US 3534852 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 20, 1970 A. l. POSNER 3,534,852
USE OF NONWOVER LININGS FOR LUGGAGE, MUSICAL CASES AND THE LIKE Filed May 16, 1968 v I NEEDLE PUNCHING APPARATUS INVENTOR ABRAHAM I. POSNE R United States Patent 3,534,852 USE OF NONWOVEN LININGS FOR LUGGAGE, MUSICAL CASES AND THE LIKE Abraham I. Posner, Spring Valley, N.Y., assignor to Diamond Shamrock Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio, a corporation of Delaware Continuation-impart of abandoned application Ser. No. 483,140, Aug. 27, 1965. This application May 16, 1968, Ser. No. 729,713
Int. Cl. A45c 11/24 US. Cl. 20613 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In luggage, musical cases and the like which contain linings, the linings are obtained by uniting, by means of needlepunching, flexible polyurethane foam and nonwoven batting.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-impart of copending application Ser. No. 483,140, Posner, filed Aug. 27, 1965, noW abandoned.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to luggage, musical cases and like articles which contain a lining, at least part of said lining being nonwoven fabric structure of flexible polyurethane foam needlepunched with nonwoven battings of fibers. I-Ieretofore, flexible polyurethane foam needlepunched with nonwoven battings of fibers have been employed as garment linings (Canadian Pat. No. 646,875, issued Aug. 14, 1962) and as surgical dressings (Pat. No. 3,122,140, Crowe, Jr., Feb. 25, 1964). It has now been discovered that improved luggage, musical cases or other containers for packaging items can be lined with flexible polyurethane foam which has been needlepunched with nonwoven battings of fibers. In this fashion such lined articles can embrace and protect from damage due to shock fragile items such as toilet articles, scientific instruments, glassware, musical instruments and wrist watches. At the same time, a pleasing ornamental textile surface against which the items can be displayed is provided for. This surface is soft and can be dyed and modified in various ways as set forth hereinafter. Because of the manner in which the nonwoven batt is affixed to the polyurethane, there are no stiff or hard areas as would result where heat lamination or adhesives are employed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In order to further illustrate the invention, reference is made to the drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example, certain embodiments thereof.
Referring to the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of a process for preparing the needlepunched material used as linings in this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the structure of the needlepunched material in which the location of the fibers of the nonwoven batting in and through the foam is exaggerated;
FIG. 3 is an illustration of a musical case lined with the needlepunched polyurethane foam; and
FIG. 4 is a section taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Reference is made to FIG. 1 illustrating the use of apparatus to prepare linings polyurethane foam needlepunched with nonwoven battings. In FIG. 1 a supply roll 2 of nonwoven batting 4 and a supply roll 6 of flexible 3,534,852 Patented Oct. 20, 1970 polyurethane foam 8 are mounted so that a layer of nonwoven batting 4 is superposed on a layer of polyurethane foam 8 and the composite is passed through needlepunching apparatus 10. The needlepunching apparatus unites the two layers by forcing some of the fibers of the nonwoven batting 4 to penetrate and pass through the flexible polyurethane foam 8 thus forming the nonwoven fabric 12. As shown in FIG. 2, bunches or tufts of fibers 18 from the nonwoven batting 4 are pushed through perforations made in foam 8 by needles of the needlepunching apparatus 10 and remain after the needles are retracted.
The essential elements of the linings disclosed in this invention are (a) a layer of a nonwoven batting of fibers superposed and needlepunched through (b) a layer of polyurethane foam so that some of the fibers remain on the opposite face of the foam. Because of the needlepunching operation, some of the fibers from the batting are pushed through the perforations made in the foam by the needles to form bunches or tufts of fibers on the opposite side or face of the foam and the bunches of fibers which remain on the opposite side of the foam after the needles are retracted serve to unite and bind the separate layers of batting and foam together. These structures derive their strength from several sources. Frictional forces are produced by interfiber entanglement within the batting. Further frictional forces are produced by contacts of the fibers against the walls of the perforations in the foam. Likewise the bunches or tufts of fibers on the opposite face of the foam exert frictional forces against the surface of the foam in the vicinity of the perforations. Interfiber entanglement also occurs between individual fibers from different bunches of fibers on the opposite face of the foam. Such entanglement further strengthens the union between the layers of batting and foam.
