Vacuum Patents (Class 425/DIG60)
  • Patent number: 6090336
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for manufacturing an injection-molded article having an outer film on an exposed surface. The method includes securing the film about its periphery within a mold cavity prior to injection of molten material into the cavity. One way of securing the film is by applying vacuum pressure through peripheral holes in a frame surrounding the mold cavity. Molten material is injected into the cavity, behind the film and the film slips from its initial position to be forced against a wall of the cavity by molten material being injected into the cavity. The apparatus includes a frame for a molding apparatus, adapted to initially secure the film in place prior to movement of the core block into place and to permit the film to slip from its initial position to be forced against the cavity wall as molten material fills the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Decoma International Inc.
    Inventors: Gerhard Hirmer, Rudolph Allan Schrempf
  • Patent number: 6082140
    Abstract: An improved vacuum fusion bonding structure and process for aligned bonding of large area glass plates, patterned with microchannels and access holes and slots, for elevated glass fusion temperatures. Vacuum pumpout of all the components is through the bottom platform which yields an untouched, defect free top surface which greatly improves optical access through this smooth surface. Also, a completely non-adherent interlayer, such as graphite, with alignment and location features is located between the main steel platform and the glass plate pair, which makes large improvements in quality, yield, and ease of use, and enables aligned bonding of very large glass structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Harold D. Ackler, Stefan P. Swierkowski, Lisa A. Tarte, Randall K. Hicks
  • Patent number: 6077462
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for seamless closed mold microreplication using a one-piece expandable mold are disclosed. The apparatus includes an expandable mold having a plurality of microstructured features on the inner surface thereof. The apparatus also includes a means for elastically expanding the mold in order to remove the finished molded article. The expandable mold may be used to make seamless articles having microstructured features, such as an illumination device comprising a fiber core having a plurality of microstructured light extraction structures on the surface thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: David J. Lundin, Kevin M. Eliason
  • Patent number: 5993189
    Abstract: The apparatus and process to compensate for variations in thickness of molding tools and of moldable materials used in an embossing process to be carried out under a vacuum, while ensuring high dimensional stability, and to ensure different molding depths. For achieving this object, a chamber is employed having a pair of oppositely lying chamber parts, of which one is fixed to the framework and the other is adjustable, having side walls which comprise an inner part and an outer part. The inner part is fastened to the fixed chamber part and the outer part, on the outwardly facing end face to of which the adjustable chamber part comes to bear against the force of a spring during the closing of the chamber, is displaceable along guide elements on the fixed chamber part between two stops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Jenoptik Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Lutz Mueller, Frank Reuther, Alf Springer, Matthias Heckele, Hans Biedermann
  • Patent number: 5912023
    Abstract: A single head forms an outside layer material supply passage connected through to an annular slit at joined portion, a reinforcing material supply passage and an inside layer material supply passage. An outside rubber layer is supplied to the outside material supply passage. A reinforcing cloth is supplied to the reinforcing material supply passage, and an inside rubber is supplied to the inside layer material supply passage respectively. A vacuum is formed up to the pressure of the joined portion by reducing under a vacuum the inside of the reinforcing cloth supply passage, thereby removing water or gas such as air attaching to both surfaces of the reinforcing cloth and increasing the adhesion of the outside rubber layer and the inside rubber layer with the reinforcing cloth being half there between.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: Yamashita Rubber Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuji Katoh, Hiroshi Shimizu, Shogo Ozawa
  • Patent number: 5855931
    Abstract: A vacuum forming apparatus to allow a tray containing a sheet, to be molded into a prescribed shape, to be moved manually in a very rapid manner in a rearward diagonal upward direction from a horizontally positioned vacuum table that is at one level into horizontal engagement with a heating element that is at a higher level, When in this latter position the tray is retained by a magnet until the sheet is heated to a moldable condition. The tray is then manually withdrawn from the magnet without harm to an operator's fingers while the tray is being moved rapidly in a forward diagonal downward direction away from the heating element into engagement with the vacuum tables In this position the moldable sheet is formed into the prescribed molded shape. To accomplish this very rapid diagonal movement of the tray parallel linkages are employed that are each pivotally connected to the rear central portion of the tray at one end and to a post at its other end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Inventors: Nathaniel Howard Lieb, Joseph Alexander Lieb
