Title:
Textile woven and knit fabrics with enhanced flame retardancy and comfort for bedclothing products
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Textile woven and knit fabrics with inherent flame resistant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications, such as mattress ticking. In one embodiment, the yarn used to weave or knit the fabric comprises from about 25 to about 60 weight % modacrylic fiber and from about 40 to about 75 weight % cellulosic fiber. In another embodiment, the yarns used to knit the fabrics can comprise from about 25 to about 75 weight % modacrylic fiber, from about 20 to about 50 weight % of cellulosic fibers, and from about 5 to about 55 weight % of other materials such as polyester fibers/filaments and/or glass filaments. Preferably, the woven fabrics have a spun yarn count from about 20/1 ecc to about 40/1 ecc, while the knit fabrics have a spun yarn count from 10/1 ecc to 30/1 ecc for the face side layer, a yarn count of 4/1 ecc to 10/1 ecc as well as 4/2 ecc to 10/2 ecc for the filling layer, and a yarn count of 20/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc (more preferably 30/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc) as well as a filament yarn count of 100 denier to 300 denier for the back side layer. The textile woven fabric may be suitable for filled bedclothing products such as comforters, bed spreads, pillow and mattress covers, and pillow and mattress pad ticking. The textile knit fabric may be suitable for mattress ticking applications.



Inventors:
Masuda, Osamu (New York, NY, US)
Nakahori, Yoshio (Osaka, JP)
Application Number:
11/376809
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
03/15/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
428/373
International Classes:
D03D15/00; D02G3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BOYD, JENNIFER A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK NY (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A textile fabric comprising: a yarn comprising a modacrylic fiber in an amount of from about 25 to about 60 weight % of the yarn, and a cellulosic fiber in an amount of from about 40 to about 75 weight % of the yarn; wherein the fabric is woven.

2. The fabric of claim 1, wherein the modacrylic fiber is present in an amount of from about 35 to about 50 weight % of the yarn, and the cellulosic fiber is present in an amount of from about 50 to about 70 weight % of the yarn.

3. The fabric of claim 1, wherein the modacrylic fiber is present in an amount of 35 weight % of the yarn, and the cellulosic fiber is present in an amount of 65 weight % of the yarn.

4. The fabric of claim 3, wherein the modacrylic fiber comprises a polymer including halogenated monomers which generate oxygen depleting gases during thermal decomposition, and the cellulosic fiber comprises cotton.

5. The fabric of claim 1, wherein the fabric has a spun yarn count of from about 20/1 ecc to about 40/1 ecc.

6. The fabric of claim 1, wherein the fabric has a spun yarn count of about 35/1 ecc.

7. The fabric of claim 1, wherein the fabric has a weight of from about 50 g/m2 to about 400 g/m2.

8. A filled bedclothing product including the fabric of claim 1.

9. The filled bedclothing product of claim 8, wherein the filled bedclothing product is selected from the group consisting of a comforter, a bed spread, a pillow cover, a mattress cover, a pillow ticking, and a mattress ticking.

10. A textile fabric comprising: a yarn comprising a modacrylic fiber in an amount of from about 25 to about 60 weight % of the yarn, and a cellulosic fiber in an amount of from about 40 to about 75 weight % of the yarn; wherein the fabric is knitted.

11. The fabric of claim 10, wherein the modacrylic fiber is present in an amount of from about 30 to about 50 weight % of the yarn, and the cellulosic fiber is present in an amount of from about 50 to about 70 weight % of the yarn.

12. The fabric of claim 10, wherein the modacrylic fiber is present in an amount of 35 weight % of the yarn, and the cellulosic fiber is present in an amount of 65 weight % of the yarn.

13. The fabric of claim 12, wherein the modacrylic fiber comprises a polymer including halogenated monomers which generate oxygen depleting gases during thermal decomposition, and the cellulosic fiber comprises cotton.

14. The fabric of claim 10, wherein the fabric has a spun yarn count for a face side layer of about 16/1 ecc, for a filling layer of about 6/1 ecc, and for a back face layer of about 36/1 ecc.

