Title:
ELONGATE DECORATIVE ELEMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A decorative element (7) including a multitude of gems, wherein the gems are distributed on an adhesive layer and are held by the adhesive layer and wherein the adhesive layer (2) is applied on an elongate body (1) whose longitudinal extent is a multiple greater than its cross-sectional periphery.



Inventors:
Hofer, Bernhard (Telfes, AT)
Application Number:
12/487037
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/18/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
O'HERN, BRENT T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. A decorative element including a multitude of gems, wherein the gems are distributed on an adhesive layer and are held by the adhesive layer and wherein the adhesive layer is applied on an elongate body whose longitudinal extent is a multiple greater than its cross-sectional periphery, wherein the elongate body is a flexible cable or a flexible body in wire form or a rod of circular or polygonal cross-section.

2. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the rod is curved.

3. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the rod is of circular or polygonal cross-section.

4. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein at least two of the gems are distributed on a continuous adhesive layer and are held thereby.

5. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the longitudinal extent of the elongate body is greater than its cross-sectional periphery by a factor of at least five.

6. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the longitudinal extent of the elongate body is greater than its cross-sectional periphery by a factor of at least ten.

7. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the cross-sectional periphery is substantially constant over the longitudinal extent.

8. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the elongate body is at least approximately cylindrical or prismatic.

9. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the elongate body comprises an electrical conductor.

10. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the gems are glass elements.

11. A decorative element as set forth in claim 10, wherein the predominant part of the gems are in the form of balls, wherein at least 5% of the glass elements have flat boundary surfaces.

12. A decorative element as set forth in claim 11, wherein at least a part of the gems comprises balls.

13. A decorative element as set forth in claim 12, wherein said balls are ground in a facet-like configuration.

14. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in that the adhesive layer is distributed in surface-coverage relationship on the surface of the elongate body.

15. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in that the gems are distributed in surface-coverage relationship on the surface of the elongate body.

16. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the gems comprise transparent material and have a non-mirrored rear side.

17. A decorative element as set forth in claim 10, wherein fewer than 25% of the gems comprise ground balls.

18. A decorative element as set forth in claim 11, wherein the gems with flat boundary surfaces are the ground balls.

19. A decorative element as set forth in claim 11, wherein the gems with flat boundary surfaces include preferably ground parallelepipeds.

20. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in that the size of the gems is between 0.15 and 3 mm.

21. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in that the size of the gems is between 0.15 and 1.5 mm.

22. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in that the adhesive layer includes a reactive polyurethane.

23. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the adhesive layer is transparent.

24. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the adhesive layer is colored.

25. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein the gems include transparent material and are at least partially provided with interference-generating or absorbent layers.

26. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein a bonding agent is applied at least to parts of the gems.

27. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein at least parts of the gems are colored in plan view.

28. A decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein a securing device is arranged at one or both ends of the elongate body.

29. A process for the production of a decorative element as set forth in claim 1, wherein in a continuous process an adhesive layer is applied to the elongate body and then the gems are applied to the adhesive layer.

30. A process as set forth in claim 29, wherein the adhesive layer is fluid while the gems are applied to the adhesive layer.

31. A process as set forth in claim 29, wherein the adhesive layer are applied substantially uniformly along the cross-sectional periphery.

32. A process as set forth in claim 29, wherein the gems are applied substantially uniformly along the cross-sectional periphery.

Description:

The invention concerns a decorative element including a multitude of gems, wherein the gems are distributed on an adhesive layer and are held by the adhesive layer and wherein the adhesive layer is applied on an elongate body whose longitudinal extent is a multiple greater than its cross-sectional periphery.

The fashion and design industry has long been occupied with applying gems and precious stones to an article of clothing or a fashion accessory. It is essential in terms of applying such gems that at least a part of the surface of the gems is coated with an adhesive layer and the gems are then applied directly at the desired location. It will be noted however that if large-area regions are to be provided with gems or however if the gems are very small and unwieldy it is extremely complicated and costly for the gems to be individually coated with for example liquid hot melt adhesive and fixed at the desired location.

A further known possible procedure is for the gems firstly to be secured to a transfer medium and for the transfer medium then to be applied to an article of clothing or fashion accessory. EP 1 295 984 A2 discloses a film which can be coated with a hot melt adhesive, wherein over a large area on the film glass balls and glass elements provided with facets are pressed into the melt layer. It is found that this suffers from the disadvantage that such films provided with gems can be arranged primarily on flat articles. In addition depending on the respective article to which such a film is to be applied, the existence of the film itself can be found to be optically unattractive or however the film may only inadequately adhere to the respective article.

WO 97/16754 also discloses a film coated with a mixture of glass balls and glass fragments. Besides the above-mentioned disadvantages of a film bearing gems, the glass fragments, particularly if they project further beyond the surface than the balls, can entail unpleasant consequences when touching the gems, insofar as possibly sharp-edged glass fragments can result in injury.

The object of the invention is to provide a decorative element which includes a multitude of gems held by an adhesive layer and which avoids the above-mentioned disadvantages and expands the region of use of the above inventions.

