US 3871948 A
Carpet material made up of a needled deposited layer of non-woven fibers. The deposited layer may be fused on either the upper or the lower surface or both, and a layer of a substantially resilient material is attached to the lower surface. An additional layer of non-woven fiber may be placed on top of the deposited layer, and a layer of tacky adhesive covered by a peelable sheet may be applied to the bottom of the resilient material.
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United States Patent 1191 Norris 1 Mar. 18, 1975 NON-WOVEN CARPET MATERIAL WITH 3,010,859 11/1961 Stephens et al 156/72 RESILIENT BACKING 3,014,829 12/1961 Curt in 3,060,072 10/1962 Parlm et a1.  Inventor: Alan H. Norris, Somers, Conn. 3,385,751 5/1968 Will rd et 31.,
 Assignee: Bigelow-Sanford, Inc., New York, N'Y' 3,506,529 4/1970 Sanders 161/154  Filed: June 22, 1973 ] A N 372,634 Primary E.\'aminerGe0rge F. Lesmes E: 1 Related Us. Application Data AAJIAMHI \amznel James J Bel  Continuation of Ser. No. 130,155, April 1, 1971,
57 ABSTRACT  US. Cl 161/154, 28/722, 156/148, Carpet material made up f a needled deposited layer 161/155, 161/159, 161/160, 161/1 of nonwoven fibers. The deposited layer may be fused 161/167 161/406 on either the upper or the lower surface or both, and  Int. Cl 1332b 7/04 a layer of a Substantially resilient material is attached [58 held of Search 161/50 6247 to the lower surface. An additional layer of non-woven 161/80, 81, 154, 156, 159, 160, 406, fiber may be placed on top of the deposited layer, and 156/72, 148; 3/ a layer of tacky adhesive covered by a peelable sheet may be applied to the bottom of the resilient material.  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 2,429,486 10/1947 Reinhardt 161/81 PATENTEUE IAR I 8W5 IN VEN TOR.
NON-WOVEN CARPET MATERIAL WITH RESILIENT BACKING This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 130,155, filed Apr. 1, 1971, and now abandoned.
BROAD STATEMENT OF INVENTION The present invention relates to carpet material which includes an attached substantially resilient backing that can be used for carpet tile, outdoor carpet or underlay and a method of producing such carpet material.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART It is known in the prior art to provide carpet material that can be used as tile or as outdoor carpet. Carpet tile is usually made in the form of rectangles, and preferably as 9 inch, 12 inch or 18 inch square. Other shapes or configurations are also suitable. Suchtiles may have a self-stick adhesive on the bottom which is covered by a sheet that can be peeled off to allow the adhesive to adhere to the surface on which the tile is being placed. This type of tile has become quite popular as a do-ityourself product. The consumer can easily apply the tiles which can be of the same color or mixed to match tiles of different colors. A damaged or soiled tile can easily be taken up and replaced with a new tile. Carpet tiles of this type can have a regular carpet pile on their face or they can have a flat non-woven face. When the non-woven, flat surfaced tiles are used, they have a needle-punched synthetic fiber face. However, the prior art carpet tile of this type has not been completely satisfactory. The non-woven fabrics that have been used in the prior art are bonded by adhesive or selfbonded by the use of heat and pressure. This results in loose loops or ends of fibers or filaments that protrude from the upper surface of the non-woven fibers which are caused to be caught and pulled into small webs or balls or fibers that cobweb over the upper surface. This is known as pilling, and this is a common defect of needle-punched non-woven fabric used as the top surface for carpet tile or the like in the prior art.
It has also been found that this prior art carpet tile was not as resilient as desired, because of such stiffness, the tile would break down under heavy traffic conditions and become unsatisfactory.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a carpt material which can be used for carpet tile or outdoor carpet and avoids the problem of pilling and'further provides more resiliency to the material.
In the present invention a carpet material is provided wherein a needled and fused layer of non-woven fibers is attached to a substantially resilient backing.
A further provision of the subject invention is the heat fusion of at least one surface of a layer of nonwoven fibers which is attached to asubstantially resilient backing.
There is also provided a carpet material wherein a layer of needled non-woven deposited fibers is attached to a substantially resilient backing onto which a selfstick adhesive is affixed.
A further provision of the present invention is a second layer of non-woven fibers placed on a deposited layer of non-woven fibers which is then subjected to a further needling.
There is further provided carpet material of nonwoven fibers attached to a substantially resilient backing which can be formed into individual tiles of desired shape that can be abutted with similar tiles to form a floor covering.
