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Publication numberUS3352739 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1967
Filing dateNov 9, 1962
Priority dateNov 9, 1962
Publication numberUS 3352739 A, US 3352739A, US-A-3352739, US3352739 A, US3352739A
InventorsBlue Sidney Daniel
Original AssigneeReeves Bros Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foam and fiber combination product and method of making same
US 3352739 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

S. D. BLUE Nov. 14, 1967 Filed Nov. 9, 1962 FIG. 1

A 4 a v.


ey D. Blue ATTORNEY Sidn United States Patent 3,352,739 FOAM AND FHBER COMBINATION PRODUCT AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME Sidney Daniel Blue, Larchmont, N.Y., assignor to Reeves Brothers, Inc, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 9, 1962, Ser. No. 236,657 2 'Claims. (Cl. 161-81) This invention relates to a product of textile fibers bonded to a backing member and, more particularly, relates to a structure of textile fibers fixed in a sheet of flexible macrocellular foamed plastic and the method of making such a structure.

There are numerous instances in the textile field where it is desirable to fix fiber or combinations of fiber, in the form of thread or yarn, into a backing sheet of some sort. This combination may taken the form of a needle tufted carpet in which the tufts are loops of the yarn stitched into the backing material with the pile formed on one face of the backing material. On the opposite side of such material, the yarn is fixed. Conventionally, this has been done by latex or similar types of adhesives which were applied in the liquid form.

Another form which the combined fiber and backing materials may take is in the case of a deep pile fabric where considerable cut fibers are aggregated with one end of these fibers being retained in some backing material. In such cases, these may be used as imitation furs or insulating members for lining the interior of garments.

Another product which is formed out of combined fiber and backing materials is the case where a non-woven web or bat is made by conventional means in which fibers may be running randomly therethrough and this web or bat is adhered to a backing material so as to give it strength and substance. Such combinations may be used as interlining for garments.

It is characteristic of all of the above-cited examples of fiber and backing material combinations that the anchoring of the fiber to the backing material must be permanent and strong so as to minimize pilling or shedding of the fiber from the structure. Additionally, as many of these combinations are used in apparel for insulating purposes, it is most advantageous to have the combination constructed in such a way as to maximize their insulating characteristics.

Moreover, as such fiber and backing combinations are used in applications where resiliency of the combined materials is useful, any construction forms which increase the resiliency are desirable.

Finally, for the garment application of such fiber and backing sheets it is important that the resulting combination have a minimum weight so as to lessen the load which the person wearing the garment must carry around.

In view of the desirable characteristics of a foam and backing material recited above, this invention provides a new product in which there is combined a sheet of flexible macrocellular foamed plastic having fibers combined therewith in which fibers pass through the foamed plastic and have their ends protruding from one side of the plastic with such ends being fixed to the protruding side of the plastic.

The invention also provides for the foam and fiber combination recited above to be combined With a thin sheet of material bonded to the fiber protruding side of the plastic so as to present a lightweight but dimensionally stabilized product.

A further feature of the invention is that the foam-fiber combination be made out of a heat fusible foam whereby the fiber is fixed in the foam by a superficially fused layer of foam on the fiber protruding side of the sheet of foam and, alternately, this fused layer could be used to bond a thin sheet of material to the fused layer so as to provide a dimensionally stabilized combination of foam and fiber.

In addition, the invention contemplates using thermoplastic fibers where the melting temperature of the thermoplastic fiber is no higher than that of the heat fusible plastic foam so that the ends of the fiber become melted and fused in the fused layer of the foam.

It is, of course, a part of the invention to provide the process for making the products recited above in which fibers are caused to pass through a sheet of heat fusible fiexible macrocellular foamed plastic and the protruding ends of the fibers are then exposed to an intense heat so as to quickly and only superficially heat the foam above the melting temperature to form a fused layer which, upon cooling, fixes the ends of the fiber in the foam.

As a further feature, the process contemplates laminating a thin sheet of material to the soft and tacky foam which is to form the fused layer and which causes a bonding of the material to the fused layer upon cooling.

The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with patricularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification, but for a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects obtained by its use, reference should be had to the detailed explanations of the preferred embodiments of the invention along with the illustrations in the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a greatly simplified and enlarged cross section of a foam-fiber combination embodying the present invention with reference to a tufted type of construction; and

FIGURE 2 is a cross section of an alternate embodiment of the invention in which a non-woven web of fibers is combined with foam.

