Title:
GOLF BALL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball 2 has, in a ball surface layer area, an aroma layer 16 including a scent component. The aroma layer 16 is provided locally. The aroma layer 16 may be provided on the entire surface. The scent component is preferably at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, ketone compounds, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds. A perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule may be used. The local aroma layer 16 is preferably provided by stamping. The aroma layer may be formed by spraying. A scent adsorbent may be further used. Preferably, the golf ball 2 is put into a package 20.



Inventors:
Sajima, Takahiro (Kobe-shi, JP)
Nakamura, Hirotaka (Kobe-shi, JP)
Application Number:
13/018974
Publication Date:
08/04/2011
Filing Date:
02/01/2011
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B37/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070066413Variable slope, golf course simulatorMarch, 2007Betch Jr. et al.
20070238545Golf Club DriverOctober, 2007Fountaine
20070254751A Practice BatNovember, 2007Wilson
20060073921Method and system for playing a table gameApril, 2006Gast et al.
20090131187GB and CA kitMay, 2009Foster
20090253536Height Adjustable Golf TeeOctober, 2009Funke
20050250592Device for enhancing the game of a golf player and methods of use thereofNovember, 2005Roach
20050125242Golf course management systemJune, 2005Butler
20100075768POCKET TOP POOL TABLE COVERMarch, 2010Luzak
20060116226ADJUSTABLE NET SUPPORT SYSTEMJune, 2006Padilla
20040204257System for and a method of manufacturing personal golf puttersOctober, 2004Boscha et al.



Primary Examiner:
GORDEN, RAEANN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (8110 Gatehouse Road Suite 100 East Falls Church VA 22042-1248)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A golf ball comprising an aroma layer having a scent component, the aroma layer being provided in a ball surface layer area, wherein the aroma layer is provided on the entire surface.

2. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein the scent component is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

3. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein the aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (A) which includes the scent component and which may be diluted with a solvent.

4. The golf ball according to claim 3, wherein the solvent is an alcohol compound.

5. The golf ball according to claim 3, wherein a content Ra of the scent component in the liquid (A) is equal to or greater than 10% by weight and equal to or less than 100% by weight.

6. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein the aroma layer is formed by spraying.

7. The golf ball according to claim 6, wherein a coating amount of the scent component applied by the spraying per ball is equal to or greater than 10 mg and equal to or less than 100 mg.

8. A golf ball comprising an aroma layer having a scent component, the aroma layer being provided in a ball surface layer area, wherein the aroma layer is provided locally.

9. The golf ball according to claim 8, wherein the scent component is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

10. The golf ball according to claim 9, wherein the aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (B) obtained by diluting the scent component with a solvent, or a composition (C) including a perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule which encapsulates the scent component.

11. The golf ball according to claim 10, wherein the solvent is an alcohol compound.

12. The golf ball according to claim 10, wherein a content Rb of the scent component in the liquid (B) is equal to or greater than 5% by weight and equal to or less than 30% by weight.

13. The golf ball according to claim 10, wherein a film material of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule is at least one member selected from the group consisting of melamine resins, polyurethane resins, gelatin, and urea-formalin resins.

14. The golf ball according to claim 10, wherein a content Rc of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule in the composition (C) is equal to or greater than 0.3% by weight and equal to or less than 10% by weight.

15. The golf ball according to claim 14, wherein a film material of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule can be changed in quality and/or broken by stimulation.

16. The golf ball according to claim 15, wherein the stimulation is physical stimulation.

17. The golf ball according to claim 15, wherein the stimulation is chemical stimulation.

18. The golf ball according to claim 8, wherein the local aroma layer is formed by stamping.

19. The golf ball according to claim 8, further comprising an entire surface aroma layer having a scent component and provided on the entire surface.

20. The golf ball according to claim 19, wherein the entire surface aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (A) which includes the scent component and which may be diluted with a solvent.

21. The golf ball according to claim 20, wherein the solvent is an alcohol compound.

22. The golf ball according to claim 20, wherein a content Ra of the scent component in the liquid (A) is equal to or greater than 10% by weight and equal to or less than 100% by weight.

23. The golf ball according to claim 19, wherein the scent component included in the entire surface aroma layer is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

24. The golf ball according to claim 19, wherein the entire surface aroma layer is formed by spraying.

25. The golf ball according to claim 24, wherein a coating amount of the scent component applied by the spraying per ball is equal to or greater than 10 mg and equal to or less than 100 mg.

26. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein the golf ball is contained in a package having airtightness.

27. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein a scent of the scent component and a color of the ball are related to each other.

28. The golf ball according to claim 1, wherein the golf ball is colored in a color other than white.

Description:

This application claims priority on Patent Application No. 2010-20813 filed in JAPAN on Feb. 2, 2010. The entire contents of this Japanese Patent Application are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to golf balls.

2. Description of the Related Art

Many golf balls are white, but golf balls which are not white are also known.

Meanwhile, golf balls to each of which a scent is provided are known. JP2008-93117 (US2008/085783) discloses a golf ball having a paint film which contains a microcapsule encapsulating a perfume material. The golf ball has excellent persistence of the scent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A scent provided to a golf ball can positively influence a golf player. The scent can provide an exhilarating feel, a refreshing feel, a comforting feel, or the like to a golf player.

Meanwhile, a golf ball which is not white (hereinafter, also referred to as color golf ball) improves its discrimination and visibility. In addition, an appearance which is not white can provide an upscale image to a golf ball.

Golf is a mental sport. The appearance and scent of a golf ball could improve a score of a golf player. In addition, the appearance and scent of the ball can influence its commercial value. The inventor of the present invention has conceived a new technical idea regarding color or scent.

An object of the present invention is to provide a golf ball having a high added value.

In a golf ball of a first aspect, an aroma layer having a scent component is provided in a ball surface layer area. The aroma layer is provided on the entire surface.

Preferably, the scent component is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

Preferably, the aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (A) which includes the scent component and which may be diluted with a solvent.

Preferably, the solvent is an alcohol compound.

Preferably, a content Ra of the scent component in the liquid (A) is equal to or greater than 10% by weight and equal to or less than 100% by weight.

Preferably, the aroma layer is formed by spraying.

Preferably, a coating amount of the scent component applied by the spraying per ball is equal to or greater than 10 mg and equal to or less than 100 mg.

In a golf ball of a second aspect, an aroma layer having a scent component is provided in a ball surface layer area. The aroma layer is provided locally.

Preferably, the scent component is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

Preferably, the aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (B) obtained by diluting the scent component with a solvent, or a composition (C) including a perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule which encapsulates the scent component. Preferably, the solvent is an alcohol compound.

Preferably, a content Rb of the scent component in the liquid (B) is equal to or greater than 5% by weight and equal to or less than 30% by weight.

Preferably, a film material of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule is at least one member selected from the group consisting of melamine resins, polyurethane resins, gelatin, and urea-formalin resins.

Preferably, a content Rc of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule in the composition (C) is equal to or greater than 0.3% by weight and equal to or less than 10% by weight.

Preferably, a film material of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule can be changed in quality and/or broken by stimulation. Preferably, the stimulation is physical stimulation. Alternatively, preferably, the stimulation is chemical stimulation.

Preferably, the local aroma layer is formed by stamping.

Preferably, in addition to the local aroma layer, an entire surface aroma layer is further provided.

Preferably, the entire surface aroma layer is formed by using a liquid (A) which includes the scent component and which may be diluted with a solvent.

Preferably, the solvent is an alcohol compound.

Preferably, a content Ra of the scent component in the liquid (A) is equal to or greater than 10% by weight and equal to or less than 100% by weight.

Preferably, the scent component included in the entire surface aroma layer is at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds.

Preferably, the entire surface aroma layer is formed by spraying.

Preferably, a coating amount of the scent component applied by the spraying per ball is equal to or greater than 10 mg and equal to or less than 100 mg.

Preferably, the golf ball is contained in a package having airtightness.

The aroma layer and/or the package may further include a scent adsorbent. The scent adsorbent is preferably a porous body.

Preferably, a scent of the scent component and a color of the ball are related to each other.

Preferably, the golf ball is colored in a color other than white.

The golf ball of the present invention has excellent scent or excellent scent retention. The golf ball can have a high added value.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway cross-sectional view of a golf ball according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a package containing balls according to the embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the package which can be used in the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following will describe in detail the present invention based on preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings.