  • Patent number: 5820983
    Abstract: A kit for a support fixture for a PC card. THe kid comprises a membrane and a PC card, a compliant-porous member, a vacuum platen, a rectangular frame, and a cylindrical plug which are placed under the membrane. The frame is used to create a mold to pour a casting material into and the cylindrical plug is used to create a recess to allow easy finger access to remove the PC card from the fixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Transition Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Curtin
  • Patent number: 5776509
    Abstract: In a method and die assembly device for molding a laminated assembly comprising a resin core member and a surface skin member covering a part of the surface of the resin core member, the shifting and creasing of the surface skin member is avoided, the molding precision is increased during the mold press forming process, and the external appearance of the assembly is improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1998
    Assignee: Kasai Koyco Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Tetsuyuki Ota, Masahiko Hara
  • Patent number: 5750154
    Abstract: A fixture for fixing an annular upper air isolation member which is provided around an outer side of an upper mold section to an upper mounting plate is released, thereby rotating the air isolation member by a rotational member and fixing the same by a rotational position regulating member. An upper chase unit is exchanged through an upper opening which is defined by the upper mounting plate and the rotated air isolation member. A lower chase unit is also exchanged in a similar manner. Due to this structure, a sealing mechanism for a resin sealing/molding apparatus for electronic parts which can readily and quickly exchange a mold in response to small lot production of various types of products is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1998
    Assignee: Towa Corporation
    Inventors: Keiji Maeda, Yoshihisa Kawamoto
  • Patent number: 5720989
    Abstract: A mold for molding an optical disk including a pair of mold halves which cooperate to form a mold cavity for forming the optical disk, an annular plate-like stamper and a stamper holding member. One of the pair of mold halves has an annular recess in a radially inner portion thereof. The stamper has a center hole and is positioned in the mold cavity. The stamper holding member is removably accommodated in the annular recess for supporting the stamper at an inner peripheral portion. The stamper holding member includes a first ring member having an annular collar portion extending radially outwardly from an axial end of the first ring member, and a second ring member removably fitted on an axial end portion of the first ring member. The stamper is positioned such that the inner peripheral portion is interposed between the annular collar portion of the first ring member and an inner portion of the second ring member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Meiki Seisakusho
    Inventor: Ikuo Asai
  • Patent number: 5720992
    Abstract: A thermoforming apparatus having a plurality of dies for forming a plurality of thin walled plastic articles in combination with an improved movable extractor plate assembly for moving an extractor plate between the plurality of dies of the thermoforming apparatus to remove formed articles is described. The movable extractor plate assembly includes an extractor plate having a vacuum chamber connected to the outlet end of a vacuum source and having at the inlet end of the vacuum source a pressure control valve and a vent valve between the vacuum source and pressure control valve. The assembly permits the control of pressure to the vacuum chamber to provide holding contact of articles formed onto the extractor plate without deformation of the thin walled articles. Additionally, the assembly permits the injection of air pressure into the vacuum chamber upon closing of the vacuum source to facilitate release of the formed articles from the extractor plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1998
    Assignee: Trafalgar House Company
    Inventor: Gaylord Brown
  • Patent number: 5690973
    Abstract: An apparatus for separating individual contact lens mold assemblies that each contain a contact lens mold between a front curve mold half and a back curve mold half, each of the mold halves having annular circumferential flanges, is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a first device for applying steam at a first temperature to the back curve mold half to form a temperature gradient ranging from about 2.5.degree. C. to 6.0.degree. C. between the back curve mold half relative to the front curve mold half, and, a second device including a set of pry tools that are inserted between the circumferential flanges of the front mold and back mold halves of the contact lens mold assembly, the pry tools including a first set of pry fingers for retaining the front curve mold half and a second set of pry fingers for biasing the back curve mold half upwardly at a predetermined force with respect to the front curve mold half to effectively remove the back mold half therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 25, 1997
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Ture Kindt-Larsen, Stephen Robert Beaton, Wallace Anthony Martin, Stephen Craig Pegram, Craig William Walker
