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Publication numberUS3345202 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 3, 1967
Filing dateJun 10, 1963
Priority dateJun 10, 1963
Publication numberUS 3345202 A, US 3345202A, US-A-3345202, US3345202 A, US3345202A
InventorsHess Richard C, Kiss Marie S, Tajkowski Edward G
Original AssigneeEversharp Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of making razor blades
US 3345202 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 3,345,202 METHOD OF MAKING RAZOR BLADES Marie S. Kiss, Fairfield, Richard C. Hess, Stratford, and

Edward G. Tajkowski, Orange, Conn., assignors to Eversharp, Iuc., Milford, Conn., a corporation of Delaware No Drawing. Filed June 10, 1963, Ser. No. 286,490

7 Claims. (Cl. 117-71) This invention relates to improvements in razor blades whereby the shaving qualities of the blade are greatly enhanced and the useful life of the blade materially increased. The invention provides improved razor blades, embodying the improvements just described, and also provides a method whereby the improved blades may be readily, economically and consistently produced.

The razor blades of this invention are composed generally of a ferrous alloy base metal, i.e., either carbon steel, stainless steel or other chromium containing alloy, and have at least one cutting edge which has been preformed and treated as hereinafter described.

For improving the shaving properties of razor blades, it has heretofore been proposed to apply to the blade, at least in the vicinity of its cutting edge of edges, a thin adhering coating or film of a lubricant or adhesive material for reducing friction between the cutting instrument and the face and beard of the shaver and thereby providing a better, more comfortable shave. For instance, a solid polymer of tetrafluoroethylene, such as commercially known Teflon (a registered trademark), has previously been proposed as a lubricant or abhesive material to be used for this purpose.

In accordance with such proposals, the solid fluorocarbon polymer is applied to the presharpened and prehoned blade, at least to the cutting edge thereof, as a suspension or dispersion in a volatile liquid medium, e.g., water or an organic solvent, as by dipping the edges of the blade into the suspension or by brushing or spraying the suspension onto the blade. The coating thus deposited on the blade is thereafter dried by evaporating the liquid medium and the blade then baked at an elevated temperature to sinter or fuse the solid fluorocarbon particles and form an adherent thin coating. It has been suggested, for instance, that the baking operation be carried on at temperatures ranging from about 200 F. to about 750? F. in an oxidizing or neutral atmosphere.

As described in copending application Ser. No. 226,169, filed Sept. 25, 1962, now US. Patent 3,203,829, it has been found that far superior and much more consistently improved results are obtained where the baking or sintering of the dried fluorocarbon coating is carried out in a reducing atmosphere, such as an atmosphere which is predominantly hydrogen or an atmosphere consisting essentially of hydrogen and nitrogen, advantageously the thermal decomposition products of ammonia. By the procedure therein described and claimed, excellent results have been obtained, whether the base metal is carbon steel or stainless steel, and a superior razor blade has resulted.

However, in the testing and general use of the resultant razor blades, it has been observed that those superior shaving results are frequently not obtained on the first few strokes of a new razor blade. The maximum benefit from the superior nature of the blade is usually not obtained until the first shaving operation has progressed to about one-fourth or one-half completion. Thereafter, maximum benefit-is obtained for repeated shaves. The reason for this break-in period is not fully understood.

It is an object of the present invention to avoid the break-in period, just referred to, and to provide a razor blade which exhibits superior shaving properties and comfort from the first stroke of the first shave and throughout repeated shaves.

In accordance with our present invention, this object is attained by applying to a pre-ground and honed cutting edge of a razor blade, of any of the base metals heretofore described, a thin plating of chromium of a thickness of the order of a fraction of a micron, rehoning the plated cutting edge and applying an adherent coating of the polytetrafluoroethylene to the rehoned, plated edge, after thoroughly cleaning the edge.

