US 3914487 A
A stretch fabric has bonded to it a plurality of discrete spaced projections of synthetic plastic material which project from a surface of the fabric and are advantageously of cellular plastic material imparting to those portions of the fabric which are provided with them an anti-slip or skid characteristic.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Azoulay Oct. 21, 1975 FABRIC WITH DISCRETE SPACED PROJECTIONS OF SYNTHETIC PLASTIC MATERIAL  Inventor: Claude Azoulay, 6 Rue Alsace Lorraine, 92100 Boulogne, France 22 Filed: Oct. 18,1973
21 Appl. No.: 409,271
 Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 23, 1972 France 72.37489  US. Cl. 428/93; 428/141; 428/197  Int. Cl B321) 3/10; B32b 3/14; 1332b 3/16  Field of Search 161/36, 159, 164, 160,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,648,619 8/1953 Alderfer l6l/l64 2,823,156 2/1958 Hedges 161/89 3,647,505 3/1972 Bjorn-Larsen.... 161/89 3,804,699 4/1974 Johnson 161/89 Primary Examiner-Mayer Weinblatt Assistant ExaminerEdith R. Buffalow Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Michael S. Striker A I ABSTRACT A stretch fabric has bonded to it a plurality of discrete spaced projections of synthetic plastic material which project from a surface of the fabric and are advantageously of cellular plastic material imparting to those portions of the fabric which are provided with them an anti-slip or skid vcharacteristic.
12 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures US. Patent Oct. 21, 1975 3,914,487
i? ikiki? i? FABRIC WITH DISCRETE SPACED PROJECTIONS OF SYNTHETIC PLASTIC MATERIAL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a fabric, and more particularly to a fabric having a plurality of discrete spaced projections of synthetic plastic material which are bonded to and project from a surface of the fabric.
There are many instances where it is important to impart to a fabric anti-skid or anti-slipping characteristics. The term fabric is employed in this disclosure is intended to refer to fabrics in general, although the invention is applicable with particular advantage to stretch fabrics, such as single knits anddouble knits, to mention only two possibilities.
One instance where the provision of anti-skid characteristics on a fabric is very important is in connection with so-called baby sleepers, or baby crawlers. These are usually made from a knit fabric, being in effect one-piece suits which are provided on the legs with foot portions into which the foot of the child is intended tofit. If the garment is made of a non-stretch fabric, then of course the desired anti-skid characteristic which should be imparted to. the soles of the foot portions can be provided simply by depositing a layer of synthetic plastic or the like on the sole. This assumes, however, that the foot portion is large enough so that it does not become stretched as the foot of the child is inserted into it. Under those circumstances, a non-stretch fabric can be satisfactorily coated with a synthetic plastic or the like which affords it the desired anti-skid characteristics.
The situation is different, however, if the fabric is a stretch fabric, for instance a single knit, a double knit, a knitted terry cloth or the like. With this type of fabric the appeal of the garment is, of course, that the fabric is capable of stretching. This means that the provision of anti-skid characteristics to the fabric must not interfere with the stretching of the fabric itself. Evidently, if a layer of synthetic plastic or the like is applied to the soles of the feet of a baby sleeper which is made of a stretchable fabric, the insertion of the childs foot into the foot portion of the garment, with the resultant stretching of the garment material, will cause the layer of synthetic plastic to tear, unless the layer is strong enough to prevent this, in which case it will also prevent the desired stretching of the fabric itself.
Similar circumstances obtain in other applications, for instance if anti-skid properties are to be imparted to the elbows or knees of a garment, to a bath mat which may be of knitted terry cloth, or the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art.
More particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved article of manufacture which does not possess these disadvantages.
Still more particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide such an article of manufacture wherein the stretchability of the fabric itself remains unchanged, while at the same time the fabric has antiskid properties imparted to it.
In keeping with the above objects,and with others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of the invention resides in an article of manufacture which, briefly stated, comprises a stretch fabric, and a plurality of discrete spaced projections of expanded synthetic plastic material which are bonded to the fabric and project from a surface thereof. These projections have anti-skid properties and thus afford the article the desired anti-skid characteristics without, however, in any way disadvantageously influencing the stretch capability of the fabric. This is so because the projections are spaced apart from one another and are discrete projections, rather than being in form of a continuous layer of synthetic plastic material. Moreover, because the projections themselves can be somewhat deformed when weight is placed upon them, or can even slightly tilt as the child walks or crawls, or as the user of the article performs some other movements which could cause such tilting, the anti-skid characteristics are further enhanced.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top-plan view showing an article according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical section through an apparatus for making the novel article, and showing the article being made; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section through a completed article according to the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing the drawing in detail, and referring firstly to FIG. lthereof it will be seen that I have shown an exemplary article according to the present invention in that Figure. Reference numeral 1 identifies a fabric, and in particular a stretch fabric such as a single knit fabric, a double knit fabric, a knitted terry cloth, a stretch-nylon fabric or a Banlon (TM) fabric. Of course, there are other stretch fabrics which have not been specifically mentioned herein, but which should be understood to be similarly suitable for purposes of the present invention.
