Including Differential Fluid Pressure Application (e.g., Vacuum, Etc.) Patents (Class 264/468)
  • Patent number: 9970128
    Abstract: A method for laying down a nanoweb of nanofibers from a centrifugal spinning process by a combination of an air flow field and a charging arrangement. Fibrous streams in the form of fibrils of molten polymer or polymer solution are discharged from a rotating member into an air flow field that is essentially parallel to the direction of discharge of fibrils at the point of discharge of the fibrils. The fibrous streams are attentuated and directed by means of the air flow field onto the surface of a collector to form a nanoweb. The fibrous streams are charged along all or at least a portion of their route from the point of discharge to the surface of the collector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Inventors: Tao Huang, Jack Eugene Armantrout, Thomas William Harding, Thomas Patrick Daly, Neil Jay Croft, Jr., Carl Saquing, Glenn Creighton Catlin
  • Patent number: 8840828
    Abstract: An apparatus and a method of conforming a blank onto forming surface sections of a forming tool by drawing a first vacuum against an elastic forming medium for transmitting forming forces from the elastic forming medium to the blank. The elastic forming medium is evacuated with the first vacuum for allowing the elastic forming medium to stretch and conform the blank to the forming surface sections. The elastic forming medium includes at least one void. A second vacuum is applied to the void for achieving a stiffened section of the elastic forming medium corresponding with the location of the void and corresponding with, when the elastic forming medium after the completion lies against the forming tool having the blank in between, a forming surface section of the forming tool where the blank requires a forming force being larger than that of surrounding sections of the elastic forming medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Saab AB
    Inventors: Per Hallander, Mikael Petersson
  • Publication number: 20120274003
    Abstract: A method and associated apparatus for melt extruding a nonwoven web includes providing a plurality of fibers from an extrusion device. The fibers are conveyed through a diverging profile portion of a fiber drawing unit (FDU) that causes the fibers to spread and expand in the machine direction within the FDU. The fibers are then conveyed through a diverging diffusion chamber spaced from the outlet of the FDU to reduce the velocity of the fibers and further spread the fibers in the machine direction. The fibers may be subjected to an applied electrostatic charge in either the diffusion chamber or the FDU. From the outlet of the diffusion chamber, the fibers are laid onto a forming surface as a nonwoven web.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
  • Patent number: 8211263
    Abstract: A method for fabricating an air-filled cellular structure for use as a resilient cushion. The method includes providing a molding structure including a shelf substantially surrounding a depression, and a platform that fits within the depression and is selectively movable between a plurality of positions relative to the shelf, moving the platform to a preselected position relative to the shelf, wherein the preselected position corresponds to a substantially predetermined amount of air to be contained by the air-filled cellular structure, and using a vacuum device to draw air from within the depression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Assignee: Applied FT Composite Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Kim
  • Patent number: 8137499
    Abstract: In a method for reinforcing a fiber composite component for aviation and space flight, a vacuum mat is configured with at least one receiving portion for reproducibly receiving at least one reinforcing element. The at least one reinforcing element is introduced into the at least one receiving portion of the vacuum mat. The vacuum mat with at least one introduced reinforcing element is applied reproducibly in a sealed manner to the fiber composite component to be reinforced to form a mold portion and at least the formed mold portion is cured to connect the at least one reinforcing element to the fiber composite component. The vacuum mat is then removed from the reinforced fiber composite component so that the vacuum mat can be reused.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Airbus Operations GmbH
    Inventors: Christian Luebbering, Hauke Lengsfeld, Roland Brandenburg
  • Patent number: 6149853
    Abstract: An automotive interior door panel having a decorative covering displayed to the interior compartment of a vehicle and a rigid substrate having a backing surface. The backing surface includes a plurality of energy absorbers integrally molded thereon. The method utilizing the following steps. A low-pressure or high pressure injection mold operable between open and closed positions is moved to the open position. The mold has a covering receiving surface and an energy absorber producing surface. A flexible covering is positioned juxtaposed the covering receiving surface. The mold is moved to the closed position to create a space between the covering and the energy absorber producing surface. A molten plastic material is injected into the space to form the door substrate. The substrate has a nominal cross-sectional thickness between said energy absorbers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Junior Luckett, Ravi Thyagarajan, Leon Bruce Liu, Dale O. Cramer, Dave Joseph Bauer
  • Patent number: 6146892
