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Número de publicaciónUS20060052181 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 10/936,396
Fecha de publicación9 Mar 2006
Fecha de presentación8 Sep 2004
Fecha de prioridad8 Sep 2004
También publicado comoCA2518641A1, US20070032312, US20070032313, US20070155533
Número de publicación10936396, 936396, US 2006/0052181 A1, US 2006/052181 A1, US 20060052181 A1, US 20060052181A1, US 2006052181 A1, US 2006052181A1, US-A1-20060052181, US-A1-2006052181, US2006/0052181A1, US2006/052181A1, US20060052181 A1, US20060052181A1, US2006052181 A1, US2006052181A1
InventoresAnthony Serrano, John Bliss, Dale Obeshaw
Cesionario originalKarsten Manufacturing Corporation
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Metal-organic composite golf club head
US 20060052181 A1
Resumen
A golf club head is formed of a hollow body, the rear body portion of which includes a metallic stringer that extends along the crown-skirt interface and a plurality of ribs intersecting the metallic stringer to form a lattice frame, the openings of which are filled with an organic composite material such as graphite epoxy. An additional aperture formed in the skirt is also filled with the same graphite epoxy material. Because the graphite epoxy is lighter than the surrounding metal frame, the rear body portion of the golf club head is lighter than a comparable all metal club head. Yet, the presence of the metallic stringer and frame renders the metal-organic composite rear body portion substantially stiffer than a comparable all-composite rear body portion.
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Reclamaciones(29)
1. A golf club head comprising:
a hollow body having a heel end, a toe end, a front wall and a rear body portion;
said front wall including a metal face adapted for impacting a golf ball; and
said rear body portion forming a shell, at least a portion of which is made from a metal/organic composite material.
2. The golfclub head of claim 1, wherein:
said rear body portion comprises a metal frame having a plurality of apertures and at least one layer of fiber reinforced organic resin extending across a portion of said metal frame covering at least one of said plurality of apertures.
3. The golfclub head of claim 1, wherein:
said metal face and said metal frame are formed of the same metallic material.
4. The golf club head of claim 3, wherein:
said metal face and said metal frame are integral.
5. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein:
said rear body portion comprises a crown made from a metal organic composite material.
6. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein:
said rear body portion comprises a skirt made from a metal organic composite material.
7. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein:
said hollow body includes a metal portion which ranges by weight from 150-170 grams, and the portion of said rear body portion made from said composite material ranges from 10-40 grams.
8. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein:
said metal face has a maximum thickness of from 0.110 to 0.160 inches proximal the geometric center of the face, tapering toward a thinner region proximal the heel and toe ends of said club head.
9. The golf club head of claim 1, wherein:
said metal face has an area of at least 5.00 square inches.
10. A golfclub head comprising:
a hollow body having a heel end, a toe end, a front wall and a rear body portion, said front wall including a metallic face adapted for impacting a golf ball, said rear body portion including a crown, a sole and a skirt, the crown and the skirt meeting along an arcuate perimeter region;
a metallic stringer integrally attached to said front wall and extending along at least a portion of said arcuate perimeter region; and
a composite filler extending from said metallic stringer generally toward said front wall to form at least a portion of said hollow body.
11. The golf club head of claim 10, wherein:
said composite filler forms at least a portion of said skirt of said hollow body.
12. The golfclub head of claim 10, wherein said composite filler forms at least a portion of said crown of said hollow body.
13. The golf club head of claim 12, further comprising:
a second composite filler extending from said metallic stringer toward said sole to form at least a portion of the skirt of said hollow body.
14. The golf club head of claim 10, further comprising:
a plurality of ribs intersecting said metallic stringer to form a lattice frame that supports said composite filler.
15. The golf club head of claim 10, further comprising:
a second stringer displaced radially inward from said first stringer.
16. The golf club head of claim 15, further comprising:
a third stringer displaced radially inward from said second stringer.
17. The golf club head of claim 10, wherein:
said hollow body is at least 400 cubic centimeters in volume.
18. The golf club head of claim 10, wherein:
said front wall and said metallic stringer are formed together as a unitary piece.
19. The golfclub head of claim 10, wherein:
said front wall and said metallic stringer are formed together as a unitary casting.
20. A golf club head comprising:
a hollow body having a heel end, a toe end, a front wall and a rear body portion, said front wall including a metallic face adapted for impacting a golf ball, said rear body portion including a metallic lattice frame having a plurality of ribs intersecting at least one stringer; and
at least one layer of fiber reinforced organic resin extending across said metallic lattice frame covering said plurality of apertures.
21. A method of fabricating a golf club comprising:
forming club head having a crown, a sole, a skirt, a heel end and a toe end, said club head comprising a hollow body having an integral metallic face and a metallic rear body portion, said metallic rear body portion including an arcuate perimeter region extending continuously from said toe end to said heel end; and
attaching a fiber reinforced organic resin to said metallic perimeter region to extend from said metallic perimeter region toward said metallic face to form at least a portion of one of said crown and said skirt of said club head.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein:
the step of attaching the fiber reinforced organic resin to said metallic perimeter region to form at least a portion of one of said crown and said skirt of said club head comprises:
placing said hollow body in a mold cavity;
laying up a prepreg composite inside said hollow body;
inserting a bladder into said hollow body and inflating the bladder to force the prepreg to conform to an inner surface of said hollow body; and
curing the prepreg composite to form said portion of one of said crown and said skirt of said club head.
23. A golf club head comprising:
a hollow body made of high density material, said hollow body having a heel end, a toe end, a front wall and a rear body portion;
said rear body portion including a crown, a sole, a skirt extending between said crown and said sole, and an arcuate perimeter region formed where said crown and said skirt meet;
a stringer spaced radially inwardly from said arcuate perimeter region and a plurality of ribs connecting said arcuate perimeter region and said stringer; and
said arcuate perimeter region, said stringer and said ribs defining a lattice which includes a plurality of apertures formed in said crown.
24. The golf club head of claim 23, further comprising a layer of low density material filling said apertures in said lattice.
25. The golf club head of claim 24, wherein said high density material is metal and wherein said low density material is resin.
26. The golf club head of claim 23, wherein said plurality of apertures comprises five apertures located between said arcuate perimeter region and said stringer.
27. The golf club head of claim 23, further comprising another stringer located radially inward from said first-mentioned stringer and being connected to said first-mentioned stringer by said plurality of ribs.
28. The golf club head of claim 27, wherein said plurality of apertures comprises five apertures located between said arcuate perimeter region and said first-mentioned stringer and five apertures located between said first-mentioned stringer and said another stringer.
29. The golf club head of claim 8, wherein said thinner region has a thickness of 0.070 to 0.090 inches.
Descripción
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to golf clubs and, in particular, to so-called metal wood drivers.

