US 3910637 A
This invention relates to new and useful brush making apparatus which allows the manufacture of a wide variety of different type of constructions having pretrimmed synthetic filament units. The apparatus is capable of picking and trimming all the synthetic filament required in a single tufted construction simultaneously and simultaneously assembling said filament into said construction. The apparatus comprises a filament stock box for dispensing cut-to-length synthetic filament, a picking element containing trimming means which when inserted into the stock box will pick and trim the desired construction, and means for fusing the end of the picked construction and for mounting the prefused end thereof to form a filament construction.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Lewis, J r,
[ Oct. 7, 1975 FILAMENT PICKING APPARATUS  Inventor: John C. Lewis, Jr., Middlebury, Vt.
 Assignee: Tucel Industries, Inc., Middlebury,
22 Filed: Mar. 21, 1974 21 App]. No.: 453,315
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. Nos. 186,659, Oct. 5, 1971, Pat. No. 3,799,616, and Ser. No. 154,055, June 17, 1971, Pat. No. 3,798,699.
 US. Cl. 300/2; 300/5; 300/7; 300/19; 300/21  Int. Cl. A46D 1/08  Field of Search 15/159, 159 A, 191-193; 300/2, 5, 7, 21
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 164,412 6/1875 Baker 300/19 392,420 11/1888 Fish 300/21 2,664,316 12/1953 Winslow, Jr. et a1... 300/21 3,367,719 2/1968 Carlson 300/7 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 280,372 11/1914 Germany 300/21 1,100,589 3/1961 Germany ..300/5 Primary ExaminerPeter Feldman Attorney, Agent, or Firm-LeBlanc & Shur  ABSTRACT This invention relates to new and useful brush making apparatus which allows the manufacture of a wide variety of different type of constructions having pretrimmed synthetic filament units. The apparatus is capable of picking and trimming all the synthetic filament required in a single tufted construction simultaneously and simultaneously assembling said filament into said construction. The apparatus comprises a filament stock box for dispensing cut-to-length synthetic filament, a picking element containing trimming means which when inserted into the stock box will pick and trim the desired construction, and means for fusing the end of the picked construction and for mounting the prefused end thereof to form a filament construction.
9 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 of4 3,910,637
U.S. Patent Oct. 7,1975
FIGZA FIGIA US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet 2 0154 3,910,637
US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet 3 of4 3,910,637
US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet4 of4 3,910,637
FILAMENT PICKING This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending U.S. Pat. application Ser.,No. 186,659, filed Oct. 5, 1971, now Pat. No. 3,799,616 and my'copending Pat. application Ser. No. 154,055 filed June 17, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,798,699.
This invention relates to new and useful brush mak- -ing machinery, and more specifically, to machinery for filament unit and the support, or hold the filament unit onto the support.
The brush industry and the brushmaking art during the past fifty years has remained, for the most part unchanged. The major changes taking place were those of substitution of natural filling materials, i.e., vegetable and animal fibers, for those of synthetic composition, i.e., nylon polypropylene, and the like. These changes have been significant in view of the shortages which have occurred in the natural vegetable and animal fibers. However, the plastics industry, during the early 1970 s has become so affected by its dependence on oil and oil derivatives, which are now in short supply, that the synthetic filaments and molded brush backs and handles are also in short supply. It therefore becomes necessary to find new ways to construct tufted brushes and filament constructions so (l) raw material can be conserved and (2) in ways which eliminate the necessity for more than one starting material.
Pickingdevices allowing tufted construction to be made from synthetic filaments are described in, for example, my parent U.S. Pat. No. 3,471,202 now U.S. Pat. No. Re.27,455 and U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 186,659, filed Oct. 5, 1971, among others. However, the improved devices of the instant invention while similar in construction have the additional capability of allowing one to pick and trim hollow brush constructions wherein filament conservation and utility are achieved. 9
It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that a wide variety of different filament construction may be made utilizing the machinery of this invention.
i The machinery of this invention may also be adapted to form tufted constructions wherein the prefused tuft end is mounted on a heat-softened depression on a sheet or handle of the filamentary material.-
Additional tufted constructions may also be formed wherein the prefused tuft end is mounted on a single strand, or on woven and nonwoven mesh. The strand is embedded in the prefused tuft end before the end cools.