    Abstract: Methods and compositions are described that provide three-dimensional fibrillar matrices useful as, among other things, structural prosthetics and scaffolds for cells. The porous fibrillar matrices of the present invention have desirable mechanical properties suitable to a variety of applications, including platforms for in vitro cell cultivation, implants for tissue and organ engineering, implants as tendon and facia prosthetics, and product packaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2000
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Peter X. Ma, Ruiyun Zhang
  • Patent number: 6111051
    Abstract: A conductive quasi-solution useful for making a homogeneously conductive single-phase polyurethane, comprising a transition metal salt, a carrier solution, and a dispersing agent, wherein said conductive quasi-solution has a transition metal salt concentration between 10 and 30% by weight, and methods of making thermoset and thermoplastic polyurethane polymers therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Mearthane Products Corporation
    Inventors: Albert C. Chiang, John A. Roderick
  • Patent number: 6106750
    Abstract: A laminated skin material comprising an olefin thermoplastic elastomer composition layer and an olefin resin foam layer which does not cause undesirable break, unevenness and wrinkle of the skin material when a laminated molded article is produced by disposing the laminated skin material between male and female molds, feeding a molten thermoplastic resin between the laminated skin material and the male or female molds, and integrally laminating the skin material and thermoplastic resin; a molding method using the laminated skin material, a molding method in which a laminated skin material used in the method is preheated which give a laminated molded article having good appearance and the laminated molded article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuo Hamanaka, Koji Yamashita, Masahito Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 6093351
    Abstract: A seat avoiding crumples of a surface material covering a cushioning body thereof, giving a comfortable soft feeling for a person who sits thereon and having such a hardness that a weight of the person can be supported. A seat (1) comprising a surface material (2) and a cushioning body having a shape corresponding to an outline of the seat. The cushioning body composing of a first cushioning body (6) integrated in one with at least a part of the surface material and a second cushioning body (10) underlying the first cushioning body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2000
    Inventors: Taro Ogawa, Fumio Goto
  • Patent number: 6042765
    Abstract: A method of the invention can produce a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin foamed product having less unevenness in a thickness of a surface layer and excellent mechanical strength. In the method, a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin sheet is continuously shaped into a hollow member, and a foaming resin composition containing a thermoplastic resin and a foaming agent is supplied into an interior of the obtained hollow member. The foaming agent is foamed so that the hollow member is shaped into a desired form by the foaming pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Sekisui Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Sugahara, Koji Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka Nakatani, Koichi Hirao
  • Patent number: 6007748
    Abstract: In methods and apparatus for the production of molded laminated articles a thin layer of a first moldable heat curable material is placed in the mold cavity of a heated mold and thereafter a second polymerisable material is injected to fill the remainder of the cavity, so that the materials are in intimate contact and form the laminate. The polymerisation of the second material is exothermic and the curing of the first material is facilitated by heat from this reaction. Preferably the second material is also foamable and the foaming generates pressure that molds the first material against the mold surface while it is being cured. Preferably the layer of first material is brought in contact with the mold surface, and air that would otherwise be trapped between them, is removed by drawing a vacuum between the layer and the surface. A preferred first material is epoxidised bondable uncured vulcanisable rubber and a preferred second material is foamable polymerisable polyurethane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Inventor: Dezi Anthony Krajcir
  • Patent number: 6001464
    Abstract: The invention relates to an extruded single-layer copolyetherester film with improved permeability to water vapor coupled with favorable mechanical properties, high elasticity and good surface slip so that it does not block on machinery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Dirk Schultze, Nicole Hargarter, Hans-Werner Funk
  • Patent number: 5993721
    Abstract: A process and an apparatus for molding, in which a molten thermoplastic resin is firmly fitted onto a molding surface of a mold under a pressure lower than or equal to 100 kg/cm.sup.2 and is cured to obtain a molded product. The molding apparatus has a mold main body, and a mold body on which the molding surface is defined. The mold body is supported relative to the mold main body with maintaining a space on the back side of the molding surface in a heat insulative manner by a supporting member which includes at least a heat insulative supporting member having a thermal conductivity of 0.001 to 1 Kcal/ C. and a longitudinal elastic modulus of 0.01 to 10 kg/cm.sup.2. In the space, a heating fluid for heating the molding surface from the back side to a temperature higher than or equal to Vicat softening temperature (T).degree. C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: JSR Corporation