15. The fabric of claim 10, wherein the fabric has a weight of from about 5 oz. sq. yd. to about 15 oz. sq. yd.

16. A mattress tick including the fabric of claim 10.

17. A textile fabric comprising: a yarn comprising a modacrylic fiber in an amount of from about 25 to about 75 weight % of the yarn, a cellulosic fiber in an amount of from about 20 to about 50 weight % of the yarn, and a polyester fiber or filament in an amount of from about 5 to about 55 weight % of the yarn; wherein the fabric is knitted.

18. The fabric of claim 17, wherein the modacrylic fiber comprises a polymer including halogenated monomers which generate oxygen depleting gases during thermal decomposition, and the cellulosic fiber comprises cotton.

19. The fabric of claim 17, wherein the fabric has a spun yarn count for a face side layer of about 16/1 ecc, for a filling layer of about 6/1 ecc, and for a back face layer of about 36/1 ecc.

20. A mattress tick including the fabric of claim 17.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e), of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/662,643, filed on Mar. 17, 2005, and U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/696,991, filed on Jul. 5, 2005.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to textile woven and knit fabrics with fire retardant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications. More particularly, the fabric may be suitable in flame resistant fiber filled bedclothing products such as comforters, bed spreads, pillow and mattress covers, and pillow and mattress pad ticking.

BACKGROUND

Flame resistant fabrics have been developed and used in the textile industry in applications such as protective apparel, upholstery, and draperies. In some cases, the woven fabrics, which may be synthetic or natural fibers or a blend thereof, are topically coated with a flame resistant chemical. When used in residential household products (such as mattresses), however, these fabrics exhibit diminished flame retardant properties over time, especially when subjected to numerous washings in the presence of a detergent. Moreover, most of these coated fabrics are stiff or abrasive to the human touch and may be undesirable in residential household applications such as for use in bedclothing products.

In other cases, the fabric possesses inherent flame and heat resistant properties. For example, INDURA® developed by Westex, Inc., NOMEX® developed by Dupont, and LENZING FR® developed by Lenzing AG are well known in the protective apparel industry as fabrics with inherent flame resistant properties and high temperature applications. However, because these fabrics are generally harsh to the touch and are relatively expensive, they may be undesirable and not cost effective in residential household applications such as for use in filled bedclothing products. In addition, these fabrics are generally not available in the color white or cream, which is a further drawback in the filled bedclothing products industry. Other flame retardant fabrics, such as polyester based flame retardant fabric, may not be suitable for filled bedclothing applications as this type of fabric is prone to melting and dripping.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide a textile woven fabric with inherent flame resistant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications, and to provide a textile knit fabric with inherent flame resistant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications.

In an embodiment of the invention, a textile woven fabric with inherent flame resistant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications is provided. In one aspect, the yarn used to weave the fabric comprises from about 25 to about 60 weight % modacrylic fiber and from about 40 to about 75 weight % cellulosic fiber. Preferably, the woven fabric has a spun yarn count from about 20/1 ecc to about 40/1 ecc. The textile woven fabric may be suitable for filled bedclothing products such as comforters, bed spreads, pillow and mattress covers, and pillow and mattress pad ticking.

In another embodiment of the invention, a fabric knitted from a yarn which comprises about 25 to about 60 weight % of modacrylic fiber and about 40 to about 75 weight % of cellulosic fiber is provided. In still another embodiment, the yarn used to knit the fabric comprises about 25 to about 75 weight % of modacrylic fiber, about 20 to about 50 weight % of cellulosic fibers, and about 5 to about 55 weight % of other materials such as polyester fibers/filaments and/or glass filaments. Preferably, the knit fabric has a spun yarn count from 10/1 ecc to 30/1 ecc for the face side layer, and a yarn count of 4/1 ecc to 10/1 ecc as well as 4/2 ecc to 10/2 ecc for the filling layer. Preferably, the knit fabric has a yarn count of 20/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc (more preferably 30/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc) as well as a filament yarn count of 100 denier to 300 denier for the back side layer. Machinery which can be used to make the knit fabrics commercially can be, e.g., from Terrot Strickmaschinen GmbH, preferably a model UCC 548 38 inch/20 gg.