Conventional needlepunching apparatus can be employed in the present invention. Such includes the needle looms described on pages 27-30 of Nonwoven Fabrics by Francis M. Buresh (Reinhold Publishing Corp New York, NY. 1962). Looms having single or double needle boards may be used. One particular needle loom which can be used is the Hunter Fiber/Locker Model 16 Needle Felting Machine manufactured by the James Hunter Machine Company (North Adams, Mass.). Likewise looms having rotating needles can be used. Rotating needle looms effect a gathering of fibers or parts thereof from a batting and subject the gathered fibers or parts thereof to rotary action which orients these fibers into partly spiral and partly helical yarn-like structures which strengthen and reinforce the batting. Looms having heated needles may be employed when battings containing thermoplastic fibers are used. In such cases, the heated needles Weld thermoplastic fibers to other fibers in the batting or weld the fibers in the batting to the polyurethane foam. When desired, layers of flexible polyurethane foam may be placed on the opposite faces of a layer of batting and the resulting composite needlepunched in one operation. The composite can then be reversed and needlepunched on the opposite face if desired. Likewise layers of batting can be placed on the opposite faces of a layer of flexible polyurethane foam and needlepunched on both sides if de sired. Composites containing a plurality of layers of polyurethane foams and batting in which alternate layers of batting are superposed on alternate layers of polyurethane foam, or vice versa, can also be needlepunched to unite the separate layers of batting and foam. The process can be carried out in a continuous fashion if desired.
Fibers which can be employed in the production of battings for use in this invention include natural, manmade and synthetic fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, jute, sisal, hemp, fur, flax, kapok, rayon, cellulose acetate, cellulose triacetate, polyamides such as nylon, polyesters such as polyethylene terephthalate (Dacron), acrylics such as polyacrylonitrile, vinyl resins such as copolymers of polyvinyl chloride and polyvinyl acetate, copolymers of vinylidene chloride and vinyl chloride, copolymers of acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride and the like, polystyrene, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethanes, glass, ceramic, asbestos, protein fibers such as vicara and peanut, blends of these fibers and the like. When desired, blends of fibers containing thermoplastic fibers can be used and these blends punched with heated needles to bond the thermoplastic fibers with other fibers in the blend or with the polyurethane foam. Such thermoplastic fibers include low-melt polyesters and polyamide fibers, polyvinyl alcohol fibers, polyvinyl chloride fibers, polystyrene fibers, polyolefin fibers and the like. The length of the fibers employed will depend upon the type and amount of fiber locking desired in the needle punched composite. Generally, long fibers are not used because excessive fiber breakage occurs during needle punching and production rates are reduced as well as the quality of the needle punched fabric being produced. Fiber lengths of from 1% to 1 /2 inch are usually used but Wider or narrow ranges of fiber lengths can be employed when desired. Other fiber properties which must be considered in the choice of fibers include crimp, denier and finish. These properties are usually determined by the requirements of the finished product.
Flexible polyurethane foams which can be peeled by conventional peelers such as the Femco circumferential paring machine to thicknesses of about 0.034 to about 0.375 inch are employed in the present invention. Peeled foams having a thickness of about 0.375 inch which are subsequently compressed to 0.015 inch can also be used. These are referred to as compressed foams. Any other thickness of flexible polyurethane foam which is suitable for lining purposes can be used. These flexible foams are polyurethane foams formed by the reaction of polyisocyanates such as tolylene diisocyanate with a polyhydroxy material, i.e., an organic compound having a plurality of reactive terminal hydroxyl groups. Where the polyhydroxy material is a polyester having predominantly terminal hydroxyl groups, the resulting flexible polyurethane foam is referred to as a polyester-polyurethane foam. Where the polyhydroxy material is a polyether such as polyalkylene glycol, the resulting flexible foam is referred to as a polyether-polyurethane foam. The team flexible polyurethane foam as used herein encompasses and is generic to all flexible polyurethane foams and includes flexible polyester-polyurethane foams and flexible polyetherpolyurethane foams.
