Title:
Sound suppressing flooring and method of manufacturing same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of forming wood flooring. The flooring has foam applied to one side by adhesive. The adhesive is cured and a chemical bond forms between the wood and foam to provide a consolidated unit. This facilitates easier cutting of the consolidated product without dissociation of the foam from the wood. The result is an improved flooring product having sound suppression qualities.



Inventors:
Gallant, Mel (Brantford, CA)
Application Number:
10/753312
Publication Date:
07/22/2004
Filing Date:
01/09/2004
Assignee:
F C & C
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
181/294
International Classes:
B27M3/06; B32B5/18; B32B21/08; E04F15/02; E04F15/20; (IPC1-7): E04B1/82; E04B2/02; E04B1/84
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
SAN MARTIN, EDGARDO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Melcher Patent Law PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A sound transmission reducing flooring article, comprising, in combination: a wood member having opposed major faces, sides and ends; and cross linked polyolefin foam material adhesively engaged to a major face of said major faces.

2. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said foam is closed cell foam.

3. The article as set forth in claim 3, wherein said wood member comprises an engineered wood product.

4. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said engineered wood product comprises a laminated wood flooring product.

5. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said polyolefin foam has a width dimension comprising between 1% and 25% of the width of said wood member.

6. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said wood member comprises planking selected from the group consisting of maple, ash, oak, cherry, walnut, pine, cedar and birch.

7. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said foam is adhesively engaged with a curable adhesive.

8. The article as set forth in claim 7, wherein said adhesive comprises an ultraviolet curable adhesive.

9. The article as set forth in claim 7, wherein said cross linked polyolefin foam material has a textured surface.

10. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said adhesive forms a chemical bond with said foam to integrate said foam with said wood member.

11. The article as set forth in claim 1, wherein said flooring article includes a plurality of spaced apart air cells.

12. A sound transmission reducing flooring article, comprising, in combination: a wood member having opposed major faces, sides and ends; a textured, cross linked polyolefin foam material adhesively engaged to a major face of said major faces; and a plurality of spaced apart air cells between said major face of said wood member and said cross linked polyolefin foam material adhesively engaged to said major face.

13. The article as set forth in claim 12, wherein said foam is closed cell foam.

14. The article as set forth in claim 12, wherein said wood member comprises an engineered wood product.

15. The article as set forth in claim 14, wherein said engineered wood product comprises a laminated wood flooring product.

16. A method of forming a wood flooring member, comprising: providing a source of wood suitable for use as flooring; providing a foam material for fixation to said wood; applying an adhesive material to one side of the flooring to effect chemical fusion between said flooring and said foam; and cutting said wood having said foam consolidated there with into segments for flooring.

17. The method as set forth in claim 16, further including the step of pressurizing said segments to remove gas trapped between said foam and said wood.

18. The method as set forth in claim 17, wherein said heat treating includes exposing edges of said segments to heat for sealing said edges.

19. The method as set forth in claim 17, further including the step of heat treating cut segments.

20. The method as set forth in claim 16, further including the step of texturing said foam material prior to fixation to said wood.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application No. 60/438,789 filed Jan. 9, 2003.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to a flooring product and, more particularly, the present invention relates to a sound suppressing flooring arrangement.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Wood flooring is clearly attractive in a home and in most instances such flooring adds value to a house or other structure within which it is placed.

[0004] A characteristic of wood flooring is a lack of sound suppression. In view of the fact that the flooring is hard, acoustic transmission is very high. Attempts to circumvent this problem have been proposed in the art. One solution previously presented involved the use of underlayment. This proved to be useful; however the solution presented another complication, namely installation of the two materials. Any form of underlay is difficult to position properly and this situation is compounded with the exactness required for hardwood flooring positioning.

[0005] Other efforts to formulate such products have developed into wood planks having rubber or foam attached to the floor facing side. The difficulty here is that the rubber often becomes disconnected from the wood during shipping thus leading to on the spot repairs or waste from having to discard the product.

[0006] It would be desirable to have a flooring product capable of retaining a sound insulation function together with a high degree of consolidation with an organic foam backing. The present invention addresses this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] One object of the present invention is to provide an improved method flooring wood product.

[0008] A further object of one embodiment of the present invention is to provide a sound transmission reducing flooring article, comprising, in combination:

[0009] a wood member having opposed major faces, sides and ends; and

[0010] crosslinked polyolefin foam material adhesively engaged to a major face of the major faces.

[0011] In respect of the wood product, the same may comprise natural woods such as maple, ash, oak, cherry, walnut, pine, cedar and birch. Other woods are clearly possibilities as are the engineered products such as the laminated flooring products.

[0012] Advantageously, the flooring has been found to provide superior noise suppression and vibration damping and also provides significant impact resistance.

[0013] The sound and vibration characteristics benefit dance and stage floors and have further been found to be of particular use in recording studios.

[0014] As a further object of one embodiment of the present invention there is provided independent claim 12 which includes the air cells.

