|Publication number||US3922409 A|
|Publication date||Nov 25, 1975|
|Filing date||Jan 21, 1974|
|Priority date||Jan 26, 1973|
|Also published as||DE2402333A1, DE2402333B2, DE2402333C3|
|Publication number||US 3922409 A, US 3922409A, US-A-3922409, US3922409 A, US3922409A|
|Original Assignee||Stark Erwin|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (33), Classifications (15)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,922,409 Stark Nov. 25, 1975  FOOTMAT 2,786,683 3 1957 Shapiro 273/195 A ,4 4 l l W'  Inventor Erwin Stark Auhlrschgasse :23; 926 10%;; 52/177 Linz, Austria  Filed: Jan. 21, 1974 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1 pp No: 435,314 1,219,084 12/1959 France 52/180  Foreign Application Priority Data jgi gffiyjglg i gg i' Pinkham Jan. 26, 1973 Austria 722/73  U.S. Cl. 428/44; 428/156; 428/179; I 272/3; 47/26; 47/1 [571 ABSTRACT  Int. C1. E04F 10/00 The f ootmat comprises a multiplicity of closely spaced  g gz gd g 34 ig heads which are distributed throughout the area of the 6 l l5 mat and define interstices between them and are pro- 231]. vided each with at least two spaced apart supporting l feet. Each of said feet is joined below the heads to f References Cited zuggortmg eet of ad acent heads to form an 1ntegr UNITED STATES PATENTS 348,782 9/1886 Sawyer 52/177 8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures US. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 FOOTMAT This invention relates to a footmat of rubber, plastics materialor the like, particularly for sports purposes, which mat comprises closely spaced heads, which are distributedover the area of the mat, and is formed with interstices between the head.
It is known from the Austrian Pat. No. 287,046 to place such a footmat on the leveled subsoil of a sports ground. In that case, grass can be grown, which can drive rootsv through the interstices between the heads. The grass is preferably grown in such a manner that the underside of the grass. leaves is below the surface which is defined by theheads so that a destruction of the plants will be avoided even if the grass surface is heavily worn. Alternatively, the interstices between the heads may be filled with sand, slag, ashes or the like.
The footmat ensuresa more uniform distribution of loads on the subsoil so that the subsoil is maintained in a looser-state and nevertheless substantial deviations from a planar surface are avoided even under heavy loads. In any case, the drainage of water is improved and, where a lawn is provided, the growing of roots through the soil is accelerated and the aeration of the soil is maintained. The soil which is covered by the footmat is protected against drying out so that a good growth of grass is ensured. This growth is further promoted by the uniform moisture content which can be ensured in the upper layers of the soil. The loose soil promotes the drainage of excesswater.
A uniform drainage of the water depends on the permeability of the footmat in'a vertical direction and on the distribution of the water in a horizontal direction. The drainage of water will be improved if the water which is received is uniformly distributed throughout the subsoil. The horizontal distribution of the water will naturally depend on the size of the horizontal passages which remain open below the tread plane. Those passages have been definedso far only by the interstices between the heads above the undersurface of the footmat.
It is a main-object of the invention to provide a footmat which enables a maintenance of large horizontal passages in spite of a close spacing of the heads.
. Another object of the invention resides in the provision of a footmat which in various applications fully meets the requirements to be fulfilled by it and which has an inherent elasticity which is sufficient for a soft cushioning of shock loads and for a distribution of such loads over a large area on the subsoil whereas when placed on a hard subsoil the mat can resiliently take up loads.
A further object of the invention is to provide a footmat which can easily be placed and which in case of need can be repaired without substantial difficulty.
A footmat of the kind defined first hereinbefore is characterized according to the invention in that each head has at least two spaced apart supporting feet, which are connected below the heads to the supporting feet of adjacent heads to form an integral grate.
In the mat according to the invention the interstices between the heads and the interstices between the feet of each head are available for a horizontal flow of water when the mat is used in the open. As described hereinbefore, the footmat may be placed on a natural subsoil, whereafter the interstices between the stubbles are filled with sand, slag or ashes, or grass is grown. As grass propagates not only by seeds but also by runners extending closely above the ground, the use of the footmat in a lawn affords the special advantage that more free space is available for the growth of these runners so that a denser ramification of the runners results and a denser and more coherent turf can be obtained. In this case too, the underside of the leaves of the grass is protected beacuse it lies under the tread.
Further details and'advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description-of the drawings, in which the invention is illustrated by way of example. I
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic top plan view showing part of a footmat which can be composed of a plurality of mat sections,
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view showing a portion of a mat section of a first embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 3 is a top plan view showing the mat section of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a bottom view showing the mat section of FIG. 2,
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2 and shows a mat section of a second embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 6 is a top plan view showing the mat section of FIG. 5,
FIG. 7 is a bottom view showing the mat section of FIG. 5,
FIG. 8 is an enlarged view showing as a detail the joint-forming portions of two adjacent mat sections before they are snapped together, and
FIG. 9 is a side elevation showing the joint of FIG. 8 when the mat sections have been snapped together.
The footmat shown in FIG. 1 consists of a plurality of mat sections 1, which are interconnected by connector eyelets 2, which cooperate with mating connector elements. These eyelets are provided on two adjacent sides of the generally rectangular mat section so that the entire footmat can be composed of identical mat sections 1. Because the connector elements can be separated, each mat section 1 can be individually replaced.