A golf ball 2 shown in FIG. 1 includes a spherical core 4, a mid layer 6 positioned outside the core 4, and a cover 8 positioned outside the mid layer 6. On the surface of the cover 8, a large number of dimples 10 are formed. Of the surface of the golf ball 2, a part other than the dimples 10 is a land 12. The golf ball 2 includes a paint layer 14 positioned outside the cover 8. The paint layer 14 is shown only in an enlarged part of FIG. 1. The golf ball 2 may include another layer between the core 4 and the mid layer 6. The golf ball 2 may include another layer between the mid layer 6 and the cover 8. In the present invention, the internal structure of the ball 2 is not limited to a specific structure. The golf ball 2 may be a one-piece golf ball, a two-piece golf ball, a three-piece golf ball, or a multi-piece golf ball having four or more pieces.

The golf ball 2 has a diameter of 40 mm to 45 mm. From the standpoint of conformity to the rules established by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the diameter is preferably equal to or greater than 42.67 mm. In light of suppression of air resistance, the diameter is preferably equal to or less than 44 mm, and particularly preferably equal to or less than 42.80 mm. The golf ball 2 has a weight of 40 g or greater and 50 g or less. In light of attainment of great inertia, the weight is preferably equal to or greater than 44 g, and particularly preferably equal to or greater than 45.00 g. From the standpoint of conformity to the rules established by the USGA, the weight is preferably equal to or less than 45.93 g.

The core 4 is formed by crosslinking a rubber composition. Examples of base rubbers for use in the rubber composition include polybutadienes, polyisoprenes, styrene-butadiene copolymers, ethylene-propylene-diene copolymers, and natural rubbers. Two or more of these rubbers may be used in combination. In light of resilience performance, polybutadienes are preferred, and in particular, high-cis polybutadienes are preferred.

In order to crosslink the core 4, a co-crosslinking agent is suitably used. Examples of preferable co-crosslinking agents in light of resilience performance include zinc acrylate, magnesium acrylate, zinc methacrylate, and magnesium methacrylate. Preferably, the rubber composition includes an organic peroxide together with a co-crosslinking agent. Examples of suitable organic peroxides include dicumyl peroxide, 1,1-bis(t-butylperoxy)-3,3,5-trimethylcyclohexane, 2,5-dimethyl-2,5-di(t-butylperoxy)hexane, and di-t-butyl peroxide.

According to need, various additives such as a filler, sulfur, a vulcanization accelerator, a sulfur compound, an anti-aging agent, a coloring agent, a plasticizer, a dispersant, and the like are included in the rubber composition for the core 4 in an adequate amount. Crosslinked rubber powder or synthetic resin powder may be also included in the rubber composition.

The core 4 has a diameter of 30.0 mm or greater and particularly 38.0 mm or greater. The diameter of the core 4 is equal to or less than 42.0 mm, and particularly equal to or less than 41.5 mm. The core 4 may be formed with two or more layers and may have a rib on the surface thereof. The core 4 may be hollow. Preferably, the core 4 is obtained by crosslinking a rubber composition. Examples of preferable base rubbers for use in the rubber composition include polybutadienes, polyisoprenes, styrene-butadiene copolymers, ethylene-propylene-diene copolymers, and natural rubbers. In light of resilience performance, polybutadienes are preferred. When a polybutadiene and another rubber are used in combination, it is preferred if the polybutadiene is included as a principal component. The proportion of the polybutadiene to the entire base rubber is preferably equal to or greater than 50% by weight, and particularly preferably equal to or greater than 80% by weight. The proportion of cis-1,4 bonds in the polybutadiene is preferably equal to or greater than 40%, and particularly preferably equal to or greater than 80%.

The rubber composition of the core 4 includes a co-crosslinking agent. The co-crosslinking agent achieves high resilience of the core 4. Examples of preferable co-crosslinking agents in light of resilience performance include monovalent or bivalent metal salts of an α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid having 2 to 8 carbon atoms. Specific examples of preferable co-crosslinking agents include zinc acrylate, magnesium acrylate, zinc methacrylate, and magnesium methacrylate. In light of resilience performance, zinc acrylate and zinc methacrylate are particularly preferred.

In the present invention, the material of the core 4 is not limited to specific material.

A resin composition is suitably used for the mid layer 6. Examples of the base polymer of the resin composition include ionomer resins, styrene block-containing thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic polyester elastomers, thermoplastic polyamide elastomers, and thermoplastic polyolefin elastomers.

Examples of preferable ionomer resins include binary copolymers formed with an α-olefin and an α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid having 3 to 8 carbon atoms. Examples of other preferable ionomer resins include ternary copolymers formed with: an α-olefin; an α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid having 3 to 8 carbon atoms; and an α,β-unsaturated carboxylate ester having 2 to 22 carbon atoms. For the binary copolymer and the ternary copolymer, preferable α-olefins are ethylene and propylene, while preferable α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acids are acrylic acid and methacrylic acid. In the binary copolymer and the ternary copolymer, some of the carboxyl groups are neutralized with metal ions. Examples of metal ions for use in neutralization include sodium ion, potassium ion, lithium ion, zinc ion, calcium ion, magnesium ion, aluminum ion, and neodymium ion.

An ionomer resin and another resin may be used in combination. Examples of polymers which can be used in combination with an ionomer resin include ionomer resins which are binary copolymers, styrene block-containing thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic polyester elastomers, thermoplastic polyamide elastomers, and thermoplastic polyolefin elastomers.

A preferable resin which can be used in combination with an ionomer resin is a styrene block-containing thermoplastic elastomer. This elastomer can contribute to the feel at impact of the golf ball 2. This elastomer does not impair the resilience performance of the golf ball 2. This elastomer includes a polystyrene block as a hard segment, and a soft segment. Examples of styrene block-containing thermoplastic elastomers include styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymers (SBS), styrene-isoprene-styrene block copolymers (SIS), styrene-isoprene-butadiene-styrene block copolymers (SIBS), hydrogenated SBS, hydrogenated SIS, and hydrogenated SIBS. Examples of hydrogenated SBS include styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene block copolymers (SEBS). Examples of hydrogenated SIS include styrene-ethylene-propylene-styrene block copolymers (SEPS). Examples of hydrogenated SIBS include styrene-ethylene-ethylene-propylene-styrene block copolymers (SEEPS).

Another polymer may be used for the cover 6 instead of an ionomer resin. Examples of the other polymer include polyurethanes, polystyrenes, polyamides, polyesters, and polyolefins. Two or more of these polymers may be used in combination.

In the present invention, the material of the mid layer 6 is not limited to specific material. The golf ball 2 may not include the mid layer 6.

The mid layer 6 may have a thickness of 0.3 mm or greater, and preferably 0.5 mm or greater. The thickness of the mid layer 6 may be equal to or less than 1.5 mm, preferably equal to or less than 1.2 mm, and more preferably equal to or less than 1.0 mm.

The material of the cover 8 is, for example, an ionomer resin. Examples of preferable ionomer resins include binary copolymers formed with an α-olefin and an α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid having 3 to 8 carbon atoms. Examples of other preferable ionomer resins include ternary copolymers formed with: an α-olefin; an α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acid having 3 to 8 carbon atoms; and an α,β-unsaturated carboxylate ester having 2 to 22 carbon atoms. For the binary copolymer and the ternary copolymer, preferable α-olefins are ethylene and propylene, while preferable α,β-unsaturated carboxylic acids are acrylic acid and methacrylic acid. In the binary copolymer and the ternary copolymer, some of the carboxyl groups are neutralized with metal ions. Examples of metal ions for use in neutralization include sodium ion, potassium ion, lithium ion, zinc ion, calcium ion, magnesium ion, aluminum ion, and neodymium ion.

Another polymer may be used for the cover 8 instead of an ionomer resin. Examples of the other polymer include polyurethanes, polystyrenes, polyamides, polyesters, and polyolefins. In light of spin performance and scuff resistance, polyurethanes are preferred. Two or more of these polymers may be used in combination.

According to need, a coloring agent such as titanium dioxide, a filler such as barium sulfate, a dispersant, an antioxidant, an ultraviolet absorber, a light stabilizer, a fluorescent material, a fluorescent brightener, and the like are included in the cover 8 in an adequate amount. For the purpose of adjusting specific gravity, powder of a metal with a high specific gravity such as tungsten, molybdenum, and the like may be included in the cover 8.