    Inventors: Fumio Kurihara, Mitsuyoshi Kumamoto, Yasuhito Ito, Masanobu Nagano, Jun Nakamura
  • Patent number: 5989478
    Abstract: The present invention pertains, in a preferred embodiment, to a fluid-pervious web comprising a first or wearer-contacting surface and a second or garment-facing surface. The web is particularly well suited for use as a topsheet on a disposable absorbent article. The first and second surfaces are separated from one another by an intermediate portion. The first surface of the web provides a structure which exhibits a surface energy less than the surface energy of the intermediate portion. In a preferred embodiment, the web exhibits a plurality of regions of comparatively low surface energy which define surface energy gradients where they interface with higher surface energy web surfaces. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a fluid-pervious web having a plurality of small-scale surface energy gradients which are oriented and located so as to effectively transport fluid away from the first or wearer-contacting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: William R. Ouellette, Yann-Per Lee, A. Renee Haney, Frederick M. Langdon, John B. Burchnall
  • Patent number: 5968629
    Abstract: An acoustic absorbing component comprising a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin expanded body having a percentage of void not less than 50 vol %, and a resin molded body. The fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin expanded body is fused under a pressure to at least a part of a surface of said resin molded body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Sumitomo Chemical Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Syohei Masui, Satoru Funakoshi
  • Patent number: 5961902
    Abstract: A multilayer article such as a door trim board is fabricated by the steps of extruding melted resin layers (13m), (12m) and (11m) respectively forming a soft skin material (13), a foamed soft intermediate layer (12) and a base member (11) in the form of a multilayer resin sheet from a die-head (40) of an extruding machine, supply the extruded multilayer resin sheet to a molding machine in such a manner that the resin layer for the skin material is placed on a lower molding die of the molding machine and molding the resin layers in the form of the multilayer article. The resin layer for the skin material consists of thermoplastic elastomer, the resin layer for the intermediate layer consists of ethylenic copolymer copolymerized with ethylene and at least radical copolymerizable acid anhydride, and the resin layer for the base member consists of olefinic resin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1999
    Assignees: Araco Kabushiki Kaisha, Showa Denko Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Katsunori Ishitoya, Minoru Takaishi, Michihiro Okochi, Hideyuki Iwamoto, Sakuyoshi Nakagami, Kazufumi Tanaka
  • Patent number: 5939515
    Abstract: Condensation of products obtained by condensation of a mixture comprising(A) from 90 to 99.9 mol % of a mixture consisting essentially of(a) from 30 to 100 mol % of melamine and(b) from 0 to 70 mol % of a substituted melamine of the formula I ##STR1## where X, X' and X" are as defined in the specification, or mixtures of melamines I, and(c) from 1 to 70 mol %, based on (a)+(b), of a substituted triazine of the formula II ##STR2## where R", Z' and Z" are as defined in the specification, or mixtures of triazines II, and(B) from 0.1 to 10 mol %, based on (A) (a), (A) (b) and (B), of phenols which are unsubstituted or are substituted by radicals selected from the group consisting of C.sub.1 -C.sub.9 -alkyl and hydroxyl, C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 -alkanes substituted by two or three phenol groups, di(hydroxyphenyl)sulfones or mixtures of these phenols,withformaldehyde or formaldehyde-supplying compounds in a molar ratio of melamine, substituted melamine I and triazine II to formaldehyde within the range from 1:1.15 to 1:4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Assignee: BASF Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Erhard Guenther, Wolfgang Reuther
  • Patent number: 5935505
    Abstract: Modified polymer compositions having good flowabilty, impact performance and modulus made from at least one polyolefin (e.g., high density polyethylene or polypropylene) blended with minor amounts of either at least one homogeneous linear ethylene/C.sub.5 -C.sub.20 .alpha.-olefin or at least one substantially linear ethylene/C.sub.3 -C.sub.20 .alpha.-olefin polymer are disclosed. The compositions are suitable for thermoformed or molded thinwall applications such as drinking cups, lids, and food containers where the flow length to wall thickness ratios are greater than about 180:1. A process of making thin wall articles is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: The Dow Chemical Company
    Inventors: Alan R. Whetten, Stephanie C. Cirihal, Stephen M. Hoenig, Ronald P. Markovich
  • Patent number: 5932046
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a fabric covered cushion includes the steps of coating one side of a stretchable fabric with gel/foam in order to make said fabric resistant to passage of air therethrough, disposing the coated fabric over a mold adapted for vacuum forming the cooled fabric and positioning at least one strap member in the mold with a portion of the strap member extending beyond a boundary of the mold. Thereafter, a vacuum is applied between the mold and the fabric in order to stretch the fabric and cause intimate contact between the fabric and the mold. An additional volume of foam is deposited on the fabric coating while the vacuum is being applied in order to enable bonding between the additional volume of gel/foam, the coated fabric and strap member. The additional gel/foam is allowed to set and bond with the fabric and the strap member, and a fabric covered cushion is removed from the mold having the selected contour.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Inventor: Paul M. Yates