Because of its knit structured nature, the fabric of these knitted embodiments of the invention is very stretchable and may mold against and conform to VISICO® elastic foams. Hence, sleep comfort will be maintained compared to conventional woven ticking fabrics. Due to the vertically structured construction of the fabrics, cushioning comfort can be achieved in addition to the fire retardant and moldability properties. The textile knit fabric is particularly suitable for mattress ticking applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the test result for Example 1 of the open flame protocol California Text Bulletin TB604.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In one embodiment of the invention, a textile woven fabric with inherent flame resistant properties for use in household filled bedclothing applications is provided. The textile woven fabric comprises a modacrylic fiber and a cellulosic fiber. It is generally believed that upon exposure to open flame, the modacrylic/cellulosic blend fabric expands to form a char barrier that deprives fire of fuel causing the flame to extinguish before they reach the underlying fiber filled material.

In another embodiment of the invention, a textile knit fabric with inherent flame resistant properties for use in mattress ticking applications is provided. The textile knit fabric comprises a modacrylic fiber and a cellulosic fiber. In yet another embodiment, the textile knit fabric comprises a modacrylic fiber and a cellulosic fiber with a minor blend of other materials such as a polyester material and/or a glass filament. Without intending to be bound by any theory, it is believed that upon exposure to open flame, the modacrylic/cellulosic blend fabric expands to form a char barrier that deprives fire of fuel causing the flame to extinguish before reaching the underlying materials, such as polyester or polyester blended batting or various kinds of foam materials.

As used herein the terms “flame retardant” and “flame resistant” are used interchangeably and generally describe fabrics which, when ignited by a flame source, resist and/or prevent the spread of flames and/or heat.

The modacrylic fibers of the woven and knit fabrics of the present invention comprise inherently flame retardant materials. Preferably, the modacrylic fibers comprise polymers with halogenated monomers which generate oxygen depleting gases during thermal decomposition. The cellulosic fibers of the present invention need not be inherently flame retardant materials, and need not be treated with topical fire resistant chemical or coating, such as, for example, boric acid or ammonia phosphate based coatings commonly used as fire resistant coatings. Preferably, the cellulosic fibers are non-flame retardant cotton/rayon.

It is believed that the modacrylic fibers generate oxygen depleting gases when ignited by a flame source. The oxygen depleting gases may prevent ignition of the underlying or encased ignitable non-flame retardant batting fabrics or fiber fills, which are commonly conventional polyester fibers or various kinds of foams. The oxygen depleting gases are further believed to coat the cellulosic fiber thereby protecting it from flames and also accelerating char formations in the cellulosic fiber. It is further believed that the char acts as a shield or barrier to prevent the underlying ignitable products from ignition.

In the textile knit fabric embodiments of the invention, the knit fabrics may be manufactured by known techniques. Preferred machinery which can be used to make the knit fabrics is commercially available from Terrot Strickmaschinen GmbH, preferably model UCC 548 38 inch/20 gg. Equipment which can knit 85 inch or wider width in one knitting run is preferred. This type of machinery also enables the manufacture of three layered knit fabrics, having a face layer, a filling layer, and a back surface layer. This type also enables one to make jacquard patterns.

In preferred embodiments of the textile woven fabric of the invention, the yarn used to weave the fabric comprises from about 25 to about 60 weight % modacrylic fiber and from about 40 to about 75 weight % cellulosic fiber. In more preferred embodiments, the yarn comprises from about 35 to about 50 weight % modacrylic fiber and from about 50 to about 70 weight % cellulosic fiber. More preferably, the woven fabric comprises 35 weight % modacrylic fiber and 65 weight % blended cotton. It is believed that this range of fiber blend is optimal in that it allows the woven fabric to pass regulatory open flame test protocol, such as the California Flame Resistance of Filled Bedclothing TB604 test, while maintaining cost effectiveness. Embodiments of the textile woven fabric of the present invention used as cover materials for filled bedclothing are expected to pass the California TB604 test. It is further expected that when exposed to open flame, woven fabrics with these fiber blends would withstand the flames with minimal shrinkage of the char barrier thereby preventing the flames from penetrating the char barrier and igniting the underlying material.