The cover 8 has a thickness of 0.2 mm or greater and particularly 0.3 mm or greater. The thickness of the cover 8 is equal to or less than 2.5 mm, and particularly equal to or less than 2.2 mm. The cover 8 has a specific gravity of 0.90 or greater and particularly 0.95 or greater. The specific gravity of the cover 8 is equal to or less than 1.10, and particularly equal to or less than 1.05. The cover 8 may be formed with two or more layers.

A resin component of the paint layer 14 is not limited to a specific one. Examples of this resin component include acrylic resins, epoxy resins, urethane resins, polyester resins, and cellulose resins. As urethane resins, two-component curing type urethane resins are preferred. When a two-component curing type urethane resin is used, the paint layer 14 having excellent wear resistance and durability can be obtained.

Two-component curing type urethane resins are urethane resins which are cured by a reaction of a base material and a curing agent. Examples of two-component curing type urethane resins include resins obtained by curing a base material containing an isocyanate group-terminal urethane prepolymer, with a curing agent having active hydrogen. Other examples of two-component curing type urethane resins include resins obtained by curing a base material containing a polyol component, with a polyisocyanate and its derivative.

The paint layer 14 and/or the cover 8 may include a photoluminescent particle (composite particle). The photoluminescent particle can improve appearance and visibility.

The particle size of the photoluminescent particle is preferably equal to or greater than 5 μm and equal to or less than 100 μm. “The particle size being equal to or greater than 5 μm and equal to or less than 100 μm” means that 80% or more of the particle out of the total volume of the particle has a size in the range of 5 μm to 100 μm. The particle size is more preferably equal to or greater than 5 μm and equal to or less than 80 μm. The particle size is even more preferably equal to or greater than 5 μm and equal to or less than 60 μm. When the particle size is excessively large, a weld line may be highly visible on the cover 8. In addition, when the particle size is excessively large, an application line such as a spray gun and the like may be clogged during application of the paint layer 14.

The particle size can be measured, for example, by laser diffractometry using the Mastersizer manufactured by Malvern Instruments Ltd.

Examples of the photoluminescent particle include particles in which a core layer is coated with one or more layers formed from a light-reflecting material. Examples of the core layer include micas, pearl flakes, glass flakes, metals, and metal oxides. Examples of the light-reflecting material include metals, metal oxides, and metal nitrides. Examples of metals for the core layer include at least one member selected from the group consisting of aluminum, chromium, cobalt, gold, silver, nickel, and iron. Examples of metal oxides which can be used for the core layer and the light-reflecting material include titanium dioxide and iron oxide.

Preferable photoluminescent particles are, for example, particles in which a core layer is a mica and coated with a light-reflecting material. Particles in which a core layer is a mica and coated with a light-reflecting material formed from titanium oxide or iron oxide, are more preferred.

Specific examples of the photoluminescent particle include a particle in which a core layer is a mica and coated with a metal oxide which is titanium oxide or iron oxide (trade name “Iriodin” manufactured by Merck KGaA), a particle having a core layer which is formed from a glass flake and coated with a metal oxide such as titanium dioxide or iron oxide or with a metal such as gold, silver, or nickel (trade name “Metashine” manufactured by Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd.), and a particle having a core layer which is formed from aluminum or iron oxide and coated with a metal oxide whirh is silicon dioxide nr irnn oxide t rale name “Variocrom” manufactured by BASF Co., Ltd).

As a photoluminescent particle, a photochromic laminate may be used. The photochromic laminate is formed by laminating polymer layers having different refractive indexes. A preferable photochromic laminate is formed by alternately laminating two types of polymer layers having different refractive indexes.

The photochromic laminate is considered to exhibit excellent photoluminescence due to the following mechanism. Specifically, incident lights entering the photochromic laminate from the outside are reflected at surfaces of the laminate and at interfaces of a multi-layer structure, and these reflected lights interfere with each other. Since the polymers having different refractive indexes are laminated, a reflected light having a specific color is intensified depending on angles of the reflected lights, the thicknesses of the polymer layers, the number of laminated layers, and the like, thereby developing a metallic luster which is slightly differently seen depending on an angle at which it is seen. A specific example of the photochromic laminate is trade name “MORPHOTONE” manufactured by TEIJIN FIBERS LIMITED.

[Aroma Layer]

The golf ball 2 includes an aroma layer 16. In FIG. 1, areas in which the aroma layer 16 is applied are hatched. The aroma layer 16 includes a scent component (perfume material).

In the overall view of FIG. 1 (a part which is not the enlarged part), the thickness of the aroma layer 16 is shown so as to be larger than the actual thickness.

The aroma layer 16 is provided in a surface layer area of the ball. As shown in the enlarged part of FIG. 1, the aroma layer 16 is positioned outside the paint layer 14. The aroma layer 16 is an outermost layer. The aroma layer 16, which is the outermost layer, easily releases a scent.

The ball surface layer area means an area outside the ball body, and, in a golf ball having a cover, it means an area outside the cover.

The aroma layer 16 may not be the outermost layer. Even in the case where the aroma layer 16 is not the outermost layer, it may be possible to release the scent component. For example, in the case where the aroma layer 16 is coated with a thin paint film, the scent component may be released through the thin paint film to the outside. In light of release of the scent component, the aroma layer 16 is preferably positioned outside the paint layer 14.

[Local Aroma Layer]

In the present embodiment, the aroma layer 16 is provided locally. In the present invention, “locally” does not mean the entirety of the ball surface, but means part of the ball surface. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the aroma layer 16 is provided at four locations. The aroma layer 16 is provided at one location or at two or more locations. The arrangement of the aroma layer 16 is not limited to a specific one. For the local aroma layer 16, application of the aroma layer 16 can be easy.

[Entire Surface Aroma Layer]

The aroma layer 16 may be provided non-locally. In other words, the aroma layer 16 may be provided entirely, that is, may cover the entirety of the ball.

The aroma layer 16 may be not colored or may be colored. A transparent aroma layer 16 is less obtrusive. In light of appearance of the ball and the like, there are cases where it is preferred if the aroma layer 16 is less obtrusive. For example, when the aroma layer 16 is provided at a large number of locations, there are cases where it is preferred if the aroma layer 16 is less obtrusive. In such cases, a transparent aroma layer 16 is suitably used. On the other hand, there are also cases where a colored aroma layer 16 is preferred. The colored aroma layer 16 also can serve as a so-called mark layer. In this case, a manufacturer name, a brand name, a ball number, and the like are indicated by the aroma layer 16.

[Composition of Aroma Layer]

The aroma layer includes a scent component. The aroma layer may consist of only a scent component. The aroma layer may consist of only a scent component and a solvent. The aroma layer may consist of only a scent component due to volatilization of a solvent.

The aroma layer may include a resin component. A composition of the aroma layer including the resin component can be, for example, as follows.

(Composition 1) A composition obtained by adding a scent component to a composition of a paint layer of a golf ball.
(Composition 2) A composition obtained by adding a scent component to a composition of a mark layer of a golf ball.
(Composition 3) A composition in which, in the composition 1 or the composition 2, the scent component is encapsulated in a release suppressing body (microcapsule, or the like).
(Composition 4) A composition obtained by adding the above photoluminescent particle to the composition 1, the composition 2, or the composition 3.
(Composition 5) A composition obtained by excluding a pigment from the composition 2.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the composition 5 is used.

In the composition 1, any known composition can be used as the composition of the paint layer of the golf ball, and, for example, any composition described above regarding the paint layer 14 also can be used. The paint layer is formed by application of a paint. As an application method for the paint layer, electrostatic coating, spray gun coating, brushing, or the like can be used. Examples of a base resin of the paint include polyurethanes, epoxy resins, polyesters, acrylic resins, and cellulose resins. In light of durability of the paint layer, two-component curing type polyurethanes are preferred.

Two-component curing type polyurethanes are obtained by a reaction of a base material and a curing agent. Two-component curing type polyurethanes obtained by a reaction of: a base material containing a polyol component; and a curing agent containing a polyisocyanate (including a polyisocyanate derivative), are preferred.