  • Patent number: 5919530
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method for customizing a thermoplastic resin in which a thermoplastic resin body is at least partially coated with a thermoplastic coating composition comprising an additive component and a polymeric component. The thermoplastic resin body is at a temperature that is above the onset temperature of the melt processing range of the coating composition. After the coating is applied, the resin body is cooled to solidify the coating composition. Customized thermoplastic resins may be produced more efficiently using the present method than by conventional methods. The customized thermoplastic resins produced according to the invention may be heated to above the onset temperature of the melt processing range of the resin body, mixed to form a substantially uniform mixture and formed into an article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: BASF Corporation
    Inventors: James M. Hurley, Bernd B. Brian, Mary E. Tuttle, Bill Popovski
  • Patent number: 5919324
    Abstract: An improved method of forming a vehicle trim part includes the initial step of securing an insert to a vinyl skin in a vacuum mold. The cloth insert is attached to the outer face of the skin, and the two are then placed into a foam mold as a single preform. In this way, if the cloth is improperly connected to the skin, the part can be identified as scrap before foam is injected to complete the part. Once the preform is moved into the foam mold, foam is injected behind the part. Since the preform is positioned within the mold as a single part, the invention more accurately positions the insert and skin relative to the mold prior to foam injection. Again, this improves the quality and appearance of the vinyl part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: UT Automotive Dearborn Inc.
    Inventors: Roderick Wilson Moffitt, Gary Kohls, Vaughn Vanderpool, Robert L. McHugh
  • Patent number: 5898057
    Abstract: A conductive quasi-solution useful for making a homogeneously conductive single-phase polyurethane, comprising a transition metal salt, a carrier solution, and a dispersing agent, wherein said conductive quasi-solution has a transition metal salt concentration between 10 and 30% by weight, and methods of making thermoset and thermoplastic polyurethane polymers therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: Mearthane Products Corp.
    Inventors: Albert C. Chiang, John A. Roderick
  • Patent number: 5853649
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a panel having a foam interlayer. A flexible cover is placed adjacent a first mold in an open tool. A rigid substrate is placed adjacent a second mold, or alternately, is place atop the flexible cover in the first mold, of the opened tool. The first and/or second molds are electrically isolated from one another and from the associated manufacturing equipment. A vacuum draws the cover against the first mold and retains the cover in position during the manufacturing operation. The tool is moved to a closed position and the cover is positioned juxtaposed the substrate. The cover and substrate are positioned a distance apart thus creating a space therebetween. A vacuum is created in the space and a radio frequency (RF) electric field is applied between the first and second molds. The RF electric field causes a plasma to be created within the space. The plasma activates both the cover and the substrate. While the space is still under vacuum, a foaming material is injected into the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Derek Tisack, Kenneth Andrew Winowiecki
  • Patent number: 5851457
    Abstract: A method for making upholstered articles comprising a foam core, an integrally attached cover assembly, and an integrally attached scrim is provided. The method includes the step of positioning an air-impermeable cover assembly over a mold cavity of a molding apparatus, applying a vacuum to the fabric through a plurality of apertures in the walls defining the mold cavity to cause the fabric to conform to the shape of the mold cavity, depositing a foam precursor into the mold cavity, positioning an air-impermeable scrim over the foam, and allowing the foam precursor to expand to form the article. The method allows upholstered articles having an integrally attached cover assembly to be manufactured using a pour-in-place process which does not utilize abherents, while still preventing bonding of the foam core to the lid and/or other surfaces of the molding apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: Steelcase Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon J. Peterson, Dale M. Groendal, Edward H. Punches
  • Patent number: 5811039
    Abstract: A process is presented for fabricating composite bodies of thermoplastic material including a foamed core bonded to a compatible thermoplastic sheet. A sheet of thermoplastic material is first preheated and then thermoformed on a first half-mould. The first half-mould with the thermoformed sheet is positioned opposite a second half-mould to form a hollow chamber therebetween. A foamable thermoplastic material containing one or more liquid hydrocarbons is injected into the hollow space at a temperature sufficiently high to permit the foamable material to expand and bond to the thermoformed sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 22, 1998
    Assignee: Montell Italia S.p.A.
