US 3317365 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 2, 1967 E. c. REICHERT ETAL 3,317,365
NON'FLAMMABLE SYNTHETIC DECORATIVE TREE BRANCH Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 30, 1964 FIG.-
INVENTORS ERWIN c. REICHERT JOHN C.LEWIS, JR. BY
MORGAN, FINNEGAN, DURHAM a PINE ATTORNEYS NON-FLAMMABLE SYNTHETIC DECORATIVE TREE BRANCH Filed June 50, 1964 2, 1967 E- c. REICHERT ETAL 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2
INVENTOR5 ERWIN C- REICHERT JOHN C. LEWIS, JR.
MORGAN, FINNEGAN, DURHAM 8 PINE ATTORNEYS May 2, 1967 E. c REICHERT ETAL 3,317,365
NON-FLAMMABLE SYNTHETIC DECORATIVE TREE BRANCH 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed June 30, 1964 Tm us O H I T.
N WW E V m. C N w MORGAN, FINNEGAN, DURHAM 8| PINE ATTORNEYS United States Patent poration of Vermont Filed June 30, 1964, Ser. No. 379,087 2 Claims. (Cl. 161-42) This invention relates to a novel twisted-inwire brush construction comprising a mixture of at least two synthetic fibres. The brush construction of this invention is of non-flammable nature and is particularly useful as a decorative or novelty item.
Prior to this invention, there have been employed natural and/ or synthetic fibre mixtures in the manufacture of brushes, brooms and the like. In such constructions, the physical properties of the fibre mixture which generally are of importance are with respect to stiffness, tensile strength, wear qualities, abrasive qualities and fatigue resistance. Normally the fire rating or non-flammable quality is not a criterion in evaluating the suitability of a particular fibre mixture in the manufacture of articles of the above-mentioned type.
The invention is concerned with the utilization of a fibre mixture in which the fire rating or non-flammable quality of the mixture is of paramount importance since the chief use of the brush construction of this invention is for decorative purposes, particularly for synthetic Christmas tree branches where non-flammability is an essential characteristic.
In producing a brush construction of the type mentioned above, other factors must be considered in addition to the non-flamrnable quality of the fibre mixture. For example, it is well known that halogen-bearing fibres have. non-flammable characteristics. Examples of these fibres are polyvinyl chloride, polyvinyl chloride-polyacetate copolymers and vinylidene chloride-vinyl chloride copolymers. However, economics and the bulk density factor of round halogen-bearing fibres make it such that their usage becomes limited in manufactured items when the fibre is only used for decorative purposes and not for mechanical functions as in the case of the heretofore mentioned synthetic Christmas tree branches. branches, the fibres are only held by wire in space to simulate a tree branch. The only pre-requisite other than economic feasibility is that the fibres do not burn or spontaneously ignite themselves.
Objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part hereinafter and in part will be obvious from, or may be learned by practice with the invention, the same being realized and attained by means of the steps, methods, composition, combination and improvement pointed out in the appended claims. a
This invention consists in the novel steps, methods,
In such compositions, combinations and improvements hereinshown and described.
It is an object of this invention to provide a novel brush construction which has non-flammable qualities and is sufliciently inexpensive to be usefulas a decorative or novelty item.
Another object of this invention is to provide a novel twisted-in-wire brush construction which exhibits nonflammable qualities and is particularly useful as a synthetic Christmas tree branch.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a parallel group of cut mixed fibres used in the production of the brush construction of this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a view in perspective of the brush construction of this invention.
FIGURE 3 is afragmentary perspective view of a section of the brush construction of FIGURE 2 before heat or flame is applied.
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of FIGURE 3 after heat and flame is applied.
In general practice, fibre mixtures have been limited in use because of costs involved in mixing. However, it becomes necessary to use fibre mixtures when trying to adjust a physical and/or chemical property for a given fibre (or fibres), and stay within specified and defined limits. In the case of non-flammable fibre such as vinyl chloride polymer and copolymer compositions, (containing at least 50% by weight chlorine in the molecule), it has been found that the chlorine in the chemical makeup of the molecule is what imparts the non-flammable characteristics. For convenience sake, the term vinyl chloride polymer as used hereinafter means both the homopolymers and copolymers (e.g. vinyl chloridevinylidene copolymer copolymers known as Saran polymers). The polymer must contain at least about 50% chlorine linkage in order to make it flame retardant. But as the chlorine percent goes up, so does the specific gravity of the polymer, thus forcing the ratio of cubic inches of fibre per pound to decrease.