Preferably, the woven fabric of the invention has a spun yarn count from about 20/1 ecc to about 40/1 ecc. More preferably, the spun yarn count is about 35/1 ecc. In one embodiment, the woven fabric has a weight from about 50 g/m2 to about 400 g/m2. These are generally representative of this particular commodity zone in the retail industry and is expected to be cost effective.

The present invention contemplates the woven fabrics described herein for applications in the filled bedclothing industry, such as in comforters, bed spreads, pillow and mattress covers, and pillow and mattress pad ticking. More specifically, the woven fabrics may be used as cover material or ticking fabric in a fiber-filled bedclothing product such as pillows, comforters, and mattress pads. Moreover, it is believed that the woven fabrics of the present invention are particularly suited as flame retardant materials for the filled bedclothing industry because they have inherent flame retardant properties, are supple (especially as compared to materials that are composed of 100% cellulosic fiber), low in cost, and may be produced in the color white. In addition, the woven fabric may be manufactured readily as it does not require special spinning technology nor special weaving and dyeing/finishing technology beyond those conventionally used in the industry. Embodiments of the woven fabrics of the present invention thus allow for the manufacture of open flame resistant products for use with conventional non-flame resistant fiber fills in a cost effective manner.

In an embodiment of the textile knit fabric of the invention, the yarn used to knit the fabric comprises about 25 to about 60 weight % modacrylic fiber and about 40 to about 75 weight % of cellulosic fiber. In another embodiment, the yarn used to knit the fabric comprises about 25 to about 75 weight % modacrylic fiber, about 20 to about 50 weight % of cellulosic fiber, and about 5 to 55 weight % of other materials such as polyester fibers/filaments and/or glass filaments. In preferred embodiments, the yarn comprises about 30 to about 50 weight % modacrylic fiber and about 50 to about 70 weight % cellulosic fiber. Most preferably, the knit fabric yarn comprises about 35 weight % modacrylic fiber and about 65 weight % blended cotton. It is believed that this range of fiber blend is optimal in that it allows the knit fabrics to pass regulatory open flame test protocol, such as the California Flame Resistance of Residential Mattress TB603 test, while maintaining cost effectiveness. Embodiments of the textile knit fabric of the invention used as ticking material for mattresses are expected to pass the California TB603 test. It is further expected that when exposed to open flame, the knit fabrics with these fiber blends would withstand the flames with minimal shrinkage of the char barrier thereby preventing the flames from penetrating the char barrier and igniting the underlying material.

Preferably, the knit fabric of the invention has a spun yarn count of 10/1 ecc to 30/1 ecc for the face side layer, and a yarn count of 4/1 ecc to 10/1 ecc as well as 4/2 ecc to 10/2 ecc for the filling layer, and a yarn count of 20/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc (more preferably 30/1 ecc to 40/1 ecc) as well as a filament yarn count of 100 denier to 300 denier for the back side layer. Most preferably, the spun yarn count for the face side layer is about 16/1 ecc and for the filling layer is about 6/1 ecc and for the back face layer is about 36/1 ecc. For mattress ticking applications, the knit fabric of the invention preferably has a weight from about 5 oz. sq. yd. to about 15 oz. sq. yd., which is generally representative of the particular commodity zone in the mattress ticking application and is expected to be cost effective.

The knit fabrics of the invention are particularly suitable for applications in the mattress industry. More specifically, the knit fabrics may be used as a tick fabric to cover the inner non-flame resistant batting fabrics and/or various kind of foams, like regular urethane foams, latex foams, visco-elastic foams. The knit fabrics of the invention are particularly well suited as flame retardant materials for the mattress tick fabrics because they have inherent flame retardant properties. Moreover, the knit fabrics are supple (especially as compared to materials that are composed of 100% cellulosic or cellulosic/polyester blended or 100% polyester fibers), competitive in cost, and may be produced in white or other colors like cream, lemon, beige, i.e., light colors. In addition, the knit fabric may be manufactured readily as it does not require special spinning technology nor special knitting and dyeing/finishing technology beyond those conventionally used in the industry. Hence, embodiments of the knit fabrics of the present invention allow for the manufacture of open flame resistant products for use with conventional non-flame resistant battings and/or foams in a cost effective and a productive manner.