    Inventors: Antonio Addeo, Annibale Vezzoli, Antonio Zentile
  • Patent number: 5756189
    Abstract: A console lid comprises a base having a predetermined rigidity and a skin layer member having an inner layer and an outer layer, which covers the base. A cushioning layer made of foamed polyurethane having a thickness that decreases toward the ends thereof is provided between the top of the base and the skin layer member. The skin layer member which has been trimmed is positioned in a mold and the cushioning layer is positioned so that it is in contact with the skin layer member. A plasticized resin is charged into a mold cavity from a gate to form a base. Excellent soft touch and feel is provided by the resulting composite structure since the cushioning layer, made of a soft material, is provided between the base and the skin layer member in a position where such a soft touch or cushioning is most desirable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Akiyoshi Nagano, Kenichi Furuta, Katsuhiro Katagiri, Tetsuya Fujii, Hiroshi Suyama
  • Patent number: 5728333
    Abstract: A molded article of rigid polyurethane foam is manufactured by using a mold of separable upper and lower mold sections mated to define a cavity therebetween. A film of polypropylene which is previously vacuum formed in conformity to the mold cavity is closely set within the cavity and secured to the lower mold section outside the cavity. A rigid polyurethane foam-forming raw material is introduced into the cavity and on the film and caused to foam and expand in place to mold an article of rigid polyurethane foam. Thereafter, the molded article is lifted together with the film from the mold cavity by a pneumatic pressure or ejector pin. The molded article is stripped from the film to remove only the molded article from the mold without taking the entire film out of the mold. The once lifted film is returned to the original shape by vacuum suction for replacing the film in the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1998
    Assignee: Bridgestone Corporation
    Inventors: Keiichiro Tabata, Yoichi Nabeshima, Taikyu Fujita, Kazufumi Yokoyama, Torao Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 5686091
    Abstract: A structurally rigid biodegradable foam scaffold useful for cell transplantation is provided. The foam can be loaded with nutrients and/or drugs that elute from the foam during transplant to promote growth of the cells. The foam, which features a continuous network of pores, is fabricated using a novel method involving phase separation and consequent expansion upon sublimation of a liquid solvent, preferably naphthalene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Inventors: Kam W. Leong, Hungnan Lo, Sudhakar Kadiyala
  • Patent number: 5639847
    Abstract: A conductive quasi-solution useful for making a homogeneously conductive single-phase polyurethane, comprising a transition metal salt, a carrier solution, and a dispersing agent, wherein said conductive quasi-solution has a transition metal salt concentration between 10 and 30% by weight, and methods of making thermoset and thermoplastic polyurethane polymers therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1997
    Assignee: Mearthane Products Corp.
    Inventors: Albert C. Chiang, John A. Roderick
  • Patent number: 5514315
    Abstract: A process of forming a spa shell by selecting a coextruded polypropylene sheet, selectively heating the sheet, vacuum forming the heated sheet on a deep draw female mold to form a molded spa shell shape, flame treating one surface of the molded shell shape, heating the flame-treated surface, and applying a layer of polyurethane foam to the heated surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Watkins Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey K. Watkins, Walter R. Cumiskey, Victor B. McCarthy
  • Patent number: 5482661
    Abstract: In molding bonded plastics material, in particular expanded or foamable polystyrene in combination with rigid sheet polystyrene, the rigid material (2) is firstly preformed in a preforming mold (33, 36) while simultaneously separating by a cutter (40) the preformed portion from the rigid sheet of starting material, the preformed portion is transferred (27) to the molding stage (3) while contained in a preforming half-mold (33), foamable material (44) is fed to and is molded onto the preformed portion with sintering and the pulse action of steam (45), and the molded portion (P) is discharged (6). The preforming half-mold (33) is moved alternately between the preforming position (1) and the molding position (3), and cooperates with respective counter-molds (36,41). The scrap is recovered without being involved in the molding stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 9, 1996
    Assignee: Devi S.p.A.