As the polyol component of the base material, a urethane polyol is preferably used. The urethane polyol has a urethane bond and at least two or more hydroxyl groups. Preferably, the urethane polyol has hydroxyl groups at its ends. The urethane polyol can be obtained by causing a reaction of a polyol and a polyisocyanate at such a ratio that the hydroxyl groups of the polyol component are excessive in mole ratio with respect to the isocyanate groups of the polyisocyanate.

The polyol used for producing the urethane polyol has a plurality of hydroxyl groups. Polyols having a weight average molecular weight of 50 or greater and 2000 or less, particularly 100 or greater and 1000 or less, are preferred. Examples of low-molecular-weight polyols include diols and triols. Specific examples of diols include ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, 1,3-butanediol, 1,4-butanediol, neopentyl glycol, and 1,6-hexanediol. Specific examples of triols include glycerin, trimethylol propane, and hexanetriol. Examples of high-molecular-weight polyols include polyether polyols such as polyoxyethylene glycol (PEG), polyoxypropylene glycol (PPG), and polyoxytetramethylene glycol (PTMG); condensed polyester polyols such as polyethylene adipate (PEA), polybutylene adipate (PBA), and polyhexamethylene adipate (PHMA); lactone polyester polyols such as poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL); polycarbonate polyols such as polyhexamethylene carbonate; and acrylic polyols. Two or more of these polyols may be used in combination.

The polyisocyanate used for producing the urethane polyol has a plurality of isocyanate groups. Specific examples of the polyisocyanate include aromatic polyisocyanates such as 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, 2,6-toluene diisocyanate, a mixture of 2,4-toluene diisocyanate and 2,6-toluene diisocyanate (TDI), 4,4′-diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI), 1,5-naphthylene diisocyanate (NDI), 3,3′-bitolylene-4,4′-diisocyanate (TODI), xylylene diisocyanate (XDI), tetramethylxylylene diisocyanate (TMXDI), and paraphenylene diisocyanate (PPDI); alicyclic polyisocyanates such as 4-4′-dicyclohexylmethane diisocyanate (H12MDI), hydrogenated xylylene diisocyanate (H6XDI), and isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI); and aliphatic polyisocyanates such as hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). Two or more of these polyisocyanates may be used in combination. In light of weather resistance, TMXDI, XDI, HDI, H6XDI, IPDI, and H12MDI are preferred.

In the reaction of the polyol and the polyisocyanate for producing the urethane polyol, a known catalyst can be used. A typical catalyst is dibutyl tin dilaurate.

The proportion of urethane bonds included in the urethane polyol is preferably equal to or greater than 0.1 mmol/g and equal to or less than 5 mmol/g. An urethane polyol in which this proportion is equal to or greater than 0.1 mmol/g can achieve excellent scuff resistance of the paint layer. An urethane polyol in which this proportion is equal to or less than 5 mmol/g can achieve excellent followability of the paint layer to the cover 8. In a paint layer having excellent followability, a crack is unlikely to occur when the golf ball 2 is repeatedly hit. By adjusting the molecular weight of the polyol, which is the material for the urethane polyol, the proportion of the urethane bonds can be set in the above range. By adjusting the blending ratio of the polyol and the polyisocyanate as well, the proportion of the urethane bonds can be set in the above range.

From the standpoint that a time taken for the reaction of the base material and the curing agent is short, the weight average molecular weight of the urethane polyol is preferably equal to or greater than 4000, and more preferably equal to or greater than 4500. In light of adhesion of the paint layer to the cover 8, the weight average molecular weight is preferably equal to or less than 10000, and more preferably equal to or less than 9000.

In the composition 2 or the composition 5, any known composition can be used as the composition of the mark layer of the golf ball. The mark layer is formed, for example, from an ink composition. The ink composition includes a base resin and a pigment. Specific examples of he hose resin include epoxy resins, polyester polyols, polyether polyols, polyurethane polyols, and nitrocellulose.

As described above, the aroma layer may be transparent. A composition for obtaining a transparent aroma layer is, for example, the composition 5.

[Scent Component (Perfume Material)]

The scent component is not limited to a specific one. Examples of preferable scent components include at least one member selected from the group consisting of terpenes, ester compounds, aromatic compounds, ether compounds, aldehyde compounds, alcohol compounds, ketone compounds, natural essential oils, hydrocarbons, lactone compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds. A mixture of two or more of them may be used.

The scent component can provide, for example, an exhilarating feel or a refreshing feel. Examples of scents which can provide an exhilarating feel or a refreshing feel include a scent of mint (peppermint) and scents of spices (herbs). These scents can have an effect of refreshing a player and increasing the player's concentration. Examples of scent components which provide an exhilarating feel or a refreshing feel include limonene (terpenes: scents of citrus fruits), menthol (an alcohol compound: a scent of mint), menthone (a ketone compound: a scent of mint), terpineol (an alcohol compound: a scent of lime), citral (an aldehyde compound: a scent of lemon), camphor (a ketone compound: a scent of mint), anethole (an ether compound: scents of fennel and the like), estragole (an ether compound: a scent of estragon), 1,8-cineol (an ether compound: scents of eucalyptus, sage, and laurel), eugenol (an alcohol compound: scents of clove, pimento, and the like), cummin aldehyde (an aldehyde compound: a scent of cummin), cinnamyl aldehyde (an aldehyde compound: a scent of cinnamon), and a natural essential oil having a scent of pepper mint.

In addition, the scent component can provide, for example, a comforting feel. Examples of scents which provide a comforting feel include scents of fruits and scents of flowers. These scents can have an effect of calming one's feeling when feeling excited or pressed. Examples of scent components which provide a comforting feel include cucumber alcohol (an alcohol compound: scents of melon and watermelon), aldehyde C-8 (an aldehyde compound: a scent of orange), cucumber aldehyde (an aldehyde compound: scents of melon and watermelon), vanillin (an aldehyde compound: a scent of vanilla), nootkatone (a ketone compound: a scent of grapefruit), raspberry ketone (a ketone compound: a scent of raspberry), ethyl caprate (an ester compound: scents of rum and brandy), allyl caproate (an ester compound: a scent of pineapple), isoamyl acetate (an ester compound: a scent of banana), ethyl acetate (an ester compound: scents of melon and grape), styrallyl acetate (an ester compound: a scent of grapefruit), hexyl acetate (an ester compound: scents of apple and pear), ethyl butyrate (an ester compound: a scent of pineapple), coconut aldehyde (a lactone compound: a scent of coconut), peach aldehyde (a lactone compound: a scent of peach), methyl anthranilate (a nitrogen-containing compound: a scent of grape), rose oxide (an ether compound: a scent of rose), geraniol (an alcohol compound: a scent of geranium), linalool (an alcohol compound: a scent of lavender), β-phenethyl alcohol (an alcohol compound: a scent of rose), cyclamen aldehyde (an aldehyde compound: a scent of lily of the valley), α-ionone (a ketone compound: a scent of violet), cis-jasmone (a ketone compound: a scent of jasmine), benzyl acetate (an ester compound: a scent of jasmine), and furaneol (a ketone compound: a scent of strawberry).

[Release of Scent Component by Stimulation]

The above aroma layer 16 can release the above scent component by stimulation. The stimulation causes a change such that the scent component can be released. For example, the stimulation changes in quality and/or breaks a substance which suppresses release of the scent component, thereby allowing release of the scent component. In the present invention, the substance which suppresses release of the scent component is also referred to as a release suppressing body.

The release suppressing body suppresses release of the scent component until being stimulated. Due to the suppression, diffusion of the scent component is suppressed until the ball is used. Thus, when the ball is used, a large amount of the scent component is released.

[Stimulation]

The stimulation is not limited to a specific one. Examples of the stimulation include physical stimulation and chemical stimulation. An example of physical stimulation is force (external force). Examples of the force include pressing force, impact force, and frictional force. Examples of chemical stimulation include light such as ultraviolet light, and heat.

Ultraviolet light as stimulation is included, for example, in sunlight or artificial light (light of a fluorescent lamp and the like). For example, by exposing a ball to sunlight, ultraviolet light is applied to a ball surface. Thus, a ball being used in playing golf on a golf course is radiated with ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light can change in quality the release suppressing body. The ultraviolet light can prompt release of the scent component.

A frictional force as stimulation occurs, for example, by rubbing a ball surface with a finger. The release suppressing body can be broken by this friction. This friction can prompt release of the scent component.

