US 3863304 A
A linear fastening element is made by stringing a plurality of filament clusters, each of which is made from one or more intertwined filaments, on one or more linear members. The clusters are adapted to permit the gripping element such as a barbed hook to enter the interior thereto and to reversibly or permanently retain and hold the gripping element by filament engagement. The strung clusters can be applied to an article surface, formed into a sheet material or incorporated into a laminate structure. The linear fastening element and gripping elements are used to join two articles such as a decorative wall covering or panel to sheet rock or wall studs.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Brumlik 1 Feb. 4, 1975 1 LINEAR FASTENING ELEMENT AND METHOD THEREFORE  Inventor: George C. Brumlik, Montclair, NJ.
 Assignee: Ingrip Fasteners Inc., New York,
22 Filed: Aug. 8, 1973  Appl. No.: 386,676
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 126,706, March 22, 1971,
 U.S. CI. 24/204, 52/506  Int. Cl. A44b 11/25, A44b 17/00  Field of Search 24/87, 204, DIG. 18; 63/2; 52/506,511; 161/62  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,421,329 6/1922 Welch 63/2 1,972,412 9/1934 Van Dresser... 52/511 1,994,947 3/1935 Gaus 24/204 2,164,322 7/1939 Hahn 52/506 3,155,557 11/1964 Sapilevsky 161/62 3,266,841 8/1966 Altman 24/204 3,522,637 8/1970 Brumlik 24/204 3,550,223 12/1970 Erb 24/204 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,557,590 4/1970 Germany 63/2 Primary ExaminerDonald A. Griffin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Burgess, Dinklage & Sprung  ABSTRACT A linear fastening element is made by stringing a pluralityof filament clusters, each of which is made from one or more intertwined filaments, on one or more linear members. The clusters are adapted to permit the gripping element such as a barbed hook to enter the interior thereto and to reversibly or permanently retain and hold the gripping element by filament engagement. The strung clusters can be applied to an article surface, formed into a sheet material or incorporated into a laminate structure. The linear fastening element and gripping elements are used to join two articles such as a decorative wall covering or panel to sheet rock or wall studs.
21 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PAIENIEBFEH 3.863.304
0, be d e 3 INVENTOR GEORGE C. BRUMLIK. BY
BURGESS. DINKLAGE & SPRUNG ATTORNEYS.
LINEAR FASTENING ELEMENT AND METI-IOI) THEREFORE This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 126,706 filed Mar. 22, I971 and now abandoned.
BACKGROUND This inventionrelates to a fastening element made up of a plurality of strung together filament clusters which are capable of retaining and holding a gripping element such as a barbed hook.
Various self-gripping fasteners, particularly suitable for releasably fastening fabrics and the like are presently available. Typical of such fasteners is a selfgripping fastener assembly presently marketed under the trademark Velcro" which is in the form of pairs of fabric strips which are suitably secured to the opposing fabrics to be fastened together. The Velcro fastener comprises multiple rows of small vertically extending open plastic loops secured to the outer surface of one of the matching strips while matching small plastic hooks are secured to the outer surface of the opposite strips. Thus, when the two opposing strips are press-contacted the hooks link with the opposing loops in an interlocking action, and when pulled apart with sufficient force, the hooks disengage from their corresponding loops.
While the Velcro fastener provides an effective gripping action, the cost of manufacture thereof is relatively expensive. Furthermore, the Velcro" type grips are applicable only to regular surfaces and cannot adapt themselves to irregular contours.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The novel linear fastening element of the present invention comprises a plurality of filament clustersfeach of said clusters consisting of one or more intertwined filamentsThe clusters are adapted to permit the gripping element to enter the interior thereof and to releasably or permanently retain and hold said gripping element therein by filament engagement, said filament clusters being interconnected or strung together by one or more flexible linear members passing through successive clusters.