Flexible polyurethane foams can be produced by generating carbon dioxide, e.g., by reaction of water with a polyisocyanate. Additionally, blowing agents such as fluorocarbons, e.g., Freon 11 can be used along with carbon dioxide. The gas or vapor is generated while the material to be foamed is in a plastic state. Generation of the gas results in formation of bubbles in the plastic mass. As these bubbles expand, cells are formed and a low density cellular foam structure is obtained. The faces of the cells are thin membrane-like films. Some, e.g., about 17% or more of the cell faces rupture during foaming so that some of the cells are interconnected. Such a foam is referred to as an open-celled foam. The percentage of open cells in the flexible polyurethane foam is not critical in this invention so long as the hand of the foam is suitable for textile use and provided shrinkage of the foam does not occur during curing and the flexible foam can be peeled. When substantially all of the membrane-like cell faces are removed, the resulting flexible foam is referred to as a reticulated flexible polyurethane foam. Reticulated polyurethane foams are described in greater detail in US. Pat. No. 3,171,820, Volz, Mar. 2, 1965.
Foamed, open cell cellular flexible polyurethanes of the types described above which are useful in the preparation of the nonwoven fabrics disclosed in this invention are well known in the art. Such cellular flexible polyurethane foams are sometimes referred to as low density foams since they contain a minimal weight of the polymer for the volume occupied by the mass. Methods for producing these flexible polyurethane foams such as by use of blowing agents and similar techniques for the incorporation of expanding bubbles of gas or vapor in a plastic mass of polyurethane are fully described in the literature. These flexible polyurethanes can be prepared by the one-shot, prepolymer or quasi prepolymer procedures.
Polyisocyanates which can be employed in the preparation of flexible polyurethane foams for use in this invention include tolylene diisocyanate 2,4; 35% 2.6) tolylene diisocyanate 2,4; 20% 2.6) l,6-hexamethylenediisocyanate (HDI) l,4-tetramethylenediisocyanate hexamethylene diisocyanate 1,10-decamethylenediisocyanate 1,S-naphthalenediisocyanate (NDI) cumene-2,4-diisocyanate 4-methoxy-l,3-phenylenediisocyanate 4-chloro-1,3-phenylenediisocyanate 4-bromo-1,3-phenylenediisocyanate 4-ethoxy-l,3-phenylenediisocyanate 2,4-diisocyanatodiphenylether diphenyl methane-4,4-diisocyanate (MDI) 5 ,6-dimethyl- 1,3-phenylenediisocyanate 2,4-dimethyl-1,3-phenylenediisocyanate 4-isopropyl-1,3-phenylene diisocyanate 4,4diisocyanatodiphenylether benzidinediisocyanate o-nitrobenzidene diisocyanate 4,6-dimethyl-l,3-phenylenediisocyanate 9,lO-anthracenediisocyanate 4,4-diisocyanatodibenzyl 3,3-dimethyl-4,4'-diisocyanatodiphenylmethane 2,6-dimethyl-4,4'-diisocyanatodiphenyl 2,4-diisocyanatostilbene 4,4'-diphenyl diisocyanate (XDI) 3,3-dimethyl-4,4'-diphenyl diisocyanate (TODI) 3,3-dimethoxy-4,4-diphenyl diisocyanate (DADI) 1,4-anthracenediisocyanate mesitylene diisocyanate durylene diisocyanate 2,5-fluorenediisocyanate 1,8-napthalenediisocyanate 2,6-diisocyanatobenzofuran and the like.