Finally, the tuft may be picked by or inserted into a sheet support exposing both the working and nonworking ends of the tuft. The nonworking end may then be heat-sealed to retain the tuft in the support. 1
Related articles and methods of construction are described and claimed in my U.S.Pat. Nos. 3,774,782, 3,633,974, 3,596,999, Re. 27,455, 3,604,043, and 3,641,610, and my copending patent applications Ser. Nos. 186,659 filed Oct. 5, 1971, and 154,055, filed June 17, 1971. Accordingly the disclosures of my aforementioned patents and vpatent applications are hereby incorporated by reference.
Accordingly, it is therefore an object of this invention .to provide new and useful brushmaking machinery adaptable for use in forming a single tuft of monofilament fibers, multiple fiber tufts, complete brush or tufted components simultaneously formed, and continuous modular brush or tufted constructions.
It is another object of this invention to provide a machine which will simultaneously pick fiber tufts having hollow centers, assemblethe tuft in a predetermined pattern, and form an integral fiber tuft support modular tufted construction.
It is another object to provide a brush machine wherein the picking unit comprises one or more individual tuft pickers adapted to receive the complete I or mesh may be wire, cellulosic or plastic material, and
fiber portion of the tufted construction to be formed simultaneously.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a machine for forming tufted constructions including means for heat-sealing the fiber tufts integral with a support.
It is further an object to provide a machine for making tufted constructions which assembles cut-to-length with reference to the drawings and following description wherein:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view of a tuftforming picker of this invention;
.FIG. 1A is a cross-sectional view taken along line AA of FIG. 1; 1
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view of another tuftforming picker of this invention having a rectangular cross-sectional construction;
FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view taken along line AA of FIG. 2;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal view of a circular hollow tuft forming picker of this invention;
FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view taken AA of FIG. 3;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal view of the circular hollow tuft-forming picker of this invention;
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal view in cross-section of the circular hollow tuft formed in accordance with this invention with one end heat sealed to form the tuft base;
FIG. 5A is a cross-sectional view taken along AA of FIG. 5;
FIG. 5B isa cross-sectional view taken along B-B of FIG. 5;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of a circular hollow tufted paint brush made in accordance with this invention; I
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a tuft-forming picker in accordance with'this invention;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a tuft-forming picker in accordance with this invention; and
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional view of a tufted construction wherein a heat-sealed hollow tuft is mounted on a sheet of tuft material.
In order to describe the invention more fully, reference is now made to the specific embodiments illustrated in the drawings. The invention is directed to along line brush making wherein tufted constructions are formed employing tuft-forming pickers in such a manner that the tufts are simultaneously picked, simultaneously heat-sealed for mounting, and mounted on a support thus forming a complete tuft construction in the same amount of time required by a conventional brush machine to pick and staple-set one fiber tuft. This new and novel method of picking fiber tufts is achieved by employing a longitudinal, generally tubular picker having a pre-selected cross-sectional configuration, and in a preferred embodiment, an inside length less than the length of the fiber used for forming the tuft when the picker unit is closed and in the heat-sealing configuration. Tuft forming pickers of this invention are shown, for example, at FIGS. l-3.
The tuft-forming picker of FIG. 1 has two concentric cylinders 12 and 13. Movable shaft acts concentric with cylinder 12, and ejects filament (not shown) contained in cylinder 12 during withdrawal of the picking device 10 from a stock box (not shown). Filament contained in cylinder 13 remains in the picker 10 against trim stop 14.
As shown at FIGS. 1A, 2A, 3A, 7and 8, the picker of this invention may be formed so that the internal walls therefor describe in cross-section any desired geometric shape such a circle, rectangle and the like. After heat sealing the end, the tuft formed according to this invention will maintain, in cross-section, the internal configuration of the picker used. It should be appreciated that the pickers of any desired cross-sectional configuration may be employed within the scope of this invention.