Heat as stimulation is emitted, for example, from a human body. When a ball is touched by a hand, the heat of the hand is transmitted to the ball. The release suppressing body can be changed in quality and/or broken by this heat. Another example of heat as stimulation is infrared light. Infrared light is included in sunlight or the like.

An impact force as stimulation occurs, for example, by a hit with a golf club. The release suppressing body can be broken by this hit.

[Microcapsule]

What is changed in quality and/or broken by the stimulation is, for example, a microcapsule. The microcapsule is one example of the above release suppressing body. The microcapsule encapsulates the scent component.

The material (film material) of the microcapsule is not limited to a specific one, and is, for example, at least one member selected from the group consisting of melamine resins, polyurethane resins, gelatin, and urea-formalin resins. In light of balance between breakage by the stimulation and scent component retention, melamine resins are preferred.

In light of suppression of release of the scent component, the material of the microcapsule is preferably a resin having a melting point of 110° C. or higher, more preferably a resin having a melting point of 120° C. or higher, and even more preferably a resin having a melting point of 130° C. or higher. In this case, even when a golf ball is left in a trunk in summer, the microcapsule does not melt, and release of the scent component can be suppressed.

The melting point of the material of the microcapsule can be measured, for example, by using the differential scanning calorimeter, model 2910, manufactured by TA instruments Japan.

The amount of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule in the aroma layer is preferably equal to or greater than 0.3 parts by weight, more preferably equal to or greater than 0.5 parts by weight, even more preferably equal to or greater than 0.6 parts by weight, and much more preferably equal to or greater than 3 parts by weight, with respect to 100 parts by weight of the resin solid component constituting the paint film. The amount is preferably equal to or less than 20 parts by weight, more preferably equal to or less than 18 parts by weight, and even more preferably equal to or less than 10 parts by weight, with respect to 100 parts by weight of the resin solid component constituting the paint film. When the amount of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule is less than 0.5 parts by weight, the effective component of the perfume material is insufficient, and the scent may not be able to last for a long period of time. On the other hand, when the amount of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule exceeds 20 parts by weight, the paint film embrittles and its adhesion to the golf ball body may be lowered.

The number average particle diameter of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule is equal to or less than 30 μm, more preferably equal to or less than 20 μm, and even more preferably equal to or less than 10 μm. When the number average particle diameter exceeds 30 μm, a spray gun for application may be clogged.

The number average particle diameter can be measured by the light scattering type particle size analyzer LA-910 manufactured by HORIBA, Ltd.

A specific example of the microcapsule is Capsule Cologne powder manufactured by Chemitech Inc.

When the scent component is encapsulated in the microcapsule, release of the scent component is suppressed. In addition, during use, the microcapsule can be changed in quality and/or broken by stimulation. In the golf ball of the present invention, the scent can last for a long period of time.

[Package]

Preferably, the golf ball 2 according to the present invention is put into a package. The package suppresses diffusion of the scent component after shipment until use. The package can improve the persistence of the scent.

The package is preferably a package which can prevent or suppress the above stimulation. In this case, until the ball is taken out of the package, the stimulation is prevented or suppressed, and the persistence of the scent can improve. For example, when the stimulation is ultraviolet light, a package which does not substantially allow ultraviolet light to pass therethrough, is preferred. “Not substantially allowing ultraviolet light to pass therethrough” means that a transmission rate of light having a wavelength of 365 nm is less than 1%. The ultraviolet light transmission rate can be measured by the spectrophotometer MPC-3100 manufactured by Shimadzu Corporation.

The above scent component may be contained in the package. In this case, until the ball is taken out of the package, the scent component and the ball are present together in the package. Thus, until the ball is taken out of the package, the scent component is likely to be adsorbed on the ball surface.

The package preferably has airtightness. The airtightness suppresses leak of the scent component. The airtightness can increase the amount of the scent component adsorbed on the ball surface. The airtightness can increase the persistence of the scent component.

The structure of a sheet constituting a package 20 is preferably a multiple layer structure. The multiple layers include, for example, a resin layer, a metal layer, and a colored layer. A preferable resin layer is a polyethylene layer. One example of a preferable sheet structure includes a polyethylene layer, a metal layer, and a. colored layer. The colored layer is an outermost layer. A preferable colored layer has a color related to the scent of the above scent component. The metal layer can effectively suppress entry of light such as ultraviolet light. A metal of the metal layer is, for example, an aluminum-based metal (aluminum or an aluminum alloy). The metal layer may be foil, or may be formed by vapor deposition. The polyethylene layer has excellent airtightness. The polyethylene layer effectively suppresses leak of the scent component. In light of retention of the scent component, a particularly preferable sheet structure is a three-layer structure including a polyethylene resin layer, a polyethylene terephthalate resin layer, and an aluminum-based metal layer, which are positioned in this order from the inside.

FIG. 2 is a view of a golf ball packaged body P1 in which golf balls 2 are contained in the package 20 which can be used in the present invention. FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the package 20.

As shown in FIG. 2, the golf ball packaged body P1 includes the package 20 and the golf balls 2. In the present embodiment, a plurality (three) of the golf balls 2 are contained in the package 20. In the golf ball packaged body P1, the number of the golf balls 2 is not limited to a specific number.

Although not shown, a manufacturer name, a brand name, and the like are indicated on the surface of the package 20. In addition, at least a part of the surface of the package 20 has a color related to the scent of the above scent component.

As shown in FIG. 3, the package 20 has an opening portion 22, a body 24, and a bottom sheet 26. Except the opening portion 22, the edge of the package 20 is sealed.

The opening portion 22 can be opened/closed. The open/close mechanism is a so-called zipper. The zipper has a female zipper claw and a male zipper claw. Although not shown, the female zipper claw is two projections arranged so as to be parallel to each other. The two projections are straight. The male zipper claw is one projection. This projection is straight. The male zipper claw is fitted between the two female zipper claws. This fitting is achieved, for example, by compression with fingers. By the engagement of the female zipper claws and the male zipper claw, the opening portion 22 is closed. By the opening portion 22 being closed, sealing is achieved. By this sealing, leak of the scent component is suppressed. The package 20 has airtightness.

By releasing the engagement of the female zipper claws and the male zipper claw, the opening portion 22 is opened. When the golf ball 2 is taken out, the opening portion 22 is opened.

The bottom sheet 26 is a gusset. By the bottom sheet 26, the internal volume of the package 20 is expanded. Due to the expansion of the internal volume, the golf balls 2 can be easily accommodated. In addition, due to the bottom sheet 26, the package 20 has a shape in which a cross section on the lower side is larger than a cross section on the upper side. Due to this shape, the package 20 can stand on its own (see FIG. 3).

As shown in FIG. 3, in a state where the golf balls 2 are contained in the package 20, the bottom sheet 26 is developed, and thus the package 20 stably stands on its own. In a state of standing on its own, the golf ball packaged body P1 can be arranged at a store. In addition, the bottom sheet 26 can be folded. When the bottom sheet 26 is folded, the package 20 can be changed into a sheet shape as a whole. After the golf balls 2 are taken out, the package 20 can be folded into a small piece.

Inside the package 20, there is a space kl together with the golf balls 2 (see FIG. 2). In the space k1, a scent component is present. In the package 20, the scent component is enclosed. The scent component in the space k1 can be adsorbed on the surfaces of the golf balls 2. Preferably, the scent component in the space k1 and the scent component included in the golf ball 2 are the same.

[Scent Adsorbent]

The golf ball of the present invention may have a scent adsorbent. The scent adsorbent is not limited to a specific one, as long as it can adsorb the above scent component. A preferable golf ball has a scent adsorbent and a scent component adsorbed on the scent adsorbent. The scent component adsorbed on the scent adsorbent can be released gradually. The scent adsorbent can contribute to the persistence of the scent. The scent adsorbent may be included in the above aroma layer. In this case, the aroma layer also serves as a later-described aroma retaining layer.

In the package, a scent adsorbent may be present. For example, the package may have a scent adsorbent. To the inner surface of the package, the scent adsorbent may be attached. Alternatively, a scent adsorbent which is not attached to the package may be contained in the package together with the balls. For example, a scent adsorbent may be put into a breathable bag, and the bag may be put into the package. The scent component adsorbed on the scent adsorbent in the package has high persistence. In addition, the scent component adsorbed on the scent adsorbent in the package can move to the ball. The scent adsorbent in the package can contribute to the persistence of the scent of the ball.