According to the method of the present inventiona surface of one article such as the back of a wall panel has adhered thereto the above described linear fastening element and the surface of a second article, such as the outward surface of wall studs is provided with a plurality of gripping elements, such as barbed hooks. To carry out the method, the surface of the first article is pressed against the surface of the second article thereby causing the gripping elements to enter the interior of the filament clusters of the linear fastening element and become retained therein by filament engagement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an enlarged elevational view of a linear fastening element of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of another linear fastening element of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged plane view showing a woven fabric made from the linear fastening element of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 6(a) through 6(g) are enlarged elevational views showing configurations of gripping elements that can be utilized in the present invention.
DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. I of the drawing the linear fastening element of the present invention is shown to include a series of filament clusters 10 interconnected by means of linear member I4 which passes through successive clusters 10, eachcluster consists of one or more intertwined filaments. 1 Theclusters 10 can be spaced apart as shown in FIG. 1 or may be in adjacent touching relationship as shown in FIG. 2. Also in FIG. 2 there is shown an alternate embodiment involving the use of two linear members 14. Also shown in FIG. 2 are solid or rigid load bearing members 16 which can be spaced along member 14 in a random or regular manner. Members 16 prevent crushing of the clusters when mounted on flat stock that is stacked.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged elevational view of yet another FIG. 3 illustrates yet another embodiment wherein the clusters are spaced apart and the plural linear members therebetween are twisted at 30 in a yarn-like fash- IOIl.
FIG. 4 shows a segment of a linear fastening element wherein a linear member 14 passes through cluster 10 which consists of intertwined filaments l2. Gripping elements 42 having barbed hooks 42 thereon are shown retained in the cluster. 10 by filament engagement.
Suitable gripping elements that can be used with the linear fastening element of this invention are shown in FIG. 6. In FIGS. 6(b) ad 6(c) the manner in which the gripping element engages a filament 12 is illustrated. In FIG. 6(g the hook shaped gripping element is shown to include a cutting edge in the curve of the hook.
FIG. 5 illustrates one way in which the linear fastening element of the present invention can be utilized. In this embodiment, the fastening element is shown woven into a sheet-like material. While the weave is shown open for purposes of illustration, it is preferred that the clusters 10 actually touch each other as in FIG. 1.
The linear elements 14 provide added mechanical strength and holding power with respect to each filament cluster. The linear elements 14 also permit spacing of the filament clusters in a controlled predetermined manner.
The linear members 14 can be 'rigid or flexible and may be made from a single filament or from a group of filaments or fibers which may also be twisted together in a yarn-like fashion. The members 14 may be of any suitable material such as natural, plastic, rubber, elastomeric glass or metal fibers and filaments. The members 14 may be hollow (e.g., tubular) or have crosssections other than spherical or any predetermined profile. Suitable examples of the foregoing are given below with respect to the filaments for the clusters. The member 14 can have a diameter of from about 0.001 to about 0.25 inch.
The linear fastening elements of the present invention such as those shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 can be utilized in a number of ways. For instance, the element can be wound or spun about an article to provide an exterior fastening surface. The linear fastening element can also be applied about the periphery of a planar article or crisscrossing thereon resulting in'economy of application. In such use the element can conveniently be adhered to or attached to the surface of the article by known techniques. The linear fastening element may also be incorporated into a composite laminate structure including adhering one or-more elements to an adhesive strip for ultimate application to the surface of an article.
The linear fasteningelement of this invention may also be twisted together to form a yarn or may be formed into a woven or non-woven sheet material or web.
The filament clusters of the present invention are made up of one or more filaments or fibers to form a discrete, porous particle aggregate. The clusters maintain their identity in sheet form or when used in a'composite laminate even though they are pressed or compacted and adhered together.