  • Patent number: 5658602
    Abstract: An apparatus for forming contact lenses, wherein front curve mold halves are filled with a hardenable transparent material, such as a polymerizable hydrogel, and back curve mold halves are coupled to the front curve, therein forming a lens. More particularly, the apparatus includes a conveyor for transporting pallets of mold halves to the apparatus, an array of piston structures for raising and aligning the back curves with respect to the filled front curve halves, a mechanism for reciprocating the piston array to couple pairs of front and back curves, and a vacuum chamber for maintaining a vacuum around the curves during coupling. In addition, there is provided individual spring biasing to each reciprocating element whereby sensitivity to thickness variations and pallet misfeeds may be minimized. Further, there is provided a vacuum sleeve, through which the pistons reciprocate within the vacuum chamber, which sleeve preserves the vacuum within the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Assignee: Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Wallace Anthony Martin, Jonathan Patrick Adams, Finn Thrige Andersen, Ture Kindt-Larsen, Jeffrey Eldon Steven, Craig William Walker, Daniel Tsu-Fang Wang, Michael Francis Widman
  • Patent number: 5632936
    Abstract: A lens mold cavity is formed and then evacuated via a vacuum channel contained within a mold member. A fluid valve is opened to expose the lens mold cavity to liquid lens material, whereby a vacuum of the lens mold cavity draws the liquid lens material to fill the lens mold cavity. The fluid valve is then closed and the liquid lens material within the lens mold cavity is cured to obtain an opthalmic lens such as a contact lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 27, 1997
    Assignee: Ciba-Geigy AG
    Inventors: Kai C. Su, Jack C. White, Hans U. Schlapfer
  • Patent number: 5620635
    Abstract: Ophthalmic lens manufacturing equipment includes lens die assemblies constructed to accommodate fragile, high quality glass lens dies. The lens die supports of the assemblies provide a series of grooves of critically small widths on their interface surfaces to apply vacuum pressure from an external source to the backs of the lens dies and thereby hold them in place. The vacuum securement also enables rapid lens die changeover using robotic arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Inventors: Gaston DeRozier, Kenneth W. Pugh
  • Patent number: 5612062
    Abstract: In a means for holding a stamper plate in a molding metal die so that the stamper plate can be easily mounted on and dismounted from the surface of a disc cavity plate, the means comprises the stamper plate having a hole at the center thereof and composed of a ferromagnetic substance, a stamper plate bush having an engaging shaft portion to be engaged with the center hole of the stamper plate in a molding cavity and disposed at the center of the disc cavity plate on the side where the stamper plate is mounted, a magnetic flux generating means disposed in a ring shape around the outer periphery of the engaging shaft portion of the stamper plate bush in the disc cavity plate for generating magnetic flux in a direction vertical to the surface of the stamper plate coupled with the engaging shaft portion, a vacuum hole defined to the disc cavity plate in correspondence to the portion of the stamper plate where no information is recorded for vacuuming the rear surface of the stamper plate, and an air passage define
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 18, 1997
    Assignee: Seikoh Giken Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Mitsuo Takahashi
  • Patent number: 5589202
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for producing a molded polyurethane foam without using low-boiling solvents such as Freon and methylene chloride which present problems when used as a blowing agent. The polyurethane foam has the same good appearance and soft feeling as that produced with low-boiling solvents. A polyurethane foam is produced by injecting a polyurethane material into an evacuated cavity and permitting it to expand so that it flows and fills the cavity, said polyurethane material being composed of 100 parts by weight of polyol component and 0.1-0.6 part by weight of water as a blowing agent. The cavity pressure may be maintained high spontaneously or low while the polyurethane material is flowing in the cavity. When the polyurethane material has reached the final fill position in the cavity, the fore-end of the polyurethane material is discharged from the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1996
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hidenobu Okano, Katsunori Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5560708
    Abstract: The invention includes a shielding portion having a vent hole for discharging a gas composition G generated from a molten resin R to a barrel cylinder and having a shielding steam holding chamber C formed in connection with the barrel cylinder, the shielding steam holding chamber communicating with the vent hole. A steam supplying portion is provided for supplying a steam S to the shielding holding steam chamber C, and a discharging port portion is provided for discharging the steam S and the gas composition G from the inside of the shielding steam holding chamber C. Thereby, oxidization or carbonization of the molten resin can be prevented. In addition, adverse influence to the natural system can be removed and a decrease in the cost of the apparatus can be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Nissei Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kiyoto Takizawa, Kazuo Anzai