The mode of adsorption is not limited to a specific one. Adsorption may be physical adsorption by van der Waals force, and may be chemical adsorption. In light of release of the scent component, physical adsorption is preferred.

A preferable scent adsorbent is a porous body. The porous body has a large surface area with respect to its volume. The porous body has excellent adsorption of the scent component.

Examples of the porous body include activated carbon, activated carbon fiber, activated alumina, diatom earth, kaolin, calcium silicate, activated clay, silica gel, natural zeolite, synthetic zeolite, vermiculite, mesoporous silica, sepiolite, palygorskite, and felt.

Further, the scent adsorbent may be a polar adsorbent such as silica or alumina, or may be a nonpolar adsorbent such as activated carbon. The polar adsorbent adsorbs a polar scent component. The nonpolar adsorbent adsorbs a nonpolar scent component.

A commercially-available synthetic adsorbent can be also used as the scent adsorbent. Examples of the synthetic adsorbent include adsorbents in which styrene-divinylbenzene, modified styrene-divinylbenzene, or methyl methacrylate is a base.

The adsorption of the scent component onto the scent adsorbent may be performed during a ball manufacturing process. Alternatively, inside the package 20, the scent component may be adsorbed on the scent adsorbent. In this case, the golf ball 2 having the scent adsorbent is put into the package 20, and the scent component is also caused to be present in the space k1 inside the package 20. While being in the package 20, the scent component is adsorbed on the scent adsorbent.

The package may have a scent adsorbent. Preferably, the scent adsorbent is located inside the package. Preferably, the scent adsorbent is exposed inside the package. By this scent adsorbent, leak of the scent in the package to the outside is suppressed. This scent adsorbent can contribute to retention of the scent. Both the ball and the package may have scent adsorbents.

Immediately before shipment of the golf balls 2, the golf ball packaged body P1 is produced. During production of the golf ball packaged body P1, the scent component can be put into the package 20 together with the golf balls 2, and the package 20 can be sealed. The scent component is put into the package 20 by a means such as a spray. Until the golf ball packaged body P1 is opened by a consumer (golf player), the scent component can be adsorbed on the scent adsorbent.

By spraying, on a ball, a liquid including the scent component, the scent component may be adsorbed on the scent adsorbent. By immersing a ball in the liquid including the scent component, the scent component may be adsorbed on the scent adsorbent. The liquid including the scent component includes, for example, a solvent and the scent component. The solvent is preferably an organic solvent, more preferably an alcohol, and even more preferably ethanol.

[Aroma Retaining Layer]

The aroma retaining layer is a layer including a scent adsorbent. The aroma retaining layer may be provided independently of the above aroma layer. Alternatively, the aroma retaining layer may serve as an aroma layer. When a scent adsorbent is included in the above aroma layer, the aroma retaining layer serves as an aroma layer.

The aroma retaining layer is provided such that the scent component adsorbed on the scent adsorbent is released to the outside. In light of release of the scent component, the aroma retaining layer is preferably an outermost layer. However, the aroma retaining layer is not limited to the outermost layer. The aroma retaining layer which is not an outmost layer may contribute to the persistence of the scent.

The aroma retaining layer is preferably provided so as to adsorb a scent included in the outside air. In this case, as described above, the aroma retaining layer can adsorb the scent component inside the package 20.

The aroma retaining layer is preferably provided locally. The local aroma retaining layer can reduce time and effort for application and the like, as compared with the aroma retaining layer being provided on the entirety of the surface of the ball. Preferably, the local aroma retaining layer is applied to the ball surface by stamping. Examples of methods of stamping include pad printing and stamp printing. As another method of applying the local aroma retaining layer, ink jet printing, transfer film printing, brushing, and the like can be used. In light of productivity, pad printing is preferred.

Preferably, the local aroma retaining layer is applied after curing and drying of the paint layer are completed. The ball after curing and drying is easily handled. Application of the local aroma retaining layer to the ball after curing and drying can contribute to the productivity.

Note that the aroma retaining layer may be provided non-locally. In other words, the aroma retaining layer may be provided in the entirety of the surface layer area of the ball.

[Composition of Aroma Retaining Layer]

A composition of the aroma retaining layer preferably includes a resin component and a scent adsorbent. The composition of the aroma retaining layer can be, for example, as follows.

(Composition-a) A composition obtained by adding the above scent adsorbent to a composition of a paint layer of a golf ball.
(Composition-b) A composition obtained by adding the above scent adsorbent to a composition of a mark layer of a golf ball.
(Composition-c) A composition obtained by adding the above photoluminescent particle to the composition-a or the composition-b.
(composition-d) A composition obtained by excluding a pigment from the composition-b.

In the composition-a, any known composition can be used as the composition of the paint layer of the golf ball, and, for example, any composition described above regarding the paint layer 14 can be also used. The composition of the paint layer is the same as the composition 1.

In the composition-b or the composition-d, any known composition can be used as the composition of the mark layer of the golf ball. The composition of the mark layer is the same as the composition 2 or the composition 5.

The aroma retaining layer may be transparent. A composition for obtaining the transparent aroma retaining layer is, for example, the composition-d.

[Method of Forming Aroma Layer]

Examples of methods of forming the aroma layer include immersion, spraying, and stamping.

The immersion is to immerse a ball in a liquid including a scent component. The immersion is particularly suitable for forming the entire surface aroma layer. The spraying facilitates the application operation. The spraying is suitable for forming the entire surface aroma layer, and is also suitable for forming the local aroma layer. The stamping is suitable for forming the local aroma layer.

Preferably, the spraying is conducted after curing and drying of the paint layer 14 are completed. The ball after curing and drying is easily handled. For example, immediately before shipment of balls, spraying can be conducted into a package simultaneously with packaging. The spraying can form an aroma layer on the surface of a ball. In addition, by the spraying, a scent component can be present inside the package. Application of the local aroma layer to the ball after curing and drying can contribute to improvement of the productivity.

The local aroma layer can reduce time and effort for application and the like as compared with the entire surface aroma layer. Preferably, the local aroma layer is applied to the ball surface by stamping. Examples of methods of stamping include pad printing and stamp printing. As another method of applying the local aroma layer, ink jet printing, transfer film printing, brushing, and the like can be used. In light of productivity, pad printing is preferred.

Preferably, the local aroma layer 16 is applied after curing and drying of the paint layer 14 are completed. The ball after curing and drying is easily handled. Application of the local aroma layer to the ball after curing and drying can contribute to improvement of the productivity.

[Liquid (A)]

A liquid (A) is a liquid including a scent component. The liquid (A) is used for forming the entire surface aroma layer. The liquid (A) may be diluted with a solvent. The solvent is preferably an organic solvent, more preferably an alcohol, and even more preferably ethanol. The liquid (A) may consist of only a scent component. A more preferable liquid (A) consists of only a scent component, or consists of only a scent component and a solvent.

[Content Ra]

In light of intensity of the scent and persistence of the scent, the content Ra of the scent component in the liquid (A) is preferably equal to or greater than 10% by weight, and more preferably equal to or greater than 20% by weight. In light of intensity of the scent and persistence of the scent, the content Ra is preferably equal to or less than 100% by weight. The content Ra is a proportion of the weight of the scent component to the total weight of the liquid (A).

[Liquid (B)]

A liquid (B) is a liquid including a scent component and a solvent. The liquid (B) is used for forming the local aroma layer. The solvent is preferably an organic solvent, more preferably an alcohol, and even more preferably ethanol. A more preferable liquid (B) consists of only a scent component and a solvent.

[Content Rb]

In light of intensity of the scent and persistence of the scent, the content Rb of the scent component in the liquid (B) is preferably equal to or greater than 5% by weight, and more preferably equal to or greater than 10% by weight. In light of suitability to a process of forming the local aroma layer (stamping or the like), the content Rb is preferably equal to or less than 30% by weight, and more preferably equal to or less than 20% by weight. The content Rb is a proportion of the weight of the scent component to the total weight of the liquid (B).