Bonded to the fabric 1 is a plurality of discrete spaced projections of expanded synthetic plastic material, i.e., foam material. I have taken this opportunity to show different geometric shapes of these projections, round ones being identified with reference numeral 2, diamond-shaped ones with reference numeral 3, star-shaped ones with reference numeral 4 and zigzag-shaped ones with reference numeral 5. It will be understood, of course, that other shapes are fully conceivable, for instance ring shapes or the like, and are intended to be included in the protection afforded the invention. It will also be understood that any single type of geometric configuration or any desired combination of them, can be employed. 2
FIG. 2 shows diagrammatically an apparatus for bonding the projections 2, 3, 4 or 5 to the fabric 1. The latter is again identified with reference numeral 1, and it will be seen to have disposed on its exposed surface (with its upper surface the fabric 1 rests on a table or plate 6) a layer 7 of synthetic plastic foam material, that is a layer of expanded synthetic plastic material. Located above the support 6 and the fabric 1 with the layer 7 thereon, is a platen mounted on a support 1 l which can be moved upwardly away from and downwardly towards the fabric 1 and foam 7. The side of the platen 10 which faces the support 6 is formed with a plurality of projections having the illustrated configuration and cross-sectional shape. The elements 10 and l 1 can be heated in suitable manner, for instance by having resistance wires embedded in the elements 9 and/or 11, or in other suitable manner, by circulating heated fluid through them, or by means ofRF energy, to name some possibilities. In any case, when the elements 10 and 11 are brought down under pressure onto the layer 7, the projections of the platen 10 will cut through the layer 7 but they are so selected as to their length that they will not cut into or through the fabric 1. Since the platen and its projections are heated, those portions of the foam layer 7 which are located beneath the lower free end faces of the projections will be heated and temporarily melted so that their material can penetrate the interstices of the fabric 1 and become bonded to the same as the material of the layer 7 subsequently solidifies again.
Those portions, identified with reference numeral 8 in FIG. 2, which are located within the confines of the respective projections (which in cross-section should be understood in FIG. 2 to be circular to render the configuration of the projections which is identified with reference numeral 2 in FIG. 1) will thus become bonded to the fabric 1 and will form the circular projections 2, which are also shown in the fragmentary vertical section of FIG. 3 which is taken through the completed article composed of the fabric 1 and the projections 2.
Those portions 9 of the foam layer 7 which are located outside and intermediate the projections of the platen 10, will not have been bonded to the fabric 1 and can be removed when the platen 10 is subsequently raised again. In this connection it should be pointed out that it is entirely conceivable to make the elements 10 and 11' stationary and to raise and lower the support 6 until the desired bonding is achieved.
- Insofar asthe material of the layer 7 is concerned, it is pointed out that in the first place it must be a thermoplastic material since it must be capable of being rendered bondable with the fabric 1 under the heat of the platen 10. Furthermore, it is an expanded synthetic plastic material, for instance a foam plastic, and expanded PVC has been found to be particularly advantageous. Since it is desirable that the exposed surface of the projections 2-5, that is the surface which faces away from the fabric 1, be not cellular but be continuous and non-cellular, it is advantageous if so-called cast foam is used. Such foam is made by pouring foamable plastic onto a release paper or the like, and allowing the layer to foam. Industry, of the layer with the release paper, that is the contact at the interface between the release paper and the foam plastic layer, prevents the formtion of cells at the surface of the foam layer which engages the release paper, thus forming a skin on this surface, whereas the remainder of the layer is of cellular structure throughout. Details of this and other types of foam production, and general details concerning the suitability of various types of synthetic plastic foam material, may be obtained from the Plastics Engineering Handbook of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., Third Edition, Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York.
In any case, the projections 2 (or the projections 35) will have the desired anti-skid property, due to the material of which they are made. Their surfaces will have a high coefficient of friction, and the anti-skid property is further enhanced by the fact that when weight is placed upon the projections 2 they tend to be compressed resiliently due to the fact that they are of expanded synthetic plastic material. On the other hand, they do not interfere with the stretching of the material of the garment or fabric 1, since they are discrete projections which are spaced from one another and do not adhere or cohere with one another but only to the fabric 1. It is of course evident that the exposed surfaces of the projections must not be covered over, e.g., with another layer of plastic material as is known from the prior art, since the desired anti-skid properties depend upon the direct contact of these surfaces with the floor or other support with reference to which sliding is to be prevented.
