US 3793050 A
A method of applying multi-color flocking to a base structure in a predetermined pattern. The base surface has an adhesive applied thereto over an area corresponding to the predetermined pattern, and the base surface is advanced through a series of flocking stations, each of which includes a supply of flocking of a different color and each of which includes a flocking stencil which is perforated with a different portion of the predetermined pattern. At each station, the particular flocking stencil thereat is interposed in spaced relation between the flocking supply and the base surface, and flocking is caused to pass through the perforations in the flocking stencil by an electrical potential.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States-Patent 1191 Mumpower, Jr. 1
[111 3,793,050 1 51 Feb. 19,1974
[ METHOD OF APPLYING FLOCKING TO A BASE 221 Filed: Aug. 12,- 1971 21 Appl. No.3 171,264
 U.S. Cl 117/l7.5, 117/25, 117/33,
' 117/38, 11.7/45, 118/621, 118/624  Int. Cl. B05b 5/02, B44c l/08  Field of Search.... 117/17, 17.5, 25, 33, 38, 45;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,099,514 7/1963 Haber 8/ll5.6 3,161,543 12/1964 Borders et al. 118/621 1,433,203 10/1922 Halpern ll7/38 2,899,928 8/1959 Pataky ll7/38 2,384,951 9/1945 Millar 117/33 2,152,077 3/1939 Meston et a1.. 117/17 2,368,706 2/1945 Fountain ll7/l7.5 3,075,222 l/1963 Miller 117/17 2,636,837 4/1953 Summers 117/33 2,900,270 8/1959 Klein: ll7/33 3,436,245 4/1969 Grundman 117/25 Primary Examiner-William D. Martin Assistant Examiner-M. Sofocleous Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richards, Shefte & Pinckney  ABSTRACT A method of applying multi-color flocking to a base structure in a predetermined pattern. The base surface has an adhesive applied thereto over an area corresponding to the predetermined pattern, and the base surface is advanced through a'series of flocking stations, each of which includes a supply of flocking of a different color and each of which includes a flocking stencil which is perforated with a different portion of the predetermined pattern. At each station, the particular flocking stencil thereat is'interposed in spaced relation between the flocking supply and the base surface, and flocking is caused to pass through the perfo- 3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAIENIE M 9 m4 SHEET 1 0F 2 L mb Qh INVENTOR EARNEST MUMPOWER RICHARDS 8| SHEFTE A r Ton/v5 rs ,OBO
PMENTEU FEB] 91914 INVE/VTQR EARNEST MUMPOWER SHEET 2 UF 2 RICHARDS a SHEFTE METHOD OF APPLYING FLOCKING TO A BASE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The application of flocking to a substrate or base surface to provide a raised texture for the end product is wellknown in the art, a typical example being disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,681,446 and U.S Pat. No. 3,099,514 where a single colored flocking is deposited on a continuous length of fabric to which an adhesive is applied for securing the flocking to the fabric. Moreover, it has been proposed heretofore to apply flocking of more than one color to a base surface for the purpose of providing some contrast in the finished product as described for example in US Pat. No. 3,436,245. In many applications of this sort, the nature of the finished product, i.e., floor mats, is such that some overlapping or mixing of the different color flocking is entirely acceptable, and flocking methods such asthat disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,436,245 are adequate.
However, where the flocking is to be applied to the base structure for the primary prupose of producing an ornamental design thereon including many different colors in areas which are' immediately contiguous, it is imperative that the contrast between the various colors be quite sharp so as to preserve the asthetic appeal of the ornamental design. That is, the lines defining the adjacent areas to which different color flocking is applied must be definite and distinct with no intermingling of the different color flocking in the adjacent areas.
The present invention provides a unique method of applying multi-color flocking to a base surface in a manner which will produce contiguous areas of contrasting colors in which the lines therebetween are distinct with substantially no intermingling of different color flocking.
Summary of the Invention v In accordance with the present invention, a method of applying flocking to a base surface in a predeterthe flocking will occupy 'on the base surface. The base surface, with the adhesive thus applied thereto, is then advanced sequentially through a series of flocking stations at which flocking of a different color is applied.