That is achieved by a decorative element according to the invention having the features of claim 1.

In the case of a decorative element whose main body is a flexible cable or a flexible wire-form body or a preferably curved rod, preferably of circular or polygonal cross-section, fixing of a film provided with gems is generally impossible or at any event extremely complicated. Furthermore the additionally applied film can have an optically unattractive effect and often may only inadequately adhere. If however an adhesive layer is applied to the elongate body the gems can be easily directly applied thereto without the stones having to be individually handled and without having to use a film-like transfer medium, in which case the film provided with gems would have to be secured to the elongate body. Thus the area of use of the films provided with gems is expanded by the present invention to articles whose cross-sectional periphery is much less than the longitudinal extent thereof. In that respect the precise shape of the cross-section itself is not essential and also does not have to remain the same along the entire longitudinal extent of the body.

In one embodiment of the invention the gems are arranged on a flexible cable comprising a plurality of fibers or a flexible body in wire form. That cable or that wire can in that case comprise metal, while a sheath of plastic material can additionally be provided. Such a body is of a circular cross-section whereby coating of the body with adhesive and also subsequently distribution of the gems on the adhesive layer are easily possible. It can however also be provided that the elongate body is a rod, and the rod can be curved, whereby the rod can be of circular or polygonal cross section. Such a body has increased stability, in contrast to a flexible cable or wire. A decorative element according to the invention can also be part of a current conducting device, for example by an adhesive layer and gems being applied to the surface of a current conduction cable.

Such a decorative element can be used in many different ways, possibly in accordance with the arrangement of securing devices. Examples of the possible use thereof are as a handbag handle; as a decorative element for sticking to an article of clothing or a fashion accessory; as an electric cable for example in relation to lighting devices such as chandeliers; as a hair extension; or as a decorative cable for balconies, staircase banisters, door camouflage or steel meshes. It will be appreciated that a decorative element according to the invention can also be employed in many other areas.

Further advantageous configurations of the invention are defined in the appendant claims and are described in greater detail hereinafter.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment the cross-section of an elongate body according to the invention is substantially constant over the longitudinal extent, at least in those regions where the gems are arranged. That is the case for example when the elongate body is in the form of a cable or bar. It may however also be provided that the cross-sectional periphery changes over the longitudinal extent of the elongate body.

It can be provided that the elongate body is at least approximately a cylindrical or prismatic body. In that case the elongate cylindrical body may also only locally be in the shape of a cylinder. If such an elongate body is made up from metal braids a perfect round or polygonal cross-section is not at all possible, but it is in fact possible to approach such a cross-section.

In regard to an embodiment, a more specific object of the invention is to generate a glitter effect of the decorative element, produced by reflecting flat surfaces, without for that purpose using glass fragments which can cause skin damage upon being touched.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention that object is attained in that the predominate part of the gems are in the form of balls, at least however 5% of the glass elements have flat boundary surfaces. Particularly advantageous precious stone-like glitter effects can be achieved in that case if a part of the gems comprise balls which are preferably ground in facet-like fashion. To save cost an embodiment of the invention can provide that the proportion of ground balls is limited to 25% of the gems. It may also be advantageous if the gems include glass balls (Ballotini) and faceted-ground glass balls, wherein the facets can be ground to a point or a double point.

Additionally or alternatively to ground balls it is also possible to use parallelepipedic gems, preferably glass stones. In that respect such parallelepipedic gems can be applied directly to the elongate body of the decorative element according to the invention or after the parallelepipedic gems have been ground to a desired shape.

Besides or instead of glass elements it is in principle also possible to use gems of plastic material.

In an embodiment of the invention it is provided that the size of the gems and in particular the balls is selected to be between 0.15 and 3 mm, preferably between 0.15 and 1.5 mm. With smaller diameters, the individual elements can no longer be sufficiently seen from the usual distance, while with larger diameters the mechanical load-bearing capability of the join between the elements and the adhesive layer is no longer sufficiently high.

A further embodiment of the invention provides that the gems are distributed in surface-coverage relationship on the surface of the elongate, preferably cylindrical or prismatic body. In that case it can also be provided that a plurality of layers of gems according to the invention are held in mutually superposed relationship by the adhesive layer.

As it is mentioned in AT 003 268 U1 that, in the case of gems and in particular glass elements with a non-mirrored rear side, optically attractive combinational effects can be achieved between the color of the background and the refraction properties or the color of the gems, a further embodiment of the invention provides that the gems include transparent material, in particular glass, and have a non-mirrored rear side. In that respect it can further be advantageous for the adhesive to be transparent, whereby the color of the main body on which the gems and the adhesive layer are arranged becomes visible. The adhesive however can also be colored. In addition it may be advantageous for the transparent gems to be vapor-deposited with a layer which is at least partially absorbent or generates interference effects, for example by a metal layer being vapor-deposited at least on parts of the rear side of the gems. Optically desirable effects are afforded in particular when a further embodiment of the invention provides that at least parts of the gems are colored in plan view.