0.018 diameter vinyl chloride fibre has a bulk density of 24-27 cubic inches per pound. The bulk density of a mixture of vinyl chloride fibres may be increased, while still maintaining the non-flammability characteristics thereof, by combining therewith, other fibre whose specific gravity is less than that of 1.4, such, for example, as effected by adding polystyrene and/or other types of fibres to the vinyl chloride mixture. Thus if 25% by volume vinyl chloride fibre is mixed with by volume styrene fibre, the bulk density is increased from 24-27 units for pure vinyl chloride to 30 31 units for the mixture of vinyl chloride and styrene and yet no significant sacrifice has to be made with respect to the non-flammability characteristics of the mixture. When the fibre mixture is twisted-in-wire to form a brush construction for use in decorative items it will not burn.
It can be shown that as the volume percent of styrene increases over 75% of the mixture, that the non-flammability characteristic decreases until the twisted-in-wire brush construction supports combustion. As will be readily apparent from the results reported in Table 3 given hereinafter, in order to achieve the desired nonflammable qualities for the fibre mixture, the vinyl chloride fibre should be in an amount at least 10% by volume o the fibre mixture.
Referring more specifically to the drawings:
In FIGURE 1 is shown the mixed fibre bundle 1 containing two. different synthetic fibres, vinyl chloride (at least 50% by weight chlorine) fibre 2 and polystyrene fibre 3. It will be appreciated that if these fibres 2 and 3 are not evenly distributed in the bundle, that subsequent processing in wire sections would give concentrated areas of one type of fibre and not the other. This would destroy the non-flammability characteristics since any concentrated area of styrene would be enough to burn and render the vinyl fibre portion ineffective in eliminating the flammable characteristics.
As shown in FIGURE 2, the fibres 2 and 3 are twistedin-wire 4 to form a section of branch for decorative uses. If the fibremixture making up the section is properly mixed, then the twisted section also has an even distribution of the two fibres.
Reference is now made to FIGURES 3 and 4 in order to illustrate how the vinyl chloride in the vinyl chloridestyrene mixture controls the flammability of the mixture. The explanation of burning is as follows: Vinyl PVC fibre will not burn. The fibres only char and emit chloride fumes. This emission of fumes (non-combustible mixture of gases) from the decomposing vinyl causes the exclusion of oxygen in the air around the area of the fibre. This same principle of oxygen elimination can be applied when a mixture of fibres (i.e. vinyl and styrene) are burned.
Special sections were twisted using vinyl PVC-coated wire:
The vinyl cannot burn due to the chemical nature and as Percent it decomposes, the gases deprive the styrene of oxygen. Styrene 100 Thus the whole mass of fibre only melts and decomposes Propylene 100 into charred carbon. Ethylene 100 From FIGURE 3 it can be seen that as heat and fire begm to melt and char fibres 2 and 3 these fibres Shun: The following test procedures were employed in evaluatand to collapsehtoggrd fi g WHgiSEE l0 ing the flammability of the above-mentioned brush con- AS thls takes l t e i an now structions, the results of said tests being reported in Tables are no longer in the open air. Thus, as the vmyl fibre 2 appearing hereinafter decomposed, it eliminatedbthe oxygen from the area, and (A) An individual branch Section was Suspended the Styrene fibre 3 t t d t h tically from a pipe and wire over a metal dish. The bot- In oyder to descn e t e Y f m grea er 6 a1 t e tom of the section was held approximately 4-inches from follovlmg fi P are g g h t the metal dish. (The extra metal wire from the twisting l tree. ram cons ructlon were operation was cut ofi allowing fibre to be 4-inches from fabricated to the following specifications: the dish The hSCFtlOnSfCOIlSlSlIeC oft aln ogerallh24 inclh wire Wltfi (B) A 10 gram fire (10 grams of cut newspaper) was a 2; gi f i i i gi placed under the section. As the paper burned, the head mm o Inc 11 F g; i and flames were allowed to rise vertically through the secconstru? was a c 0 1 e S 8 tion. (The 10 gram fire had an average burning time of approximately 1 02. Where the fibre mixture is other 40 Seconds) i i i' g g i fi ggi (C) The paper was ignited and allowed to burn. If a g we 2 i: z after the paper fire had burned out a fire started in the secf t ms 3 m i t: 3 tion, then it determined that the section supported comt 0 oglmg ypes? t d uf c bustion and was labeled supports combustion. On the fi i 2 i i i u e m e an a other hand, if after the paper fire had burned out no fire unng 0 W18 6 In-W1 e 5 had started, but only melting and charring of the fibres P r took place, then the section was labeled non-flammable. Vinyl PVC (over 50% by weight chlorine) 100 (D) Also, a complete physical examination was carried Styrene 100 out on each section to determine the amount of burning, Propylene 100 melting, charring, etc. Ethylene 100 (E) A second method of burning was carried out. A Vinyl PVC and styrene 50/50 torch was placed under each section and held for two Vinyl PVC and styrene 33/66 minutes. Vinyl PVC and styrene 25/75 The same classifications were given the sections after Vinyl PVC and styrene 20/80 each two minute test. Vinyl PVC and styrene '10/90 0 The following Table I gives the results of branch sec- Vinyl PVC and propylene 50/50 4 tions burned using a controlled fire of 10 grams (40 sec- Vinyl PVC and ethylene /50 ond fire).
