US 2903376 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 8, 1959 J. P. DONAHUE METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF FLOCK-COATED SHEET MATERIAL Filed Nov. 5, 1956 9w R W m e m \w m M m %FA WM 3% m 0 2w m m Y B United States Patent METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE PRODUC- TION 0F FLOCK-COATED SHEET MATERIAL John P. Donahue, Hawthorne, NJ assignor, by mesne assignments, to D. 8: S. Processing Company, Inc., Clifton, N.J., a corporation of Delaware Application November '5, 1956, Serial No. 620,247
Claims. (Cl. 11720) The present invention relates to the production of pilesurfaced or coated materials and, more particularly relates to apparatus for and methods of coating sheet material with flock, tinsel or other particles. using sonic or supersonic compression-waves to vibrate the sheet material and the particles applied thereto during the coating process.
Pile surfaced, flocked, or other particle-coated materials are at present commonly manufactured by first coating the surface of the base material with an adhesive or by printing particle retaining designs thereon and by thereafter applying flock or other particles to the base material while vibrating the base material with mechanical beaters. The use of these heaters is effective in embedding flock fibers or other particles firmly in the adhesive or printed coating with a generally upstanding pattern with respect to the base material. However, the opera tion of the heaters to vibrate the material is accompanied by objectionable frictional contact between the heaters and the base material which causes wear and strain on the base material. The mechanical beating also requires a relatively large amount of power and is accompanied by an objectionable over-all vibration of the coating apparat us.
The present invention reduces these objectionable effects by accomplishing the vibration of the adhesively coated flexible material or web by a compression-wave generator, such as a sonic or super-sonic wave generator.
Accordingly, an object of the. present invention is to provide an improved method and means forforming pilesurfaced materials or materials coated with abrasive particles or other relatively minute particles.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and means for vibrating the base material in the manufacture of flocked or coated goods in which the mechanical heaters are eliminated.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a method and means of flocking or coating in which the about to be described, or will be indicated in the appended claims, and various advantages not referred to herein will occur to one skilled in the art upon employment of the invention in practice.
noise level and over-all vibration of the apparatus are re A preferred embodiment of: the invention has been chosen for purposes of illustration and description and is .shown in the accompanying drawings, forming a part of the specification, wherein:
Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic side elevational view of the apparatus embodying the principles of the invention;
Fig. 2 is a top plan viewpartially cut away showing the apparatus of Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is an end elevational View partially cut away of the apparatus of Fig. l; and
Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the upper portion of the vibrator mechanism showing the attachment of the flexible diaphragm at the edge of the vibrator frame and the diaphragm tension adjustor.
The method and apparatus will first be described in general with particular reference to Fig. 1. Fig. l illustrates a preferred embodiment of the flocking apparatus 1 comprising a vibrating means 2 above which the flexible sheet material 4 is moved between a supply roller 5 and a drying or other web handling means (not shown). The base sheet material 4 is carried over the vibrator means 2 from the supply roller 5 on suitable rollers 8, 9, 10, and 11, and it has an adhesive coating applied to its upper surface by an adhesive applicator 6 containing a supply of suitable. adhesive 7. Any of the well-known adhesive applicators or base material printing means or stencils may be used in place of the applicator 6 illustrated in Fig. 1. One or more of the rollers 8, 9, 10, and 11 may be driven by a suitable drive mechanism so that the sheet material 4 is moved continuously from the supply roller 5 through the ahesive applicator 6, and above the upper surface of the vibrating means 2. Flock fibers 14 are applied to the adhesively coated surface of the web 4 as it reaches vibrating means 2 from a suitable flock hopper indicated at 15. Any of the commonly used flock or particle applying means may be used to supply an even and controlled amount of flock 14 to the adhesive 7 on the web surface.
As the web- 4 passes above the top of the vibrating means 2, the vibrating means imparts a generally vertical vibratory motion to it, as will be more fully described below in connection with a more detailed description of the vibrating means 2. This vibratory motion of the web 4 causes the flocked fibers 14 to be implanted in the adhesive 7. By the time web 4 has reached the righthand end of vibrating means 2, it has a uniformly coated surface of planted fibers or other particles 14. The coated material 4 is thereafter carried by suitable rollers, such as rollers 10 and 11, from the vibrating means 2 to a suitable storage or drying means (not shown) where the drying of the adhesive or printed coating 7 locks the implanted fibers. or particles 14 in position.
