. OF NY;KELLOGG CREDIT CORP., A CORP. OF DEL.;REEL/FRAME:003959/0250
Owner name: WESTERN AND SOUTHERN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY THE C/