The applying of the chromium plating to the blade may be effected by any known procedure adapted to give a smooth uniform coating of chromium. The chromium plating may be applied to the cutting edges only or may be applied over the entire blade. We have obtained especially satisfactory results of applying chromium plating over the entire blade, one side at a time, by the well known vapor deposition method. However, the invention contemplates the use of other known methods for applying the chromium plate, e.g., electroplated hard chromium coating procedures.

As has heretofore been recognized, it is essential that the blade be thoroughly cleaned, before attempting to apply the chromium plating thereon, to remove any oil or other foreign substance therefrom including absorbed films. Cleaning by means of a glow discharge has been found highly satisfactory especially where the chromium is to be applied by the vapor deposition method herein described in detail.

Following the chromium plating, the blade is stropped lightly on leather adequately to restore the blade to its desired sharpness without wearing through the chromium plating to expose the base metal.

After the resharpening operation, the blade is again thoroughly cleaned, as by spraying with trichloroethylene, dried in air, coated with the polytetrafiuoroethylene dispersion, again dried, and baked to form a strongly adherent coating of the polytetrafluoroethylene, advantageously in a reducing atmosphere, as previously described herein.

In the following specific examples, we describe in detail our presently preferred method of producing these superior razor blades. It will be understood, however, that the invention is not restricted to the detailed operation of these examples, but includes various modifications .which, in View of the present disclosure, would occur to one skilled in this art and which are encompassed by the accompanying claims.

As previously noted, the base metal of the razor blade may be carbon steel, for instance 1.25% carbon, or stainless steel of 1.0% carbon and 14% chromium, or various other ferro-chromium alloys. Prior to applying the chromium plating, the blades will be sharpened, as by standard commercial procedure, to conventional cutting edge angles and widths of facets.

The sharpened blades are, with advantage, initially cleaned by spraying with trichloroethylene and the blades then placed in a vacuum chamber wherein the pressure is reduced to about 10 to microns of mercury and wherein the blades are further treated and cleaned by means of glow discharge.

This glow discharge is, with advantage, produced by electric current of 200 ma. under an applied voltage between the blades and an electrode, spaced 12 inches apart, of 1000 to 1500 volts at the IOU-micron pressure and up to 3000 volts at the IO-micron pressure.- This glow discharge is permitted to proceed for several minutes, advantageously about 3 minutes, and is then discontinued. Thereafter, the pressure within the chamber containing the blades is reduced to 10 millimeters of mercury and a pellet of chromium, about 250 milligrams,

is placed in a tungsten boat, positioned about 12 inches below the blades, and electrically heated to the vaporizing temperature of the chromium, for instance by the passing of amperes of electricity at about 40 volts through the tungsten boat. By this procedure, the chromium plating is applied to one side only of the razor blades. The blades are then turned over and the operation repeated.

In this manner, there is formed on both sides of the cutting edge of the razor blade, a strongly adhering, extremely thin plating of chromium of insuffieent thickness to materially change the angles and facets of the presharpened blade. However, a final stropping is usually required. This may, with advantage, be effected by stropping on leather with light pressure, for instance 1020 strokes of 3 inches each per side or until the desired sharpness is obtained.

The rehoned blades should be recleaned thoroughly, as by spraying with trichloroethylene, and dried in air. A dispersion of polytetrafluoroethylene, e.g., Teflon, is then applied to the cutting edges of the blades, advantageously an aqueous dispersion, and the dispersion is then dried and baked as previously described herein.

Advantageously, the baking operation is performed by placing a rack of the coated razor blades in a sealed retort under an atmosphere of cracked ammonia and raising the temperature of the retort and contents to about 720 F. over a period of about 10 minutes. Thereafter, the retort is removed from the heating furnace and permitted to cool in air to below 300 F. before any oxidizing gas is permitted to come in contact with the blades. With advantage, the blades are rapidly cooled from the maximum baking temperature by spraying the retort with water, for instance cooled to a temperature of about 620 F., and thereafter cooled further as just described.

