Title:
Process of making decorative flooring materials and decorative flooring material made by the process
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides (i) a process of making decorative flooring materials, which have elegantly designed V-shaped grooves with curved slopes and of which the decorative sheets hardly peel off the base materials, and (ii) a decorative flooring material made by the process, which has elegantly designed V-shaped grooves with curved slopes and of which the decorative sheet hardly peels off the base material. The process of making decorative flooring materials comprises the steps of (i) pasting a decorative sheet 2 on a base material 1 to make a decorative flooring material 10, (ii) cutting temporary V-shaped grooves in the surface of the decorative flooring material 10 which are narrower than finished V-shaped grooves with curved slopes, (iii) positioning V-shaped pressing protrusions of a pressing die 6 above the temporary V-shaped grooves, the slopes of each V-shaped pressing protrusion being paraboloidal and symmetrical, (iv) pressing the V-shaped pressing protrusions into the temporary V-shaped grooves to form the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes 3, the edges of the decorative sheet along the temporary V-shaped grooves covering the curved slopes partially, (v) painting the curved slopes in the same color as the decorative sheet 2, and (vi) painting the entire surface of the decorative flooring material 10.



Inventors:
Tsukada, Akiyoshi (Takamatsu, JP)
Application Number:
11/040816
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
01/21/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04F13/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HORTON, YVONNE MICHELE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEAVER AUSTIN VILLENEUVE & SAMPSON LLP (OAKLAND, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A process of manufacturing decorative flooring materials comprising the steps of: pasting a decorative sheet on a base material to make a decorative flooring material; cutting temporary V-shaped grooves in the surface of the decorative flooring material which are narrower than finished V-shaped grooves with curved slopes; positioning V-shaped pressing protrusions of a pressing die above the temporary V-shaped grooves, the slopes of each V-shaped pressing protrusion being paraboloidal and symmetrical; pressing the V-shaped pressing protrusions into the temporary V-shaped grooves to form the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes, the edges of the decorative sheet along the temporary V-shaped grooves covering the curved slopes partially; painting the curved slopes in the same color as the decorative sheet; and painting the entire surface of the decorative flooring material.

2. A decorative flooring material made by the process of claim 1 comprising a base material and a decorative sheet, a plurality of longitudinal V-shaped grooves with curved slopes being made in the surface of the decorative flooring material at regular intervals, the curved slopes being paraboloidal and painted in the same color as the decorative sheet, and then the entire surface of the decorative flooring material being painted.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a process of making decorative flooring materials and a decorative flooring material made by the process.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a decorative flooring material 110 currently in used. The reference numeral 1 is a base material of plywood, MDF, or the like. A decorative sheet 2 is pasted on the base material 1 with an adhesive. V-shaped grooves 113 are made in the decorative sheet 2 and base material 1 to (i) make the joints between decorative flooring materials 110 inconspicuous, (ii) absorb the variation of dimensional accuracy of decorative flooring materials 110 and make the alignment of decorative flooring materials 110 easy, and (iii) give the decorative flooring material 110 a good appearance. If decorative flooring materials 110 are given V-shaped grooves 113 as narrow as 1 mm, the floor looks trim. If decorative flooring materials 110 are given V-shaped grooves 113 as wide as 3 or 4 mm, the floor looks strong and bold. V-shaped grooves 113 may be disposed at regular intervals or at irregular intervals.

Because the V-shaped grooves 113 are made in the decorative flooring material 110 with a circular or chip saw, its decorative sheet 2 is cut. The edges of the cut decorative sheet 2 are vulnerable to external force and liable to peel off the base material 1.

FIG. 8 is an illustration of another decorative flooring material 120. Shown in the left side of FIG. 8 is the decorative flooring material 120 before V-shaped grooves 123 are made in it, and shown in the right side of FIG. 8 is the decorative flooring material 120 after V-shaped grooves 123 are made in it. The V-shaped grooves 123 are made in the decorative flooring material 120 by pressing a roller or disk with small protrusions extending circumferentially of it (Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2001-207629).

The V-shaped groove 123 is acute-angled and triangular. Because V-shaped grooves 123 are made in the decorative flooring material 120 by pressing a roller of disk with small protrusions directly against the surface of the decorative flooring material 120, the V-shaped grooves 123 are liable to meander and the decorative sheet 2 is liable to tear. If the decorative sheet 2 tears, it is liable to peel off the base material 1.

FIG. 9 is an illustration of still another decorative flooring material 130. Shown in the left side of FIG. 9 is the decorative flooring material 130 before V-shaped grooves 135 are made in it, and shown in the right side of FIG. 9 is the decorative flooring material 130 after V-shaped grooves 135 are made in it. As shown in the left side of FIG. 9, V-shaped grooves 133 are made in the surface of the base material 1 and a decorative sheet 2 is pasted on the base material 1. A cut 134 is made in the decorative sheet 2, above and along the bottom line of each V-shaped groove 133. Then, as shown in the right side of FIG. 9, the decorative sheet 2 is heated and pressed into the V-shaped grooves 133 by a board with V-shaped protrusions 136 to form V-shaped grooves 135 (Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 1990-188205).