An embodiment of the invention can provide that the adhesive includes a reactive polyurethane. Such an adhesive is activated by way of temperature. Hardening can in that case last for example several days by way of air humidity. That affords the advantage that the adhesive can later no longer be activated and a decorative element according to the invention can also be used without any problem in the open air and can be exposed to sunlight. In general however it is also possible to envisage other kinds of adhesive with a different hardening characteristic, for example adhesives which can harden under the effect of UV radiation.

A preferred embodiment of the invention provides that a securing device is arranged at least at one end and preferably at both ends of the elongate body. For example a carabiner-like fastener or similar devices for securing purposes can be arranged at one or both ends of the decorative element, whereby a decorative element according to the invention can be used for example as an optically attractive handbag handle.

The invention further concerns a process for the production of a decorative element, wherein in a continuous process an adhesive layer is applied to the elongate, preferably cylindrical or prismatic body and then the gems are applied to the adhesive layer. It is particularly advantageous in that respect if the elongate body is of constant cross-section.

In that respect in a preferred embodiment of the process of the invention it is provided that in a two-stage procedure firstly the adhesive is applied substantially uniformly along the cross-sectional periphery of the elongate body. In that case the adhesive can be heated and thereby activated. In that case the elongate body is continuously further moved along.

Then in the second stage of the process according to the invention the gems are also applied as uniformly as possible along the cross-sectional periphery, which is now provided with an adhesive layer, of the elongate body. In that case the heated adhesive can still be fluid. In that way the gems only have to be introduced into the adhesive without post-fixing being necessary. It can however be provided that the gems arranged in the adhesive layer are subsequently adjusted and additionally or alternatively pressed into the adhesive layer.

Thereafter the adhesive hardens and the connection between the gems and the adhesive layer becomes as durable as possible. In an embodiment of the invention it is provided in that respect that the process of hardening the adhesive which can include a thermoplastic polyurethane is effected by way of air humidity. That can last several days but has the advantage that the adhesive can no longer be activated. It is however also possible to envisage other adhesives and other hardening processes.

It can further be provided that the elongate body is swaged at at least one of its ends and a securing device is arranged there, for example in the form of a male screwthread.

The invention is described in greater detail hereinafter by means of a preferred embodiment with reference to the drawing in which:

FIG. 1 shows a diagrammatic view of a decorative element according to the invention,

FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the decorative element shown in FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 shows a diagrammatic view of a process according to the invention for the production of a decorative element, and

FIG. 4 shows a diagrammatic view of an end of a decorative element according to the invention with securing device arranged thereon.

The diagrammatic view in FIG. 1 shows a decorative element 7 comprising gems which include glass balls 3 and glass balls 4 which are ground to a faceted configuration and distributed in surface-coverage relationship on an adhesive layer 2 and are held thereby, wherein the adhesive layer 2 itself is applied to an elongate substantially cylindrical body 1 which for example can be in cable form. The balls 4 ground to a faceted configuration are ground to a point. In this case the arrangement of the ground balls 4 and the balls 3 does not follow any pattern but is random, and likewise the orientation thereof on the adhesive layer 2.

FIG. 2 shows a cross-sectional view of the decorative element 7 according to the invention shown in FIG. 1. It can again be seen that the ground balls 4 and the glass balls 3 are irregularly distributed but are held in surface-coverage relationship along the cross-sectional periphery of the body 1 in cable form, by an adhesive layer 2. The orientation of the balls 3 and the ground balls 4 on the cable body 1 is also not predetermined in that case. By virtue of the multitude of secured gems however the direction in which the points of the balls 4 which are ground to a point face is immaterial. By virtue of the random distribution of the gems, the result is approximately uniform distribution, thereby producing the desired glitter effect for the decorative element 7.

FIG. 3 diagrammatically shows a process according to the invention for the production of a decorative element 7. The main body 1 in cable form which is shown in cross-section is in this case moved continuously in the direction of the arrow. In an apparatus 5 in hopper form (also shown in cross-section) firstly the adhesive 2 which for example can include a reactive polyurethane is applied uniformly along the cross-sectional configuration of the cable body 1. Then in the second stage of the process according to the invention the ground balls 4 and the balls 3 are applied to the cable body 1 provided with an adhesive layer 2. In that case the balls 3 and the ground balls 4 are in their desired relationship, but are otherwise randomly distributed in an apparatus 6 in hopper form (also shown in cross-section).

FIG. 4 shows an end of a decorative element 7 according to the invention, the gems themselves not being shown for the sake of enhanced clarity. The elongate body 1 in the form of a cable has in this case a per se known cable swaging 8, on which a securing device 9 in the form of a male screwthread is arranged. As a result the decorative element 7 can be used in many different ways, for example as a handbag handle.

It will be appreciated that the decorative element according to the invention and the associated process according to the invention are not restricted to the embodiments illustrated in the Figures or the listed examples of use nor are they to be limited thereby. The invention extends to all technical equivalents which can be derived from the teaching according to the invention.