Special precaution should be taken to assure good, uniform adherence of the polytetrafluoroethylene coating to the chromium plate and to obtain a uniform coating of the aqueous polytetrafluoroethylene dispersion on the chromium plate. In these respects, the forming of the polytetrafluoroethylene coating on chromium is more difficult than where the coating is formed directly on carbon steel or stainless steel.

We have found that uniformity of the polytetrafluoroethylene coating and adherence of the coating to the chromium base are markedly promoted by including in the polytetrafluoroethylene dispersion applied to the blade a wetting agent in a proportion in excess of that normally used for stabilizing such dispersions. For this purpose, we have, with particular advantage, used a wetting agent marketed under the trade name Triton X100 consisting essentially of a non-ionic octylphenoxyethanol, sometimes designated polyethylene glycol mono-p-octylphenyl ether.

This wetting agent has been frequently used in aqueous dispersions of polytetrafluoroethylene, e.g., Teflon, in proportions adequate to stabilize the dispersion. However, for purposes of our present invention, it is recommended that the proportion of wetting agent be substantially in excess of that normally present in commercial Teflon dispersions.

In place of Triton X100, one may use, with advantage, other non-ionic wetting agents which are substantially completely vaporized at the baking temperature employed, say at temperatures in excess of about 600 F.

The proportion of wetting agent to be used in accordance with our present invention is subject to considerable variation dependent upon the particular wetting agent used, the method of applying the coating to the razor blade and other operating details. It is, therefore, impractical to prescribe a proportion or range of proportions most advantageous under all operating procedures. The proportion used, as previously noted, should be substantially in excess of that required merely to stabilize the dispersion. Following this criterion, the optimum excess is readily determinable by simple tests.

Excellent results have been obtained using as the coating composition an aqueous dispersion produced by diluting one part of an aqueous dispersion of polytetrafluoroethylene marketed by Imperial Chemical Industries under its proprietary name Fluon GP-l with 9 parts, by weight, of a solution of 0.25% Triton X- wetting agent in distilled water.

By conventional test methods, involving a special shaving panel, the blades produced, as herein described, by applying a thin chromium plate to a stainless steel base and applying a polytetrafluoroethylene coating over the chromium, have been rated superior to the blades produced by applying the same polytetrafluoroethylene coating to a stainless steel edge. Likewise, the blade resulting from applying the chromium plate to acarbon steel base and thereafter coating the cutting edge with polytetrafluoroethylene, as herein described, was found superior to that where the polytetrafluoroethylene coating was applied directly to the carbon steel base.

We claim:

1. A method of producing an improved razor blade which comprises applying to at least one preformed and presharpened cutting edge of a ferrous alloy, a thin plating of chromium, rehoning the plated cutting edge and thereafter applying to the cutting edge a relatively thin, adherent coating of polytetrafluoroethylene.

2. The process of claim 1 in which the coating of polytetrafluoroethylene is applied as an aqueous dispersion and the coating thereafter dried and sintered by heating to a temperature within the range from about 200 F. to about 350 F. in a reducing atmosphere.

3. The process of claim 1 in which the chromium plate is applied by vapor deposition.

4. The process of claim 3 in which the deposition of the chromium is immediately preceded by exposing the razor blade to a glow discharge.

5. The process of claim 4 in which the glow discharge is effected under a pressure of 10 to 100 microns of mercury at a voltage 1000-6000 volts between an electrode and the razor blade, spaced apart about one foot.

6. The process of claim 2 in which the aqueous dispersion contains an excess of a non-ionic wetting agent.

7. The process of claim 6 in which the wetting agent is octylphenoxyethanol. 1

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,383,176 6/1921 Udy et al. 30-350 1,770,157 7/ 1930 Humphries 76104 2,220,166 11/ 1940 Martin 76104 2,364,235 12/1944 Muros 76104 2,703,451 3/1955 Hensel et a1 30346.l 2,890,135 6/1959 Jenkins 117107 2,980,965 4/ 1961 Infantino et al.