When the decorative sheet 2 is pressed into the V-shaped grooves 133, the pressure is small because the V-shaped grooves 133 are formed beforehand; therefore, the decorative sheet 2 does not sufficiently stick to the slopes of V-shaped grooves 133. The edges of the decorative sheet 2 are liable to peel and peeled edges are liable to catch stockings and the like.

The cuts 134 in the decorative sheet 2 are not clearly visible; accordingly, it is difficult to position the board with V-shaped protrusions 136 precisely on the decorative sheet 2. If the board with V-shaped protrusions 136 is not precisely positioned on the decorative sheet 2, grooves in an exact V shape cannot be formed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the above problems, the object of the present invention is to provide (i) a process of making decorative flooring materials, which have elegantly designed V-shaped grooves with curved slopes and of which the decorative sheets hardly peel off the base materials, and (ii) a decorative flooring material made by the process, which has elegantly designed V-shaped grooves with curved slopes and of which the decorative sheet hardly peels off the base material.

The process of making decorative flooring materials according to the present invention comprises the steps of (i) pasting a decorative sheet on a base material to make a decorative flooring material, (ii) cutting temporary V-shaped grooves in the surface of the decorative flooring material which are narrower than finished V-shaped grooves with curved slopes, (iii) positioning V-shaped pressing protrusions of a pressing die above the temporary V-shaped grooves, the slopes of each V-shaped pressing protrusion being paraboloidal and symmetrical, (iv) pressing the V-shaped pressing protrusions into the temporary V-shaped grooves to form the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes, the edges of the decorative sheet along the temporary V-shaped grooves covering the curved slopes partially, (v) painting the curved slopes in the same color as the decorative sheet, and (vi) painting the entire surface of the decorative flooring material.

The decorative flooring material according to the present invention comprises a base material and a decorative sheet. A plurality of longitudinal V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are made in the surface of the decorative flooring material at regular intervals. The curved slopes are paraboloidal and painted in the same color as the decorative sheet, and then the entire surface of the decorative flooring material is painted.

The first invention brings about the following effects.

    • (1) Because the pressing protrusions of the pressing die are wider than the temporary V-shaped grooves, strong pressure is applied to the grooves; accordingly, the close adhesion of the decorative sheet to the base material is accomplished. The decorative sheet does not easily peel off the base material. The good appearance of the decorative flooring material is kept long and the life of the decorative flooring material is long.
    • (2) Because the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are formed by pressing the temporary V-shaped grooves, the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are formed in exact positions.
    • (3) Because the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are finished by the V-shaped pressing protrusions of the pressing die and the slopes of each V-shaped pressing protrusion are paraboloidal, the slopes of the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are paraboloidal, the grooves assuming a soft appearance.

According to the second invention, the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are finished by the V-shaped pressing protrusions of the pressing die and the slopes of each V-shaped pressing protrusion are paraboloidal; therefore, the slopes of the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are paraboloidal, the grooves assuming a soft appearance. The edges of the decorative sheet do not peel easily. The good appearance of the decorative flooring material is kept long and the life of the decorative flooring material is long.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features and advantages of the present invention will become more clearly appreciated from the following description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a decorative flooring material made by a process of making decorative flooring materials according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flowchart of the process of making the decorative flooring material of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 (I) is a cross sectional view of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 1 before temporary V-shaped grooves are made in its surface; FIG. 3 (II), an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 3 (I) after temporary V-shaped grooves are made in its surface;

FIG. 4 (III) is an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 3 (II) after the temporary V-shaped grooves are reshaped;

FIG. 5 (IV) is an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 4 (III) after the slopes of the reshaped grooves are painted; FIG. 5 (V), an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 5 (IV) whose surface is entirely covered with paint;

FIG. 6 is a perspective cross sectional view of the decorative flooring material of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a decorative flooring material currently in use;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of another decorative flooring material currently in use; and

FIG. 9 is an illustration of still another decorative flooring material currently in use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

By referring to the drawing, a preferred embodiment of the present invention will be described below.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a decorative flooring material 10 made by a process of making decorative flooring materials according to the present invention; FIG. 2, a flowchart of the process of making the decorative flooring material 10. FIG. 3 (I) is a cross sectional view of the decorative flooring material 10 before temporary V-shaped grooves are made in its surface; FIG. 3 (II), an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material 10 after temporary V-shaped grooves are made in its surface. FIG. 4 (III) is an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material 10 after the temporary V-shaped grooves are reshaped. FIG. 5 (IV) is an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material 10 after the slopes of the reshaped grooves are painted; FIG. 5 (V), an illustration of the construction of the decorative flooring material 10 whose surface is entirely covered with paint. FIG. 6 is a perspective cross sectional view of the decorative flooring material 10.