[0015] The provision of a texture allows for a random or alternating pattern of adhesive surrounding closed air cells. The cell of air is effectively encased by a cured adhesive, the foam and the wood panel major face. This results in a lighter flooring panel or other such panel which can be used in different constructions and further provides a high degree of insulation with an increased R value over existing arrangements. In terms of the texturing, the same can take any suitable shape and may exist in any pattern, i.e. a regular pattern with a textured section followed by a non-textured and subsequently with a textured section or any variation on this or further, even any random pattern. This will depend on the final use of the product.

[0016] A still further object of one embodiment of the presentation is to provide a method of forming a wood flooring member, comprising:

[0017] providing a source of wood suitable for use as flooring;

[0018] applying an adhesive material to one side of the flooring to effect chemical fusion between the flooring and the foam, and

[0019] cutting the wood having said foam consolidated there with into segments for flooring.

[0020] Suitable adhesives include Mapei #965.

[0021] In view of the fact that the flooring product is mold, mildew and moisture resistant, no vapor barrier is required.

[0022] In respect of the foam, examples which have provided the desired combination of factors include polyamide foam, polyethylene/polypropylene blends, such as that manufactured by Toray Plastics (America), Inc., and Voltek, a division of Sekisui America Corp. Other suitable examples of closed cell polyolefin foams will be appreciated by those skilled in the art.

[0023] Having thus generally described the invention, reference will now be made accompanying drawings, illustrating preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the overall process according to one embodiment;

[0025] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a plank;

[0026] FIG. 3 is an enlarged section of FIG. 2;

[0027] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the invention;

[0028] FIG. 5 is yet another embodiment of the invention in perspective view;

[0029] FIG. 6 is an enlarged section view of FIG. 5; and

[0030] FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of the overall process according to a further embodiment.

[0031] It will be noted that throughout the appended drawings, like features are identified by like reference numerals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0032] The process to effect the formation of the plank is illustrated in FIG. 1. Numeral 10 references a material supply, in this case wood flooring, to be exposed on one side to adhesive at 12. Once the adhesive has been applied, the material is passed to a foam application stage where foam 14 is applied to the adhesive surface to chemically fuse with the foam. The product is subsequently cut at 16 into a desired shape. In this case that shape is planks for use as flooring. For enhanced consolidation, the cut material may be pressurized at 17 by roller nibs (not shown) or other suitable means such as gas pressurization or vacuum. This operation has the benefit of ensuring that the maximum degree of contact is attained between the wood and foam material by forcing any trapped gas out of the interface between the materials.

[0033] As an optional step, the cut planks may be heat treated at the edges, globally indicated at 18 in order to melt or otherwise thermally degrade the material. This has the advantage of toughening the material to prevent disengagement from the wood plank, referenced by numeral 20 in FIG. 2.

[0034] Having set forth the details of the invention in one embodiment, reference will be made to the table below indicating data evincing the effectiveness of the product and methodology. 1

TABLE 1
Comparative Sound Test Data
MaterialIICINCREASESTC
Six inch concrete
floor only
laminate and six46.248
inch concrete floor
concrete floor and53.77.548
Wilsonart ™ foam
WILH 100563
concrete floor and53.37.148
Mannington
ComfortBarrier ™
#6002
Product 1.5 mm53.67.449
foam

[0035] The testing standard employed was ASTM E IS STC and ASTM E 492 IS IIC. The basic flooring was Armstrong Swiftlock™ laminate in the absence of a suspended ceiling.

[0036] Product refers to the article of the present invention.

[0037] STC refers to sound transmission coefficient.

[0038] IIC refers to impact insulation class.

[0039] Referring now to FIG. 4, shown as a further embodiment of the present invention where the foam material 14 includes a texture 22, shown in FIG. 4 as short line segments and in FIG. 5 as a circular or spherical pattern. It has been found that by providing a texture, adhesive material effectively alternates with the texture as shown in FIG. 6. This, accordingly, provides sections of individual air pockets or cells dispersed amongst the adhesive and foam material. Advantages have been realized in terms of enhancing the surface area for bonding to the flooring material with a concomitant reduction in the amount of adhesive required while providing enhanced surface area. Further, by making use of the air pockets, a greater degree of insulation can be realized with the laminate wood flooring. This is particularly advantageous in situations where the laminate is used on radiantly heated flooring. In the absence of the air cell design according to this embodiment of the present invention, passive radiantly heated flooring does not provide for adequate heat efficiency.

[0040] In terms of the manufacturing, FIG. 7 illustrates an example of a process that could be used to manufacture the material where the process is very similar to that previously discussed. In this instance, a further unit operation, globally denoted by numeral 26 may be included where the operation is directed to texturing the foam material. As a further option this step may be eliminated from the process and the texture imparted to the foam at 17 by providing textured nib rollers.

[0041] As is conclusive from the data, the product according to the present invention yielded excellent results in terms of impact insulation and sound transmission.

[0042] Although embodiments of the invention have been described above, it is not limited thereto and it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous modifications form part of the present invention insofar as they do not depart from the spirit, nature and scope of the claimed and described invention.