It will be appreciated that the use of these projections is by no means limited merely to baby garments. As already pointed out earlier, it is possible to provide areas which are treated to have the desired anti-skid properties, by having the respective projections 25 or others applied to them, on the elbows of garments, on the knees of garments, on the shoulders of garments to serve as gun cushioning in order to prevent slippage of a gun during recoil of the latter, or bath mats, and in other applications. It is possible, for instance, to provide these projections on work clothes where the antiskid properties are desired. It is also possible to provide them on the seat of ski-pants, in order to act in effect as brakes in the event a skier should take a fall, so that he will not readily slip on ice or the like. In fact, the range of possibilities for the application of the present invention is exceedingly large as the above few examples clearly illustrate.
Of course, the anti-skid properties are primarily due to the fact that the projections 2-5 are of expanded synthetic plastic material, that is foam plastic material, although as pointed out earlier the compressibility of the foam plastic material does contribute to some extent. Such material does per se have a high coefficient of friction and thus afiords the desired anti-skid properties. By contrast to the prior art, where it is for instance known to provide an applique of desired shape to a garment or the like, the projections according to the present invention have their surfaces which face away from the fabric 1, exposed so that they can contact an upper surface with respect to which the fabric 1 is to exhibit anti-skid properties. The prior-art proposals for appliques either use plastic projections which have a smooth surface and do not employ foam at all, or they use a smooth layer of sheet vinyl or the like, which is bonded to a fabric and a layer of synthetic plastic foam material is sandwiched between the smooth layer of sheet vinyl or the like and the fabric. In the latter case, however, the foam material serves only as a cushion, that is as a padding which permits three-dimensional effects to be obtained with the appliques. It does not have any possibility of acting in a friction-promoting capacity, be-
cause it is covered up by the very smooth vinyl or other sheet material.
Actually, however, I have even found that irrespective of whether the surfaces of the projections 2-5 are smooth or rough, they will serve to impart an anti-skid characteristic to the finished article, as long as the projections are of expanded plastic and their surfaces are uncovered. Evidently, this eliminates plastics which are not in foam form, but as long as the plastic of the projections 2-5 is an expanded plastic, the surface contour of the respective projections 2-5 is immaterial, which means that it is of no consequence whether the exposed surfaces of the projections are smooth or have been contoured so as to be non-smooth or rough. The fact that the projections are of expanded plastic, and that their exposed surfaces which are to contact the floor or the like are not covered by other material that can detract from their anti-friction properties, will in and of itself assure that they afford the desired anti-skid properties.
I wish it to be understood that the invention, although particularly suitable for use with stretch fabrics, can also be used with non-stretch fabrics. If so, it will be appreciated that the degree of anti-skid protection afforded by the projections 25 of the present invention will be the same as that which is afforded if the fabric 1 is a stretchable fabric. Of course, the consideration of not wishing to interfere with the stretching of the fabric would not apply under these circumstances, but the consideration of affording anti-skid protection would still exist and be highly advantageous.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of applicants differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in an article of manufacture, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention, that others can be applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims:
1. An article of manufacture composed essentially of stretch fabric; and a plurality of discrete spaced antiskid projections consisting of expanded synthetic plastic foam material bonded to said fabric and projecting from only one surface thereof, said projections having uncovered high-friction faces of said material which are to contact a surface with respect to which skid protection is to be obtained, whereby the anti-skid characteristic of said stretch fabric and the stretching characteristic of said stretch fabric do not interfere with one another.
2. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said expanded plastic material is expanded polyvinylchloride.
3. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said projections are of cellular synthetic plastic material having an integral non-cellular uncovered surface.
4. An article as defined in claim I, wherein said stretch fabric is a knit fabric.
5. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said stretch fabric is a double-knit fabric.
6. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said projections are of substantially bead-shaped outline.
7. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said stretch fabric is knitted terry-cloth.
8. An article as defined in claim 1, wherein said expanded synthetic plastic material is cast expanded PVC and said projections have non-cellular integral exposed surfaces.
9. An article as defined in claim I, wherein some of said synthetic plastic material of each projection penetrates interstices of said stretch fabric.
10. An article of manufacture, composed essentially of a textile fabric; and a plurality of discrete spaced projections consisting of expanded synthetic plastic foam material having a high coefficient of friction, said projections being bonded to said fabric, projecting from only one surface thereof and having integral uncovered surfaces adapted to engage a surface on which skid-protection is to be obtained, whereby the anti-skid characteristic of said textile fabric and the stretching characteristic of said textile fabric, do not interfere with one another.
11. An article as defined in claim 10, wherein said fabric is a stretch fabric.
12. An article as defined in claim 10, wherein some of said synthetic plastic material of each projection penetrates interstices of said textile fabric.