US 3682741 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
PMOSS a. ELLEQTT EE'AL mam METHOD-0F :WEARIM DECORATIVE SURFACE covmmes Filed May 23. 1963 INVENTOR CHARLES e- ELLIOTT DAVID H- REED e is e l e EE 1 I:
3,682,! REE'I'HQD 6F BECQRA'HVE SUKFACE iIGVliRlNGS 'Charles G. Elliott, Landisvllle, and llavld H Reed, Lancaster, Pa, asslgnors to Armstrong fiorn Company,
Filed May 23, 1%9, 8st. No. 827,226 int. Cl. B32h 31/00 Ufi. til. 156-498 3 Claims All-55ml F 'll llE BECLQSURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The invention relates to flexible, composite surface coverings and particularly to plastic surface coverings having a wear layer containing decorative chips and particularly to processes for preparing such surface coverings.
Description of the prior art Many prior art processes exist for the purpose of placing chips in design configuration with a plastisol being used as a grout or background for the chips. The most common method is the adhering of the chips to the backing and utilin'ng the plastisol as a grouting to fill in the area between chips.
Another technique is shown in Pat. No. 3,265,548, wherein chips are placed upon a plastisol coating, and the weight of the granules or chips will cause them to sink into the coating. The viscosity of the coating is varied to get the chips only partially submerged in the coating. Nonnally, the chips are forced into the coating by planishing.
The process herein is an improvement over the above technique in that it provides a manner in which there can be controlled submcrging of the chips into the plastisol to provide either an embossed efiect with the chips only partially submerged, a flat sheet with the chips submerged even with the level of the plastisol or a flat sheet with the chips submerged below the surface of the plastisol.
SUMMARY OF TPE INVENTION The invention comprises the placing of a plastisol layer upon a backing sheet. Chips of various sizes are then deposited in a controlled manner upon the surface of the plastisol. There is maintained a relationship of the volume or" chips to the volume of plastisol or a relationship of the weight of chips per square yard to the weight of the plastisol per square yard so that, depending upon the relationship maintained, the chips will partially or completely submerge within the plastisol to provide an embossed sheet or fiat sheet. The chips remain initially on the surface. Upon heating, the chips rapidly sink into the piastisol until such time as their sinking aiition is terminated by the backing material which will prevent their further downward movement into the plastisol.
BRIEF DESCWGN 9F TEE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a schematic representation which represents the manner of forming the sheet material;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view oi another embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIFHON OF "SHE PREFERRED, EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawings, a web of backing material 2 is fed past a nozzle structure d which deposits a layer of plastisol 6 on the web. The dispensing apparatus 4 can be a simple nozzle dispenser or can be a roll coater or other similar structure.
A hopper 3 distributes uniformly the chips 16 on the upper surface of the plastisol layer. The chip dispensing apparatus can be of the type shown in Pat. No. 3,265,548 or could be a stencil type of dispenser which places the chips on the plastisol a prearranged pattern. The chip plastisol layer structure then passes under a heating means 12 which causes the chips to rapidly sink in the plastisol. Planishing could also be used to force the chips into the plastisol layer. Further the chips could be allowed to sink in the plastisol by allowing the chip plastisol mass to sit a relatively long time at room temperature. Obviously, in each case the chips would settle down into close proxunity with the backing material. When heating is used, the plastisol viscosity lessens and the chips sink into the plastisol layer until their proximity into the plastisol is terminated by the chips coming into close position to the backing. The chips may actually go down into contact with the backing, but usually a small film of plastisol acts as a barrier between the chips and the backing material.
As shown in FIG. 2, the chips may only be partially submerged in the plastisol layer and thus present an em bossed appearance wherein the plastisol around the chips appears to be depressed resulting in a three-dimensional appearance for the flooring. As shown in PEG. 3, the upper surface of the chips are even with the upper surface of the plastisol. Again surface tension may sheet the plastisol surface configuration. It should be noted that surface tension may affect the surface of the plastisol and cause it to be concave in the PEG. 2 structure. Wetting of the sides of the chips causes the concave effect. As shown in FIG. 4, the chips have been completely submerged in the plastisol, and the upper surface of the chip is below the upper surface of the plastisol. The above three effects are secured by regulating the relationship of the quantity of chips to the quantity of plastisol. To secure the structure of FIG. 4, some techniques such as pressing or prewetting may be necessary to submerge the chips within the plastisol.
1n the below examples, the chips were manufactured with a .045" thickness thereby permitting the use of a relative weight relationship between the chips and the plastisol to secure the effects shown in FIGS. 2-4. If it is desired to secure an embossed effect, a two-pound quantity of chips per square yard of backing material to be covered is utilized with 1.14 pounds of grouting per square yard of backing material to be covered. This is a 0.57 ratio of pounds of plastisol to a pound of chips per square yard of backing material. This above relative weight relationship will give you a very desirable surface covering which gives the appearanpeeithauing a debossed grouting area surrounding a raised chip.