Still another provision of the present invention is carpet material of non-woven fibers with a backing of blown polyvinyl chloride suitable for use as outdoor carpeting.
A still further provision of the present invention is a method of forming a non-woven carpet material by needling Still another provision of the present invention is carpet material by needling a layer of deposited fibers, bonding at least one surface of the needled fibers and attaching it to a layer of substantially resilient backing.
A further provision of the present invention is a method of forming carpet material of a layer of deposited an'd needled'non-woven fibers on which another layer of non-woven fibers is placed and'further needled before attaching to a substantially resilient backing.
A still further provision of the present invention is a method of forming carpet material of non-woven fibers attached to a foam backing that can be cut into tile squares to be placed together in abutting relation to make a floor covering.
In one embodiment of the present invention a layer of thermoplastic material such as polypropylene fibers is deposited on a carrier and vertically needled therethrough for intermixing and interengaging the fibers thereof. In such embodiment a layer of cheesecloth or other supporting material may be used as the carrier and become an integral part of the needled layer. The needled layer is then fused on at least one of the top or bottom surfaces. An example of such fused carpet material is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,394,043, issued July 23, 1968 to David B. Parlin et al.
The needled layer that has now been fused is then attached to a substantially resilient backing to provide the finished product. If desired, a self-stick adhesive may be applied to the bottom of the resilient material with a covering sheet that can be peeled off to apply the material. The carpet material may also have a second web or cap applied on the top surface which can be utilized for desired dye characteristics or the formation of a pattern. It is also possible to fuse both the upper and lower surfaces to provide the improved product as this locks in the loose fibers that have been carried from one surface to the other during the needling. The resulting carpet material is improved over the prior art in that it is more resilient since the interior fibers remain mobile while the outer surface is fused, and pilling is avoided by the fusion feature previously described. The resulting product can either be cut into squares, rectangles, etc, to form tile segments, or the product can be made in a continuous material to be used as outdoor carpeting.
The nature of the present invention will become more clearly apparent and better understood from the following description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view in vertical sections diagrammatically illustrating the carpet material in the first stage of its formation showing the deposition and the needling;
FIG. 2 is a view similar'to FIG. 1 illustrating the carpet material after surface treatment;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the addition of a substantially resilient backing to the carpet material;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the addition of a self-stick adhesive to the foam layer;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating a second embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating a third embodiment of the present invention.
It will be understood that the accompanying drawings are merely diagrammatic illustrations, and reference should be made to the following description for a more detailed explanation of the structure involved. As explained in the aforementioned patent, it is known to provide carpet material comprised principally of thermoplastic fibers that have been needled and fused on at least one surface. In the present application such carpet material is shown in FIG. 1 where a layer of thermoplastic fibers 10 have been deposited on a carrier or support such as illustrated in the aforementioned patent. The thermoplastic material deposited may be polypropylene fibers which are subjected to a first needling as illustrated by the herringbone patterns 12. It may be desired to provide an additional support such as a layer of cheesecloth which is shown in the FIG. 6 embodiment.
It will be appreciated that the depositing of layer 10 is effected on a moving belt as illustrated in the aforementioned patent, and the needles pass through layer 10 from the upper surface to vertically intermix and interengage the fibers. As mentioned previously, in the prior art of forming carpet tile or outdoor carpeting, the needle-punched material had the problem of loose fiber ends that would be formed into undesirable balls of fibers. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 2 surface treatment is provided in the present invention comprising heating the surface fibers so as to form a fused lower surface 14. This fusion of the narrow surface 14 allows the interior fibers of layer 10 to remain mobile and provide the desired resilience in the finished product. This fusion treatment also eliminates the undesirable balls of fibers so that the pilling problem is avoided.
FIG. 3 illustrates the completed assembly of the novel carpet tile, outdoor carpet or underlay that is provided by the present invention. A layer ofa substantially resilient backing 16 is attached to the lower surface of the deposited fibers 10 as shown in FIG. 3. The layer 10 of fibers has a height less than the height of the resilient backing 16, as illustrated in the drawings. The attachment of the backing or layer 16 to the fused surface 14 can be done in a conventional manner such as by using an adhesive or providing fusion adhesion.
The resilient layer that is applied to the lower surface of the carpet material when it is used indoors for carpet tile or underlay can be latex foam or polyvinyl chloride, butadiene (styrene or natural), a polyvinyl chloride plastisol or other suitable material. When an outdoor use is intended, the resilient layer may suitably be a polyvinyl chloride latex or a blown polyvinyl chloride plastisol foam.