With reference to FIGURE 1, there is shown tufts or loops 10 of spun yarn which are stitched into a sheet 12 of flexible macrocellular foamed plastic in which the bottom of the loops 14 are secured to the foam by a body of material 16. The body of material 16 may be either an adhesive or preferably, as explained hereinafter, fused foam. Additionally, there may be added, where dimensional stability or strength of the foam-fiber combination is required, a fabric material 18. Thus, there is provided a foam-fiber combination in which the fiber is fixed into a backing material which is resilient and may be provided thick enough to give the combination a total resiliency such as; for instance, in a rug or carpet so as to entirely eliminate any padding or underlay therefor.

FIGURE 2 illustrates a second embodiment of the invention in which there is a bat or web 20 consisting of a multiude of randomly oriented fibers some of which fibers 22 are passed through a sheet 24 of flexible macrocellular foamed plastic such that the ends 26 of the fibers 22 protrude from one side of the plastic sheet 24. These ends 26 are fixed in a material 28 which bonds them to the body of foam 24.

As hereinafter described, this material 28 may consist of used foam which, in turn, may be also used to bond the fabric 30 to the body of foam 24 so as to add dimensionable stability and strength to the foam-fiber combination.

The drawings shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 have been enlarged for illustration purposes so that no reliance should be placed on the relative dimensions shown therein or on the relative proportion of the components.

As one skilled in the art can appreciate, the products described above may made by a number of different methods; however, it is preferred that the process for making such products be as described hereinafter.

6 First, fibers, with reference to FIGURE 1, in the form of spun yarn 10 are inserted through the sheet of flexible macrocellular foam plastic 12 so as to provide protruding ends 14. These ends are then bonded to the foam plastic sheet 12 by a bonding agent 16.

More particularly, the process is best carried out using a heat fusible type of flexible macrocellular foam plastic wherein the bonding material 16 is formed by subjecting the foam plastic sheet to a direct intense heat so as to quickly and only superficially heat the foam above its melting temperature and thus form a fused layer which, upon cooling, holds the ends 14 in place in the foam 12. As as additional step in the process to form this new product, the adhesive characteristics of the melted foam prior to its fusing and after treatment with the intense heat can have adhered thereto a material 18 which will bond upon cooling of the fused layer of foam.

The backing material 18 or 30 can be either a fabric of the known knitted or woven types or may even be a sheet of plastic material, such as polyvinyl.

The method of producing the article illustrated in FIGURE 1 is carried out by having the foam sheet 24 fed into a conventional needle tufting machine in the usual manner in which a conventional backing material is used. Tufts or loops of the yarn are stitched into the foam sheeting with the pile formed on the face of the foam sheet. The tufting yarn could be spun from any of the usual textile fibers or combinations thereof. The back face of the foam sheeting would be that face which is reversed from the pile face. Embedded in this back face would be the tightly drawn back loops 14 of the tufting yarn. Since the foam is a resilient material, the back loops will be drawn into the foam so that the short substantially horizontal surface of the loop will be approximately level with the surrounding surface of the foam sheeting.

Melting the back face of the foam sheeting would lock the tufted yarn into the foam structures so that the pile base could not be readily pulled from the face of the foam.

Where it is desirable to have a tufted construction which has added strength for dimensional stability, it is preferred that a second sheet of material 18 be laminated to the back of the foam while it is still in its soft tacky state as a result of having been melted. The adhesive natureof the soft and tacky foam would, in addition to holding the laminated backing material 18, serve as additional anchorage for the loop ends 14 of the tufts 10.

With reference to FIGURE 2, the web or bats 20 may be made in any of the known types of machinery, such as a scribbling machine or random webber or a conventional carding or garuetting machine which forms cut staple fibers into a thin web of material. These machines may be controlled to modify the weight and width of the bat and the bat can then be put up into a rolled form ready for the next step in the process.

