Plate Element for Ground Preparation of Horse-Riding Fields and Method of Manufacturing the Plate Element

-

A plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields with a plate element body is made of a plastic and/or rubber material. An entire surface of the plate element body is provided with a sealant made of petroleum jelly, for example. The sealant provides long-lasting protection from damage/destruction, and ensures long-lasting protection from the environment.

Skip to: Description  ·  Claims  · Patent History  ·  Patent History

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the priority, under 35 U.S.C. § 119, of German application DE 20 2007 005 678.8, filed Apr. 19, 2007; the prior application is herewith incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields as well as to a method for its manufacture.

Plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields should ensure both elasticity when exposed to loads and also sure-footedness for the horses. Depending on the soil constitution and the climate conditions, they should also possess the capacity to hold water, or drain off excess water.

The plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields are appropriate for horse-riding fields of any type, i.e., both for outside facilities and also for inside facilities. In particular, using such plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, the foundations for tournament fields for show jumping and dressage competitions, paddocks, stables, and similar facilities, can be prepared optimally.

Plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields of this type are known to the person skilled in the art, for example, from European patent EP 0 667 927 B1, or from German Utility Model DE 200 19 812 U1, or as the riding mats of the company Otto Sport-und Reitplatz GmbH, Germany. These plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields are formed substantially of a plate element body made of an elastic material (plastic, rubber). The latter body presents a sheet-like plate body, on whose bottom side, for example, a plurality of projections are provided for anchoring the plate element on a foundation and for increasing the elasticity of the entire plate, and whose top side is configured, for example, with projections and cup-shaped recesses. The projections on the top side are preferably configured with two different heights, and their purpose is to ensure a sure foothold for the horses, while the cup-shaped recesses function as water reservoirs. In addition, the plate body can be provided with perforations to allow excess water to drain off.

If the plates for ground preparation of horse-riding fields have been placed according to their intended purpose, they are generally exposed to high loads. In addition being exposed to mechanical loads due to vehicle traffic or foot traffic on the horse-riding fields that have been prepared with such plates, the plates for fixing to the ground are also exposed to (bio)chemical stresses, particularly caused by water (rainwater, groundwater) and horse excretions (urine, feces). Therefore, there is a potential risk of foreign substances attacking the plate elements, or penetrating into them, so that the plate elements are damaged or destroyed, or they generate noxious substances, or odors, which are then released into the environment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields that overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art devices of this general type, which element, when used according to its intended purpose, provides long-lasting protection from damage/destruction, and ensures long-lasting protection of the environment.

With the foregoing and other objects in view there is provided, in accordance with the invention, a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields. The plate element contains a plate element body made of a plastic and/or rubber material and has a surface. A sealant entirely covers the surface of the plate element body.

According to a first aspect of the invention, the problem is solved by a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, which includes a plate element body made of a plastic and/or rubber material whose entire surface is provided with a sealant.

As a result of the complete sealing of the plate element body, the plate element is provided with long-lasting protection from attacks by foreign substances. A reliable way is provided to prevent foreign substances from attacking the plate elements or penetrating into them, and in this way one prevents that the plate elements are damaged or destroyed, or that they generate noxious substances, or odors, which are then released into the environment. Furthermore, as a result of the sealing, the possibility also exists of using any material for the manufacture of the plate element body, without endangering the environment, because no noxious substances from the plate element body can be released outside into the environment. As a secondary effect, the sealant, if the material is chosen appropriately, can also achieve an even coloration of the plate element, which improves the appearance of the plate element.

The sealant is formed of preferably a resistant (if the plate elements are used according to their intended purpose), long-lastingly fluid-proof (gases and fluids) coating made of a weathering-resistant material (for example, petroleum jelly, lacquer, paint, or a similar material).

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the plate element body is formed entirely or partially of a recycled material.

According to a second aspect of the invention, the above-mentioned problem is solved by a method for the manufacture of a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, with the steps of producing a plate element body from a plastic and/or rubber material, and of sealing the entire surface of the plate element body.

The sealing step can be carried out, for example, by an immersion method or by a spraying, atomization or vapor deposition method.

A currently preferred method for manufacturing the plate element includes the steps of producing a plate element body, cleaning the surfaces of the plate element body, immersing the clean plate element body in liquid petroleum jelly, and air-drying the plate element body which has been coated with a petroleum jelly layer.

Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.

Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.

The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, perspective view of a top side of a preferred embodiment of a plate element according to the invention; and

FIG. 2 is diagrammatic, perspective view of a bottom side of a plate element according to the preferred embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, there is shown a plate element body 10 of a plate for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, as sold currently, for example, by the company Otto Sport-und Reitplatz GmbH, Germany.

The plate element body 10 is formed of an elastic plastic and/or rubber material, and it presents a sheet-like plate body. On a top side of the plate element body 10 (see FIG. 1), a plurality of projections 12 and cup-shaped recesses 14 (formed by ring-shaped projections) are formed. The projections 12 are configured preferably with two different heights, and they ensure a sure foothold for the horses; the cup-shaped recesses 14 function as water reservoirs. In addition, the plate element body 10 is provided with a plurality of perforations 16, which allow the rapid drainage of excess water on the surface of the plate element body 10.

As represented in FIG. 2, a plurality of ring-shaped projections 18 is provided on the bottom side of the plate element body 10 for anchoring the plate element on the foundation and for increasing the elasticity of the entire plate element. The ring-shaped projections 18 are here configured to be concentric with respect to the circular perforations 16 in the plate element body 10.