FIG. 3. illustrates the basic embodiment of the invention which can be utilized as described hereinbefore. FIG. 4 represents a further embodiment of the invention, and in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 the same reference numerals have been utilized to denote the same elements. In FIG. 4 the fiber layer 10 is fused on both the top and bottom to form a fused lower surface 14 and a fused top surface 18. Such double fusion further eliminates the pilling problem as well as continuing to provide the desired resiliency by the interior of layer 10 remaining mobile. In FIG. 4 a self-stick adhesive unit 20 is shown as being applied to the bottom of resilient layer 16. Particularly in the formation of carpet tile it is desirable in the do-it-yourself field to provide the self-stick adhesive feature. Unit 20 comprises adhesive in a sticky or tacky state, and a covering sheet is applied thereto which can be peeled off by the consumer when it is desired to apply the tile for adhering to a surface such as a floor.
FIG. 5 illustrates a further embodiment of the invention where a resilient layer 16 has been attached to a fiber layer 10 that has a fused lower surface 14. In FIG. 5 an additional layer of non-woven material 22 is placed on layer l0.'As mentioned previously, where layer 10 may comprise polypropylene or similar thermoplastic fibrous material, layer 22 may be acrylic fibers having particularly desired characteristics. For example, the acrylic fibers 22 may be unsuitable for heat fusion, but they may have the ability to accept deeper color dyes and other dyes which would not be accepted by the polypropylene fibers. The acrylic layer or cap 22 is then subjected to a second needling step for intermixing its fibers with layer 10.
A further embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6 where the additional acrylic layer 22 is combined with an upper fused surface 18 as already disclosed in FIG. 4. The fusing of surface 18 can be effected before or after the layer 22 has been added and ncedled.
A further advantage of adding layer or cap 22 is to provide fiber blending in the cap or mixing different fibers to provide a patterned or varied color effect on the top surface. Alternatively, it is possible to print or dye the upper surface after the carpet material has been formed as described above.
The above description illustrates a novel carpet material that can be used either as carpet tile, outdoor carpet or underlay where a thermoplastic material that has been needled and fused is attached to a resilient backing to provide features and advantages not found in the prior art.
The above description further illustrates a novel method of forming the carpet material by depositing thermoplastic material to form a layer, needling and fusing such material and then attaching it to a resilient backing to provide the improved product. Further embodiments have been described with respect to heat fusion of upper and lower surfaces, addition of a self-stick adhesive bottom surface, and addition of an upper layer or cap which can be needled to the assembled carpet material.
It will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art in the particular embodiments of the carpet material and the method of producing the same which have been described above for illustrative purposes without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Carpet material comprising a layer of substantially resilient material having a predetermined height and providing a base support of said carpet material;
a layer formed of non-woven fibers being vertically intermixed by needling, said layer having a height less than the height of said resilient backing and including top and bottom surfaces;
each of said top and bottom surfaces being heat fused and thereby leaving interior fibers of said nonwoven layer mobile, said bottom surface being attached to said resilient layer, and said top surface forming a non-tufted wear surface of said carpet material.
2. Carpet material according to claim 1 in which a layer of sticky adhesive is affixed to the lower surface of said resilient layer, and a sheet adapted to be peeled therefrom is provided to cover said adhesive.
3. Carpet material according to claim 1 in which a second layer of non-woven fibers is placed on said top surface of said deposited layer, and said layer is subjected to vertical needlingf 4. Carpet material according to claim 1 in which the carpet material comprises .an individual tile of square shape adapted to provide a floor covering by abutment with similar tiles, and the resilient layer is selected from a group consisting of latex foam, butadiene or polyvinyl chloride.
5. Carpet material according to claim 1 in which the carpet material comprises outdoor carpeting, and the resilient layer comprises blown polyvinyl chloride.
6. Carpet material according to claim 1 in which a supporting material is incorporated in said non-woven layer.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CETEFICATE 0F CQECTION Patent No. 3 ,87L948 Dat d March 18 1975 lnventol-(s) Alan H. Norris It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 17: Change "square" to squaresline Llh Before "because" add and.
line #9: Change "carpt" to -carpet-.
Column 2, lines 13 and 14: Cancel "Still another provision of the present invention is carpet material by needling" Signed and Scaled this ninth Day of September 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MA SON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner uj'lalents and Trademarks
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