    Inventor: Mario Vismara
  • Patent number: 5476618
    Abstract: A resin laminate of the invention includes a sheet laminate including a skin, which is securely joined with a foamed bead base by heating. The resin laminate is manufactured according to the following steps. The foamed bead base and the sheet laminate consisting of the skin, a foam layer, and a thermoplastic resin film are prepared separately. The thermoplastic resin film is made of a resin material which thermally adheres to both the foam layer and the foamed bead base and has a softening temperature lower than those of the foam layer and the foamed bead base. The thermoplastic resin film is softened by heating the sheet laminate, which is then softened by heating the sheet laminate, which is then pressed against and bonded to the foamed bead base by vacuum molding or press forming. The thermoplastic resin film thermally adheres to both the foam .layer of the sheet laminate and the foamed bead base, thus joining the sheet laminate with the foamed bead base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 19, 1995
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Keizou Ito, Takashi Kato, Syoji Sakaida, Hikaru Ando
  • Patent number: 5468434
    Abstract: A method of making a cushioned seat component which includes the following steps. First, providing a cover having an exterior surface which is to present the major exterior appearance of the seat component and which includes a panel portion to be cushioned, the panel portion of the cover being perforate between the interior and exterior surfaces thereof. Second, mounting the cover on a vacuum mold so that the exterior surface of the panel portion is facing a mold surface of the vacuum mold having a shape corresponding with the desired exterior surface shape of the panel portion. Third, mounting an imperforate film over the interior surface of the panel portion while the cover is mounted on the vacuum mold. Fourth, applying a vacuum to the vacuum mold so as to draw the exterior surface of the panel portion into conformity with the mold surface of the vacuum mold with the film preventing passage of air through the cover from the interior surface thereof to the exterior surface thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1995
    Assignee: Atoma International Inc.
    Inventors: Fred D. Powell, Raymond J. Phelan, James McCormack, Peter Budansew, Larry Demoe, Alex Poschun
  • Patent number: 5466404
    Abstract: A device for molding foam products comprising upper and lower portions cooperable to form a foam mold defining a mold cavity therein. The upper mold portion has at least one vent hole therein. A mechanism for providing the mold cavity with an expandable foam during a filling cycle is also provided. The expandable foam reactively expands when provided within the cavity so as to be molded into the shape of the cavity during a foaming cycle. The foam approaches the vent hole while expanding within the mold cavity during the foaming cycle. At least one vent hole provides a passage through which air and reaction product gases introduced into the cavity as a byproduct of the reactive expanding of the foam can escape to atmosphere from the cavity during the foaming cycle. A sensing and signal generating assembly detects the presence of the foam at a predetermined proximity to the at least one vent hole during the foaming cycle and generates a signal in response to the detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 14, 1995
    Assignee: Atoma International Inc.
    Inventor: Gerry D. Kiefer
  • Patent number: 5441676
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing integral elastic supports formed by an upper covering (2), by an intermediate filler (3) and by a semirigid shell (4) entails the use of a mold with a hollow lower part, a flat upper part, and at least one intermediate plate. The method includes the following steps: opening of the mold; deposition on the lower part of a covering sheet with an excess border; securing of the excess border by means of the locking plate; deformation of the covering sheet in vacuum; pouring of a first layer of a gel compound in the fluid state; coupling of a semirigid shell to the upper part of the mold; pouring of a second layer of an expandable resin in the fluid state; closing of the mold; opening of the mold and removal of the finished support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Selle Royal S.p.A.
    Inventor: Riccardo Bigolin
  • Patent number: 5397409
    Abstract: A method of making an interior panel of an automotive vehicle door having an exterior surface which is to face toward the interior of the automotive vehicle when installed therein. An apparatus utilized in the method comprises a mold assembly including a first vacuum mold component having a mold surface shaped to form the exterior surface of an upper section of the door panel, a second non-vacuum mold component cooperable in side-by-side relation with the first vacuum mold component having a mold surface shaped to form the exterior surface of a lower section of the door panel and a third non-vacuum mold component cooperable in opposed relation with the first and second mold components having a mold surface shaped to form the entire opposite surface of the door panel. The method comprises the steps of heating a laminated sheet, and vacuum forming the heated sheet in the first vacuum mold component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1995
    Assignee: Atoma International, Inc.
