US 3508750 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1970 R. B. HENDERSON 3,508,750
GAME BALL Filed Sept. 11, 1964 INVENTOR 06667 6. HEA/Of/PJOA/ ATTOP/VX 3,508,750 GAME BALL Robert Bruce Henderson, Newport Beach, Calif., assignor to W. J. Voit Rubber Corp., a corporation of California Filed Sept. 11, 1964, Ser. No. 395,678 Int. Cl. A63b 41/00 US. Cl. 273-65 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to air inflated balls which generally have either real or simulated seams present on their covers.
The balls of the above type are either basketballs, volleyballs, or footballs. Originally, balls of this type had their covers made of leather panels, and, since only small panels can be imparted sufiiciently curved surfaces, a plurality of panelst was required to produce a spherical envelope, or a cover, with the panels being joined to each other by means of either machine or hand-sewn seams. Seams of this type produced inwardly projecting grooves along the seam. The simulated seams are produced by first molding a reinforced casing with the outwardly projecting ridges or seams, and then cementing a plurality of panels over the sectors defined by the outwardly projecting ridges of the molded seams. Panels of the above type in the high quality balls are made of leather, and in the less expensive balls they are made of elastomers, such as rubber or synthetic resins. According to the prior art, the edges of the panels in the balls with the cemented panels are skived so that the ridges separating adjacent panels project slightly above the panels, but do not project above the spherical surface of the ball.
This invention discloses balls in which the skiving of the panel edges is eliminated and the intermediate layer of the ball is provided with appropriate seats for accommodating the edges and for connecting the edges to projecting simulated seams which constitute a part of the intermediate layer.
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide balls in which the outer cover includes a plurality of panels cemented to the intermediate layer in a wall structure, this intermediate layer in the wall structure including simulated seams and appropriate seats for accommodating the edges of the panels which have a substantially rectangular cross section.
It is also an object of this invention to provide air inflated balls of the type which have projecting seams subdividing the outer surface of the ball into a plurality of sectors and a corresponding plurality of panels cemented to the sectored wall surface of the ball, the edges of the panels having a substantially rectangular cross section, these edges being cemented to the projecting seams which are provided with appropriate seats for accommodating the panel edges.
The invention may be further understood with reference to the accompanying drawings and description thereof in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the carcass of the ball illustrating a plurality of seams projecting from the intermediate layer of the carcass;
United States Patent .on both sides of the seams 3,508,750 Patented Apr. 28, 1970 'ice FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the ball with a plurality of panels cemented to the sectored surface of the intermediate layer of the ball;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the finished ball;
FIGS. 4 and 5 are enlarged cross-sectional views of the wall structure used in making the ball, this section including the transverse section of the seam, of the panels cemented to the intermediate layer of the wall and to the seam projecting from and constituting a part of the intermediate layer.
Referring to the drawings and, more particularly, to FIGURES 4 and 5 which illustrate the cross-sectional views of the wall structures, this wall structure includes a bladder 10, an intermediate layer 12 having an imbedded reinforcing winding 14 and an outwardly projecting seam 15, and the cover panels 25 and 26. The seam 15 is provided with a concave surface 16 which has a V-shaped cross-section and side edges 17 and 18, which also include inclined portions 19 and 20. In FIG. 5 the seam is also provided with projecting flanges 22 and 24 which overlap the adjacent panels 25 and 26. Panels 25 and 26 have edges 27 and 28 which have a substantially rectangular cross-section, and, in order to accommodate the panels of this type on the intermediate layer 12, layer 12 is provided with inwardly depressed portions extending over the transverse dimensions 30' and 31 illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. In this manner, the intermediate layer 12 is provided with appropriate seams for accommodating the rectangularly shaped edges of the panels 25 and 26 by providing appropriate surfaces such as surfaces 18 and 19 and the depressed portions 30 and 31 for properly cementing panels 25 and 26 to the sectored surface of the intermediate layer 12.
Elimination of the skived edges used by the prior art provides several advantages: it reduces markedly the cost of the panels, and provides a larger available surface for cementing the edges to the intermediate layer in a more positive manner, since more surface is available for such cementing when the edges are square edges rather than skived. FIG. 5 additionally provides flanges 22 and 24, which overlap the panel edges and are also cemented to the outer surface of the panels 25 and 26, thus still further strengthening the bond between the panel edges and the seams.
FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 illustrate some of the steps used in making the ball. After bladder 10 is cured, it is inflated and a reinforcing winding 14 is wound over the the bladder. An elastomeric layer is then applied over the winding, and it is then cured if the material is thermosetting, or fluxed and fused if it is thermoplastic. During such curing or fusing in an appropriate mold, the intermediate layer is provided with a plurality of seams 15, 40, 41, and 42, which subdivide the outer surface of the ball carcass into a plurality of sectors 43-50, which are then covered with outer cover panels 51-58. These panels are cemented to the cover in the manner described previously. The panels have square edges 27 and 28, i.e., they are not skived, as in the prior art. Skiving is eliminated for two reasons. When panels are leather panels, skiving requires additional labor, which increases the cost. The skived edges also have a tendency to become loose at the edges, because the sharp skived edges do not provide any side surface for cementing it to the side edge of the adjacent seam. By eliminating the skiving, a side edge is provided which can be cemented to the seam in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 at 19 and 20, thus increasing the strength of the bond between the edges of the panels and the intermeddiate layer 12.
As described earlier with FIGS. 4 and 5, the intermediate layer 12 must be provided with the inwardly depressed portions 30 and 31 running along the length and 15, 40, 41, and 42. These depressions are required because the players wish to have depressions 60 and 61 adjacent to the seams which are used by the player of a more positive grasp of the ball by his fingertips. As described earlier, these depressions are created by introducing depressions 30 and 31 in the intermediate layer 12. g
It should be noted here that a circle 65 corresponds to the outer periphery of the ball. This circle indicates that the seams 15, 40, 41, and 42 preferably come up to this circle. The seams may also project slightly beyond circle 65, but such projections should be limited to from 0" to 0.063 in order to avoid irregular bouncing of the ball and premature wearing out of the seam ridges.
FIG. 3 illustrates the finished ball made in accordance with the described method.
What I claim is:
1. An inflated ball, comprising an inner inflated rubber bladder, a cured elastomeric material layer completely covering said bladder, said cured layer having a plurality of reinforcing windings embedded therein, a plurality of cured raised seams integrally formed on said cured layer and dividing said ball into sectors, the portions of said cured layer immediately adjacent to said seams being inwardly depressed to form reduced thickness portions and an outer cover panel superposed on each of said sectors,
each cover panel being distinct from its corresponding sector and being cemented thereto, each cover panel having a uniform thickness and having side edges Which are rectangular in cross-section, the marginal portions of said panels being curved inwardly along said depressed reduced thickness portions and being cemented thereto, and said raised seams having opposite side walls, said panel side edges being butted against and cemented to said side walls, the outer curvature of said panels and seams being such that said panels, except for said marginal portions which are curved inwardly adjacent said seams, define a circle and the seams come up to said circle, and the opposite side Walls of said seams having laterally projecting side flanges integrally formed thereon on the intermediate portions thereof, said side flanges overlapping the upper adjacent portions of said panel side edges.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,843,383 7/1958 Wheeler.
FOREIGN PATENTS 575,182 5/1959 Canada.
GEORGE I, MARLO, Primary Examiner