  • Patent number: 5540576
    Abstract: An apparatus having a vacuum chamber or chamber, wherein the changing manner of the mold can be improved, the sealing structure of the vacuum chamber or an injection nozzle is simple, and the cost of the apparatus is reduced and preservation of the apparatus is improved. The apparatus has a vacuum chamber for surrounding a mold into an airtight situation. The vacuum chamber includes an upper casing and a lower casing, and they are being divided by a parting line defined by mating peripheral edge surfaces which incline upwardly from an operator-side to an opposite-side. An O-ring as a sealing member of the vacuum chamber is positioned between the peripheral edge surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 30, 1996
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukio Kawakita, Shogo Sugiyama, Kazuhiko Suzuki
  • Patent number: 5518385
    Abstract: In an apparatus and method for resin transfer molding, a mold including at least two cooperating mold sections is placed in a vacuum chamber. A reinforcing material is positioned between the mold sections, which are separated from one another during evacuation of the chamber, thus maintaining the reinforcing material in a substantially uncompressed condition, to ensure that all gasses and/or liquids are evacuated from the reinforcing material and the mold prior to resin injection. After evacuation, the mold sections are brought almost into engagement to substantially define a mold cavity, and resin is injected into the mold cavity. Prior to terminating the resin injection, the mold sections are brought into engagement, and final resin injection is performed. The injected resin is then cured in accordance with the particular type of resin injected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: John Graff
  • Patent number: 5484277
    Abstract: A tool for fabricating fiber reinforced resin matrix composite structures having molded outside surfaces with intermittent molded inside surfaces e.g. aircraft skin with internal stiffeners. The tool employs a hybrid vacuum bag with soft portions in combination with rigid portions to produce the internal stiffeners. The stiffeners are supported and shaped during curing by pressurized elastomeric tubes, in lieu of mandrels, which can be easily removed when collapsed. The stiffeners and skin can be made from wet lay-ups or prepregs, formed in place or preformed, and in combinations where one part is precured or both parts are co-cured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 16, 1996
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventor: William E. Lindsay
  • Patent number: 5370521
    Abstract: A simple yet reliable sealing assembly for a vacuum compression mold. Molding apparatus for compression molding a charge under vacuum includes an upper die having a molding surface and outer side walls. A lower die has a complimentary molding surface and side walls substantially aligned with the side walls of the upper die. A heat source heats the upper and lower dies. A sealing assembly includes a seal plate on each side wall of the upper die. Upper portions of the seal plates are fixed and sealed to the upper die. Lower portions of the seal plates extend downwardly therefrom. The sealing assembly includes flexible sealing tubes on lower portions of the plates. A distance between upper and lower edges of the seal plates is related to a height of the charge to be molded. A moving device moves the upper die towards the lower die to a partially closed position where the tubes of the sealing assembly engage side walls of the lower die to thereby create a vacuum chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Assignee: The Budd Company
    Inventor: Malcolm K. McDougall
  • Patent number: 5370522
    Abstract: An injection valve for a vacuum wax injection installation for selectively communicating a mold into which wax is to be injected with a chamber with a vacuum and a chamber with liquid wax in the vacuum wax injection installation includes a main valve body and a tubular member which is arranged slidably in the main valve body between a valve-closed position, an evacuation position and a wax injection position. One end of the tubular member carries a connecting element against which the mold can be pressed while the opposite end of the tubular member is closed. The tubular member has lateral openings providing a communication between the connecting element and first the vacuum chamber and then the wax-filled chamber as the tubular member is progressively pushed into the main valve body from the valve-closed position, whereby firstly the mold is evacuated and then wax is injected into the mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Inventor: Arno Lindner
  • Patent number: 5344597
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for forming sheets of a first material, such as a metal, plastic, rubber, or the like, having a primary tank for heating a second molten material and containing the second molten material to form a surface upon which the first material is floated in a molten state. The temperature of the second molten material is maintained below the melting temperature of the first molten material, and the second molten material has a higher specific gravity than the first molten material. Thus, the first molten material floats upon the surface of the second molten material while it solidifies into a sheet of material, which is then withdrawn from the surface of the second molten material. A hood is disposed over the primary tank to remove fumes and vapors which, when removed, are discharged into water where they condense.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 6, 1994
