Title:
Felt laminated to plastic leg tip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A floor saver for furniture comprising a felt sole laminated to a plastic part. Felt protects hard floor surfaces from scratches and reduces sound made by a furniture leg being dragged across a floor. The plastic part is molded and comprises a support platform and a joining part mounted directly or with an angle around or within a leg tip by means of glue, nails or screws. A piece of felt, having a thickness between 1 and 3 mm comprising resin injected into the felt, is melted jointly with the plastic part. Plastic and felt are both heated before being strongly pressed together, resulting in one inseparable device. This way, the floor saver will resist the shear stress responsible for the sliding of a felt piece away from the furniture leg much better than were it only attached to the furniture leg with a sole adhesive.



Inventors:
Brouard, Marcel (Levis, CA)
Perron, Raymond (Levis, CA)
Application Number:
11/590551
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
11/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B91/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCDUFFIE, MICHAEL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
c/o Paul Biron (Jackman, ME, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A plastic-felt combination (40) to be used under a furniture leg (21, 23), said combination comprising: a plastic (52) piece comprising means to attach to said leg and a piece of felt (28) comprising means for sliding against a hard floor surface and a resin-injected felt area (46) compatible with said plastic (52) piece; said resin-injected felt area when fused with a part of said plastic piece by means of a fusion process resulting in a heat-fused area (47) wherein first particles of said plastic piece are fused with second particles of said resin-injected felt area (46) over a thickness allowing resistance to shear stress.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said thickness of said heat-fused area (47) corresponds to a fusion area between of 200 to 1500 microns of said resin-injected felt area and of said plastic.

3. The combination of claim 1 wherein said thickness of said resin-injected felt area (46) corresponds to an area of resin penetration of 1 to 4 mm within layers of said felt (28) holding felt together.

4. The combination of claim 2 wherein said heat-fused area (47) comprises plastic particles mingled with said felt particles all over said thickness.

5. Processing of a plastic-felt combination (40) comprising the following steps: choosing a plastic piece comprising means of attaching to a furniture leg; choosing a piece of felt (28) comprising an inferior surface comprising means for sliding against a hard floor surface and a resin-injected superior surface; heating said plastic piece at high temperature until particles of said plastic fuse; heating said felt piece at high temperature until particles of said felt fuse; superposing said piece of plastic and said felt piece and strongly pressing said pieces together and letting them cool down; said pieces once pressed developing a new composite resistant to mechanical stresses.

6. The combination of claim 1 wherein said heat-fused area, made of fused particles, is inseparable since no ambient temperature would allow a new fusion bringing both materials back to a liquid state and to their separation.

7. The combination of claim 1 wherein said piece of plastic is previously molded and wherein said felt piece is previously cut out, said pieces later fused together.

8. The combination of claim 1 wherein said piece of plastic is made of plastic or any other strong synthetic material that will melt, such as a rubber-like plastic, that has the ability to be molded and fused to felt like material.

9. The combination of claim 1 w herein said felt piece is made of felt or any other sliding material that can be cut and fused to plastic or a similar material.

10. The combination of claim 1 wherein means to attach comprise an upper part of said piece of plastic intended to be inserted or wrapped around a furniture leg allowing said combination to stick to said furniture leg.

11. The combination of claim 1 wherein means of attach comprise a support platform (34) lying on an inferior limit of said upper part of said piece of plastic, said upper part defining a male part (32) that goes into said furniture leg, said support platform being a bulge of a cylindrical part to allow said furniture leg to rest on a surface other than the floor.

12. The combination of claim 11 wherein said support platform is joined to said felt piece by fusion.

13. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means of sliding on a surface corresponds to said felt piece when thickness is sufficient to support wearing against said surface, and said thickness is sufficient to support a heat-fused area.

14. The combination of claim 12 wherein said support platform (34) is oriented with an angle to adapt to an inclined furniture leg.

15. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means of attaching comprise a support platform (34) lying on an inferior limit of said upper part of said piece of plastic, said upper part defining a floor protector that wraps around said furniture leg, said support platform being a thick bottom allowing said furniture leg to rest on a surface other than the floor.

16. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means of attach comprise a male part (32) allowing said floor protector to be inserted within a hollow furniture leg.

17. The combination of claim 1 wherein said means of attach comprise a female part (36) allowing an external floor protector to wrap around a chair leg (23).

18. The combination of claim 17 wherein said male part (32) is a nail intended to be nailed into a wood furniture leg.

19. The combination of claim 17 wherein said male part (32) is a screw intended to be screwed into a wood furniture leg.

20. The combination of claim 17 wherein said male part (32) is a metal screw for a metal furniture leg.

21. A plastic tip to be used under a furniture leg (21, 23), said plastic tip comprising: a plastic (52) piece comprising an upper part comprising means to attach to said leg and a lower part comprising felt means for sliding against a hard floor surface and junction means compatible with said plastic (52) piece and comprising a resin-injected felt area (46); said junction means comprising a fused area wherein first particles of said plastic piece are fused with second particles of said resin-injected felt area (46) over a thickness allowing resistance to shear stress.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of leg tip or internal glide to be used underneath the legs of furniture to protect floors from scratches caused by the movement of furniture and from screeching sound made by a furniture leg being dragged across a floor. Most particularly, this invention relates to plastic leg tip laminated to a piece of felt.

PRIOR ART

Our research among patents revealed some systems that caught our attention:

CA2487529 shows a furniture glide for use on hard floor surface made of a piece of felt and a piece of foam.

CA2485555 shows a round furniture glide made of plastic.

CA477759 shows a leg glide with felt like material bounded to an end cap and a flexible coupling.

CA2404603 shows a protective guard for furniture leg comprising a molded plastic caster but no felt like material.

CA2171247 shows a protective sheet material of a laminate structure and a method of manufacture in which the sheet material has a plastic membrane layer joined to a layer of felt by heat fusion or by adhesives. Felt is saturated with petroleum wax including plasticizers and corrosion inhibitors.

CA2029911 shows a leg tip made of plastic and joined to a felt piece injected with an adhesive.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,199,819 shows a plastic leg tip involving no felt piece.

US2002/0182369 shows a piece of felt attached to a leg tip with Velcro™ type material.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,191,676 shows a spherical glide securable to a structural leg involving no felt like material.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,326,508 shows a leg tip with an intermediate area in rubber.

OBJECTIVES AND ADVANTAGES

A general objective of this invention is to provide a resistant, durable, molded leg tip made of plastic to which a piece of felt is merged with heat fusion in order to protect sensitive surface floors such as hardwood floor when displacing furniture.

The main objective of this invention is insure that the felt piece is nearly impossible to take apart from the plastic molded part of the leg tip so that the felt piece remains in contact with the floor. Usually, when a piece of felt is glued to a plastic part, with time, both pieces come apart due to shear stress, resulting in the sliding of the felt piece from the surface it is glued to. Ungluing could also result from water infiltration. Thus, when preventing the separation of the felt piece from the plastic part, the felt piece stays in contact with the floor surface, under the furniture leg, and retains its floor protection and its sound-proofing property.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an internal glide and a chair leg.

FIG. 2 is a front view of an internal leg tip.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an inclined leg tip.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an inclined male leg tip after fusion.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a female leg tip before fusion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following description the bold numbers refer to items illustrated in the drawings.

FIG. 1 shows an arrow pointing to an internal floor protector 20 with a dotted line along a male part 32 which goes into a hollow furniture leg 21. At least three exterior bulges 22 are visible on the male part 32 intended to allow an adjustment for the hollow furniture-leg 21. A support platform 34 is designed to support the bottom end of a chair leg. One sees a section of the support platform 34 end showing a plastic wall 35 under the support platform, a heat-fused area 46 and a felt 28 material thickness.

FIG. 2 shows a prior art device comprising an adhesive 26 on top of an unaltered felt 54 piece, the underneath of this felt piece being in direct contact with a floor surface. The adhesive is used to join the unaltered felt 54 piece and the piece of plastic 52, resulting in early ungluing of these two pieces.

