US 3506265 A
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pr 1 970 HIROSHI YUGl 3,506,265
MULTIPLE-FLY, INFLATED BALL FOR GAMES Filed Jan. 31, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. I
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April 14, 1970 HIROSHI YUGI MULTIPLE-FLY, INFLATED BALL FOR GAMES 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 31, 1968 FIG. 2
INV.ENTOR.. HIROSHI YtlGl United States Patent US. Cl. 273-58 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE There fabric plies are used between the outer leather cover and bladder of an air-inflated ball, each ply being composed of unit fabric pieces. The innermost and outermost fabric plies are thinly lined over only their outer surfaces with a rubber adhesive, and all unit fabric pieces are bonded to adjacent parts only along their peripheral edges. Therefore, the fabric pieces of the two innermost plies are adhering to each other as an integral sandwich which is free over its inner and outer surfaces except at the edges of the fabric pieces, thereby affording constant bounce and good feel of the entire ball structure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to air-inflated balls for competitive sports, physical exercise, and recreation. More particularly, the invention concerns an air-inflated, leathercovered ball of new and improved multiple-layer construction affording excellent tactile feel and bounce whereby the ball is highly suitable for competitive games, especially volley ball.
Heretofore, there have been attempts to improve the feel and degree of bounce of balls of the type referred to above by securing a ply of unit fabric pieces onto the outer surface of an inner bladder between the outer leather covering and the bladder by applying an adhesive, not over the entire area, but only at certain parts and leaving some parts without the adhesive. This method, however, has not produced fully satisfactory results.
Accordingly, arrangements of unit fabric pieces in multiple layers or plies have heretofore been tried. I have found, however, that applying rubber adhesive to each of the layers causes the layers to adhere to each other and merely increases the reinforcement, whereby the desired improvement in feel and bounce cannot be attained.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an air-inflated ball having an outer cover of leather, synthetic leather, or leather-like material and having excellent tactile feel and bounce, afforded by at least three plies or layers of fabric between the outer cover and an inner bladder.
Another object of the invention is to provide a ball of the above stated character which can be fabricated in a relatively simple manner at low cost.
A further object of the invention is to provide a ball of the above stated character which fulfills all requirements of the oflicial rules and specifications governing a specific game and is, therefore, acceptable for use in ofiicials national and international competitive games.
According to the present invention, briefiy summarized, there is provided an inflated ball having three fabric plies, each made up of a plurality of unit fabric pieces, between an inner bladder and an outer covering, the two inntermost plies being bonded together by a thin film of rubber adhesive interposed therebetween to form an integ- Patented Apr. 14, 1970 ral sandwich structure which is unattached to either the bladder or the outermost fabric ply except at the peripheral'edges of the unit fabric pieces, which edges are all bonded to their laminarly adjacent members. Seam ridges are bonded to the outer surface of the outermost ply along outer paneling division lines, and an outer covering material such as leather is bonded onto the outer surface to cover the spaces between the seam ridges.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The nature, details, and utility of the invention will be more clearly apparent from the following detailed description with respect to a preferred embodiment of the invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which like parts are designated by like reference numerals.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a general view, with a part cut out to expose a section, showing one example of a ball embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view showing the organization of the parts of the ball shown in FIG. 1 at one part thereof; and
FIG. 3 is a planar view of an example of a unit fabric piece suitable for use in forming each of the fabric plies of the ball shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawing, in a preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated therein, the ball structure is inflated by an inner bladder 1, which is covered around its outer surface by a first fabric ply composed of unit fabric pieces 2 coated thinly over the fibers of only their outer surface with rubber adhesive 7 and adhesively bonded along only their peripheral edges 8.
The outer surface of the first fabric ply is covered by a second fabric ply composed of unit fabric pieces 3 having no rubber adhesive coating or lining on either of its surfaces and adhesively bonded along only their peripheral edges 8. The second fabric ply in turn is covered around its outer surface by a third fabric ply composed of unit fabric pieces 4 coated thinly over the fibers of only their outer surface with rubber adhesive 7 and bonded along only their peripheral edges.
Interconnected seam ridges 6 are adhesively bonded, as at 8, to the outer surface of the third ply along the division lines of the ball outer cover paneling composed of panels 5, which are adhesively bonded onto the outer surface of the third ply to cover completely all areas thereof between the seam ridges 6.
During the fabrication of the above described ball, after the bladder 1, the unit fabric pieces 2, 3, and 4, and the seam ridges 6 have been assembled and bonded in the above described manner, the structure thus assembled is heated to vulcanize the rubber parts thereof.
In the ball as described above and as illustrated in the drawing, three plies of unit fabric pieces 2, 3, and 4 are disposed in laminate arrangement around the inner bladder 1. Of these three plies, the middle ply of fabric piece 3 has no rubber coating or lining whatsoever and is interposed between inner and outer plies of fabric pieces 2 and 4, each of which is coated on only the outer side thereof with rubber adhesive 7 applied thinly so as not to penetrate into the interior fibers of the layer.
By this arrangement, therefore, fabric piece 2 of the fabric pieces coated with the rubber adhesive lining 7 is unattached to the bladder 1 and is adhering to fabric piece 3 through a thin rubber adhesive film, and fabric piece 4 is unattached to fabric piece 3 and is strongly adhering to the outer cover 5. Accordingly, the unit fabric pieces 2 and 3 are integrally connected in the form of a sandwich with a very thin rubber film 7 interposed therebetween, this sandwich not being attached at its outer and inner sides to either the fabric piece 4 or the bladder 1.
Therefore, when air is introduced into the bladder to inflate the ball, the above described combination of fabric pieces 2 and 3 exhibits high flexibility and adaptability whereby the ball is inflated to spherical shape of a specific diameter, in which state the ball wall is not excessively hard and exhibits a suitable degree of resilience. As a result, the ball as an entire structure has excellent and constant degree of bounce and good feel whereby it is highly suitable for sports and games, particularly volley ball.
It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates to only a preferred embodiment of the invention and that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for the purposes of the disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claim.
What I claim is:
1. A ball for games comprising:
an inner bladder (1) adapted to be inflated with air;
a first ply composed of unit fabric pieces (2) coated thinly over the fibers of only their outer surface with a rubber adhesive (7) and bonded (8) along only their peripheral edges, said first ply covering the outer surface of said bladder; a second ply composed of unit fabric pieces (3) having no rubber adhesive coating and bonded (8) along their peripheral edges,
said second ply covering the outer surface of said first a third ply composed of unit fabric pieces (4) coated thinly over the fibers of only their outer surface with rubber adhesive (7 l and bonded (8) along only their peripheral edges, 7
said third'ply covering theouter surface of said second interconnected seam ridges (6) bonded (8) along outer cover paneling division lines to the outer surface of said third ply,
the entire combination of said bladder, first, second, and third plies, and seam ridges having structural characteristics corresponding to those resulting from having been heated during fabrication to vulcanize the rubber parts thereof; and
outer covering panels (5) bonded onto the outer surface of said third ply to cover completely all area thereof between said seam ridges.
11/1940 Voit et a1.
GEORGE J. MARLO, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.
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