First of all, the basic construction of the decorative flooring material 10 will be described. As shown in FIG. 1, the decorative flooring material 10 comprises a base material 1 and a decorative sheet 2 which is pasted on the base material 1. The base material 1 is plywood of five to seven veneers or MDF or a laminated board of veneers and MDF. The decorative sheet 2 is thin film made mainly of paper and synthetic resin and as thin as 0.01 mm to 0.5 mm. It is often as thin as 0.05 mm.

The width of the decorative flooring material 10 is about 101 cm to 303 cm. The decorative flooring material 10 has a tongue 4a on one side and a groove 4b on the other side for tongue and groove jointing. The decorative flooring material 10, which the decorative sheet 2 is pasted on, is processed into prescribed dimensions.

By referring to FIGS. 2 to 5, a process of making the decorative flooring material 10 will be described below.

As shown in FIG. 2, the process of making the decorative flooring material 10 comprises the steps of pasting the decorative sheet 2 on the base material 1 to make a decorative flooring material 10 (S11), cutting the temporary V-shaped grooves in the surface of the decorative flooring material 10 (S12), positioning V-shaped pressing protrusions of a pressing die above the temporary V-shaped grooves (S13), pressing the V-shaped pressing protrusions into the temporary V-shaped grooves to form the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes (S14), painting the curved slopes (S15), and painting the entire surface of the decorative flooring material 10 (S16). The tongue 4a and groove 4b may be made in any step.

The steps S11 to S16 will be detailed below.

[Pasting Step S11]

As shown in FIG. 3 (I), the decorative sheet 2 is pasted on the base material 1 with an appropriate adhesive in the step S11.

[Groove-Cutting Step S12]

As shown in FIG. 3 (II), temporary V-shaped grooves “T” are cut in the decorative sheet 2 and the top veneer 1a in the step S12. It will suffice if the temporary V-shaped groove “T” is in the shape of an approximate V. The temporary V-shaped groove “T” may have a pointed bottom or a narrow flat bottom. The temporary V-shaped groove “T” is narrower than the finished V-shaped groove with curved slopes. Accordingly, when the V-shaped pressing protrusions of a pressing die are pressed into the temporary V-shaped grooves to form the V-shaped grooves with curved slopes, strong force is applied to the temporary V-shaped grooves “T” to accomplish the close adherence of the decorative sheet 2 to the base material 1.

[Die-Positioning Step S13]

Because the temporary V-shaped groove “T” is wider than a line made with a knife or the like, it is conspicuous. In the step S13, a pressing die is positioned on the decorative flooring material 10 so that the V-shaped pressing protrusions of the pressing die will be positioned directly above the conspicuous temporary V-shaped grooves without fail. Accordingly, when many decorative flooring materials 10 are joined together, their V-shaped grooves with curved slopes are aligned without fail.

[Groove-Reshaping Step S14]

FIG. 4 (III) shows a pressing die 6 in a desirable shape. The slopes 6b and 6c of each V-shaped pressing protrusion of the pressing die 6 are paraboloidal and symmetrical. The V-shaped pressing protrusions are pressed into the temporary V-shaped grooves “T” to form wider V-shaped grooves with curved slopes 3. The edges of the decorative sheet 2 along the temporary V-shaped grooves “T” cover the curved slopes partially.

The pressing die 6 is of a heater type. It is heated to the temperature of 70 to 140° C. The temperature is set so that it will best fit the base material 1 and the decorative sheet 2.

By using the pressing die 6 of a heater type, V-shaped grooves with curved slopes 3 can be made efficiently.

[Groove-Painting Step S15]

The curved slopes of V-shaped grooves 3 are painted in the same color as the decorative sheet 2, a paint coat 4 being formed in each groove 3 as shown in FIG. 5 (IV).

[Flooring Material-Painting Step S16]

The entire surface of the decorative flooring material 10 is painted, paint coats 5 being formed as shown in FIG. 5 (V). A painting apparatus with high efficiency, such as a roller coater, can be used for color painting, under coating, intermediate coating, and final coating because the surface, except the grooves, of the decorative flooring material 10 is flat. Accordingly, the painting cost is low. The surface of the decorative flooring material 10 can be painted evenly and beautifully.

Because the V-shaped grooves 3 are finished by the V-shaped pressing protrusions of the pressing die 6 and the slopes 6b and 6c of each V-shaped pressing protrusion are paraboloidal, the slopes of the V-shaped grooves 3 are paraboloidal, the grooves 3 assuming a soft appearance. Besides, the edges of the decorative sheet 2 do not peel easily and no peeled edges catch stockings and the like.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The above embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.