The pickers of this invention retain the filament therein by compressing the said filament against the internal walls thereof as the said filaments enter the opening in the picker and proceed toward the end thereof. The length of the inside is so constructed that the trim stop 14 moves with the direction of the filament allowing the full length of the filament to fill the picker prior to heat-sealing.
With attention to FIGS. 3, 3A, and 4, an embodiment of the tufted paint brush article 19, as shown in FIG. 6,
may be made according to this invention follows.
The picking device of FIG. 3 is a single circular picker comprised of cylinders 28 and 29. A stock box, not shown, has at least one circular aperture for exposing the ends of filament contained therein. Exemplary models are described, for example, in my copending patent application Ser. No. 186,659, filed Oct. 5, I97 l hereby incorporated by reference. The picking device 20 of FIG. 3 engages the filaments longitudinally it is inserted through the aperture (not shown) of the stock box, and filaments enter cylinders 28 and 29, thus forcing pistons 30 and 3] toward stop 33. The picker device 20 is mounted on plate 32. Studs 34 and springs 35 in turn mount the picker 20 and plate 32 on plate 33 as shown.
After the picking device 20 is filled it may be withdrawn from the stock box, and fiber 27 in cylinder 29 is ejected into the stock box as shown in FIG. 4 by plate 33 and piston 31 acting against the ends of fiber 27. Fiber 26, however, remains in cylinder 28 during the withdrawal of the picking device 20. By closing means, not shown, the picking device 20 of FIG. 4 is then removed from the fiber stock box, and contains fibers 26. At this time pistons 30 and 31 are both forward. The
ends of fiber 26 abut trim piston 30 and the opposite ends protrude from cylinder 28 for heatsealing.
In order to form the heat-sealed tuft 40 of FIG. 5 it is necessary merely to heat the end portion of a group of parallel fibers 26 to approximately the melting temperature for the particular type of synthetic fiber employed.
Most thermoplastic fibers have softening points which make them pliable and capable of fusing together under slight pressure. In the case of oriented synthetic fibers, deorientation usually begins at their softening temperature, thus causing a decrease in length and an increase in diameter. Consequently, as the heated oriented ends of the fiber soften, they must be shaped and fused in order to create a self-supportin g heat-sealed tuft when cool. It is usually desirable to bring the exposed fiber ends 26 contained in picking device 20 in contact with a steel plate heated to for example 600700F. and to allow the fiber ends to remain at or near the heated plate for 1-5 seconds, depending on the material, length of exposed fiber, type of hollow tuft, and similar considerations. After sufficient time, the melted fused ends may be brought into contact with a cold flat surface under slight pressure to flatten and cool the melt, thus forming the tuft 40 of FIG. 5. Tuft base 46 is composed of fused fibers 26.
It has also been discovered that the heat-softened tuft end may be retained in a heat-softened aperture or depression formed in a sheet of the filamentary material. This article is generally pictured at FIG. 9 and the construction thereof willbe subsequently explained.
Furthermore, the heat-softened tuft end may be mounted on a filamentary connector strand or thread whereby the strand is embedded in the heat-softened tuft end. When the hollow tuft end cools the tuft will be firmly secured to said strand. This method and tufted constructions made according thereto are the subject of my aforementioned patent application Ser. No. 186,659 and copending patent application Ser. No. 154,055, filed June 17, 1971 and the disclosure thereof is hereby incorporated by reference.
It has also been discovered that a wide variety of tufted articles may be made by mounting the heatsoftened tuft in ona handle made from the same filamentary material, for example, the paint brush of FIG. 6 may be constructed only of polypropylene filament and a polypropylene handle. Thus this brush has a single hollow tuft 40 formed directly onto the polypropylene handle 41, eliminating the need for a metal ferrule, epoxy glue, a wooden wedge and means for attaching the tuft to the handle as in conventional paint brushes.