    Inventor: Harry J. Robertson
  • Patent number: 5326240
    Abstract: A metal mold device for molding a substrate includes a fixed metal mold, a movable metal mold mounted facing the fixed metal mold for being moved towards and away from the fixed metal mold and for defining a mold cavity between it and the fixed metal mold, a stamper mounted on at least one of the fixed metal mold or the movable metal mold and arranged within the mold cavity, a positioning unit provided on the metal mold on which the stamper is mounted for positioning the loading position of the stamper, and a stamper supporting unit provided on the metal mold on which the stamper is mounted for supporting the stamper by suction. The stamper is positioned by the positioning member and held under suction by the stamper suction unit so that it may be mounted in position on the fixed metal mold or the movable metal mold to permit a disc substrate to be molded highly accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Kudo, Jun Shimizu
  • Patent number: 5283022
    Abstract: A tire molding system includes a mold having a surface defining a cavity for receiving and shaping an uncured tire. The uncured tire is pressed against the surface defining the cavity. Fluid is evacuated from between the uncured tire and the surface defining the cavity. A recess extends from the cavity for forming a marking on the sidewall of the tire. A passage fluidly communicates the recess with the exterior of the mold. The passage includes a first end portion adjacent the recess and a second end portion adjacent the exterior of the mold. The second end portion extends for a distance less than one-half of the total length of the passage. A restrictor is located entirely within the second end portion of the passage for restricting fluid flow through the passage during the evacuation of fluid and before the recess is sealed off from the cavity by the uncured tire when the uncured tire is pressed against the surface defining the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 1, 1994
    Assignee: The Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company
    Inventor: Donald R. Bartley
  • Patent number: 5275545
    Abstract: A vacuum cast molding apparatus includes a plurality of vacuum chambers which can be brought into communication with each other, a plurality of depressurizing devices to evacuate each of the vacuum chambers respectively, a plurality of mixing and injecting devices installed in each of the vacuum chambers, to mix, agitate and inject molding materials into dies installed in each of the vacuum chambers, and separators installed removably between the vacuum chambers for partitioning each of the vacuum chambers. The vacuum chambers can be used independently when the separators are installed to partition them from each other. The vacuum chambers can also be used as one large vacuum chamber when the separators are removed bringing the chambers into communication with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1994
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha San-Al
    Inventors: Yu Ohyanagi, Michifumi Suzuki
  • Patent number: 5256366
    Abstract: A fiberglass molding method characterized by the use of a male mask to which glass fiber material is affixed and then sealed against a female mold by a vacuum actuated gasket system. Resin is placed into the bottom of the female mold and is pulled by vacuum through the glass fiber material by means of vacuum ports which extend through the bottom of a spillway and open at an elevation above the bottom of the spillway. The method also allows the resulting fiberglass part to be subsequently surfaced coated using the vacuum method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Inventors: Richard Wejrock, Allen T. Curry
  • Patent number: 5236636
    Abstract: A method of producing a plasma treated article in a mold tool having electrically isolated mold dies including the steps of placing an article to be treated with a plasma between at least one of the dies and the article to be treated and applying an electric field between the dies to create a plasma in the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Michael D. Tisack
  • Patent number: 5196206
    Abstract: A tire mold having relatively reciprocable first and second mold halves is provided with a heat shield which includes first and second relatively reciprocable shield members. One of these shield members is fixedly secured to one of the mold halves; the other shield member is fixedly secured to the other mold half. The shield members are spaced from the mold halves so that they enclose a space which surrounds the mold halves. A vacuum tight seal between the shield members is provided. A nipple which is adapted to be connected to a source of vacuum extends through one of the shield members so that the space enclosed by the shield members can be placed under vacuum, thereby inhibiting heat transfer to the atmosphere surrounding the apparatus. Heat transfer is further inhibited by the thin reflective chrome plate layer on the inside wall surfaces of both heat shield members. Preferably the mold halves are arranged one above the other and each is secured to a platen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1993
    Assignee: Scantland Industries Inc.
