Title:
Method of Producing a Carpet or Rug, and a Carpet or Rug Produced by Such Method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of producing a carpet or rug pursuant to a tufting process, including tufting pile threads into a tuft substrate, and guiding the back side of the tuft substrate along while pressing the back side, together with the loops of the pile threads pierced through the tuft substrate, against a heated drum. At a predetermined temperature, the loops of the pierced-through pile threads begin to melt, and at a predetermined pressure are pressed flat against the tuft substrate.



Inventors:
Hoffe, Gerhard (Hessisch Oldendorf, DE)
Mittendorf, Mario (Bad Hersfeld, DE)
Application Number:
11/923381
Publication Date:
04/24/2008
Filing Date:
10/24/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
156/72
International Classes:
D05C17/00; D05C15/00
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Primary Examiner:
JUSKA, CHERYL ANN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT W. BECKER & ASSOCIATES (Tijeras, NM, US)
Claims:
What we claim is:

1. A method of producing a carpet or rug pursuant to a tufting process, including the steps of: tufting pile threads into a tuft substrate; and guiding a back side of said tuft substrate along while pressing said back side, together with loops of said pile threads pierced through said tuft substrate, against a heated drum to heat said loops, wherein at a predetermined temperature, said loops begin to melt, and are pressed flat against said tuft substrate at a predetermined pressure.

2. A method according to claim 1, wherein said tuft substrate is caused to melt, and wherein the melted loops of said pile threads are connected with said tuft substrate.

3. A carpet or rug produced pursuant to the method of claim 2, wherein said pile threads are tufted into said tuft substrate, wherein said loops of said pile threads that are pierced through said tuft substrate and are connected therewith are pressed flat, and wherein on an upper side opposite said back side said pile threads are oriented parallel to one another.

4. A carpet or rug according to claim 3, wherein said loops of said pile threads are pressed flat in a U-shaped manner.

Description:
The instant application should be granted the priority date of 24 Oct. 2006, the filing date of the corresponding German patent application DE 10 2006 050 704.5.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method of producing a carpet or rug pursuant to a tufting process, and also relates to a carpet or rug produced pursuant to such a method.

Carpets or rugs manufactured using the tufting process serve primarily as design goods for flooring, for floor coverings in vehicles, or for similar purposes. In order to hold the loops of the pile threads that are pierced through the tuft substrate securely in place during the tufting process, a liquid or plastic, synthetic or natural adhesive/binder or latex is applied to the underside of the tuft substrate.

The adhesive that is applied during the manufacture using the tufting process must be dried, for which purpose a large quantity of energy and time is required, and whereby, depending upon the type of adhesive, more or less noxious vapors are released. The loops of the pile threads leave a certain amount of pile material, as a function of the thickness of the threads or yarns, in the back side of the rug or carpet, as a result of which the ratio of the weight of pile used to the weight of the pile layer as visible pile material or usable layer is negatively influenced. A rough and relatively stiff back carpet side results since the adhesive covers not only all of the loop but also the tuft substrate, and after drying appropriately cures or hardens. This reduces the ability of the carpet or rug to deform or be worked, which is a drawback in particular when it is to be used as a floor covering in vehicles.

To avoid the aforementioned drawbacks, pursuant to a method known from EP 1 598 476 A1 the underside of the carpet is guided along a heated roller. In so doing, the loops of the pile threads that are pierced through the tuft substrate are heated and begin to melt, and are thereby anchored to one another and to the tuft substrate. The melting of the pile threads for anchoring in the tuft substrate is viewed as adequate; none the less, with the known method it is recommended—as is with the case with the previously mentioned state of the art—that an adhesive layer be applied to the underside of the tuft substrate. The applied adhesive layer also has the aforementioned drawbacks with regard to drying and evaporation of noxious vapors.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a method of the aforementioned general type with which an anchoring of the pile threads in the tuft substrate is possible without using any type of adhesive layer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This object, and other objects and advantages of the present invention, will appear more clearly from the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying schematic drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view through a carpet or rug pursuant to the state of the art;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view through a carpet or rug pursuant to the present application; and

FIG. 3 shows a machine for producing the carpet or rug of FIG. 2.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The method of the present application for producing a carpet or rug pursuant to a tufting process includes the steps of tufting pile threads into a tuft substrate, and guiding a back side of the tuft substrate along while pressing the back side, together with loops of the pile threads pierced through the tuft substrate, against a heated drum to heat the loops, wherein at a predetermined temperature, the loops begin to melt, and are pressed flat against the tuft substrate at a predetermined pressure. The carpet or rug produced by this method includes pile threads tufted into the tuft substrate, wherein the loops of the pile threads that are pierced through the tuft substrate and are connected therewith are pressed flat, and wherein on an upper side opposite the back side the pile threads are oriented parallel to one another.

