Title:
Decorative Effect for Glass Bodies
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Glass bodies are decoratively affected by having coatings of dichroic materials applied to an uneven surface. The dichroic materials transmit or reflect different colors of light in patterns that are determined by the unevenness of the coated surface and an angle of view of an observer. Both the color patterns and the colors forming the patterns change with different viewing angles of the coated surface.



Inventors:
Pomeroy, Andrew G. (Ontario, NY, US)
Gray, Paul D. (Kendall, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/132076
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/03/2008
Assignee:
APPLIED COATINGS GROUP, INC. (Rochester, NY, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.2
International Classes:
E04C1/42
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROWN & MICHAELS, PC;400 M & T BANK BUILDING (118 NORTH TIOGA ST, ITHACA, NY, 14850, US)
Claims:
1. A decorative effect applied to a glass surface, the decorative effect comprising: the glass surface being uneven by having at least one of the forms consisting of: a) a predetermined non-planar topography; and b) a textured pattern; the surface being coated with at least two materials having dichroic effects; and the dichroic materials effecting a color pattern of light that varies with different angles of view of the coated surface by an observer.

2. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the glass surface is an inside surface of a glass block.

3. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the glass surface is a back surface of a glass tile.

4. The decorative effect of claim 3 including an opaque protective coating applied over the dichroic materials.

5. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the glass surface is part of a wall or door panel.

6. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the glass surface has an undulated topography.

7. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the dichroic materials are transmissive.

8. The decorative effect of claim 1 wherein the dichroic materials are reflective.

9. A method of imposing a color pattern on observable light, the method comprising: coating dichroic materials on an uneven surface of a glass body to conform the dichroic materials into the uneven surface; using the unevenness of the coated dichroic materials to impose a color pattern on the observable light; and the color pattern being variable with changes in an angle by which an observer views the coated surface.

10. The method of claims 9 wherein the coated surface is an inside surface of a glass block.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein the coated surface is a back surface of a glass tile.

12. The method of claim 11 including an opaque protective coating applied over the dichroic materials.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein the coated surface undulates in a predetermined topography.

14. The method of claim 9 wherein the coated dichroic materials have a textured pattern.

15. The method of claim 9 wherein the coated glass surface forms part of a wall or door panel.

16. The method of claim 9 wherein the dichroic materials are transmissive.

17. The method of claim 9 wherein the dichroic materials are reflective.

18. A decorative glass body comprising: the glass body having a front surface facing toward an observer and a rear surface opposite the front surface; the rear surface being coated with at least two materials having dichroic effects; the rear surface unevenly departing from a plane by having at least one of the forms consisting of: a) a pre-determined topography; and b) a textured pattern; the dichroic materials being conformed with the unevenness of the rear surface so as to effectively impose a color pattern on light seen by the observer; and the color pattern varying with different angles of view of the observer relative to the front surface.

19. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the rear surface is an inside surface of a glass block.

20. The decorative glass body of claim 19 wherein the rear surface has an undulated topography.

21. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the rear surface is a back surface of a glass tile.

22. The decorative glass body of claim 21 including an opaque protective coating covering the dichroic materials.

23. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the dichroic materials are transmissive.

24. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the dichroic materials are reflective.

25. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the glass body is a panel.

26. The decorative glass body of claim 18 wherein the glass body is assembled into a wall or door.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Decorative glass blocks, glass tiles, and glass panels.

BACKGROUND

Glass has been used decoratively for millennia, and for decorative purposes, glass bodies have been shaped, surface patterned, colored, and surface coated in a multitude of ways. This nevertheless leaves unfulfilled an insatiable need for interesting new decorative effects.

SUMMARY

The inventive decorative effect involves varying color patterns resulting from dichroic materials coated on an uneven surface of a glass body. The dichroic materials transmit or reflect different colors of light, and the unevenness of the coated surface imposes patterns on the colors of light that are transmitted or reflected. These colors and patterns of colors also change with different viewing angles of an observer, which adds considerably to their decorative interest.

Dichroic coatings, which are known, have been applied to plane surfaces for optical and technical reasons. Applying dichroic coatings to uneven glass surfaces has the unexpected effect of making color patterns vary with viewing angles. Colors in the patterns can change, and forms of color patterns can also change with different viewing angles so that the decorative effect is made lively and surprising.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a structural glass block having a dichroic coating on an undulating internal surface.

FIG. 2 is an abstract representation of variable color patterns caused by the coating on the undulating surface of the block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a glass tile having a patterned surface.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the tile of FIG. 3 showing a dichroic coating on the patterned surface, and a protective coating over the dichroic coating.

FIG. 5 is a partially schematic representation of a frame that includes glass tiles or blocks for a door or wall panel providing variable color patterns according to the invention.

FIGS. 6 and 7 are photographs showing, at different viewing angles, a stack of glass blocks that are made decorative according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The variable color patterns produced by the invention involve both an uneven surface of a glass body and a dichroic coating on the uneven surface. Uneven surfaces on glass bodies are known, and dichroic coatings on smooth plane surfaces are known, but neither of these by themselves produce color patterns of varying colors that change with an observer's angle of view. Dichroic coatings conforming to an uneven glass surface do produce such variable color patterns, which depend not only on the unevenness of a glass body surface, but also on the unevenness of a dichroic coating deposited on the glass body surface.

Dichroic materials and the formation of these materials into thin optical coatings are well understood. These are described for example in Thin Film Optical Filters, Third Edition by Angus Macleod. Dichroic materials have the property of transmitting or reflecting light of selected wave lengths or colors, and correspondingly not transmitting or not reflecting light of other wave lengths or colors. Many materials are known to have such dichroic properties, and many ways of coating these materials on a glass surface are also known. These include several forms of vacuum deposition and sputtering, for example.