Polyesters which can be reacted with olyisocyanates to prepare flexible polyester-polyurethane foams for use in this invention include those polyesters formed by reacting organic aliphatic, cycloaliphatic or aromatic dior polycarboxylic acids, or their ester forming derivatives thereof such as anhydrides, acid halides and the like with polyols. These hydroxyl terminated polyesters must have at least two terminal hydroxyl groups. They may also be prepared by known transesterification methods. These polyesters may have molecular Weights of from about 1000 to 5000 and preferably about 1500 to 3000. Acids useful for preparing such polyesters include maleic, azelaic, itaconic, citraconic, succinic, adipic, suberic, sebacic, o-phthalic, isophthalic, terephthalic and hexahydroterephthalic acids, their anhydrides and the alkyl unsaturated and halogen substituted derivatives of these acids as well as their homologues. Other typical acids include hydroxy acids containing from 15 to 20 carbon atoms such as hydroxy palmitic acids, hydroxy stearic acids, ricinoleic acid and the like. Other dibasic acids include dimer acids such as the dimerized unsaturated acids chosen from the octadecadienoic acids preferably from the 9,12-octadecadienoic acid (linoleic acid) to form dilinoleic acids. The dilinoleic acids are prepared by the Diels-Adler reaction. Glycols which can be used in the preparation of polyesters include ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, 1,4-butylene glycol, 1,6-hexanediol, their mixtures and the like. If desired, the polyester may be prepared using small amounts of a polyol containing three or more hydroxyl groups such as glycerol, trimethylolethane, trirnethylolpropane, 1,2,6- hexanetriol, pentaerythritol, dipentaerythritol, tripentaerythritol, sorbitol and the like provided the polyester gives a flexible polyurethane foam.
Polyethers can be reacted with polyisocyanates to prepare flexible polyether-polyurethane foams for use in the present invention. Useful polyethers are described as follows. Individual polyethers having a functionality of two or more can be used. That is, polyethers which are diols, triols, tetrols, etc., can be used alone or in admixture with each other. The polyethers generally have an equivalent weight of between about 300 and 2000. Alternatively, there can be added to a difunctional polyether, a low molecular weight polyol or mixtures thereof having at least three hydroxyl groups such as glycerol, trimethylolethane, trimethylol-propane, 1,2,6-hexanetriol, pentaerythritol, dipentaerythritol, tripentaerythritol, sorbitol and the like.
Examples of difunctional polyethers which can be used in mixtures include polyoxypropylene glycols of molecular weights of 400, 750, 1200, 2000, 4000 and block polymers of polyoxyethylene and polyoxypropylene glycols having molecular weights of 400 to 4,000 such as the Pluronics of Wyandotte Chemical Corp. These block polymers can be prepared by the sequential addition of ethylene oxide to polyoxypropylene glycols. They can be represented by the formula The molecular weight of the base, i.e., the polyoxypropylene portion of the monomer can vary, e.g., from about 600 to 2500. Hence, in these instances b in the above formula can vary from about to 43. The oxyethylene content can vary from, e.g., 10% to by weight of the total. Exemplary of these materials are materials having a molecular weight of between 801 and 1000 for base portion of the molecule, i.e., the polyoxypropylene portion, and from 10% to 20% of ethylene oxide in the molecule; materials having a molecular weight of between 1501 and 1800 for the base portion of the molecule and from 10% to 20% by weight of ethylene oxide in the molecule and materials having a molecular weight of between 2101 and 2500 and having from 10% to 20% by weight of ethylene oxide in the molecule.
Other useful materials which are commercially available, are the trifu'nctional glycerol-propylene oxide adducts, e.g., glycerol condensed with up to moles of propylene oxide. When ethylene oxide or propylene oxide is added on to glycerol, trimethylolethane, trimethylolpropane, 1,2,6-hexanetriol, pentaerythritol, dipentaerythritol, tripentaerythritol, sorbitol and the like, to prepare the polyol, the resulting condensates preferably have molecular weights of about 700 to 4000.