A preferred embodiment of the vibrating apparatus is shown in Figs. 1 through 3. A plurality of compression-wave generators 24 are mounted in spaced relationship in a vibrator frame 20. The generators 24 may be suitable loud speakers such as electromagnetic or electrodynamic speakers or other electrically driven vibrators of the well-known types. It is preferred to use generators which have a relatively broad frequency response, so that they may be driven by a suitable variable frequency electric-wave generator or oscillator 27 at different frequencies for different materials and operating conditions to maintain the. maximum operating efliciency.
As seen in Fig. 1, a plurality of generators 24 may be wired in parallel by wiring 26 to a suitable oscillator 27. Control of the output amplitude of the compression-wave generators may be obtained by controlling the output level of the oscillator 27, or individual volume controls such as are indicated at 37 may be inserted in the individual lead lines to the generators 24 so that the vibratory pattern over the surface of the vibrating means 2 may be controlled as desired by the adjustment of the output of each of the individual generators 24.
Such a volume control may consist of a variable resistor which is adjustable between a suitable high value and zero. Additional control of the vibratory pattern over the surface of the vibrating means 2 may be obtained by inserting a conventional phase control device into one or more of the individual speaker lead lines such as are indicated at 38 in Fig. 1. Such a phase control may be made adjustable for phase shifts between zero and a suitable maximum.
As illustrated in Fig. 1, the preferred location for the web 4 is above the upper surface of the vibrating means 2. The upper surface of the frame of the vibrating means 2 is also preferably covered with a flexible diaphragm member 22 such as a sheet of rubber or other flexible material. The diaphragm 22 is tacked or otherwise fastened to the outer edges 21 of the frame 20. The flexible diaphragm 22 has a resonant frequency at which it will give the maximum vibratory response when the generators 24 are operated at that frequency. The vibrator means 2 is operated most efliciently at or near this resonant frequency. The resonant frequency of the flexible diaphragm 22 is made adjustable by providing an adjustable tensioning means therefor. As seen in Fig. 4, the side pieces 21 of frame 20 are connected to end pieces 21a by a rotatable screw fastener 21b so that rotation of screw fastener 21b varies the spacing between side pieces 21 to change the tension of flexible diaphragm 22. The web 4 in the preferred embodiment is spaced about half an inch from the diaphragm 22. An air cushion is therefore provided between the web 4 and the diaphragm 22. The compression-waves from the generators 24 vibrate the web 4 through the intermediation of the vibratory motion of the diaphragm 22 and the air cushion existing between diaphragm 22 and web 4.
In order to provide for an even distribution of the flocked fibers 14 on the adhesively coated surface of the web 4, it has been found advantageous to oscillate the compression-wave generators 24 laterally of the direction of the web motion.
As seen in Fig. 3, the generators 24 are mounted on a movable generator mounting panel 25 which has rollers 28 on its lower surface which run in tracks 29. A continuous oscillating or reciprocating motion is imparted to the generator mounting panel 25 by a drive system 30. Drive system 30 comprises a drive motor 31 coupled to an adjustable speed reducer 32. Speed reducer 32 drives a crank member through the intermediation of pulleys 33 and 34 and drive belt 36. Crank 35 is pivotally connected at one end to pulley 34 and at its other end to the generator mounting panel 25 so that rotation of the pulley 34 causes generator mounting panel 25 to oscillate on tracks 29 transversely of the path of the web 4.