Although the invention is explained in reference to the plate element body 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 as a preferred embodiment example, it is obvious that the present invention is not limited to it, rather numerous changes and modifications can be made to the plate element body.

Thus, for example, the perforations 16 in the plate element body can be omitted. Moreover, the projections or knobs 12 on the top side of the plate element body 10 do not necessarily have to have two different heights. The cup-shaped recesses 14 can also be formed, if so desired, by recesses in the surface of the sheet-like plate body, or they can be omitted entirely. In addition, the plate element body 10 is not limited to the conical configuration of the projections 12, 14, 18.

The plate element bodies 10 of the plate elements are produced, for example, from a recycled material, and manufactured by injection molding, or compression molding and stamping.

A preferred embodiment example of a method for manufacturing a plate element according to the invention for the ground preparation of horse-riding fields will now be described in greater detail.

After the production of the plate element body 10, for example, in the embodiment represented in FIGS. 1 and 2, the entire surfaces of the plate element body 10 are sealed.

For the sealing, the plate element bodies are first cleaned to remove dirt, oil and fat, before a coating of a sealing material 20 is applied. The sealant here is formed preferably of a coating 20, which (if the plate elements are used according to the intended purpose) is resistant (i.e., particularly resistance to weathering, resistance to shock, etc.), long-lastingly fluid-proof (i.e., for gases and fluids of any type), and made of a weather-resistant material, (for example, petroleum jelly, lacquer, paint, or a similar material). Alternatively, the sealing can also be a nanotechnical coating.

The application of the given coating is carried out, for example, by an immersion method, or by a spraying, atomization or vapor deposition method, or, if so desired, by a combination of several of these methods, for the purpose of coating the entire surface of the plate element body 10. Subsequently, the applied coating 20 is hardened (for example, simply by air drying).

In the currently preferred embodiment, after the plate element body has been produced, its surfaces are first cleaned. Then, the plate element body 10 is immersed in a petroleum jelly-containing fluid (for example, fluid petroleum jelly, or a fluid petroleum jelly-water mixture). Depending on the type of petroleum jelly used, it has a melting point of approximately 35-60° C. After the plate element body 10 has been pulled out of the fluid and optionally after excess fluid has been shaken off, the plate element body 10, which is coated with a petroleum jelly layer, is simply subjected to air drying, during which the petroleum jelly sealing of the surfaces of the plate element body 10 hardens sufficiently.

Alternatively, it is also possible to consider producing the plate element body 10 from a granulate, whose grains are coated with a sealing material, i.e., for example, the body may be entirely coated, or just simply wetted. During the melting of this granulate to produce the plate element body 10 (the melting point of petroleum jelly, for example, is substantially lower than the melting point of, for example, a plastic material that is appropriate for the plate element body), enough sealing material automatically reaches the surface area of the form of the plate element body 10. Thus, in the step of producing the plate element body, the latter's entire surfaces are sealed at the same time.

The sealing achieves an effective protection of the plate elements against the penetration of foreign substances (for example, urine, feces, contaminants in rainwater or groundwater) into the plate element bodies, and the release of noxious substances or odors from the plate element bodies into the environment. As a result, it is also possible particularly to use any recycled materials for the plate element bodies without restrictions, because environmental protection is ensured in any case.

In addition, the sealing coating can contribute, depending on the selection of the coating material, to an even coloration of the plate element.

The above described plate element and the above described method for its manufacture can be used appropriately for any riding mats, and particularly also for the currently marketed riding mats of the Otto Sport-und Reitplatz GmbH or the Wannerplast GmbH (both Germany).

Claims

1. A plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, the plate element comprising:

a plate element body made of at least one material selected from the group consisting of plastics and rubber materials and having a surface; and
a sealant entirely covering said surface of said plate element body.

2. The plate element according to claim 1, wherein said sealant is a resistant, fluid-proof coating.

3. The plate element according to claim 2, wherein said coating is formed of a weather-resistant material.

4. The plate element according to claim 3, wherein said coating is formed form a material selected from the group consisting of petroleum jelly, lacquer, and paint.

5. The plate element according to claim 1, wherein said plate element body (10) contains recycled material.

6. A method for manufacturing a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, which comprises the steps of:

producing a plate element body made from at least one material selected from the group consisting of plastics and rubber materials; and
sealing of an entire surface of the plate element body.

7. The method according to claim 6, which further comprises carrying out the sealing step by at least one of immersion, spraying, atomization and a vapor deposition method.

8. The method according to claim 6, which further comprises applying a resistant, fluid-proof coating made of a weather-resistant material during the sealing step.

9. The method according to claim 8, which further comprises selecting the coating from the group consisting of petroleum jelly, lacquer, and paint.

10. The method according to claim 6, which further comprises:

cleaning surfaces of the plate element body;
immersing the plate element body in a petroleum jelly-containing fluid; and
air drying the plate element body coated with a petroleum jelly layer.

11. The method according to claim 6, which further comprises producing the plate element body at least partially from recycled material.

12. A method for manufacturing a plate element for ground preparation of horse-riding fields, which comprises the steps of:

producing a plate element body from at least one material selected from the group consisting of plastic and rubber material;
cleaning surfaces of the plate element body;
immersing the plate element body in a petroleum jelly-containing fluid; and
air drying the plate element body coated with a petroleum jelly layer.

Patent History

Publication number: 20080260459
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 27, 2007
Publication Date: Oct 23, 2008
Applicants: (Ursensollen), (Altdorf), (Altdorf)
Inventor: Werner Otto (Altdorf)
Application Number: 11/965,246

Classifications