TABLE I Weight, Number Composition 1 oz. Inches Remarks Rating Burned/Char Vinyl PVC 1 8-10 Chars Non-flammable. 100% Styrene. 12 Supports Fire. 100% Propylen Pg 12 Do. 100% Ethylene 12 Do. 50/50% PVC /Styrene 8-10 Non-flammable. 33/66% PVC/Styrene... 8-10 Do. 27/75% PVC/Styrene 8-10 Do. PVC/Styrene- 10-11 Do.
10-11 Supports Fire. 3 8-10 Non-flammable. 50/50% PVC/Ethylene". 8-10 D0.
1 All fibre mixtures based on percent by volume (no coated wire).
2 Does not burn-gives ofi chloride fumes; chars.
8 Starts to burn but gases given mi from PVC stop the burning; melts. 4 Starts to burn-sometimes burns, but usually burns out.
5 Starts to burn-continues to burn; not as rapidly as 100% styrene.
The following Table II gives results of fibres burned using vinyl-coat wire. The controlled fire was 10 grams (40 second fire).
TABLE II Weight, Number Composition fl oz. Inches Remarks Rating Burned/Char 100% Styrene 12 Burns 7 Supports Fire. 100% Propylene... 12 do Do. 100% Ethylene 12 ..do 7 Do.
6 Used 100% fibre material and Vinyl Coated Wire. 7 Sections started to burn immediately and continued until all fibres gone.
The following Table III gives the results of branch sections burned using a 2 minute fire obtained from a gas torch.
and polyethylene, said halogen-bearing fibre being present in an amount of to 50% by volume of the synthetic fibre mixture.
TABLE III Weight, Number Composition 8 oz. Inches Remarks Rating Burned/ Char 100% Vinyl PVC 1 8-10 Chars 9 Non-flammable. 100% Styrene. Supports Fire. 100% Propylene D0.
100% Ethylene" Do.
50/50% PVC/Styrene Non-flammable. 50/50% PVC/Propylene... Do.
50/50% PVC/Ethylene- Do.
33/66% PVC/Styrene Do.
25/75% PVC/Styrene" Do.
/80% PVC/Styrene" Do.
10/90% PVC/Styrene Supports Fire.
8 All fibre mixtures based on percent by volume (no coated wire).
9 Does not burn-gives ofi chloride fumes; chars.
Starts to burn but gases from PVC stop the burning.
11 Starts to burn-sometimes burns; usually goes out.
12 Starts to burn-continues to bur nnot as rapidly as 100% Styrene.
0n the basis of the test results reported in the foregoing Tables I to III, it can be said that only a few combinations of mixed synthetic fibre can be successfully used in obtaining non-flammable characteristics. Any combination under at least about 10% by volume vinyl fibre is not safe for use in non-flammable decorative items of manufacture.
The fibre combinations of this invention may be used to prepare improved non-flammable decorative products such as: Christmas tree branches, wreaths, flower displays, etc.
Colorants, extenders, plasticizers, catalysts and modifiers may be added to these materials as practice dictates.
The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific steps, compositions, combinations and improvements described but departures may 'be made therefrom within the scope of the accompanying claims without departing from the principles of the invention and without sacrificing its chief advantages.
1. A non-flammable synthetic decorative tree branch of assembled twisted-in-wire construction Whose fibres simulate tree needles and consist of a mixture of two synthetic fibres one of which is a non-flammable polyvinyl chloride fibre, and the other of which is a flammable fibre selected from the group consisting of polystyrene, polypropylene 2. A non-flammable synthetic decorative tree branch of assembled twisted-in-wire construction. whose fibres simulate tree needles and consist of a mixture of two synthetic fibres, one of which is a non-flammable polyvinylchloride fibre, and the second of which is polystyrene fibre, said polyvinylchloride fibre being present in an amount of 30% by volume of the synthetic fibre mixture.
References Cited by the Examiner EARL M. BERGERT, Primary Examiner. H. ANSHER, Assistant Examiner.