With attention to FIG. 9, it has also been discovered that a heat-sealed tuft 40' may be mounted on a sheet or base 49 of the filamentary material as follows. In the preferred embodiment, a hot probe having the crosss'ectional shape of a cylinder (not shown) is placed on sheet 49 until the material softens. The tuft 40' may then be mounted on base 49 of filamentary material. In this preferred embodiment, the hot probe having the cross-sectional shape of a cylinder (not shown) is placed on base 49 until the material softens. The tuft 40 was picked and heat sealed as described above, and subsequently the heat-softened tuft end 46 of filament 47 is seated on the heat-softened depression 50 so that when the heat-softened material cools the tuft 40' will be retained on sheet 49. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that any conventional heating means including an ultrasonic means may alternatively be utilized to form the heat-softened depression 50 in sheet 49.
In summary, two alternate procedures have been described which may be utilized to form a tufted paint brush construction with single and double hollow tufts. In one embodiment the picker element has a rectangular configuration, FIG. 2A, as does the tuft dispensing aperture in the stock box, not shown. The picked tuft is then heat-sealed and mounted in a support. In the second method, FIG. 7, and 8, the picker 10 or 10' includes two internal piston elements for creating two hollow spaces 60 or 60' in the tuft. The tuft is then heat-sealed and thereby retained onto the handle.
The tuft-forming pickers of this invention as hereinabove described can be constructed from any conventional metal elements or thermoplastic materials such as polypropylene, polyacetal, polyamide, and the like. The tuft-forming pickers are not limited to any given size, internal diameter, or internal cross-sectional configuration.
It has been found that the tuft-forming picker of this invention will pick tufts from assembled parallel cut-tolength synthetic fibers having any cross-sectional configuration, such as circular, X-shaped, star shaped, hollow and the like. The diameter of the fibers picked ranges from 0.005 inches to at least 0.250 inches. The length of the cut-to-length fibers can range from about 0.5 up to 30 inches. The compositions of the synthetic fiber picked and assembled into fiber tufts is not limited, and thermoplastic fibers either oriented or unoriented can be used to form tufts in accordance with this invention. Polymers such polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, copolymers for polypropylene and ethylene, polyfluoride, and the lime may be employed.
This invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letter Patent is:
1. In an apparatus for making tufted constructions including a stock box for supporting parallel cut-tolength synthetic fibers, means for picking a plurality of said fibers from said stock box to form a tuft thereof, means for heat-sealing and fusing the nonworking end of said tuft, and means for mounting the nonworking end on a support, the improvement comprising:
an elongated, hollow tuft picking element having a fiber-receiving opening therein and having a preselected cross-sectional configuration;
retaining means disposed within said element for compressing fibers entering the opening against the internal walls of said element to retain the tuft formed therein, said retaining means including at least one elongated, hollow inner picking element having a fiber-receiving opening therein; plunger means disposed within said inner picking element for selectively ejecting the tuft formed therein from said inner element.
2. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
means carried by said device for actuating said plunger means, selectively, to eject the tuft formed from said inner element, and for subsequently ejecting the hollow tuft formed from said outer picking element.
3. The device of claim 2 wherein said element carries an internal end wall, said wall mounting said inner element at an end opposite the tuft receiving opening, said wall being disposed perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said element and spaced therealong a predetermined distance from the tuft receiving opening therein, said wall adapted to permit longitudinal entry of said filament into said hollow picking element for only a predetermined length.
4. The device of claim 1 further comprising a second plunger means disposed within said hollow picking element and surrounding said retaining means for selectively ejecting said retained tuft from said picking element through said fiber-receiving opening.
5. The device of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of inner hollow picking elements disposed within said hollow picking element, each of said elements having a fiber-receiving opening therein, and means carried thereby for selectively ejecting the tuft of fibers entering the fiber-receiving opening of said inner elements.
6. The device of claim 1 wherein said hollow picking element has a rectangular internal cross-sectional configuration.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein said hollow picking element has a circular cross-sectional configuration.
8. The device of claim 5 wherein each of said inner elements has an external, circular cross-sectional configuration and said elements are coaxially mounted within said picking element.
9. The device of claim 1 further comprising stop means disposed within said element for admitting only a predetermined length of fiber into said element.