Title:
MULTI-LAYER ABSORBING COASTER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-layer absorptive coaster includes a bottom layer comprising a waterproof, resilient, slip-resistant material, such as neoprene. Intermediate and top layers comprise fabric with a blend of polyester and cotton. Printing can be applied to the top layer. The material layers are bonded together.



Inventors:
Morlan, Jeffrey K. (Lake Lotawana, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/743294
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
05/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/00
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Primary Examiner:
DUCKWORTH, BRADLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF MARK BROWN, LLC (Shawnee, KS, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A multi-layer absorptive coaster, which comprises: a bottom layer comprising a waterproof material; a top layer comprising a water-absorptive, printable material; and said top layer being bonded to said bottom layer.

2. The coaster according to claim 1, which includes: said bottom top layer comprising neoprene.

3. The coaster according to claim 1, which includes: said top layer comprising polyester and cotton fabric.

4. The coaster according to claim 1, which includes: an intermediate fabric layer bonded to said bottom layer; and said intermediate layer comprising a polyester and cotton blend.

5. The coaster according to claim 1, which includes printing on said top layer.

6. The coaster according to claim 1 wherein said bottom layer is resilient and waterproof.

7. The coaster according to claim 1 wherein said upper layer is printable and water-absorbent.

8. A multi-layer absorptive coaster, which comprises: a bottom layer comprising neoprene; an intermediate layer bonded to the bottom layer and comprising fabric with a blend of approximately 50% polyester and 50% cotton; and a top layer bonded to said intermediate layer and comprising fabric with a blend of approximately 50% polyester and 50% cotton.

9. The coaster according to claim 8, which includes: said layers being bonded together by one or more bonds and chosen from among the group comprising adhesive, stitching and mechanical bonds.

10. A multi-layer absorptive coaster, which comprises: a bottom layer comprising neoprene with a thickness in the range of approximately ⅛″ to ⅜″; an intermediate layer bonded to the bottom layer and comprising fabric with a blend of approximately 50% polyester and 50% cotton; a top layer bonded to said intermediate layer and comprising fabric with a blend of approximately 50% polyester and 50% cotton; printing on said top layer, said printing graphically indicating an absorptive function of said coaster; and said layers being bonded together by one or more bonds and chosen from among the group comprising adhesive, stitching and mechanical bonds.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to coasters, and in particular to a multi-layer coaster comprising one or more materials with liquid-absorptive properties.

2. Description of the Related Art

Drinking vessels, such as bottles, cans, glasses, cups and the like are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and materials. However, in uninsulated vessels, chilled beverages and other contents typically cause condensation from exposure to the ambient atmosphere. Among the factors affecting surface condensation are the ambient humidity level and the temperature of the liquid contents. Generally speaking, higher ambient humidity levels and colder liquid content temperatures tend to increase condensation volume.

Drink coasters are commonly used for absorbing condensation and protecting furniture on which they are placed. Coasters have previously been made of various materials, including cellulose compositions (e.g., paper and fibreboard), plastic, cork, wood and leather. In addition to absorbing moisture, coasters are commonly imprinted with various graphic indicia, including text, designs, logos and commercial material. Commercial printing processes are in common use for mass producing such printed materials.

Another functional criteria for drink coasters relates to resisting sliding on hard surfaces, such as countertops, tabletops, etc. Spillage and other mishaps can thus be minimized. Still further, coasters can provide impact-absorbing protection for furniture pieces on which they are placed.

Heretofore there has not been available a multi-layered absorptive coaster with the advantages and features of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the practice of the present invention, a multi-layer coaster is provided for absorbing moisture and placing a vessel on a hard surface in an anti-slip, protective relationship. The coaster comprises a bottom layer of a waterproof, anti-slip material, such as neoprene, and at least one upper layer of fabric, such as a polyester and cotton blend.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded, perspective view of a coaster embodying an aspect of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-sectional view thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

I. Introduction and Environment

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. For example, up, down, front, back, right and left refer to the invention as oriented in the view being referred to. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the embodiment being described and designated parts thereof. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar meaning.

II. Preferred Embodiment Coaster 2

Referring to the drawings in more detail, the reference numeral 2 generally designates a coaster embodying an aspect of the present invention. Without limitation on the generality of useful constructions, the coaster 2 is shown with a neoprene bottom layer 4, an intermediate cotton and polyester blend layer 6 and a top layer 8, also comprising a blend of cotton and polyester. The specific ratio of cotton and polyester in the intermediate and top layers 6, 8 is preferably chosen for its suitability for the particular application of the coaster 2. For example, a 50%-50%, blend is generally suitable for providing moisture absorption and entrapment, in addition to providing a printable surface material adapted for various printing processes, such as screen printing. Various subject matter 10 can be printed on the top layer 8, including digital images provided by individual customers for customized sets of coasters and logos for commercial establishments.

The bottom layer 4 is preferably waterproof in order to avoid saturation and to minimize the possibility of water damage to the underlying structure from liquids soaking through the bottom layer 4. The bottom layer 4 is also preferably resilient and impact resistant, with a certain thickness (e.g. in the range of about ⅛″ to ⅜″) in order to protect the underlying surface. Still, further, the bottom layer 4 preferably as a relatively high coefficient of friction in order to avoid sliding on hard, smooth surfaces, such as tabletops and countertops. In addition to the functional features described above, the coaster 2 is preferably capable of being washed in an automatic dishwasher for reuse indefinitely.

It is to be understood that the invention can be embodied in various forms, and is not to be limited to the examples discussed above and shown in the drawings. Other materials and components can be utilized. For example, it will be appreciated that a wide range of compatible materials may be utilized. Moreover, they can be bonded together using various suitable techniques, such as adhesives, pressure bonding, stitching, mechanical fasteners and the like. Still further, the coaster 2 can be formed in various configurations, such as basic geometrical shapes and fanciful configurations.





 
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