Each flocking station is provided with a flocking stencil which is perforated with a particular portion of the overall predetermined pattern, and includes a supply of flocking of one color. The flocking stencil is interposed in spaced relation between the base surface and the flocking supply, and an electrical potential is created between the flocking supply and the base surface so as to cause the flocking to pass through the perforations in the flocking stencil in perpendicular relationship thereto and adhere to the adhesive on the base surface inexact correspondence with the particular portion of the predetermined design defined by the perforations in the flocking screen.
Reference means are provided to assure that the relative positions of the flocking screen and the base strucing that there will be no gap or overlap between adjacent areas'of the predetermined design which are defined by different flocking screens at different flocking stations.
In the disclosed embodiment of the present invention, the flocking at each station is contained in a box having a metal bottom, and the base surface is arranged to be selectively disposed over. the top of the box with the flocking screen interposed therebetween. A positive electrical source is applied to the metal bottom of the box, and the base surface is carried by a ground plate thereby creating the electrical potential for causture is identical at each flocking station, thereby assuring the flocking to pass through the perforations in the flocking screen.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view illustrating a master stencil of 'a'selected flocking design, and a plurality of flocking stencils, each flocking stencil being used for a different colored flocking;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of suitable equipment for practicing the flocking method of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a detail view illustrating one of the flocking stations of the equipment illustrated in FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the flocking station illustrated in FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Looking now in greater detail at the accompanying drawings, FIG. 2 illustrates equipment for applying flocking to a substrate or base in accordance with the present invention. This equipment includes an adhesive applying station 10, and four separate flocking stations 12, each of which is identical except for the color of the flocking applied thereat.
The adhesive station includes an upper work surface 14 to which a side guide plate 16 is secured and to which a similar top guide plate (not shown) is secured to extend in perpendicular relation to the side guide plate 16 for particularly locating a base member 18 to which flocking is to be applied, the base member 18 being positioned flush against the two guide plates. A pair of hinges 20 having upstanding rods 22 are secured to the work surface 14, and a pair of locating pins 24 are permanently secured to the front side of the adhesive station 10. An adhesive applying stencil 26, the details of which will be explained in further detail pre'sently,- is mounted in a frame 28 that includes projecting brackets 30 having apertures for receiving the locating pins 24 and that includes similar brackets (not shown) for receiving the upstanding rods 22. It will be noted that the base member 18 and the adhesive stencil 26 i have exact positions on the work surface 14, and the precise relationship of the stencil 26 and the base member 18 is positively maintained by resilient bands 32 which are secured to the frontwall of adhesive station 10 and arranged to slide over the brackets 30 for exerting a holding influence on the frame 28 as adhesive is applied to the stencil 26 with a brush 34 or similar implement.
Since the four flocking stations 12 are identical except for the color of the flocking applied, a description of the first flocking station 12 will serve to provide an understanding of the remaining flockingstations. The flocking station 12 includes a work surface 36 on which lies a mounting box 38 having a holding surface 40 which is preferably a one-eighth inch aluminum plate formed with a plurality of apertures 42 opening into the interior of the mounting box 38 where a vacuum is established by a hose 44 leading from the interior of the mounting box to any convenient'vacuum source (not shown). The holding surface 40 is provided with a top guide plate 46 and a side guide plate 48, and with locating pins 50, upstanding rods 52, and resilient bands 54,
