EP2644802B1 - Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means - Google Patents

Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2644802B1
EP2644802B1 EP12161781.5A EP12161781A EP2644802B1 EP 2644802 B1 EP2644802 B1 EP 2644802B1 EP 12161781 A EP12161781 A EP 12161781A EP 2644802 B1 EP2644802 B1 EP 2644802B1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
surface covering
covering element
free surface
substrate
interlocking means
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP12161781.5A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2644802A1 (en
Inventor
Richard Peres
Lars Petersson
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Tarkett GDL
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Tarkett GDL
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Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Tarkett GDL filed Critical Tarkett GDL
Priority to EP12161781.5A priority Critical patent/EP2644802B1/en
Publication of EP2644802A1 publication Critical patent/EP2644802A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2644802B1 publication Critical patent/EP2644802B1/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • E04F15/10Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials
    • E04F15/105Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements of other materials, e.g. fibrous or chipped materials, organic plastics, magnesite tiles, hardboard, or with a top layer of other materials of organic plastics with or without reinforcements or filling materials

Description

    Subject of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a resilient substrate-free surface covering element comprising interlocking means and to a surface covering comprising such elements.
  • Prior art
  • Surface coverings are widely used to decorate floors, walls and/or ceilings of buildings or houses and they are generally used in the form of elements, strips or tiles, to be joined together, as there are easier to install.
  • Among surface coverings, wooden coverings, ceramic coverings or plastic coverings are well known.
  • It is also well known that plastic surface coverings are generally polymer-based coverings, which may be either multiple-layer coverings or substrate-free coverings.
  • Multiple layers coverings are heterogeneous coverings and multilayer composites, generally comprising a backing layer, usually called "substrate", and different layers made of distinctive and different composition, commonly, PVC-based or polyolefin-based layers. Generally, the substrate is a non-woven or woven fabric, felt, rubber, compact or foamable resin-based layer.
  • Substrate-free surface coverings, also called "homogeneous" coverings are coverings which do not comprise a backing layer or substrate. Such coverings comprise a layer of agglomerated plastic particles. They have a uniform composition across their thickness.
  • The installation of surface covering elements of any nature requires a good adhesion to the surface to cover but also between each surface covering elements.
  • Traditionally, the surface covering elements are installed using glue down methods. However, the disadvantage of using an adhesive or a glue is that there is only a very limited time to assemble the elements after applying it over the surface to cover. Furthermore, a glue has a limited life time due to aging which results in a decrease of its adhesive strength.
  • To get rid of using an adhesive or a glue, it was suggested to use floating assembly methods which allow to mechanically connect, or lock, two adjacent surface covering elements together.
  • Floating hardwood, wood laminate or multiple layers polymer floorings are known. However, no solution is provided for substrate-free surface resilient coverings.
    Document EP 2180116 relates to a method for producing floor panels made of an elastic plastic material. The floor panels are firstly formed by a mold and then a tongue and groove system is machined.
    Document EP 2339092 relates to a panel for forming a covering, more particularly a floor panel for forming a floor covering. The panel comprises, at least at two opposite edges, coupling parts of the type allowing to couple two of such panels to each other by means of a downward movement of one panel in respect to the other. The coupling parts form a first locking system which effects a locking in the plane of the panels and perpendicularly to the edges, as well as form a second locking system, which effects a locking perpendicularly to the plane of the panels. At least one of the coupling parts is realized at least partially in soft PVC, as well as at least partially in the form of a milled profiled part of this soft PVC.
    Document EP 2153967 relates to a process to manufacture a substrate-free decorative surface covering, having a relief-like appearance, comprising an arrangement of unfused colored polymer-based particles obtained by the shredding of a polymer based sheet, the particles being embedded in a substantially transparent polymeric matrix. Document US 2011/0167744 relates to surface coverings including floor coverings. More particularly it relates to surface coverings, such as floor coverings having an interlocking design to connect individual pieces of floor plank or tile together. Document US 2011/0167744 further relates to methods of making the surface covering.
    Document DE 20 2010 013621 U1 relates to a plate, in particular a floor tile, with a wear layer of elastically deformable material. The wear layer has a plurality of edge regions, wherein at least a first edge region of the underside of the wear layer has a first hook-and-loop fastener element that is casted. At least a second edge region of the underside of the wear layer has a second hook-and-loop fastener element that is casted. The first hook-and-loop fastener element is arranged flush with the first edge region of the underside. The second hook-and-loop fastener element projects beyond the second edge region of the underside.
  • Aims of the invention
  • The present invention provides a substrate-free surface covering which do not have the drawbacks of the prior art.
  • The present invention provides a substrate-free surface covering which is an alternative of the existing substrate-free surface coverings.
  • Summary of the invention
  • The present invention discloses a resilient substrate-free surface covering element comprising plastic particles. The resilient substrate-free surface covering element is obtained from pressing together particles in the form of shreds, crumbs, chips, flakes, pebbles, granules or a mix thereof, so as to obtain a surface covering element comprising agglomerated plastic particles and having a uniform composition across its thickness. The surface covering element also comprises interlocking means to connect said resilient substrate-free surface covering element to another resilient substrate-free surface covering element. The interlocking means comprise first and second interlocking means, the first interlocking means being complementary to, and for cooperation with, the second interlocking means. The interlocking means form a hook and loop engagement.
  • The "substrate-free" surface covering is a surface covering comprising agglomerated particles. Said covering do not comprise a backing layer (or substrate) on which the particles are poured onto, before the agglomeration process.
  • According to particular embodiments, the resilient substrate-free surface covering element comprises one or a suitable combination of any of the following characteristics:
    • the interlocking means are complementary to, and for cooperation with, the interlocking means of the another resilient substrate-free surface covering element to form an interconnection junction,