The filament clusters may be of any shape such as polyhedral, spherical, elipsoid, ovoid, cylindrical, conical, spindle, or doughnut, for example. Each cluster is constructed in such a way that it has sufficient interior space to accommodate, receive and hold a gripping element. The clusters can range in size from about 0.02 to about 0.5 inch and preferably range in size from about 0.025 to about 0.25 inch. The size and shape of the filament clusters will depend on the nature of the filament and the ultimate use to which they are put.
The individual filaments or fibers that form theclusters of the present invention generally have a diameter of from about 0.001 to about 0.05 inch and are generally spaced within the cluster a distance equal to at least one half of their diameter. The clusters can be formed from a single filament or filaments, or filaments or fibers, twisted together or parallel to each other such as yarn. In addition, the filaments can be crimped or kinked and can have almost any shape in cross-section such as round, oval, square and the like. Crimping or kinking of the filaments permits mechanical interlocking of the filaments within the cluster resulting in added strengthand stability. The termintertwined" as used herein to describe the filament or filaments in a cluster is intended to describe any and all forms of filament intermingling, be it random, uniform, or concentrated, such as a dense layer at the surface of the cluster with little or no filaments in the interior thereof. Thus, the filaments in a cluster may be crossing, spiralled, looped, tangled, snarled, and the like.
The filament clusters may be rigid, flexible or resilient depending on the nature and size of the filament or filaments from which they are formed. The filaments may be of any suitable material such as natural, synthetic plastic, glass or metal fibers and filaments. Natural filaments include flax, hemp, jute, silk, cotton, linen, wool, asbestos, and the like. Synthetic filaments include rayon, nylon, polyesters, polyolefin, polyacrylics and the like. Illustrative metal filaments include steel, copper, aluminum, and the like.
The length of a given filament or fiber in a cluster depends on the manner in which the gripping elements are held by the duster (releasably or permanently), the type of gripping element used (flexible, rigid, cutting,
non-cutting, etc.) and whether or not the filaments or.
fibers are adhered within the cluster. Basically, the filaments or fibers in a cluster should offer a degree of resistance to pulling out upon removal of a gripping element. For instance, monofilaments can range in size up or woven or non-woven materials followed by balling if necessary. The clusters can also be'made utilizing any other known technique such as spinning and the like.
To provide the filament clusters with increased strength or rigidity, the filaments in a cluster may be adhered together at their cross-over points using a suitable adhesive such as by impregnating the cluster with rubber, or they may be made to adhere to each other at their cross-over points by the application of heat or ultra sound, radio frequency, dielectric heating or a suitable combination. Certain filaments such as synthetic plastic filaments can also be caused to adhere to each-other by exposing them to certain solvents or vapors which makes their outer surface soft and tacky.
The filament clusters strung together according to the present invention may vary with respect to size and shape and the nature of the filament forming the clusters. The clusters are strung on the linear member or members by suitable techniques such as needling and the like. The clusters can be spun or otherwise formed directly on the linear member. In this process the linear member may become a part of the cluster or may actually form the clusters.
The gripping elements used with the filament clusters of the present invention may be of any suitable shape such as those shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing or those covered by my issued patents, US. Pat. Nos. 3,494,006 and 3,522,637, which are incorporated herein by reference.
Suitable gripping elements have a penetrating end to facilitate penetration of the filament cluster and preferably have an undercut notch. To engage one or more filaments within the cluster. The filament engagement between gripping elements and filament cluster may be permanent or releasable depending on the nature or construction of the gripping element and the filament. A degree of relesable engagement is preferred to allow removal and reinsertion of the gripping element.
The stems of the gripping element can range in size from about 0.001 inch up to about 0.05 inch. The gripping elements can be arranged in a predetermined or random pattern and may be at any given angle or at random angles. Generally, the gripping elements are spaced apart a distance equal to their diameter up to about one-half inch apart.