[Composition (C)]

A composition (C) includes a perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule. The composition (C) is used for forming an aroma layer including a perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule. A preferable composition (C) includes a solvent. The solvent is preferably an organic solvent, more preferably an alcohol, and even more preferably ethanol. A more preferable composition (C) consists of only a scent component and a solvent. This composition (C) may further include a resin component.

[Content Rc]

In light of intensity of the scent and persistence of the scent, the content Rc of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule in the composition (C) is preferably equal to or greater than 0.3% by weight, and more preferably equal to or greater than 0.5% by weight. In light of suitability to the process of forming the local aroma layer (stamping or the like), the content Rc is preferably equal to or less than 10% by weight, and more preferably equal to or less than 9% by weight. The content Rc is a proportion of the weight of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule to the total weight of the composition (C).

[Coating amount Applied by Spraying per Ball (mg)]

In light of intensity of the scent and persistence of the scent, the weight (coating amount) of the scent component applied by spraying per ball is preferably equal to or greater than 10 mg, and more preferably equal to or greater than 20 mg. In light of using a spray liquid suitable for spraying, the weight (coating amount) of the scent component per ball is preferably equal to or less than 100 mg, and more preferably equal to or less than 80 mg.

[Color of Ball]

In the present invention, the color of the ball is not limited to a specific color. The color of the ball may be white, or may be a color other than white. When the scent of the scent component and the color of the ball are related to each other, the color of the ball is preferably a color other than white.

[Relation of Scent Component and Color]

In a preferable golf ball, the scent of the scent component and the color of the ball are related to each other. In other words, the color of a thing associable with the scent of the scent component, and the color of the ball, are caused to be the same type of color. Further, preferably, the color of at least a part of the surface of the package 20, and the color of the thing associable with the scent of the scent component, are caused to be the same type of color.

Specific examples where the scent component and the color are related to each other are, for example, as follows.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of mint, and the color is a blue type color or a green type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of lavender, and the color is a purple type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of grapefruit, and the color is a yellow type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of orange, and the color is an orange type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of rose, and the color is a pink type color, a blue type color, or a red type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of strawberry, and the color is a pink type color or a red type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of vanilla, and the color is a white type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of lemon, and the color is a yellow type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of banana, and the color is a yellow type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of lime, and the color is a green type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of eucalyptus, sage, or laurel, and the color is a green type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of cinnamon, and the color is a brown type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of melon, and the color is a green type color or an orange type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of watermelon, and the color is a green type color or a red type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of pineapple, and the color is a yellow type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of peach, and the color is a pink type color.

The scent of the scent component is a scent of grape, and the color is a purple type color.

Regarding color, in later-described Examples and the like, indexes L*, a*, and b* in the CIELAB color system are measured.

The indexes L*, a*, and b* are calculated by the following equations.


L*=116(Y/Yn)1/3−16


a*=500((X/Xn)1/3−(Y/Yn)1/3)


b*=200((Y/Yn)1/3−(Z/Zn)1/3)

In these equations, X, Y, and Z are tristimulus values in an XYZ color system, and Xn, Yn, and Zn are tristimulus values of a perfect reflecting diffuser. The CIELAB color system is a standard specified by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) in 1976. In Japan, the CIELAB color system is used in “JIS Z 8729”.

L* is an index for lightness. a* and b* are indexes related to hue and saturation. For a*, a negative value indicates green, and a positive value indicates red. For b*, a negative value indicates blue, and a positive value indicates yellow. A saturation S is calculated by the following equation.


S=((a*)2+(b*)2)1/2

The indexes L*, a*, and b* are measured by using the spectrophotometer “CM-3500d” manufactured by Konica Minolta Sensing, Inc. A light receiver is applied to the surface of the golf ball 2 or the package 20 to conduct measurement. As a light source, “a standard light D65” is used. The color temperature of the light source is 6504 k. As a spectral sensitivity, “a view angle of 2°” is used. When the color of the surface of the golf ball 2 is measured, the light receiver is applied to the land 12. When the color of the surface of the package 20 is measured, the back surface of the sheet of the package 20 is supported by a plate, and the light receiver is applied to the sheet in a state where the sheet is flattened.

EXAMPLES

The following will show the effects of the present invention by means of Examples, but the present invention should not be construed in a limited manner based on the description of these Examples.

Example 1

A rubber composition was obtained by kneading 100 parts by weight of a polybutadiene (trade name “BR-730”, manufactured by JSR Corporation), 25 parts by weight of zinc diacrylate, 10 parts by weight of zinc oxide, 6 parts by weight of titanium dioxide, 15 parts by weight of barium sulfate, 0.5 parts by weight of diphenyl disulfide (manufactured by Sumitomo Seika Chemicals Co., Ltd.), and 0.8 parts by weight of dicumyl peroxide (manufactured by NOF Corporation). This core composition is shown in Table 1 below. This rubber composition was placed into a mold including upper and lower mold halves each having a hemispherical cavity, and heated at 170° C. for 20 minutes to obtain a core with a diameter of 38.9 mm.

A resin composition was obtained by kneading 45 parts by weight of a sodium-neutralized ionomer resin (trade name “Surlyn 8945” manufactured by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), 45 parts by weight of a zinc-neutralized ionomer resin (trade name “Surlyn 9945” manufactured by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), 10 parts by weight of a styrene block-containing thermoplastic elastomer (trade name “Rabalon SR04” manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation), and pigments (2 parts by weight of titanium dioxide and 0.6 parts by weight of a yellow pigment 1) with a twin-screw kneading extruder. The above core was placed into a final mold having numerous pimples on its inside face, followed by injection of the above resin composition around the core by injection molding. By this injection, a body having a cover with a thickness of 1.9 mm was obtained. The cover is yellow. Numerous dimples having a shape which was the inverted shape of the pimples were formed on the cover. Polishing treatment was conducted on the surface of the body. The composition of the cover is shown in the “yellow” column in Table 2 below.

TABLE 1
Core Composition
Parts by
Compound NameWeightTrade Name
Polybutadiene rubber100BR730 manufactured by JSR
Corporation
Zinc diacrylate25ZNDA-90S manufactured by Nihon
Jyoryu Kogyo CO., Ltd
Zinc oxide10Ginrei R manufactured by Toho
Zinc Co., Ltd.
Titanium dioxide6
Barium sulfate15Barium Sulfate BD manufactured
by Sakai Chemical Industry Co.,
Ltd.
Diphenyl disulfide0.5manufactured by Sumitomo Seika
Chemicals Co., Ltd.
Dicumyl peroxide0.8Percumyl D manufactured by NOF
Corporation

TABLE 2
Cover Composition
Cover color
Light
Blended materialWhitePurpleblueYellowManufacturer, Trade Name
Surlyn 894545454545Ionomer resin manufactured by E.I. du
Pont de Nemours and Company
Surlyn 994545454545Ionomer resin manufactured by E.I. du
Pont de Nemours and Company
Rabalon SR0410101010Thermoplastic elastomer
manufactured by Mitsubishi
Chemical Corporation
Titanium dioxide322
Purple pigment2Purple pigment mixture PE-D
09J699 Purple manufactured by
Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals
Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Blue pigment0.1Fluorescent colorant ZQ-19
manufactured by DayGlo Color
Corp.
Yellow pigment 10.6Yellow pigment mixture PE-D
07E502 Yellow manufactured by
Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals
Mfg. Co., Ltd.
L*92.878.387.892.4
a*−1.813.2−9.7−9.9
b*−9.1−21.2−16.244.7
PaintClearPhotoluminescentPhotoluminescentPhotoluminescent

A clear paint including a two-component curing type polyurethane as a base material was prepared. The base material of the paint is a mixture of a polyether polyol and a polyester polyol. A curing agent of the paint is hexamethylene diisocyanate. The paint includes a composite particle in which a core is formed from a mica and a coating layer is formed from titanium oxide (trade name “Iriodin 201” manufactured by Merck KGaA). The amount of the composite particle is 10 parts by weight with respect to 100 parts by weight of the base resin. The composite particle is in the form of flakes, and its particle size is 15 μm. The paint was applied to the cover by a spray gun. The paint was dried at a temperature of 40° C. for 120 minutes to obtain a paint layer with a thickness of about 10 μm.