As examples of suitable catalysts which can be used in the preparation of flexible polyurethane foams, there may be mentioned various tertiary amine compounds such as Nethyl morpholine, N-methyl morpholine, diethyl ethanolamine, triethylene diamine, dimethyl hexadecyl tertiary amine, triethylamine and the like. Other reaction accelerators which may be used in polyether polyurethane foams include stannous octoate, stannous oleate, dibutyl tin oxide, dibutyl tin dilaurate and the like.
Emulsifiers can be used in the preparation of polyesterpolyurethane include sulfonated castor oil, sulfonated natural oils, amine esters of fatty acids such as prepared from oleic acid and diethyl amine, ethylene oxide condensates of sorbitol esters of fatty acids, phenols and the like may be used. Emulsifiers which can be used in polyetherpolyurethane foams include silicone surfactants such as block copolymers from a trialkoxy polysiloxane and a polyoxyethyleneoxypropylene monoalkyl ether of the type described in US. Pat. No. 2,834,748, Bailey et al., May 13, 1958.
The needlepunched foam 12 can be printed, dyed, flocked, calendered, napped or sheared on side 14 to imitate pile fabrics, and the like.
It is of course to be understood that the preceding descriptions of flexible polyurethane foams and of nonwoven battings are merely exemplary and this invention is not to be construed as being limited to only the disclosed flexible polyurethane foams and nonwoven battings. That is, this invention can make use of any flexible polyurethane foam and any nonwoven batting.
The needlepunched polyurethane foams described above, preferably needlepunched with nonwoven battings of fibers on one side, are then cut and fitted as linings to the luggage, musical cases and the like as shown in FIG. 3. Conventional adhesives are used to permanently affix the lining to the article to be lined, such as rubber based adhesives which contain natural or synthetic rubbers, synthetic polymer based adhesives such as polyvinyl acetate based adhesives and polyurethane adhesives. The adhesives are applied by coating with adhesive the inside of the article to be lined and/or the back side of the needlepunched polyurethane foam, i.e., the side on which tufts 18 are located. The resulting articles when in a closed position are excellent carriers of fragile items and when in an opened position are pleasing to the eye and hence can serve as display cases for the articles contained therein.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is illustrated a guitar case 20 lined with needlepunched foam 12 which is affixed to case 20 by adhesive 19. A guitar 22 is shown in dotdash lines positioned in case 20. Side 14 of the needlepunched foam 12 is exposed for viewing and for protecting guitar 22.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of this invention, reference may be made to the following examples which are given merely to illustrate the invention and are not to be construed in a limiting sense.
EXAMPLE I This example is directed to the preparation of a polyester-polyurethane foam.
100 parts by weight of a polyester prepared from. 55.3 parts by weight of adipic acid, 43.8 parts 'by weight of diethylene glycol and 0.89 part by weight of trimethylol propane held at a temperature of 22 C., 47 parts by weight of tolylene diisocyanate 2,4-, 20% 2,6-), held at a temperature of 18 C., and 9.2 parts by weight of an activator mixture as described below held at a temperature of 18 C., were all brought together using the mixing apparatus described in FIG. 4 of US. Pat. 2,764,565, Hoppe et 21]., Sept. 25, 1956. The activator mixture consisted of 3.7 parts by weight of water, 1.5 parts by weight of N-ethyl morpholine, 2.0 parts by weight of N-lauryl morpholine, 1.0 part by weight of diethanolamine o-leate and 1.0 part by weight of sulphonated castor oil. The foam rose and set in about 6 to 8 minutes. Thereafter, the foam was cut into buns and the buns were cured by allowing same to stand for twenty-four hours prior to peeling. The foam density was about 1.8 lbs. per cubic foot. The resulting cured foam was peeled to produce a layer of polyurethane foam (slab stock) having a thickness of 0.093 inch. Likewise layers of the same polyurethane foam having thicknesses from 0.034 to 0.375 inch were prepared.