The fastening element of the present invention can be characterized as having the following advantages:
1. it avoids the criticalities involved in aligning two surfaces to be fastened together;
2. it is essentially invisible in that no holes are involved;
3. it can be prefabricated;
4. it avoids air pockets or bubbles such as occur in gluing;
5. buckling or cracking of mounted panels which occurs as a result of changes in dimension due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity is avoided, and
6. it can be used to make strategic areas self-gripping both on the outside and inside surfaces of articles of any shape or size;
7. control over spacing of clusters along the linear member and the spacing and pattern of the linear members on the surface of the substrate;
8. control over sequence of different sizes, shapes of clusters and load bearing members;
9. case of storage, e.g., can be wound on a reel;
10. ease of application by winding, laying, spinning and the like; and
l l. ease of forming a web-like fastening pattern over a Hate or curvilinear surface.
The fastening elements of this invention can be widely used in the automotive, aviation, building and textile industries for joining together articles heretofore joined by conventional fastening or adhesive techniques. ln one particular use, the fastening elements can be used to apply decorative wall coverings and/or panels to sheet rock or wallboard or wall studs eliminating the use of nails or glue. They can also be used to assemble toys, and other articles, such as crystal models. Strips of adhesive tape with linear fastening elements thereon provide a convenient means for rendering a given article capable of receiving gripping elements.
In another embodiment, the linear member 14 may be of a material such as plastic, which can be selectively removed such as by dissolving with a solvent (without effecting the clusters) after the linear fasten ing element of this invention is applied to an article. In this manner, the linear nature of the fastening element of the invention is utilized for ease of application and then the linear member removed, if desired, to avoid engagement, by the gripping elements with the linear member. Such engagement can also be avoided by using a relatively large linear member which may be rigid or flexible with which the gripping elements cannot become engaged.
1. Linear fastening element comprising a plurality of filament clusters each of said clusters being a discrete porous particle aggregate containing one or more intertwined filaments and being adapted to permit a gripping member to enter the interior thereof and to reversibly retain and hold said gripping member therein by filament engagement, said filament clusters being interconnected by a linear member passing through successive clusters.
2. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein a plurality of linear members pass through successive clusters.
3. Linear fastening element of claim 2 wherein said linear members are twisted between adjacent clusters.
4. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said clusters are uniformly spaced apart along said linear member.
5. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said clusters are in adjacent touching relationship.
6. A woven fastening fabric or web comprising the linear fastening element of claim 1.
7. An article having adhered to a surface thereof the linear fastening element of claim 1.
8. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said clusters range in size from about 0.02 inch to about 0.5 inch.
9. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said filaments have a diameter of from about 0.002 inch'to about 0.05 inch.
10. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said filaments are selected from the group of natural, synthetic, glass and metal filaments.
ll..Linear fasteningelement of claim 1 wherein said gripping element is releasably held by said filament cluster.
12. A composite laminate comprising the linear fastening element of claim 1.
13. Linear fastening element of claim 1 which includes one or more load bearing members spaced along said linear member.
14. A decorative wall covering or panel having adhered to the area surface thereof the linear fastening element of claim 1 in a uniform or random pattern.
15. A building panel such as wallboard or sheet rock having adhered to the outer surface thereof the linear fastening elements of claim 1.
16. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said linear member is made of a material selected from the group of plastic, rubber, elastomeric, glass, metal and natural fibers and filaments.
17. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said linear member is hollow.
18. Linear fastening element of claim 1 wherein said linear member is selectively soluble in a solvent.
19. Linear fastening elements of claim 1 wherein said clusters are randomly spaced apart along said linear member.
20. A non-woven fabric or web comprising the linear fastening element of claim 1.
21. Method for fastening articles which comprises adhering to a surface of a first article a linear fastening element comprising a plurality of filament clusters each being a discrete porous particle aggregate containing one or more intertwined filaments strung together on a flexible, linear member, providing a surface of a second article with a plurality of gripping elements, and thereafter pressing said surfaces together thereby causing said gripping elements to enter the interior of said filament clusters and become retained therein by filament engagement.