FIG. 3 shows an internal glide with an inclined support platform to adapt to an inclined chair leg.

FIG. 4 shows a plastic with male part 32 and bulges 22, and felt 28, a layer thereof being injected with resin resulting in a resin-injected felt area 46, a top thereof having a heat-fused area 47 intimately bound to altered plastic 42.

FIG. 5 shows an arrow pointing to an external floor protector 24 including a female part 36 designed to wrap a chair leg 23 having a leg bulge 25 allowing tight insertion of the chair leg into a female part. We see a support platform 34, described as a thick bottom of the lower part 48 of the plastic piece and we also see a heat-fused area 47 followed by a resin-injected felt area, under which there is felt 28 without resin.

DESCRIPTION

This invention relates to heat fusion of a felt 28 piece and a plastic 52 piece resulting in both pieces being joined and inseparable. Felt is first injected with resin leaving a resin-injected area 46 of a certain depth starting at the top of a felt piece. The felt piece is then cut and the plastic piece is molded following an internal design to be inserted into a chair leg or an external design to wrap a chair leg. Both pieces (felt and plastic) are heated separately with intense heat on areas that will be in contact together, resulting in fusion of both pieces. So, they go from a solid state into a liquid state, both liquid materials mixing together before cooling down and forming a single layer of melted and combined materials. Thus, when looking at a cut view of such a heat-fused element, we distinguish a layer of felt 28 material made of fibers and a resin-injected felt area 46. The upper part of this last area includes a heat-fused area 47 corresponding to a heat-fused area from the felt piece and the altered plastic 42 piece. Both heat-fused area and resin-injected area represent about ⅖ of the felt thickness. The resin-injected felt area is a strengthened structure of the felt piece and the support platform 34 is the corresponding strong area for the plastic piece. This support platform upholds the male part 32 or the female part 36 of the floor protector, according to the application. Because both materials are fused together, no mechanical force will be able to separate the felt piece and the plastic piece. It would only be possible to tear felt or break a piece of plastic from the floor protector. Note that no ambient temperature would ever be high enough to induce fusion again and allow both pieces to separate again. It would be impossible to recover the original fibers and plastic. Because of the process insuring the binding of both materials, the efficiency of this floor protector is improved. Usually, the weak point of this type of floor protector involving a piece of felt in contact with a furniture leg, is the felt itself. Often, the piece of felt comes apart from the surface it is supposed to adhere to. This is caused by shear stress, inducing a sliding movement. Water infiltration is a cause of ungluing of the felt piece from the furniture leg. So, heat-fusion is undeniably a serious advantage since it improves durability and efficiency of a floor protector. The main objective of this type of floor protector is to protect floors from scratches that occur while moving furniture and to reduce noise occurring at the same time. It is evident that its efficiency relies on the ability of the felt piece to remain in direct contact with the floor surface. Heat-fusion of both pieces is a sure way to bond both materials and an insert or a wrap keeps it on or in the furniture leg.

Utilization Domain

The idea of heat-fusion involving a plastic piece and a piece of felt has been developed in the context of floor protectors solving the shear stress problem causing the coming apart of felt from the furniture leg. Heat-fusion can be used to bond any polymer or plastic like or synthetic material melting at a certain temperature and compatible with melted resin-injected felt like material. In this application, note that felt pieces are first cut before being melted and fused.

In general, this invention is used to offer the best floor protection for surfaces such as linoleum, tiles, ceramic, laminated and hardfloors, insuring direct contact of a felt piece on a floor surface.

SUMMARY

A plastic-felt combination 40 to be used under a furniture leg 21, 23, and comprising:

    • a plastic 52 piece comprising means to attach to the leg and
    • a piece of felt 28 comprising means of sliding against a hard floor surface and a resin-injected felt area 46 compatible with the plastic 52 piece;

the resin-injected felt area to be fused with a part of the plastic piece, the fusion process resulting in a heat-fused area 47, wherein first particles of the plastic piece are fused with second particles of the resin-injected felt area 46 through a thickness thus allowing resistance to shear stress.