EXAMPLE II This example is directed to the preparation of a polyetherpolyurethane foam.
parts by weight of a polyol (polyether triol), which was a polypropylene adduct of glycerol having a final molecular weight of about 3000, held at 25 C., 48 parts by weight of tolylene diisocyanate (80% 2,4-, 20% 2,6-)
held at a temperature of 18 C., 3.90 parts by weight of catalyst system No. 1 as described below held at a temperature of C., 0.70 part by weight of catalyst system 8 depending on the thickness of the composite being needlepunched. The number of needle penetrations per square inch employed in these examples was 240.
TABLE I Thickness Weight of Example Type of of foam, Type of batting, N o. foam inch batting 0z./sq. yd. Remarks III Polyester. 0. 034 Polyester 4 IV .do.. 040 do. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Heat laminatable foam was used. 2 Double layer of foam (0.186 in.) was used. 4 A layer of reticulated foam was placed between two layers of batting and needle punched on both sides.
A layer of team was placed between two layers of batting and needle punched on both sides.
This was a 0.375 inch peeled foam which was compressed to a thickness of 0.015 inch.
No. 2 as described below held at a temperature of 30 C. and 1.50 parts by weight of a silicone surfactant which is a block copolymer from a trialkoxy polysiloxane and a polyoxyethyleneoxypropylene monoalkyl ether of the type described in Example 1(a) of US. Pat. No. 2,834,748, Bailey et al., May 13, 1958, held at a temperature of C. were brought together using the mixing apparatus described in FIG. 4 of US. Pat. 2,764,565, Hoppe et al., Sept. 25, 1956. Catalyst system No. 1 consisted of 3.80 parts by weight of'water and 0.1 part by weight of triethylene diamine and catalyst system No. 2 consisted of 0.35 part by weight of dioctyl phthalate (a diluent) and 0.35 part by weight stannous octoate. The foam rose and set in about 4 to 8 minutes. Thereafter, the foam was cut into buns and the buns were cured by allowing same to stand for twenty-four hours prior to peeling. The foam density was about 1.4 lbs. per cubic foot. The resulting foam was peeled to produce layers of polyurethane foams having thicknesses from 0.034 to 0.375 inch.
Examples III to XIX (inclusive) which are set forth in Table I were carried out using the following procedure. First, a layer of nonwoven batting and a layer of flexible polyurethane foam were brought together by superposing the batt on the polyurethane foam. The battings were composed of crimped polyester fibers of 3.0 denier and inch stable. Then, the two layers were passed into a needlepunching machine wherein fibers of the batt were needlepunched through the polyurethane foam. A Hunter Model 9 Needle Felting Machine having barbed needles No. 151832 was used. Needle penetration in the following examples ranged from /8 inch to /8 inch in depth What is claimed is:
1. In luggage, musical cases and like articles which contain a lining, the improvement comprising said lining being at least in part a unitary nonwoven fabric structure having at least two layers comprising a layer of nonwoven batting composed of fibers superposed on a layer of flexible polyurethane foam having a thickness of from about 0.015 inch to about 0.375 inch, said batting and said foam being united solely by the presence of some of said fibers extending through said foam thereby forming bunches of fibers on the opposite side of said foam.
2. The article of claim 1 wherein said foam is flexible polyether polyurethane foam.
3. The article of claim 1 wherein said foam is flexible polyester polyurethane foam.
4. The article of claim 1 wherein said article is luggage.
5. The article of claim 1 wherein said article is a musical case.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,181,693 5/1965 Freistat 20613 3,313,382 4/1967 Rosing et al. 53 3,352,739 11/1967 Blue 2872.2
FOREIGN PATENTS 646,875 8/ 1962 Canada.
ROBERT F. BURNETT, Primary Examiner R. H. CRISS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.