    Inventors: Phillip P. Troia, Joe F. Scantland, Thomas A. Flory
  • Patent number: 5141427
    Abstract: Pipes with special profile sections are produced by an apparatus with circuit guided half shells. The half shells combining to form a mold have mold walls extending about parallel to a mold space axis. Vacuum slits extend about parallel to the mold space axis to open into a mold space in each case at a place radially the most distant from the mold space axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignee: Wilhelm Hegler
    Inventors: Ralph-Peter Hegler, Wilhelm Hegler
  • Patent number: 5116216
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing thermo-composites is disclosed where individual lies of a prepreg, to be formed into a laminate, are processed under two, concentric vacuum chambers. Heat and consolidating pressure are applied under a first vacuum to the material and then a second vacuum is drawn under an outer, rigid shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Roland C. Cochran, Edwin L. Rosenzweig
  • Patent number: 5114637
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for moulding a fluid settable material. The apparatus includes male and female mould halves defining between them a mould cavity having an inlet thereto for the introduction of a fluid settable material; between the male and female mould halves of the cavity a seal can be interposed to seal the mould cavity from the atmosphere. At least one vacuum outlet from a mould half leads via an isolation valve to a vacuum source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Assignee: Short Brothers PLC
    Inventors: David R. Williams, Trevor P. Gibson
  • Patent number: 5088908
    Abstract: A continuous vacuum processing apparatus has a vacuum processing chamber and at least one auxiliary vacuum chamber connected to at least one of the upstream and downstream ends of the vacuum processing chamber as viewed in the direction of flow of a material to be processed. The apparatus further has a slit-type seal device provided in the auxiliary vacuum chamber and capable of conveying the material to be processed while sealing the vacuum processing chamber from exterior of the vacuum processing chamber. The seal device is provided with a guide member for guiding the material. Independent tensioning devices are provided in the vacuum processing chamber and the auxiliary vacuum chamber and capable of independently applying tensions to the portions of the material in the vacuum processing chamber and auxiliary vacuum chamber, so that a material which is not resistant to heat can be processed without being damaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1992
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinobu Ezaki, Yukishige Kamino, Masaie Tohkai
  • Patent number: 5071338
    Abstract: A method of making a flexible composite tool particularly adapted for composite molding and the composite tool made by this method. The method includes dissolving a B-staged fluoroelastomer in a suitable solvent such as methyl ethyl ketone or toluene to form a fluoroelastomer solution. A fabric is then coated with the fluoroelastomer solution. The solvent is evaporated and the impregnated fabric is sandwiched between unreinforced sheets to form a reinforced tooling material. The reinforced tooling material is laid up with alternating layers of unreinforced fluoroelastomer and then cured to form a composite tool which is stable through multiple thermal cycles. In addition, an elastomer tool can be provided with detail cavities shaped to accept separately formed detail structures, with each cavity including extra reinforcement in order to locate the details to close tolerances without extensive hand positioning or use of adhesives. The tool is useful in molding composites and is reusable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1991
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Alex C. Dublinski, David A. Evans, Joseph Goldberg, Geoffrey C. R. Davis, William Sharp, Jr., Michael A. Kornitzky
  • Patent number: 5059112
    Abstract: A mold or die having two parts with a cavity and an interface between them and a feed opening in one of the mold parts cooperates with a charge feed for raw changes and any evacuation device providing a low pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1991
    Inventor: Marianne Wieser
  • Patent number: 5015168