Recent developments in golf club design have included improvements in drivers, which are clubs used primarily to strike a golf ball resting on a golf tee. These improvements have resulted in drivers with club heads consisting of a hollow shell usually made of metal, such as steel, aluminum, or titanium. One example of a golf club head consisting of a hollow metal shell is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,851,160 to Rugge, et al. In an effort to obtain better and better performance from these hollow metal wood drivers, however, golf club manufactures have increased the head volume from a moderate volume of 250 cubic centimeters as disclosed in Rugge, et al. to over 400 cubic centimeters in recent years. The striking face of a metal wood driver must be of a certain minimal thickness in order to withstand the impact forces generated upon impact with a golf ball. Accordingly, as head size increases, less and less material is available for fabricating the crown, sole and skirt of the club head while maintaining the club head of these super-oversized drivers within acceptable weight limitations (i.e., around 200 grams mass).

More recently, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,471,604, one golf club manufacturer has suggested a club head having a metallic face bonded to an aft body composed of a non-metal material such as a composite or thermoplastic material. The lightweight plastic rear body enables more metal to be dedicated to the striking face, however, many golfers dislike the impact sound produced by a club head having a low resonance, highly damped non-metallic rear body. Moreover, because of the discontinuity between the all-composite or thermoplastic rear body and the striking face, the striking face is not significantly supported by the rear body. Consequently, more material must be dedicated to striking face itself, thereby canceling out much of the weight savings attributable to the non-metallic rear body.

Accordingly, what is needed is a club head having a metal-organic composite rear body, which is integral to the striking face and therefore maintains some of the stiffness (and frequency) of a fully-metallic rear body, while still providing a lightweight rear body structure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a golf club head formed of a hollow body having a metallic face and a rear body portion forming a shell at least a portion of which is made of a metal-organic composite material. According to a preferred embodiment, the rear body portion of the club head includes a metallic stringer that extends along a crown-skirt interface and a plurality of ribs intersecting the metallic stringer to form a lattice frame, the openings of which are filled with an organic composite material such as graphite epoxy. In the preferred embodiment, the lattice frame forms at least a portion of the crown of the rear body portion. An additional aperture formed in the skirt is also filled with the same graphite epoxy material. Because the graphite epoxy is lighter than the surrounding metal lattice frame, the rear body portion of the golf club head is lighter than a comparable all metal club head. Yet, the presence of the metallic stringer and lattice frame renders the metal-organic composite rear body portion substantially stiffer than a comparable all-composite rear body portion.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood from a reading of the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings figures in which like references designate like elements and, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a golf club head incorporating features of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the golf club head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the golf club head of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a toe-end side view of the golf club head of FIG. I;