It is understood that the various embodiments described herein are by way of example only, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. It is also understood that the various theories proposed herein as to how or why the invention works are not intended to be limiting.

Experimental:

Specific representative embodiments of the invention will now be described. It is understood that the specific methods, materials, conditions, process parameters, apparatus and the like should not be taken to limit the scope of the invention.

Example 1

Woven Fabric
Fabric Composition35% modacrylic,
(weight %)65% blended cotton
Ring spun yarn count35/1 ecc

Warp 110 × Weft 84 (total 194 counts)

The woven fabric of Example 1 was used as the covering material on a residential sleep pillow. The pillow consisted of a 100% conventional non flame retardant polyester yarn. An open flame test protocol for comforters, California Text Bulletin TB604, was conducted on Jan. 4, 2005 at the Bureau of Home Furnishing and Thermal Insulation (BHFTI) and the results are shown in FIG. 1. It was tested according to the proposed test method of TB604 draft section, option B. As can be seen from FIG. 1, the woven fabric completely extinguished the flame shortly after removal of the open flame source. The fabric is further demonstrated to have prevented the flame or heat source from penetrating the fabric and reaching the ignitable underlying fiber fill material.

Example 2

Knit Fabric
Knit fabric composition (weight %):35% Modacrylic/
65% blended cotton
Ring spun yarn count:Face Side16/1 ecc
Filling 6/1 ecc
Back Side36/1 ecc

A stretch knit fabric having the above characteristics was used as a ticking material on a VISCO ELASTIC foam core, without any fire blocking layer. The size of the specimen made was not the standard size of a commercially sold VISCO foam encased mattress, but a small scale sample. An open flame test protocol for residential mattresses, California Technical Bulletin (TB) 603, was conducted on the sample. In accordance with CA Technical Bulletin 603, a mattress is placed on a support system, whereupon flames from a multi-hole propane burner impinge on the side of the mattress for a period of 50 seconds, and flames from a second multi-hole burner impinge on the top of the mattress for a period of 70 seconds. Test observations are made. When the knit fabric sample described above was subjected to CA Technical Bulletin 603, the following was observed:

ACCEPTANCE
TEST CRITERIARESULTSCRITERIA
1.(a)Peak Rate of Heat74kW200kW maximum
Release:
(b)Time at which Peak1800secondsNone
rate of heat release
occurred:
2.Total Heat Release at6MJ25MJ maximum
10 minutes:*

(*At test end, if sooner than 10 minutes)

Test End: 30 Minutes 00 Seconds
  • [ ] All burning of specimen had ceased
  • [ ] Extinguished by technician after heat release value had peaked & was declining
  • [ ] Extinguished by technician when escalating combustion was noted
  • [X] Maximum test period (30 minutes)

A second knit fabric sample as described above was also tested according to CA Technical Bulletin 603, with the following observations:

ACCEPTANCE
TEST CRITERIARESULTSCRITERIA
1.(a)Peak Rate of Heat23kW200KW maximum
Release:
(b)Time at which Peak80secondsNone
rate of heat release
occurred:
2.Total Heat Release at2MJ25MJ maximum
10 minutes:*

(*At test end, if sooner than 10 minutes)

Test End: 30 minutes 00 seconds
  • [ ] All burning of specimen had ceased
  • [ ] Extinguished by technician after heat release value had peaked & was declining
  • [ ] Extinguished by technician when escalating combustion was noted
  • [X] Maximum test period (30 minutes)

In the case of both knit fabric sample tests, it was observed that the knit fabrics completely extinguished the flame shortly after removal of the dual open flame source. It was also observed in both cases that the knit fabric prevented the flame or heat source from penetrating the knit fabric and reaching the ignitable underlying combustible material (i.e., the very combustible VISCO ELASTIC foam). Finally, both knit fabric samples easily complied with CA Technical Bulletin 603.

While the present invention is described with respect to particular examples and preferred embodiments, it is understood that the present invention is not limited to these examples and embodiments. The present invention as claimed therefore includes variations from the particular examples and preferred embodiments described herein, as will be apparent to one of skill in the art.