The thickness of the heat-fused area 47 corresponds to a fusion area between of 200 to 1500 microns of the resin-injected felt area and of the plastic.

The thickness of the resin-injected felt area 46 corresponds to an area of resin penetration of 1 to 4 mm within the felt 28 holding layers of felt together.

In the heat-fused area 47 plastic particles are mingled with the felt particles over all the thickness.

Processing of a plastic-felt combination 40 comprising the following steps:

    • choosing a plastic piece comprising means of attaching to a furniture leg;
    • choosing a piece of felt 28 comprising on its inferior surface means of sliding over a hard floor surface and against a resin-injected superior surface;
    • heating the plastic piece at high temperature until particles fuse;
    • heating the felt piece at high temperature until particles fuse;
    • superposing the piece of plastic and the felt piece and strongly pressing them together and letting them cool down; the pieces having a common heat-fused area capable of resisting shear stress and becoming inseparable.

The heat-fused area 46 made of a piece of plastic and a felt piece which are fused provides a combination which tends to be inseparable, thus overcoming shear stress developed when moving furniture around under conditions of ambient humidity, which would otherwise contribute to the coming apart of the felt piece from a furniture leg, whenever held together by means of a standard regular adhesive. When the heat-fused area comprises plastic on one side and felt particles which have been fused and cooled into a new composite on the other side, the resulting junction becomes extremely resistant to mechanical stresses.

The heat-fused area, made of fused particles, is inseparable since no ambient temperature would allow a new fusion bringing both materials back to a liquid state and to their separation.

The piece of plastic is previously molded and the felt piece is previously cut out, the pieces later fused together.

The piece of plastic is made of any strong synthetic material that will melt, such as rubber-like plastic, that has the ability to be molded and fused to felt like material.

The felt piece may be made of felt or any other sliding material that can be cut and fused to plastic or similar materials.

An upper part of a piece of plastic intended to be inserted or wrapped around a furniture leg allowing the combination to stick to the furniture-leg.

A support platform 34 lying on an inferior limit of an upper part of a piece of plastic, the upper part defining a male part 32 that goes into a furniture leg, the support platform being a bulge of a cylindrical part to allow the furniture leg to rest on a surface other than the floor.

The support platform is joined to the felt piece by fusion.

The sliding on a surface corresponds to a felt piece whose thickness is sufficient to support wearing against the surface, and the thickness is sufficient to support a heat-fused area.

The support platform 34 is oriented with an angle to adapt to an inclined furniture leg.

A support platform 34 lying on an inferior limit of an upper part of a piece of plastic, the upper part defining a floor protector that wraps around a furniture leg, the support platform being a thick bottom allowing the furniture leg to rest on a surface other than the floor.

A male part 32 allowing a floor protector to be inserted into a hollow furniture leg. A female part 36 allowing an external floor protector to wrap around a chair leg 23.

The male part 32 is a nail intended to be nailed to into a wood furniture leg. The male part 32 is a screw intended to be screwed into a wood furniture leg.

The male part 32 is a metal screw for a metal furniture leg.

Other materials may also prove to be advantageous to use in certain applications.

It is to be clearly understood that the instant description with reference to the annexed drawing is made in an indicative manner and that the preferred embodiments described herein are meant in no way to limit further embodiments realizable within the scope of the invention. The matter which is claimed as being inventive and new is limited only by the following claims.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 20—Internal floor protector
  • 21—Hollow furniture leg
  • 22—Exterior bulge
  • 23—Chair leg
  • 24—Exterior floor protector
  • 25—Furniture leg bulge
  • 26—Adhesive
  • 28—Felt
  • 30
  • 32—Male part
  • 34—Plateau d'appui
  • 35—Plastic wall
  • 36—Female part
  • 40—Plastic-felt combination
  • 42—Altered plastic
  • 44—Altered felt
  • 45—Heat-fused area
  • 46—Resin-injected felt area
  • 48—Lower part
  • 50—Upper part
  • 52—Plastic
  • 54—Unaltered felt (prior art)