The bat 20 is then mounted on a machine so that it is taken off and applied to the surface of the foam 24, both of which are then fed into a conventional needle punching machine so that the web 20 is resting on the top surface of the sheet of macrocellular flexible thermoplastic foam. The foam may be of any suitable thickness, cell count or density and of a width roughly approximately that of the fiber web. The fiber web 20 and foam 24 pass under a needle board which is studded with barbed needles protruding downwardly. The needle board oscillates in an up an down movement and with each down stroke the needles penetrate the fiber web 20' and progress on through the foam. The needle barbs carry fibers 22 of the web into and slightly through the sheet of foam 24. After each stroke, the fiber web and foam are caused to advance a predetermined distance through the machine. The rate of advance and the density of the needle spacing control the number of total needle penetrations per inch. There does not appear to be any critical number or density of penetrations necessary to properly carry out the invention.

The web forming and needle punching are conventional operations; however, the combination of the needle punching into a backing material of foam, does constitute a new art. After the fiber 22 has penetrated the foam 24, the protruding ends are then fixed into position and this may be done by any known adhesives, but preferably the method for anchoring the fibers in the foam is carried out by directing intense heat against the protruding ends of the fibers and the face of the heat fusible macrocellular foamed plastic to only superficially heat the foam, so that upon fusion of such melted plastic, the

fiber ends will be held in place. When the flame is applied to the back face of the plastic, the surface melts and will cause the protruding fiber ends or loops, in the case of a tufting application, to be singed down or, if they happen to be of thermoplastic composition, to be melted as balls 26 in FIGURE 2.

The preferred macrocellular flexible plastic foam is heat fusible polyurethane of any thickness or density deemed desirable for the intended use of the product. Heat fusible polyurethane encompasses all of the known polyester types as well as some polyether types. Generally, it should be understood that many polyether foams gasify so easily upon the imposition of heat that the residue remaining is in insufficient quantity to cause a fused layer to form on such foam. Thus, one can easily determine heat fusible polyurethane foam by subjecting any particular urethane to the relatively simple test of exposing it to an open flame and after removal from the flame examining to see whether or not there is a soft and tacky surface thereon which, upon further cooling, be-

comes a fused crystalline layer which is hard feeling compared to the remainder of the unaffected polyurethane foam. In the art today, whether or nota foam is heat fusible is determined by its ability to laminate according to the method described in Patent No. 2,957,793. Heat fusible polyurethane has the characteristic that it has a very narrow temperature range in which the material exhibits thermoplastic properties. as are conventionally understood in the plastic art. However, such foam does have the characteristic that if it is suddenly or quickly heated by an intense heat to a point where the surface quickly melts (about 450 F. to 500 F.), the residue, upon removal from the heat, will fuse and be an excellent adhesive for bonding to other materials. Thus, in the present instance, the layer of fused foam holds the ends of the loops 14 in position and, incidentally, provides an adhesive for adhering the fabric 18 to the body of the foam 12.

For the very best results and product as derived by the present invention, the yarn 10 or fibers 22 should'be spun using thermoplastic fibers which have a melting temperature no higher than that of the heat fusible plastic, such as polyolefin. Thus, when thermoplastic fibers of this type are exposed to high heat,the resulting product has the loop ends 14 of the yarn or fiber ends 26 melted and fused together with the foam fused layer 16, thus additionally assisting in the strong anchoring of the yarn 10 or fiber 20 in the foam 12.

In view of the extreme difficulty in properly bonding polyolefins by use of conventional adhesives, the heat vention contemplates the utilization of a sheet of flexible macrocellular foam plastic as the backing material so that the resulting fleece like fiber face is accompanied by a resilient backing member. This combination will provide excellent resilient and thermal insulation properties as well as being very light and drapeable.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide foam-fiber combinations to be used as a low cost carpet which has an abrasion resistant fiber face attached to a resilient foam backing which would obviate the use of separate carpet pads or underlay.

By using the combination of thermoplastic fibers, particularly polyolefin, having a melting temperature below the temperature of the heat fusible foam material, the fibers may be locked into the foam material and the entire composition can be heat and pressure molded into shapes such as those used for special applications, as for instance in the automotive industry.

A further object of the invention is to provide a method of manufacturing new foam and fiber combinations in which the fiber is anchored in the foam by the utilization of a quick heating to cause a fusion of a superficial layer of the foam and the simultaneous lamination of an additional backing material to the back of the tufted foam sheeting.

While in accordance with the provisions of the statutes there has been illustrated and described herein a specific form of the invention now known, those skilled in the art will understand that changes may be made in the form of the product or the method of making it disclosed without departing from the spirit of the invention covered by the claims and that certain features of the invention may sometimes be used to advantage without a corresponding use of other features.