In this golf ball, an aroma layer was applied at hatched positions in FIG. 1 (four locations). The aroma layer was applied by stamping (pad printing). A composition of a paint for forming the aroma layer includes 100 parts by weight of a base resin, 19 parts by weight of a curing agent (hexamethylenediamine), 23 parts by weight of acetylacetone, and 8 parts by weight of a perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule. The base resin was an epoxy resin. The number average particle diameter of the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule was 30 μm. A scent component included in the perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule is trade name “AR81731” manufactured by Ogawa & Co., Ltd, and has a scent of grapefruit. The paint was dried at a temperature of 40° C. for 120 minutes to obtain an aroma layer with a thickness of about 30 μm. The aroma layer is transparent. In this manner, a golf ball of Example 1 having a diameter of 42.7 mm and a weight of about 45.4 g was obtained. The golf ball is yellow. In Example 1, the scent of the scent component and the color of the ball are related to each other.

Three of the golf balls were put into the above package shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and the package was sealed, to obtain packaged golf balls of Example 1.

Example 2

Packaged golf balls of Example 2 were obtained in a same manner as Example 1, except 10 parts by weight of a liquid (B) was blended instead of the above perfume-material-encapsulating microcapsule. The liquid (B) was obtained by diluting 50 parts by weight of the above scent component (“AR81731”) with 50 parts by weight of a solvent (ethanol).

Example 3

Instead of forming the aroma layer by stamping, a spray liquid including the above scent component (a scent of grapefruit) was sprayed to form an entire surface aroma layer. The method of the spraying is a spraying method C in Table 3. The spraying was conducted after curing of the paint layer. Packaged golf balls of Example 3 were obtained in a same manner as Example 1, except the above.

Example 4

As a package, a box formed from paper, which was a general and conventional package, was used instead of the above package having airtightness. Packaged golf balls of Example 4 were obtained in a same manner as Example 3, except the above.

Example 5

Processes were conducted in a same manner as Example 1, until an aroma layer was formed by stamping. After curing of this aroma layer which was a paint film, spraying was conducted. A spray liquid including the above scent component (a scent of grapefruit) was sprayed by the spraying method C (see Table 3), to form an entire surface aroma layer. Packaged golf balls of Example 5 were obtained in a same manner as Example 1, except the above.

Example 6

The pigments used for the cover were changed to 2 parts by weight of titanium dioxide and 0.1 parts by weight of a blue pigment (see Table 2). By these pigments, a cover having a blue type color (light blue) was obtained. In addition, the scent component in the microcapsule was changed to trade name “AR89263” (a scent of peppermint) manufactured by Ogawa & Co., Ltd. After an aroma layer applied by stamping was cured, spraying was conducted. This spraying was conducted by a spraying method B in Table 3 below, and trade name “AR89263” (a scent of peppermint) manufactured by Ogawa & Co., Ltd. was used as a scent component. Packaged golf balls of Example 6 were obtained in a same manner as Example 5, except the above.

Example 7

A cover composition shown in “purple” in Table 2 was used, and the scent component in the microcapsule was changed to trade name “AR81732” (a scent of lavender) manufactured by Ogawa & Co., Ltd. In addition, the spraying method was changed to a spraying method A (see Table 3). Packaged golf balls of Example 7 were obtained in a same manner as Example 5, except the above.

Example 8

Packaged golf balls of Example 8 were obtained in a same manner as Example 5, except a cover composition shown in “white” in Table 2 was used and the composite particle in the clear paint was excluded.

Example 9

Packaged golf balls of Example 9 were obtained in a same manner as Example 5, except the package was changed to a package which was the same as in Example 4 (a general box).

Example 10

Instead of the stamping in Example 5, stamping was conducted in a same manner as Example 2. Packaged golf balls of Example 10 were obtained in a same manner as Example 5, except the above.

Example 11

Packaged golf balls of Example 11 were obtained in a same manner as Example 10, except the package was changed to a package which was the same as in Example 4 (a general box).

The specifications and the evaluation results of Examples 1 to 4 are shown in Table 4 below. The specifications and the evaluation results of Examples 5 to 8 are shown in Table 5 below. The specifications and the evaluation results of Examples 9 to 11 are shown in Table 6 below.

[Measurement of Indexes L*, a*, and b*]

Indexes L*, a*, and b* of a ball surface were measured by the aforementioned method using the spectrophotometer “CM-3500d” manufactured by Konica Minolta Sensing, Inc. The measurement was conducted on the surface of a ball which was a finished product in which a paint and a perfume material were added. The results are shown in the above Table 2.

[Scent at Opening]

After packaging, a package was left for 30 days and opened, and the scent was evaluated. The evaluation was categorized as follows. The results are shown in Tables 4 to 6 below.

A: A scent was felt in a state where a ball was taken in one's hand, without moving the ball close to the nose.
B: A scent was felt when a ball was moved to the nose.
C: No scent was felt.

[Controllability of Scent Release]

Evaluation was categorized as follows. The results are shown in Tables 4 to 6 below.

A: Control was possible.
C: Control was impossible.

[Scent Persistence (1)]

A ball was taken out of a package by opening, and hit 50 times. Then, the scent was evaluated on the basis of the same criterion as in “Scent at opening” described above. The results are shown in Tables 4 to 6 below.

[Scent Persistence (2)]

A ball was taken out of a package by opening, and hit 50 times. Then, the ball was put into the package again, and the package was left for 30 days. Then, the package was opened, and the scent was evaluated on the basis of the same criterion as in “Scent at opening” described above. The results are shown in Tables 4 to 6 below.

TABLE 3
Method of Spraying
Content Rb ofCoating
scentamount of
Scentcomponent inscent
Scentcomponentspray liquidcomponent
SprayingLavenderAR81732 25% by30 mg per ball
method Aweight
SprayingPeppermintAR89263 25% by30 mg per ball
method Bweight
SprayingGrapefruitAR81731100% by60 mg per ball
method Cweight

TABLE 4
Specifications and Evaluation Results of Examples
LocallyEntirely
Mode of aroma layer1234
Mode of perfumeMicrocapsuleSolvent dilution
material
Introduction ofStampingStamping
scent
Adsorbent (ball)NoneNone
Mode of perfumeSolvent dilutionSolvent dilution
material
Introduction ofSprayingSpraying
scent
ContainerAirtightAirtightAirtightConventional
containercontainercontainerbox
Scent of aromaGrapefruitGrapefruitGrapefruitGrapefruit
layer
Color of coloredYellowYellowYellowYellow
layer
Scent at openingBBAA
Controllability ofACCC
scent release
Scent persistenceABBB
(1)
Scent persistenceBCBC
(2)

TABLE 5
Specifications and Evaluation Results of Examples
Locally + Entirely
Mode of aroma layer5678
Mode of perfumeMicrocapsuleMicrocapsuleMicrocapsuleMicrocapsule
material
Introduction of scentStampingStampingStampingStamping
Adsorbent (ball)NoneNoneNoneNone
Mode of perfumeSolvent dilutionSolvent dilutionSolvent dilutionSolvent dilution
material
Introduction of scentSprayingSprayingSprayingSpraying
ContainerAirtight containerAirtight containerAirtight containerAirtight container
Scent of aroma layerGrapefruitPeppermintLavenderGrapefruit
(locally + entirely)(locally + entirely)(locally + entirely)(locally + entirely)
Color of colored layerYellowLight bluePurpleWhite
Scent at openingAAAA
Controllability ofAAAA
scent release
Scent persistence (1)AAAA
Scent persistence (2)AAAA

TABLE 6
Specifications and Evaluation Results of Examples
Locally + Entirely
Mode of aroma layer91011
Mode of perfumeMicrocapsuleSolvent dilutionSolvent dilution
material
Introduction of scentStampingStampingStamping
Adsorbent (ball)NoneNoneNone
Mode of perfumeSolvent dilutionSolvent dilutionSolvent dilution
material
Introduction of scentSprayingSprayingSpraying
ContainerConventional boxAirtight containerConventional box
Scent of aroma layerGrapefruitGrapefruitGrapefruit
(locally + entirely)(locally + entirely)(locally + entirely)
Color of colored layerYellowYellowYellow
Scent at openingAAA
Controllability ofACC
scent release
Scent persistence (1)ABB
Scent persistence (2)CBC

As shown in the Tables, effects are different between Examples. Advantages of the present invention are clear.

The method described above is applicable to any golf ball.

The above description is merely for illustrative examples, and various modifications can be made without departing from the principles of the present invention.