If it is desired to secure a smooth fioor covering such as shown in FIG. 3, then two pounds of chips per square yard of backing malarial are used 1.7 of plasiisol per square yard of backing malarial. This gives a raio of 0.85 posed of plssiisol to a pound of chips. Again the chips are of a 6.04 thic'k1r=*=. The above quantity of plasu'sol g'ves a layer of 9.026" tlucicncss. It will be seen that by maintaining the chip t'ciclosess conslaui, the weight of she chips used has a direct rclaliore skip to the ioial surface area that the chips will cover. Since the base of one square yard of backlog material is used, it will be seen that two pounds of constant thickness chips uniformly isiributea' would cover a certain perccuiage of a square yard of backing material. Therefore, a certain volume of piastisol is needed to fill in inc rcmaiuiug square yard. The weight of the plaslisol being directly reiaicd to its volume for the particular piastisol being used, as shown above, 1.7 pounds of plasu'sol will fill in all of the remaining square yard to provide a flat sheet. Less weight of plastisol will yield an embossed-type sheet. Use of a greater quantity of plasiisol will yield the efiects shown in FIG. 4. The sracmre of PEG. 3 was secured by adjusting the plastisoltbickness to 0.020". This on a square yard of backlog material used 1.7 pounds of plastisol. That used in conjunction with 2 pounds of chips of 0.045" thickness will yield a flat surface sheet. It should be noted that a fiat surfiace sheet as formed above will have a slight texture because of surface tension, irregular settling, etc. A perfectly ilat sbcet requires a further pressing opcrarion. However, the sheet of KG. 3 is clearly fiat relative to the she-ct of PEG. 2.
Suitable backing materials include those formed of flexible resinous composition as well as sheets of woven fabric and impregnated felled fibers. Any of the thermoplastic or elastomeiic resinous compositions which can be calcadered or pressed to form a flexible sizes: can be used to form baciring sheets which cm be used in the invention. As indicated in Pat. No. 3,265,548, numerous backing sheets are available in the art sud could be used.
The chips are formed from a caleodcred sneet stock which is ibcn brolrcsl into small chips or particles by techniques which are well known and couveatioom in the art. The chips may be filled, or unfilled, or even a combination of filled and unfilled chips. Gbviously, other materials could be used as chips. Guc particular composition which may be used to form the cclcudezed sheet stock has the following formulation, parts by weight:
Resin, polyvinyl chloride, homopolymcr "as--- 100 Plasticizer, di-Z-cfizylbcxyl pbthalatc 23.3 lasticizer, epoxidized soya oil, N995 wilds 4.17
Stabilizer, soaps, 2% helium, 1.1% cadmium,
with the above chip formulation, the follovzing plastisol formulation has been found to be particularly effective, the formulation being given in parts by weight:
asses-l1 i Resin, polyvinyl chloride, dispersion 50 Resin, polyvinyl chloride, blending $0 Plasticizor 2,2,4 methyl-1,3 pentanediol monisobutyrare ester 25 Plasticirer, isobutyrate Plasticizer, ociyl epoxy tallate 5 Stabilizer, barium, cadmium, zinc organic comcouud 3 Piasu'cizer, polyethylene glycol mouolaurate 3 As indicated above, the plasiisol is flowed upon the backing and the caleudercd sheet stock is reduced to chips 16 which are then deposited upon the top surface of the plasfisol layer 6. Heat at about 450 F. is then applied for 1% minuies to the mass to cause the chips to rapidly sink into the plastisol layer to provide a covering which has a cross-sectional configuration similar to that of FIGS. 2-4, the configuration depending upon the relationship of the quantity of chips to the plastisol. During the heat cycle, the plastisol will undergo a reduction of its viscosity, during which time the chips rapidly settle, a gcllation of the plastisol and a fusion of the plastisol.
What is claimed is:
1. A process for producing a decorative surface covering having a continuous solid surface comprising the steps of: applying a predetermined quantity of plastisol per unit area of a backing sheet, maintaining the predetermined quanuty of plastisol at a certain thickness, than distributing uniformly a predetermined quantity of chips to the upper surface of the plastisol, maintaining the supply of chips at a. certain uniform chip thickness, heating the mass of chips and plastisol to change the viscosity of the plasfisol and to permit the rapid settling of the chips into the plasiisol, maintaining the condition of the heated mass of chips and plastisol to settle the chips into close proximity to the backing sheet, and maintaining the weight relationship of the quantity of plasiisol added per unit area fixed relative to the quantity of chips added per unit area so that the chips and plastisol cover the unit area of backing material to provide a. certain configuration t0 the upper surface of the decorative surface covering.
2. The method of claim 1 further including the step of adjusting the quantity of plastisol related to the quantity of chips to provide a textured cfiect floor.
3. The mcibod of claim fl further including the step of adjustia-g the quantity of plastisol related to the quantiiy of chips to provide a smooth surface covering with the chips below the level of the surface.
Relcreuces Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,265,548 8/1966, Aarkins Jr. a a1. "156-79 3,359,352 12/1967 Powell et a1. ..15677 BENIAMIN A. BGRCHELT, Primary Examiner H. I. TUDOR, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.