    Inventor: Walter P. Kornylo
  • Patent number: 5387390
    Abstract: A method of making an interior panel of a vehicle door having an exterior surface which is to face toward the interior of the vehicle when installed therein. The method includes the steps of heating a laminate sheet comprising (1) an outer layer of vinyl sheet and (2) a layer of relatively soft foamed material bonded thereto and vacuum forming the heated laminate sheet in a vacuum mold component oriented so that an arm rest portion of the laminate sheet is the vinyl sheet surface thereof engaged with the mold surface arm rest portion. Next, a preformed pad of foamed elastomeric material having a density in the range of 30 to 45 pounds per cubic foot is mounted on the opposite surface of the arm rest portion of the heated laminate sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 7, 1995
    Assignee: Atoma International Inc.
    Inventor: Walter P. Kornylo
  • Patent number: 5382398
    Abstract: An interior furnishing part for use in motor vehicles has a covering material sheet forming the exterior or facing surface of the furnishing part backed by a support part with a padding material between the covering material and the support part. Initially, the material sheet is unshaped and is shaped in a mold. During molding, the material sheet is provided with a recess or rib in the exterior or facing surface. After the molding operation, a decorative or attachment seam is sewn in the exterior surface of the furnishing part with the sewing machine guided by the recess or rib. The seam extends at least partly through the interior furnishing part. A foamable material can be used as the padding material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: Eldra-Kunststofftechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Fritz Draxlmaier, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5376318
    Abstract: A process for making helmets for cyclists which includes steps of a) pre-heating a mold; b) putting a printing ink-coated plastic film or sheet to the lower die of the mold; c) letting the plastic film or sheet be heated to deform and to closely adhered to the cavity on the lower die; d) filling a polyurethane liquid; closing the upper die of the mold; e) putting the mold in a reactor for foaming; f) shape forming; g) mold stripping; i) trimming and vent hole making; and j) packing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Inventor: Chang H. Ho
  • Patent number: 5340425
    Abstract: Plastic panels which are useful as automotive interior trim panels, interior door panels and the like decorative and structural panels, are made by a method which integrates insert sections in the surfaces of the panels and eliminates insert edge trim molding strips. The method includes bonding at least the edge portions of the inserts upon a thin plastic sheet, pre-sized blank, then removing the plastic sheet portions that overlap the insert within the bonded portions; next, positioning the blank in a mold against a mold face and molding in situ and simultaneously bonding a plastic substrate against the blank and the exposed surface of the insert. A substantially continuous, channel forming means, such as a narrow rib or a groove, on the mold face, is overlapped by the bonded insert edge portions and sheet portion, which are folded by said means to form a narrow, relatively deep channel. The insert edges are part of and, consequently, are concealed within the channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 23, 1994
    Inventor: Vittorio Strapazzini
  • Patent number: 5324462
    Abstract: A process for the manufacture of moulded material-covered products is provided wherein material is placed over a mould and held by clamping means proximate the periphery of the mould and thereafter material is drawn into the mould to conform to the shape of the interior surface of the mould prior to the injection of foamable thermoplastics material into the mould to form the product. The process includes the step of disposing a stop at predetermined positions on the material so that when the material is drawn into the mould, the stop precludes further material from ingressing into the mould and any further movement of material into mould is by the stretching of material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Assignee: Atoma International, Inc.