3,071,856 1/1963 Fischbein 30346 3,071,858 1/1963 Alter 30346.1 3,203,829 8/1965 Seyer et al.

OTHER REFERENCES Holland, L.: Vacuum Deposition of Thin Films, New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1956, pp. 74-76.

ALFRED L. LEAV ITT, Primary Examiner.

MILTON S. MEHR, Examiner.

I. L. JONES, J. R. BATTEN, JR., Assistant Examiners.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,345,202 October 3, 1967 Marie S. Kiss et a1. It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.

Column 1, line 24, for "of", second occurrence, read Signed and sealed this 14th day of January 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

= or u; column 4, line 36, for "350 F." read 750 F.

EDWARD J. BRENNER Commissioner of Patents Edward M. Fletcher, 11'.

Attesting Officer

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3480483 *May 4, 1966Nov 25, 1969Wilkinson Sword LtdRazor blades and methods of manufacture thereof
US3490314 *Mar 1, 1967Jan 20, 1970Gillette CoCutting instruments
US3498837 *Jan 11, 1967Mar 3, 1970IbmVacuum coating chromium-chromium oxide on recording member
US3512256 *Nov 9, 1966May 19, 1970Southeastern Coatings IncDry lubricant coated safety razor
US3638308 *Feb 1, 1968Feb 1, 1972Gillette CoRazor blades
US3643331 *Jun 24, 1970Feb 22, 1972Futterer BodoMetal plate having stabilized friction properties
US3754329 *Sep 29, 1971Aug 28, 1973Warner Lambert CoRazor blade with rf sputtered coating
US3811189 *Mar 19, 1973May 21, 1974Gillette CoProcess for producing an improved cutting tool
US3835537 *Mar 19, 1973Sep 17, 1974Gillette CoImproved cutting tool
US3916523 *Dec 26, 1973Nov 4, 1975Warner Lambert CoCoated razor blade
US4139942 *Dec 16, 1977Feb 20, 1979The Gillette CompanyProcess for producing corrosion resistant carbon steel razor blades and products made thereby
US4260212 *Mar 20, 1979Apr 7, 1981Amp IncorporatedMethod of producing insulated terminals
US5232568 *Jun 24, 1991Aug 3, 1993The Gillette CompanyRazor technology
US6684513 *Feb 29, 2000Feb 3, 2004The Gillette CompanyRazor blade technology
US6866894Jul 10, 2002Mar 15, 2005The Gillette CompanyRazor blade technology
US20030121158 *Feb 10, 2003Jul 3, 2003The Gillette Company, A Delaware CorporationRazor blade technology
US20040172832 *Mar 4, 2003Sep 9, 2004Colin ClipstoneRazor blade
US20060265885 *Mar 14, 2006Nov 30, 2006The Gillette Company, A Delaware CorporationRazor blade
EP2931814A4 *Dec 12, 2013May 25, 2016Technion Res & Dev FoundationHydrophobic and oleophobic surfaces and uses thereof
U.S. Classification427/289, 427/250, 118/722, 76/104.1, 30/346.53, 427/292, 427/405
International ClassificationB05D3/14, C09D127/18, B26B21/00, C23C14/58, C23C14/02, B26B21/58, B05D5/08, C23C10/00, C23C10/60, B26B21/60, C23C14/16
Cooperative ClassificationC23C14/16, C23C14/02, B05D5/086, C09D127/18, B26B21/58, B05D2258/02, C23C10/60, B26B21/60, B05D2350/65, C23C14/58, C23C14/5806, B05D3/142
European ClassificationB26B21/60, C23C14/16, C23C14/58, B05D5/08C3, C09D127/18, B05D3/14C3, B26B21/58, C23C14/02, C23C14/58B, C23C10/60