Optical thin film coatings of dichroic materials are often used as filters, and these can be formed as long pass, short pass, band pass, interference, and mixtures of these. At least two dichroic material layers are required to achieve the decorative effects made possible by the invention, but many more than two layers can also be used. Four or more different dichroic layers are preferred to ensure that observable color patterns are interesting and variable. The dichroic materials used for coated layers also preferably differ from each other in the wave lengths of light they transmit or reflect.

Uneven surfaces of glass bodies contribute to the interesting color patterns achievable with the invention. The glass body surfaces can be uneven in a multitude of ways. One way is to have an uneven topography with hills and valleys, for example. The unevenness can be predetermined by a mold or can even be random resulting from manufacturing irregularities. The insides of structural glass blocks, for example, are readily molded with an undulating surface that works well with dichroic materials.

Uneven surfaces can also be patterned with variations that range from a micro to a macro scale. A pattern can repeat several times over a glass surface or a single pattern can extend its variation over a whole substrate, for example. Patterned unevenness of a glass surface can be textured to have visible irregularities. A glass surface can also be roughened by etching or sand blasting, and roughening can be applied in patterns that leave some of the surface specularly reflective.

An uneven surface can also affect thickness of coatings of dichroic materials. The coating process may not be exactly uniform in the first place, and unevenness of the surface being coated can additionally attribute varying thickness to the coated materials. These variations can add unpredictable interest to the observable color patterns. An uneven surface can also be formed by etching, sand blasting, or other technique that modifies the reflectance and transmission of a glass surface that is otherwise nearly plane. Both front and back surfaces of a glass body can be made uneven, and the unevenness can be different for opposite surfaces so that each surface can contribute to the interesting effects achieved.

Combinations of uneven glass surfaces and dichroic coatings can be complex enough so that the ways that color patterns will form and vary with different viewing angles can be quite unpredictable. This can add considerably to the decorative interest of a product, and interesting variation in the end result can even be left to random variations in manufacturing processes.

The color of the glass used for a glass body can also play a role in the decorative effect produced. Dichroic coatings can be designed with glass color in mind to take advantage of different color pattern effects derivable from the dichroic coatings, the unevenness of surfaces, and the color of the glass substrate.

Structural glass blocks are generally transmissive, and this is considered in designing dichroic coatings for preferably internal surfaces of glass blocks. One or both of these surfaces can be coated with dichroic materials, but generally coating one surface is sufficient. The coating within the interior of a glass block is preferred as naturally protected by the structure of the block itself.

Glass tiles, which are often laid on a wall or counter, produce visible colored patterns by reflectance from the dichroic coating that is preferably on a back surface of the tile. The dichroic coatings on the back side of a tile are also preferably covered with a protective coating, which is preferably opaque, so that the surface on which the tiles are mounted is not visible. The protective opaque coating can have many different colors, and these can play a role in the color pattern observable from the reflected light.

The cross-sectional view of glass block 10 of FIG. 1 has a multi-layered dichroic coating 15 deposited or coated on an internal surface 11. Light transmitted through block 10 is affected by the unevenness of surface 11 and the materials used in dichroic layers 15 for an observer on either side of block 10. Both interior surfaces 11 and 12 can be coated with dichroic layers, but an interesting and variable result can be achieved with a single interior coating. External surfaces of glass block 10 can also be coated with dichroic materials, but this subjects the coatings to damage.

The abstract representation of a variable color pattern for block 10 as viewed in FIG. 2 is endlessly variable by changing an angle of view. Block 10 appears different when viewed from different sides or when viewed from different angles. These changes vary not only the colors that are made visible, but the patterns of the those colors. It is therefore possible to make blocks 10 that are endlessly variable among themselves by having different dichroic coatings and different surface unevenness.

The glass tile 20 of FIG. 3 has a repeating pattern 25 making a rear surface of tile 20 uneven. This surface is preferably coated with dichroic layers 15, which in turn are covered with a protective and preferably opaque layer 16, as shown in FIG. 4. Dichroic materials 15 interact with the uneven pattern 25 to change colors in different ways at different viewing angles. Tile pattern 25 can repeat as illustrated in FIG. 3, or can extend in a single variation across the whole surface of tile 20. Both the patterns that can be used and the dichroic materials that can be applied are practically endless. An added variation can be use of different colors of glass for the substrate of tile 20.

Glass tiles 20 can also be made transmissive by omitting opaque layer 16. Transmissive glass tiles 20 can then be arranged in a see-through manner such as a door panel transmitting light in either direction. Glass tiles can also have opaque rear coatings 16, as shown in FIG. 4, and then be arranged back-to-back to present one variable color pattern on one side of a panel and another variable color pattern on the other side of the panel.

Panel 40 of FIG. 5 schematically shows three tiles or blocks 30 arranged within frame 35 for use in a door or on a wall. Blocks or tiles 30 can be either transmissive or reflective, depending on whether the panel is arranged in a see-through position or is displayed against an opaque backdrop. Glass tiles can also be arranged back-to-back in panel 40 so that the tiles produce color patterns reflectively. Such patterns can vary on different sides of a panel, and at least one opaque coating can prevent transmission of light through both tiles.

A stack of glass blocks similar to block 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 are viewed at different camera angles in FIGS. 6 and 7. These different views show how color patterns from the same blocks change with a small change in a viewing angle.





 
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