The operation of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, which has been disclosed in detail in connection with the above description, may be summarized as follows. The flexible base material or web 4 is fed from the roller 5 over rollers 8, through the adhesive applicator 6, and above the upper surface of the vibrating means 2 on rollers 9, 10, and 11. Suitable drive means connected to one or more of the rollers 8, 9, 10, and 11 moves the web 4 continuously along this path. The flock applicator 15 which is filled with flocked fibers 14 applies an even coat of the flock fibers 14 to the adhesively coated surface of web 4. Oscillator 27 is energized when the adhesively coated web starts to move over vibrator means 2 so that the generators 24 vibrate the web 4 through the intermediation of the flexible diaphragm 22 and the air cushion between the diaphragm 22 and the web 4. Drive motor 31 is simultaneously energized so that the drive system 30 oscillates the generators 24 transversely of the moving web to provide for an even distribution of the flock fibers 14. As the web 4 with its coating of adhesive 7 and the flocked fibers 14 superimposed thereon moves above type of motion which is imparted to each of the flocked fibers causes one end of each fiber to be implanted in the adhesive 7 so that the fibers orient themselves in a generally uniform vertically oriented pattern, such as is seen at the right-hand side of Fig. 4, before the web 4 reaches the right-hand end of the vibrating means 2. Thereafter, the flocked or pile surface of the web is carried by rollers 10 and 11 to suitable storage and drying means where the adhesive 7 dries to hold the flocked fibers 14 in position. Suitable adjustments of vibration amplitude and phasing are made by means of the oscillator output controls and the volume phasing controls 37 and 38, respectively, to obtain an even and dense distribution of the flocked fibers 14.
While the above disclosure describes and illustrates the flocking operation in connection with compressionwave generators of the loud-speaker type, operated at sonic or super-sonic frequencies, it is clear that other forms of pressure-wave generators may be used to produce sonic or super-sonic pressure or compression waves adjacent to the diaphragm 22. The waves generated by the generators 24 in the air surrounding the diaphragm 22, web 4, and flock 14 are progressive longitudinal vibratory disturbances comprising condensations and rarefactions of the air. These are commonly referred to as sound waves where they are generated at sonic frequencies. In the present disclosure and claims these types of waves at both sonic and supersonic frequencies are termed compression waves and the generators are termed compression wave generators, for convenience.
Although fiber planting can be accomplished with the web 4 contacting the diaphragm 22, greatly improved results in operating et'ticiences result when the web 4 is spaced slightly from the diaphragm 22 as described above.
It will be seen that the present invention provides an improved method of vibrating the base material in a pile surface coating operation. The method and device disclosed reduce wear and over-all vibration of the flocking apparatus and in addition provide an eflicient vibratory system which is more flexible in use and more easily controlled and adjusted than the conventional mechanical types.
As various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and without sacrificing any of its advantages, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. In the manufacture of flock-coated sheet material, the improved method which comprises applying an adhesive coating to a surface of the sheet material, moving the sheet material past a generally horizontal flat flexible diaphragm along a path parallel to and slightly spaced therefrom, applying elongated flock particles to the adhesive coating, and generating compression waves adjacent to and directed toward the diaphragm and moving in a direction generally perpendicular thereto whereby the diaphragm and the sheet material are vibrated by the compression waves in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the diaphragm and the sheet material and the elongated flock fibers are implanted in the adhesive and are oriented generally vertically of the sheet material.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 which further comprises moving the source of the compression Waves transversely of the direction of motion of the sheet material to equalize the amplitude of the vibrations transversely across the sheet material.
3. A device for flock printing sheet material which comprises means to continuously coat the sheet material with a layer of adhesive, means to apply flock to the coated surface of the sheet material, means to continuously move the adhesively coated sheet material as a relatively flat sheet along a generally horizontal path bethe vibrating means 2, the generally vertical vibratory neath the flock applying means whereby the flock engages and adheres to the adhesive, a flat flexible diaphragm beneath said sheet material and generally parallel thereto and slightly spaced therefrom, means adjacent said diaphragm to generate compression waves directed toward said diaphragm and traveling in a direction generally perpendicular to the plane of the sheet whereby the adhesively coated textile is vibrated to embed the flock in the adhesive.
4. The device as claimed in claim 3 which further comprises a movable mounting for said means to generate compression waves and a drive means operatively connected thereto and adapted to move said means to generate compression waves transversely of the moving sheet 15 2,748,746
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,318,740 Fessenden Oct. 14, 1919 2,020,319 King Nov. 12, 1935 2,337,569 Pietschack Dec. 28, 1943 2,657,668 Maier Nov. 3, 1953 2,696,445 Schwartz et al. Dec. 7, 1954 Wommelsdorf June 5, 1956 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No 2,903,376 September 8, 1959 John P. Donahue It is hereby certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent should read as corrected below.
Column 5 line 1, strike out "the vibrating means 2, the generally vertical vibratory" and insert the same between lines 1 and 2, in column Signed and sealed this 22nd day of March 1960,,
KARL AXLINE ROBERT C. WATSON Attesting Ofiiccr Commissioner of Patents