What is claimed is:

1. In combination, a sheet of heat fusible flexible polyurethane macrocellular foamed plastic, a web of polyolefin fiber in contact with one side of said sheet and fibers of which pass through and have ends protruding from the other side of said plastic sheet, said fibers having a melting temperature lower than that of said heat fusible foam, a superficially fused layer of said foamed material on the fiber protruding side of said sheet and said fiber ends in said fused layer being fused into ball shapes to fix said fiber ends in place, and a thin sheet of material bonded to said fiber protruding side of said plastic at least in part by said fused foam layer.

2. A process comprising inserting polyolefin fibers of a non-woven web into and through a sheet of heat fusible polyurethane flexible macrocellular foamed plastic to provide protruding ends from said sheet, bonding said protruding fiber ends to said plastic sheet by directing intense heat against the protruding ends side of said heat fusible foamed sheet to quickly and only superficially heat the foam above its melting temperature to form a fused layer upon cooling and coincidentally melt the ends of said fibers into ball shapes fixedly positioned in said fused layer and laminating a thin sheet of material to said superficially heated side while the heated foam is soft and tacky.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,866,206 12/1958 Gerbert 161-67 X 2,903,708 9/1959 Cole 161-66 X 2,957,793 10/1960 Dickey 156-82 X 3,142,611 7/1964 Mills 161-67 X 3,166,465 1/1965 Rahmes 16166 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,262,737 4/ 1961 France.

716,311 10/ 1954 Great Britain.

873,940 8/1961 Great Britain.

JACOB H. STEINBERG, Primary Examiner.


W. A. POWELL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2866206 *Aug 20, 1956Dec 30, 1958Lees & Sons Co JamesPile fabric with resilient lining
US2903708 *May 2, 1955Sep 15, 1959Du PontPile fabric
US2957793 *Sep 28, 1956Oct 25, 1960Curtiss Wright CorpMethod of laminating polyurethane foam
US3142611 *Dec 12, 1960Jul 28, 1964Jennings Engineering CompanyNon-woven pile fabrics and methods of their manufacture
US3166465 *May 27, 1960Jan 19, 1965Int Latex CorpBakced pile fabric and method of producing the same
FR1262737A * Title not available
GB716311A * Title not available
GB873940A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3533892 *Mar 23, 1967Oct 13, 1970Josef KantorowiczUnwoven textile surface structure and method for its production
US3534852 *May 16, 1968Oct 20, 1970Diamond Shamrock CorpUse of nonwoven linings for luggage,musical cases and the like
US3619336 *Jan 19, 1970Nov 9, 1971Beacon Mfg CoStitched composite nonwoven fabric having foam supporting layer and outer fibrous layers
US3769115 *Nov 14, 1968Oct 30, 1973Kongevej KMethod for the production of a fibrous sheet material
US4001475 *May 9, 1974Jan 4, 1977The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Air ForceAblative surface insulator
US4197343 *Aug 2, 1978Apr 8, 1980Foss Manufacturing Co., Inc.Needle-punched laminate
US4369081 *Aug 31, 1981Jan 18, 1983Albany International Corp.Method of securing a foam layer to a belt
US4464428 *Jul 23, 1982Aug 7, 1984Firma Carl FreudenbergClosed cell foamed material having interior canals filled with substances
US4515844 *Mar 19, 1984May 7, 1985Nylco CorporationDelsolite
US7524778Nov 8, 2004Apr 28, 2009Henkel CorporationComposite sheet material
US9091018 *Oct 30, 2013Jul 28, 2015Swnr Development, LlcMethod of forming a stitched multi-layer fabric
US20050064776 *Nov 8, 2004Mar 24, 2005Sobonya William A.Composite sheet material
US20140053969 *Oct 30, 2013Feb 27, 2014Swnr Development, LlcMethod of forming a stitched multi-layer fabric
USB468330 *May 9, 1974Mar 16, 1976 Title not available
U.S. Classification442/372, 156/72, 156/148, 156/309.6, 28/116, 65/22, 521/137, 428/316.6, 428/317.5
International ClassificationD04H11/08, B32B27/00, B29C65/00
Cooperative ClassificationB32B27/00, B29C66/00, D04H11/08
European ClassificationB29C66/00, D04H11/08, B32B27/00