- all corresponding to like elements as previously described in connection with the adhesive station 10. The mounting box 38 is also provided with a lfiting handle 56 and a spacing block 58 rigidly secured thereto, and the entire mounting box 38 is connected by hinges 60 to a dividing element 62 lying between the mounting box 38 and an open box-like container 64 in which a supply of flocking 66 is held. The container 64 is formed by a galvanized metal bottom plate 68 and clear plexiglas sides 70 extending above and beneath the bottom plate 68. To establish the electrical potential for causing the flocking 66 to be applied to the base member 18 in a manner to be described presently, the galvanized metal bottom plate 68 is connected by an electrical wire 72 to a conventional high voltage direct current transformer 74, i.e., 100 Kv, so that a positive potential is imposed on the-bottom plate 68, and the aluminum plate forming the holding surface 40 is connected by wires 82 to any convenient ground whereby this aluminum plate is electrically negative. The transformer 74 may be used for all of the flocking stations 12 which are wired in series, and a single control switch 74' is provided'for energizing the transformer 74. If desired, a separate control switch could. be provided for each flocking station 12. 4
In FIG. 1 there is illustrated a typical series of stencils used in connection with the method of the present invention, these stencils displaying a relatively intricate design in the form of a gamecock which is to be flocked onto the base member 18. At the left of FIG. 1, the adhesive stencil 26 is shown-with the outline of the gamecock displayed thereon. The adhesive stencil 26 is preferably formed of Dacron gauze having a 40-12 mesh, and this stencil 26 is impervious except where it is perforated to display the outline of the overall gamecock design. The other three stencils 76, 76, 76" are flocking stencils mounted in frames 78, each stencil being formed of Dacron gauze (40 mesh) and each being used for applying a different color flocking to the base member 18. It will be noted that each of flocking stencils 76, 76' and 76" is perforated with a different and distinct portion of the overall outline in the adhesives tencil 26, and the three portions, if combined together, will make up the entire overall outline. In the typical gamecock design shown in FIG. 1, flocking screen 76 would be used with black flocking, flocking screen 76 would be used with yellow flocking, and flocking screen 76" would be used with red flocking. Finally, it will be noted in comparing flocking screens 76, 76 and 76" that a different portion of the overall design defined by one flocking screen is immediately contiguous to the portion of another flocking screen in the overall design, and it will therefore be apparent that if the overall design, when completely flocked onto'the base member 18, is to be attractive, the lines of demarcation between the different-colored flockings mustbe sharp and distinctive even when only small areas are flocked with one color as typified, for example, in flocking stencil 76.
With the various components arranged in the aforementioned manner, the method of applying flocking in accordance with the present invention will now be described. A selected design such as the gamecock illustrated in FIG. 1 is properly imposed in outline form on the adhesive or master stencil 26 which is perforated with this design, and a flocking stencil 76 for each color used in the overall design is similarly perforated with the particular portion of the overall design selected for such color.
A base member 18, which may be cardboard or any other material suitable for receiving flocking, is positioned at the adhesive station 10 by placing one side edge and the top edge of the base member 18 flush against side guide plate 16 and the top guide plate, respectively, on the work surface 14. Next, the master stencil 26 is placed on the top surface of the base member 18 and positioned exactly with respect thereto by the frame 28 being disposed on the upstanding rods 22 and on the locating pins 24 as seen in FIG. 2, and the adhesive is applied to the master stencil 26 by a brush 34 or the like whereby the adhesive will penetrate only the perforated portion of the master stencil 26 and the base member 18 will be left with adhesive applied over an area corresponding to the overall design outline on the master stencil 26. As will become apparent subsequently, the base member 18 could have the adhesive applied over the entire top surface thereof, but this would result in a waste of adhesive, and could mar the appearance of the base member 18 in areas where flocking is not to be applied.