FIG. 5 is a heel-end side view of the golf club head of FIG. I;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the golf club head of FIG. I;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the golf club head of FIG. 6 taken along line 7-7;

FIG. 8 is a top view of an alternative embodiment of a golf club head incorporating features of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a golf club head incorporating features of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The drawing figures are intended to illustrate the general manner of construction and are not necessarily to scale. In the detailed description and in the drawing figures, specific illustrative examples are shown and herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the drawing figures and the detailed description are not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed but are merely illustrative and intended to teach one of ordinary skill how to make and/or use the invention claimed herein and for setting forth the best mode for carrying out the invention.

With reference to FIGS. 1-7, and in particular FIGS. 1 and 2, golf club head 10 comprises a hollow body 12 formed of a metal material having a front wall including a face 14 for impacting a golf ball, and a hose 16 adapted to receive a golf club shaft (not shown). Hollow body 12 further comprises a rear body portion 18, which is made up of a crown 20, a sole 22 and a skirt 24 that form a shell. Crown 20 and skirt 24 meet at apex 26 which comprises an area having a small cross sectional radius of curvature 27 (FIG. 7) and which extends in an arcuate path (as viewed in FIG. 3) from a position proximal the heel end 28 of hollow body 12 to a position proximal the toe end 30 of hollow body 12.

The region surrounding apex 26 forms an arcuate perimeter region 32 that smoothly blends the high crown curve of apex 26 into the low crown curve of crown 20 and skirt 24. Arcuate perimeter region 32 preferably extends 0.700 inches above and 0.700 inches below the peak of apex 26, preferably 0.350 inches above and 0.350 inches below the peak of apex 26 and most preferably about 0.250 inches above and 0.250 inches below the peak of apex 26. Arcuate perimeter region 32 is unsupported above and below by any of the metal forming hollow body 12 for at least a portion of its span.

Hollow body 12 may be assembled from a series of forged metal pieces that are welded or brazed together, but in the illustrative embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, comprises a titanium investment casting. Crown 20 is formed with a solid return portion 33 that extends rearward from face 14 and a series of apertures 34 proximal the rear end of hollow body 12. Skirt 24 is formed with solid return portions 35 and 37 that extend rearward from face 14 and an aperture 36 proximal the rear end of hollow body 12. Apertures 34 and 36 cooperate to form a metallic stringer 38 that extends along a portion of the arcuate perimeter region 32 as well as a plurality of ribs 40 that support stringer 38 along a portion of its span. In the illustrative embodiment, a second stringer 42 disposed radially inward from stringer 38 is tied to ribs 40 to form an open lattice frame.

Apertures 34 and 36 are filled with a material that is of lower density than the relatively denser metallic hollow body 12. The material may be a lightweight non-metallic material 44 such as thermoplastic, or thermoset plastic, or preferably a fiber reinforced organic resin such as fiberglass-epoxy, fiberglass-polyester, ceramic-fiber epoxy, aramid-epoxy or other fiber-organic resin composites. Preferably, the non-metallic material comprises graphite-epoxy, which is laid up on the interior surface 46 (FIG. 7) of hollow body 12 extending across all of the stringers 38, 42 and ribs 40 to form a part titanium part carbon graphite composite rear body portion 18.

In the illustrative embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, non-metallic material 44 comprises prepreg layers of graphite epoxy which are laid up on the interior surface 46 of hollow body 12 covering apertures 34, 36 and an inflatable bladder (not shown) is then inserted into the cavity 48 of hollow body 12 through one of the apertures 50 and 52 disposed in the bottom of weight pockets 54 and 56. Hollow body 12 is placed in a mold cavity (not shown) that conforms to the outer surface of the hollow body 12. The bladder is then inflated and the mold heated to cure the prepreg epoxy.