    Inventor: Wolfgang K. Rohn
  • Patent number: 5312848
    Abstract: Thermoformable polyisocyanurate foams are prepared by reacting together under foam-forming conditions an organic polyisocyanate and an isocyanate-reactive compound, especially an aromatic polyester polyol, the equivalent ratio of isocyanate groups to isocyanate reactive groups being at least about 1.2:1. The foams and faced composites thereof can be thermoformed for a wide range of uses, such as in the interior of motor vehicles, aircraft, ships and other transport means, and of both residential and commercial buildings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Assignee: The Celotex Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth P. Klapper, Wayne E. Laughlin, John P. Oliver
  • Patent number: 5275779
    Abstract: An armrest assembly (10, 110, 210) is provided for pivotal attachment to an automotive seat (16). The armrest assembly (10, 110, 210) includes a cellular foam armrest pad (26, 126, 226) and an armrest cover (28, 128, 228) disposed about the armrest pad (26, 126, 226). The assembly (10, 110, 210) further includes a receptacle (46, 146, 246) for receiving and supporting a beverage container (C) and which is formed of a pliable, vacuum formable vinyl material to maintain the "soft touch" characteristic of the armrest assembly (10, 110, 210). A method is also provided for making the armrest assembly (10, 110, 210).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1994
    Assignee: Lear Seating Corporation
    Inventors: Donald F. Marfilius, Steven A. Schulte
  • Patent number: 5273597
    Abstract: A trim member for use as an interior furnishing in a motor vehicle includes a covering sheet including one surface having an embossed pattern, a first foamed body disposed on the other surface of the covering sheet, with a first component embedded partly in the first foamed body, and a second foamed body disposed on the other surface and/or the first foamed body, with a second component partly embedded in the second foamed body. The covering sheet, the first foamed body, and the second foamed body are integrally formed as a unitary construction. Since the trim member is constructed as an integral unitary assembly, it does not squeak while the motor vehicle is running, and does not have visible steps and joints on its outer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shuno Kumagai, Tamio Furuya, Eiji Tuyuki, Yoshitsugu Nishi, Nozomu Hama, Takaaki Sato, Akihiko Koshiro, Shingo Noguchi, Hitoshi Nakazawa
  • Patent number: 5269986
    Abstract: Refrigeration units having internal parts containing a rigid polyurethane foam formed without the use of perhalogenated fluoro-chlorohydrocarbons are produced by applying a coating to the internal walls of the part in which back-foaming will take place, pouring a foam forming reaction mixture into the cavity of the part in which the internal walls have been coated and allowing the foam to form and set. The coating applied to the internal walls of the part in which back foaming is to be carried out is selected from one-component chemically cross-linking lacquers, two-component chemically cross-linking lacquers and lacquers based on aqueous polyurethane dispersions. The foam forming mixture generally includes a polyisocyanate, a polyisocyanate-reactive compound and a blowing agent. The blowing agent must include a partially halogenated hydrocarbon having at least one carbon-hydrogen bond and a boiling point in the range of from about to about C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Assignee: Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Norbert Eisen, Robert Zollner, Wolfgang Henning, Reinhold Dederichs
  • Patent number: 5266143
    Abstract: Composite soundproofing panels for applications in the automotive sector have a plastic layer bonded to at least one porous material layer. The plastic layer has a composition which contains a first elastomeric material, a high density filler material, a plasticizer and a second elastomeric material. The plastic layer is bonded to at least one self-supporting, premoldable layer of porous material while maintaining a constant thickness within +10%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1993
    Assignee: C.S.P. Centro Studi e Prototipi S.r.l.
    Inventors: Sergio Albera, Guglielmo Piumetti
  • Patent number: 5232643
    Abstract: Foamed seat cushions are manufactured in a female mold 10 by using vacuum applied through a series of apertures in the mold wall to draw a fabric seat covering into contact with the interior mold surface and then introducing a foam which fills the internal space in the mold. The mold is closed with a lid, and the foam is allowed to expand and cure. Air pressure is applied to the mold through the apertures in the mold wall to compress the foam cushion and partially break down some of the internal structure of the foam and softening the resilience of the foam to the desired level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1993
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Brian E. Purser
  • Patent number: 5207957
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an article having a substructure with a wall having first and second wall surfaces and a molded layer along the first wall surface. The substructure is supported in a tool having first and second die surfaces on either side of the wall. The first die surface is spaced apart from the first wall surface and the second die surface is spaced apart from the second wall surface. A moldable material is injected between the first die surface and the first wall surface under conditions causing said material to exert a force on the wall. The second wall surface is contacted with a fluid under sufficient pressure to create a force on the wall that offsets the force exerted by the material whereby the wall is supported against deformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1993
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Gerald A. Heath, Richard L. Hamilton, Steven D. McCarthy
  • Patent number: 5183693
    Abstract: A skin or shell is disclosed for use in a mold process in which the skin or shell is placed in a mold in which foam precursors are directed onto the skin for reaction thereagainst to form a foam layer thereon; the skin includes integral connector features thereon adapted to be connected to the mold for stabilizing the location of the skin within the mold so as to prevent wrinkling of the skin during the mold process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1993
    Assignee: Davidson Textron Inc.
    Inventors: Richard D. Rhodes, Jr., W. David Fredericks