After the adhesive has been applied to the base mem ber 18, the master stencil 26 and frame 28 are released by disconnecting resilient bands 32, and the. frame 28 is pivoted upwardly about hinges 20 to permit removal of the base member 18. The base member 18 is then placed on the surface 40 of the mounting box 38 at the first flocking station 12. The base member 18 is properly positioned on the holding surface 40 when it is flush with guide plates 46, 48, and the vacuum within the mounting box 38 will act-through apertures 42 to securely hold the base member 18 in place. The flocking container 64 is then tilled with an appropriate predyed, i.e., black, flocking 66, preferably 30 denier 080 nylon flock which has been shown-to give the best results in the method of the present invention. The flocking stencil 76, designed for the color black, is then placed over the base member-18 as shown in FIG. 3 and the disposition of the flocking stencil 76 within its frame 78 will result in a slight spacing between the base member 18 and the flocking stencil 76. A particular and definite relationship is. established between the flocking stencil 76 and the base member 18 by virtue v of the locating pins 50 and upstanding rods 52, and the guide plates 46, 48. Resilient bands 54 are then placed over the brackets 80 on the'frame 78 (see FIG. 4) to maintain this definite relationship, and the mounting box 38 is then pivoted about its hinges 60 from the dotted line position in FIG. 4 atop-the work surface 36 to its full line position atop the flocking container 64. It will be noted in FIG. 4 that the spacing block 58 abuts the work surface 36 and positions the mounting box 38 so that the flocking screen.76 is interposed in spaced relation between the base member 18 and the supply of flocking 66. The transformer 74 is then energized by switch 74' whereby an electrical potential is established between the holding surfaces 40 and the metal bottom 68 of the flocking container 64. Generally speaking, it is desirable to provide an electrical potential of approximately 10,000 volts for each inch of separation between the grounded holding surface 40 and the bottom 68 of the flock container 64, and in the disclosed embodiment of the present invention this separation is in the range of 4 to 6 inches. Thus, the transformer 74 establishes a proper electrical potential which causes the individual flocking filaments 66 to shoot or pass through the perforations in the flocking stencil 76 in perpendicular relation thereto so that only the leading end of each such flocking filament 66 will engage the adhesive pattern on the base member 18 and will adhere to the base member 18 in perpendicular or upstanding relation thereto. 'It will be noted that this shooting of the flocking filaments 66 perpendicularly through perforations in the flocking stencil 76 that are carefully defined and postioned with respect to the base element 18 will result in the flocking filaments 66 forming a pattern on the base element 18 which corresponds identically to the perforated pattern of the flocking stencil 76.
As soon as the black flocking 66 has been applied to the basemember 18 at the first flocking station 12 in the above described manner, the base member 18 is immediately removed and the same procedure is followed in applying yellow flocking 66 to the base member 18 at the second flocking station 12 using the next flocking stencil 76. Thereafter, red flocking is applied at the third flocking station 12 using the third flocking stencil 76". It is important to note that even though the perforated portions of the flocking stencils 76, 76 and 76" are immediately contiguous in the completed overall design, the final flocked design which appears on the base member 18 includes sharp and distinct lines between the different colors of flocking because the postional relationsip between the base member 18 and the flocking stencils 76, 76' and 76" is identical at each flocking station 12 and because the individual flocking filaments are shot perpendicularly through the stencil perforations to provide a sharply defined pattern on the base member 18.
The present invention has been described in detail above for purposes of illustration only and is not intended to be limited by this description or otherwise to exclude any variation or equivalent arrangement that would be apparent from, or reasonably suggested by, the foregoing disclosure to the skill of the art.
l. A method of applying flocking to a base surface in a predetermined pattern which includes flocking of different colors, said method including the steps of applying an adhesive to said base surface through a master stencil element perforated with said predetermined pattern, forming a series of individual flocking stencils from a fine mesh gauze-like screening material to render only selected portions of said stencil pervious and having said gauze-like material disposed within said previous selected portions, each of said individual flocking stencils being formed with said pervious portion thereof representing a different and particular portion of said predetermined pattern, sequentially advancing said base to which said adhesive has been applied through a series of flocking operations, each flocking operation including a supply of flocking and including a different one of said flocking stencils interposed between and spaced from said supply and said base surface with the positional relationship between each said flocking stencil and said base surface being identical for each flocking operation, the flocking supply for each operation being of a different color, and imposing an electrical potential between the flocking supply and the base surface for each flocking operation to cause said flocking to pass through said gauze-like material disposed within the pervious portions of said flocking stencil in perpendicular relation thereto and adhere evenly to a portion of said base surface corresponding to the area defined by said pervious portions in said flocking stencil.
2. A method of applying flocking as defined in claim 1 and further characterized in that said flocking supply for each operation is contained in a box-like container having a metal bottom plate to which a positive electrical source is electrically connected, in that said base surface for each operation is carried by a metal plate for selective disposition across the top of said container, said metal plate beingelectrically connected to a ground.
3. A method of applying flocking as defined in claim 1 and further characterized .in that said flocking stencil is formed of Dacron gauze having a fine mesh.