By eliminating metal from portions of the crown 20 and the skirt 24, as represented by apertures 34 and 36, the illustrative embodiment of FIGS. 1-7 accomplishes a club head 10 in excess of 400 cubic centimeters in volume with the hollow body 12 weighing from 150 to 170 grams and the composite filler weighing from 10 to 40 grams. In doing so, the face 14 can be increased to at least 5.00 square inches (preferably approximately 5.30 square inches) with a maximum thickness of between 0.110 and 0.160 inches proximal the geometric center 58 (FIG. 7) of the face 14 tapering downward to a lesser thickness of 0.070 to 0.090 inches towards the perimeter 60 of the face 14. This is accomplished without sacrificing structural integrity and without exceeding the desired total weight of about 200 grams mass. Moreover, the presence of the metallic stringers 38, 42 and ribs 40, which are integrally attached to the face 14 (i.e., formed as a single casting, welded or brazed together as opposed to adhesively bonded or attached with fasteners) provide support for the face 14 not present in pure composite back body designs while also maintaining the desirable dominant natural frequency of at least 3,500 hertz.

With reference to FIG. 8, an alternative embodiment of a metal-organic composite golf club head in accordance with the present invention comprises a hollow body 62 having a crown 64. A series of apertures 66 are formed in crown 64 in three rows, which form a plurality of ribs 68, an outer metallic stringer 70 as well as inner metallic stringers 72 and 74, each of the inner metallic stringers 72 and 74 being displaced radially inward from stringer 70. As with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, apertures 66 are filled with a lightweight non-metallic material, preferably a graphite epoxy to seal the interior cavity of hollow body 62 and to provide a smooth exterior surface.

With reference to FIG. 9, another alternative embodiment of a metal-organic composite golf club head in accordance with the present invention comprises a hollow body 82 having a crown 84 and a skirt 86. As with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, crown 84 and skirt 86 each have a metallic return portion 88 and 90, respectively, that extends rearward from the face of the club head. Single large apertures 92 and 94 are formed in crown 84 and skirt 86 which results in a metallic stringer 96 that extends almost the full length of arcuate perimeter region 98 of hollow body 82. As with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-7, apertures 92 and 94 are filled with a lightweight non-metallic material, preferably a graphite epoxy.

Although certain illustrative embodiments and methods have been disclosed herein, it will be apparent from the foregoing disclosure to those skilled in the art that variations and modifications of such embodiments and methods may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention should be limited only to extent required by the appended claims and the rules and principals of applicable law.

Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US7258624 *19 Jul 200421 Ago 2007K.K. Endo SeisakushoGolf club and method for manufacturing the same
US7258625 *8 Sep 200421 Ago 2007Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US7303487 *15 Mar 20054 Dic 2007Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US7435190 *3 Jun 200514 Oct 2008Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US7448964 *6 Sep 200611 Nov 2008Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club head having a crown with thin regions
US7632195 *15 Ago 200515 Dic 2009Acushnet CompanyGolf club head with low density crown
US77491048 Dic 20086 Jul 2010Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US7775903 *3 Jul 200717 Ago 2010Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US7803065 *14 Sep 200728 Sep 2010Cobra Golf, Inc.Golf club head
US78613959 Oct 20074 Ene 2011Acushnet CompanyMethod of forming golf club head with low density crown
US793874016 Nov 200610 May 2011Cobra Golf, Inc.Golf club head
US7997998 *25 Oct 201016 Ago 2011Acushnet CompanyMetal wood club
US799800026 May 201016 Ago 2011Sri Sports LimitedGolf club head
US81100602 Jul 20107 Feb 2012Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US841442111 May 20129 Abr 2013Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club head with reinforced crown
US842534711 May 201223 Abr 2013Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club head with reinforced crown
US85237042 Ago 20113 Sep 2013Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club heads with ribs and related methods
US8597139 *8 Oct 20103 Dic 2013Acushnet CompanyGolf club head with low density crown
US86324206 Feb 201221 Ene 2014Nike, Inc.Golf clubs and golf club heads
US87777783 Ene 201215 Jul 2014Karsten Manufacturing CorporationGolf club heads with apertures and methods to manufacture golf club heads
US20110028242 *8 Oct 20103 Feb 2011Acushnet CompanyGolf club head with low density crown
US20110294595 *9 Ago 20111 Dic 2011Thomas Orrin BennettMetal wood club
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.473/345, 473/349
Clasificación internacionalA63B53/04
Clasificación cooperativaA63B2209/023, A63B2053/0408, A63B2053/0491, A63B53/0466, A63B2053/0458
Clasificación europeaA63B53/04L
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
22 Abr 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: KARSTEN MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, ARIZONA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:SERRANO, ANTHONY D.;BLISS, JOHN C.;OBESHAW, DALE F.;REEL/FRAME:016136/0387;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050413 TO 20050415