The rectangular configuration of the mat sections is shown only by way of example. Mat sections having other configurations may be used and mat sections having different mating configurations may be assembled to form a footmat. In special cases, wide footmats may .be made in one piece. The mat sections may be made from rubber and plastics materials, such as injectionmoldable thermoplastics. The hardness and elasticity of the material for each embodiment of the invention will depend on the shape which has been selected and on the intended purpose. The material may be processed by injection molding or by any other method for which the material is suitable and which enables the manufacture of the desired final shape.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2-4, closely spaced heads 3 are uniformly distributed throughout the top surface of the mat section 1 and define therebetween straight first passages through the mat perpendicular to the top surface of the mat. These heads have generally the shape of circular discs and are provided each with two supporting feet, which diverge from the associated head 3 and are. inclined relative to the surface which is defined by the exposed top faces 4 of the heads. Below the heads 3, the supporting feet 5 are connected to the supporting feet of adjacent heads to form a grate in another surface parallel to that of the faces 4. The nodes between these supporting feet 5 themselves form rounded knobs 6, which face down- 3 wardly. Four supporting feet are joined at each knob 6 and diverge also with respect to the knobs 6 and are inclined relative to the surface or plane which isdefined by the knobs 6 so as to define a set of second passages between the two major surfaces of 'the mat and parallel to such surfaces.
The mat section I is provided on the outside with a reinforcing edge portion 7, into which the outer supporting feet 5 of the edge heads 3 merge and which also includes part of the eyelets 2.
The provision of the differently shaped heads 3 and knobs 6 enables the use of the footmat composed of the mat sections of FIGS. 2-4 for different purposes. With the heads 3 facing upwardly, the footmat may preferably be used for tennis courts, football and handball fields with and without a lawn. If the footmat is placed with the smaller knobs 6 facing upwardly, the knobs form a low-friction surface which may be used, e.g., for curling or skiing. Wherever it is not intended to provide a turf, the heads 3 or knobs 6 facing downwardly may be placed on or even embedded in concrete. In that case, the diverging supporting feet provide for a certain inherent elasticity so that the mat can yield under load and when released spring back to its initial position. Sand or track cinder may be placed between the supporting feet 5 so that the mat when used in the open ensures a good lateral flow of water to drain slots provided in the concrete.
The exposed faces of the heads 3 and knobs 6 will be roughened where desired.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 to 7, like parts are designated by the same reference characters as in the preceding figures. The essential difference to the previously described embodiment resides in that each head 3 has three supporting feet 5a. Three supporting feet 50 from respective adjacent heads 3 extend to and are joined in a downwardly facing node, which forms a rounded knob 6. r
The connector elements of the mat sections 1 shown in FIGS. 5 to 7 consist also of eyelets 2, which extend from reinforcing edge portions 7. As is particularly apparent from FIGS. 8 and 9, these eyelets 2 are adapted to be fitted from above over respective heads 3 at the edge of an adjacent mat section. The eyelet is provided with upwardly facing, converging detent fingers 8, which in the connecting position snap into the interstices 9 between the feet under the head. A spreading tool may be introduced between the feet 5a and into the eyelet 2 from above and may be used to force these detent fingers out of their snapped-in position to separate the connector.
It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the embodiments shown by way of example but may be modified in various ways as regards the size and form of the mat sections heads, and knobs, as re,- gards the height and number'of the supporting feet and as regards the connectors used between the mat sections.
What is claimed is:
1. A mat comprising:
a. a plurality of spaced head portions having respective exposed faces, said faces jointly defining a first surface;
b. a plurality of elongated foot portions associated with each head portion and extending away from the associated head portion transversely of said first surface; and
c. a plurality of spaced node portions having respective exposed faces jointly defining a second surface I parallel to said first surface, '1. each node portion being connected to two of said head portions by respective ones of said foot portions, 2. said head portions defining therebetween a plurality of first passages extending through said mat from said first surface to said second surface, 3. said foot portions defining a plurality of second passages extending between said surfaces and connecting first passages. Y
2. A mat as set forth in claim 1, wherein said head portions, node portions, and foot portions jointly constitute a unitary body, said foot portions'being resilient.
3. A mat as set forth'in claim], wherein said first passages are straight and perpendicular tosaid surfaces.
4. A mat as set forth in claim 3, wherein said exposed faces of said head portions are flat and parallel to said first surface.
5. A mat as set forth in claim 4, wherein said exposed faces of said node portions are rounded and smaller than said exposed faces of said head portions.
6. A mat as set forth in claim 1, wherein the foot portions associated with each head portion diverge in a direction away from the associated head portion.
7. A mat as set forth in claim 6, wherein the foot portions connecting each node portion to said two head juxtaposed edge-to-edge to another, identical mat.
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|U.S. Classification||428/44, 47/1.01R, 428/179, 472/92, 47/32, 428/156, 52/177, 47/1.01F|
|International Classification||E01C13/04, E01C9/00, E01C13/00|
|Cooperative Classification||E01C13/045, E01C9/004|
|European Classification||E01C13/04B, E01C9/00D|