    Abstract: For moulding self-stiffened panels (A) from a composite material with a thermosetting matrix, use is made of a tool having a block (10), a sealing bag (12), whose peripheral edge is connected to the block by a sealing bead (14), and solid, non-deformable calibration parts (22). Panel (A) is placed in a tight volume (16) defined between the block and the bag, while the parts (22) are placed outside said volume, above the bag and between the panel stiffeners (C). The calibration parts (22) are connected by a rigid structure (24). Thus, when the volume (16) is placed under a vacuum and when the tool is placed in an oven or autoclave, a uniform pressure is applied to the panel by the bag (12) and the parts (22) ensuring the maintenance of the geometry of the stiffeners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1991
    Assignee: Societe Nationale Industrielle et Aerospatiale
    Inventors: Bernard Boime, Bernard Taquoy
  • Patent number: 5015167
    Abstract: An apparatus for a vacuum forming plastic sheets includes an upper member with a heater and a base member including a vacuum table. Guide rails extend between the upper member and the base member and confine a sheet-holding carrier for travel between the two members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1991
    Assignee: Ron Charles & Associates
    Inventor: Robert V. Charles
  • Patent number: 4976603
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device for removing workpieces from a wide variety of injection molding machines, particularly stack mold machines. The device includes at least one suction cup for grasping and rotating each workpiece through an approximate 90.degree. arc from a position intermediate the mold portions to a position outboard of the mold portions. The suction cup(s) are mounted to a rotatable shaft which is actauted by a cam-operated linkage assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Assignee: Husky Injection Molding Systems, Ltd.
    Inventor: John Disimone
  • Patent number: 4954303
    Abstract: A devolatilizer, especially suitable for high viscosity polymers, comprising a vacuum chamber into the top of which the polymer is introduced after having passed through a tubular or equivalent heat exchanger, with a low shear mixer located in the vacuum chamber and a pumping device for removing the devolatilized polymer from the bottom of the vacuum chamber. Devolatilization of high viscosity polymers is achieved in this apparatus and method without severe degradation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1990
    Assignee: The Dow Chemical Company
    Inventors: Eugene R. Moore, Tom E. Wessel
  • Patent number: 4946640
    Abstract: A method for the shaping of a sheet of preform material. A flat planar (heated) sheet of preform material is held tightly between two elastomeric sheets, the sheets and preform material forming a laminate assembly. The laminate assembly is then formed about a mold having the desired contours. The elastomeric sheets maintain the preform material parallel to the surface contours of the mold as the molding process proceeds. A fluid such as air is flowed between the mold surface and the laminate assembly during the forming process to prevent the elastomeric sheets from binding on the mold surface. Wrinkles are eliminated in the final shape of the preform material, and fiber distortion of tears or rips in the material are minimized due to the fluid lubrication between the mold surface and the laminate assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 7, 1990
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventor: Nazim S. Nathoo
  • Patent number: 4943222
    Abstract: An apparatus is disclosed for the shaping of a sheet of preform material. A flat planar (heated) sheet of preform material is held tightly between two elastomeric sheets of the apparatus, the sheets and preform material forming a laminate assembly. The laminate assembly is then formed about a mold having the desired contours. The elastomeric sheets maintain the preform material parallel to the surface contours of the mold as the molding process proceeds. A fluid such as air is flowed between the mold surface and the laminate assembly during the forming process to prevent the elastomeric sheets from binding on the mold surface. Wrinkles are eliminated in the final shape of the preform material, and fiber distortion or tears or rips in the material are minimized due to the fluid lubrication between the mold surface and the laminate assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 24, 1990
    Assignee: Shell Oil Company
    Inventor: Nazim S. Nathoo
  • Patent number: 4929407
    Abstract: The process uses a vented barrel to decrease the mositure content of the ionomeric resin cover stock prior to injection molding of a golf ball cover or the formation of semi-circular cover halves. The vent is located at a point on the barrel where the temperature of the melted ionomeric resin melt is between 400.degree. F. (204.degree. C.) and 500.degree. F. (260.degree. C.). The venting drops the moisture content of the ionomeric resin to below 800 ppm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 29, 1990