    • the hooks are provided on at least a first edge of said surface covering element and the
      loops on at least a second edge of said surface covering element,
    • the interlocking means are provided on all the length of the said surface covering element,
  • The present invention further discloses a resilient substrate-free surface covering comprising at least two resilient substrate-free surface covering elements according to the invention.
  • Detailed description of the invention
  • A decorative surface covering, in particular a floor covering, presents specific mechanical properties, particularly in terms of mechanical resistance, wear and indentation resistance, but also in terms of comfort, softness, sound and heat insulation.
  • Particularly, the substrate-free surface covering (homogenous surface covering) fulfills the recommendation of the norm ISO 10581 regarding resilient floor coverings, which is incorporated by reference in the present description.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element according to the invention is a resilient element. It fulfills thus the recommendation of the norm ISO 10581.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element is a plastic element, preferably a thermoplastic element, even more preferably a polymer-based element.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element comprises agglomerated particles, preferably multicolored particles.
  • The particles are obtained by cutting or shredding a sheet made from a composition which comprises a plastic material or thermoplastic material, or a polymer-based material, for example rubber material, PVC material or polyolefin material.
  • The composition may further comprise a filler a stabilizer, an antioxidant, a matting agent, or a combination thereof. A PVC-based composition may further comprise a plasticizer. The composition may further comprise a pigment or a combination of pigments.
  • The composition is processed to obtain a sheet of any suitable length and thickness and having a uniform colour, or a marble effect using different colours. Said sheet is then cut using any suitable cutting means into particles.
  • The particles, produced from one sheet, or a plurality of sheets of different colours, have different shapes or sizes. They may be in the form of shreds, crumbs, chips, flakes, pebbles, granules or a mix thereof. They may have any suitable size and thickness.
  • The particles are deposited, or scattered, directly on a moving carrier, which is not part of the final surface covering element, preferably a band-shaped moving carrier from for example a double belt press. No bottom layer, or substrate, is used.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element according to the present invention may be then embossed using any suitable embossing device.
  • Preferably, the top side of the substrate-free surface covering element, with or without embossment, is coated with a varnish layer, preferably a polyurethane-based layer, and more preferably UV-curable polyurethane.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the substrate-free surface covering element is obtained from an intermediate product, with or without top coating, with or without embossing, which is cut into elements, tiles or strips.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element has any suitable shape. Preferably it has a quadrilateral shape, preferably a square or rectangular shape. However, the surface covering element may also have an hexagonal shape.
  • The substrate-free surface covering element comprises interlocking means.
  • The interlocking means may be provided on the upper, the lower surface of the substrate-free surface covering element, on one edge, a plurality of edges of the substrate-free surface covering element, or a combination thereof.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the interlocking means are provided on one surface or one edge of the substrate-free surface covering element, the interlocking means being complementary to and for cooperation with interlocking means of another the substrate-free surface covering element to joint.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the substrate-free surface covering element comprises first interlocking means provided on one surface and second interlocking means provided on another surface, the first interlocking means being complementary to and for cooperation with said second interlocking means to form an interconnection junction.
  • Preferably, the first interlocking means are provided on at least a first edge of the substrate-free surface covering element and the second interlocking means on at least a second edge of the substrate-free surface covering element. The first and second edges may be either opposite or adjacent.
  • The number of edges comprising the first and/or second interlocking means may depend on the shape of the substrate-free surface covering element.
  • The first and/or second interlocking means may be provided on all or part of the length of the surface, surfaces, edge or edges of the substrate-free surface covering element.
  • Preferably, the first interlocking means comprise an upper portion of the substrate-free surface covering element extending outwardly from at least one edge of the substrate-free surface covering element, and the second interlocking means comprising a lower portion of the substrate-free surface covering element extending outwardly from at least one other edge of the substrate-free surface covering element.
  • The first and second interlocking means form a hook and loop engagement.
  • The hooks and loops of such engagement may have any suitable design.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the first and/or second interlocking means are the ones described in US5448865 .
  • The first and second interlocking means may be produce by any suitable method.
  • For example, interlocking means 2 and/or 3 may be produced by cutting, laser or water jet cutting, milling, moulding, planning.
  • Generally on an heterogeneous or multiple layer surface covering, the production of the interlocking means reveals the underlying layers of such coverings, thus requiring to mask said layers by an supplementary decorating step. For the substrate-free surface covering element according to the invention the production of the interlocking means reveals no aesthetic differences due to the fact that a substrate-free surface covering element has a uniform composition across their thickness. Therefore, no supplementary decoration is needed.
  • Furthermore, the substrate-free surface covering element according to the invention has the advantage of having no curl, or very limited curl, in spite of being resilient.
  • The resilient substrate-free surface covering according to the invention comprises at least one substrate-free surface covering element according to the invention.
  • The substrate-free surface covering may comprise, for example, a first surface covering element comprising interlocking means provided on only one surface or one edge to cooperate with the complementary interlocking means of a second surface covering element. The second surface covering element comprise thus complementary interlocking means to cooperate with the ones of the first surface covering element, but may also comprise the same interlocking means than the one of the first surface covering element.
  • The substrate-free surface covering may comprise a plurality of surface covering elements comprising first and second interlocking means, said first interlocking means being complementary to and for cooperation with said second interlocking means.