A satisfactory anchoring of the pile loops in the tuft substrate is achieved by the melting and pressing of the pile loops. The melted and pressed pile loops thus by themselves provide a satisfactory pile anchoring. Although a fusion of the pile loops with the tuft substrate is not necessary, it can, if desired, be achieved, for example in those cases where the pile and the tuft substrate are made of the same material. An adhesive layer for the pile binding can be entirely eliminated without limitation. An emission of noxious vapors is precluded. Furthermore, the quality of the carpet or rug is improved since the back side of the carpet or rug is smooth and has an increased flexibility. By pressing the loops of the pile threads that are pierced through the tuft substrate against the tuft substrate, it is possible, using the same length of threads, to achieve a higher pile layer than can be achieved with a carpet or rug that is provided with an adhesive layer, thus requiring less material for the manufacture of the carpet or rug.

Further specific features of the present application will be described in detail subsequently.

DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings in detail, a carpet or rug manufactured using the tufting process is comprised of a woven base or spun fabric, a tuft support or substrate 1, into which are tufted pile threads or filaments 2 on a multiple needle machine. Above the tuft substrate 1, the pile threads 2 form a pile layer 3 having the height a in FIG. 1. The loops 4 of the pile threads 2 are pierced through the tuft substrate 1 and must be held securely in place.

Pursuant to the state of the art of FIG. 1, the pile binding is effected in that a layer 5 of a liquid adhesive is applied onto the underside of the tuft substrate 1, together with the pierced-through loops 4 of the pile threads 2; the layer 5 covers the tuft substrate 1 and encases the pierced-through loops 4 of the pile threads 2. To cure the adhesive, the coated carpet is heated, whereby the volatile material present in the adhesive evaporates. This thermal treatment involves an increased expenditure of energy and time, and is associated with an emission of more or less noxious vapors.

In order pursuant to the present application to entirely eliminate the adhesive layer, the pile binding is effected in the manner described subsequently. Pursuant to FIG. 3, a length of the carpet or rug produced using the tufting process is guided through a known calander. The calander has a heated drum 6. The back side of the length of the carpet, together with the loops 4 of the pile threads 2 pierced through the tuft substrate 1, faces the heated drum 6. The electrical heating system of the heated drum 6, or the heating system that contains an internal oil circulation, is in a position to variably adjust a temperature that is uniform over the periphery of the drum 6. Guide rollers 7 are disposed upstream and downstream of the heated drum 6. The height of the two guide rollers 7 that are adjacent to the drum 6 can be adjusted. In this way, the looping angle of the length of carpet about the drum 6 can be adjusted, as can the pressure that the drum 6 exerts upon the underside of the carpet.

Synthetic fibers, e.g. polyamide (PA), polyethylene (PES), polyacrylic or polyacrylate resins (PAC), polypropylene (PP), or mixtures of natural fibers and synthetic fibers are preferably used as material for the carpet or rug that is to be produced. The surface temperature of the heated drum 6 is adapted to the material of the pile threads 2 and of the tuft substrate 1. The temperature is set such that the loops 4 of the pile threads 2 that are guided through the tuft substrate 1 begin to melt while the carpet or rug is guided over the heated drum 6. By means of the adjustable guide rollers 7, a predetermined pressure is exerted upon the length of carpet, as a result of which pressure is exerted against the loops 4 of the pile threads 2 that are pierced through the tuft substrate 1, whereby the loops 4 are pressed flat. A connection or binding of the loops 4 of the pile threads 2 with the tuft substrate 1 can be variably adjusted as a function of the materials used, the temperatures selected, and the contact pressure. The pile threads 2, which now have a U-shape, are fixedly bound in the tuft substrate 1. The thus resulting rug or carpet has a flexible underside.

The carpet or rug produced using the method of the present application is schematically illustrated in FIG. 2. Here one can see that the loops 4 of the pile threads 2 rest flat against the tuft substrate 1. By the use of the predetermined pressure, the pile threads 2 are oriented perpendicular to the tuft substrate 1 and parallel to one another, and demonstrate a U-shaped profile. A pile layer 3 having a height b is provided that, at the same pile thread length, is greater than the height a of the pile layer 3 of the prior art of FIG. 1. Therefore, at a required height of the pile layer 3, a saving in material results, since the pile thread length can be reduced relative to that of the conventional process. Furthermore, the method of the present application has a positive effect upon homogeneity of the pile layer as well as upon the pile stability.

The specification incorporates by reference the disclosure of German priority document DE 10 2006 050 704.5 filed 24 Oct. 2006.

The present invention is, of course, in no way restricted to the specific disclosure of the specification and drawings, but also encompasses any modifications within the scope of the appended claims.