    Assignee: Acushnet Company
    Inventor: John Giza
  • Patent number: 4917903
    Abstract: For the production of decorative seams on dashboards or the like, molded of thermoplastic material by the deep-drawing method, or the like, a soft heated embossing die having a negative decorative seam is pressed briefly, at the instant of the deformation of the dashboard or the like, against the molding tool covered with the film. Elastic embossing cushions are glued into the molding tool, thereby providing that the decorative seam will have a convex curvature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 17, 1990
    Inventor: Kurt Mente
  • Patent number: 4886442
    Abstract: An apparatus for forming composite members has a frame assembly which is lowered onto a table. A sheet of vacuum bagging material, supported by the frame, covers a tooling surface on the table. Attached to the sheet is a downwardly depending seal which continuously extends around the sheet's periphery. This seal inserts into an upwardly opening channel that surrounds the perimeter of the table's tooling surface as the frame is lowered. The seal is inflated while in the channel and this provides in airtight seal between the sheet and tooling surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1989
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Peter D. McCowin, Paul E. Nelson
  • Patent number: 4872826
    Abstract: An apparatus for obtaining a negative pressure in chambers formed by a flat extractor plate supporting frustoconical or truncated pyramidal objects thermoformed from a sheet of synthetic material, embodying a flat extractor plate for hollow frustoconical or trucated pyramidal objects which when resting their rims on the flat surface of the extractor plate form chambers, wherein a suction unit is connected with said chambers by means of a pipe and a connecting cavity and wherein are provided a shut-off valve and an air intake(20) adjustment valve between the unit and the said valve, wherein each chamber is provided with at least one intake for atmospheric air into the chambers (17), wherein the cross-section of the intakes (20) is variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1989
    Assignee: O.M.V. S.p.A. (Officine Meccaniche Veronesi)
    Inventor: Pietro Padovani
  • Patent number: 4867924
    Abstract: Kicker cylinders are used in a vacuum compression molding method and apparatus to initially break the seal between two members of the mold in order to facilitate quick opening of the mold to thereby increase part cycle time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1989
    Assignee: The Budd Company
    Inventors: Daniel P. Schilkey, James R. Hamner
  • Patent number: 4842670
    Abstract: Methods are disclosed for forming silicone rubber vacuum bag assemblies which can be used repeatedly to debulk and autoclave composite layups. These bags can be formed of a single layup of uncured silicone rubber over a tool of a simple shape or as a layup of uncured silicone rubber over the totality of the tool and a prepreg consisting of a fiber in uncured silicone rubber laid up over areas which do not include male and female radii on the tool. Additionally, a further bag can be constructed by removing those portions of a simple bag which overlay recesses and female radii followed by curing of the silicone rubber and filling of the recesses within uncured silicone rubber followed by a second cure period. Each of the vacuum bag assemblies of the invention is postcured preferredly removed from its defining tool so as to stabilize and fully shrink the silicone rubber. The vacuum bag assemblies are mounted in a silicone rubber membrane which is preferably then supported in a frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1989
    Assignee: Northrop Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Callis, Darryl G. James
  • Patent number: 4836765
    Abstract: Permanent magnets embedded within the periphery of a vacuum bag seal the bag to rigid mold during the curing of composite laminate lay-ups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1989
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Michael A. Kornitzky, Alexander C. Dublinski
  • Patent number: 4796686
    Abstract: A device affixed to a centrifugal force casting machine that developes a vacuum as it travels through the air on the spinning arm of the casting machine. The developed vacuum is used to evacuate unwanted gasses from a casting mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1986
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1989
    Inventor: Donald W. Gayso