Claims (5)

  1. A resilient substrate-free surface covering element comprising plastic particles, the resilient substrate-free surface covering element being obtained from pressing together particles in the form of shreds, crumbs, chips, flakes, pebbles, granules or a mix thereof, so as to obtain a surface covering element comprising agglomerated plastic particles and having a uniform composition across its thickness,
    characterized in that
    said surface covering element comprises interlocking means to connect said resilient substrate-free surface covering element to another resilient substrate-free surface covering element, wherein the interlocking means comprise first and second interlocking means, said first interlocking means being complementary to, and for cooperation with, said second interlocking means, wherein the interlocking means form a hook and loop engagement.
  2. The resilient substrate-free surface covering element according to claim 1, wherein the interlocking means are complementary to, and for cooperation with, the interlocking means of the another resilient substrate-free surface covering element to form an interconnection junction.
  3. The resilient substrate-free surface covering element according to claims 1 or 2, wherein the hooks are provided on at least a first edge of said surface covering element and the loops on at least a second edge of said surface covering element.
  4. The resilient substrate-free surface covering element according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the interlocking means are provided on all the length of the said surface covering element.
  5. A resilient substrate-free surface covering comprising at least two resilient substrate-free surface covering elements according to any of the preceding claims.
EP12161781.5A 2012-03-28 2012-03-28 Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means Active EP2644802B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP12161781.5A EP2644802B1 (en) 2012-03-28 2012-03-28 Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
EP12161781.5A EP2644802B1 (en) 2012-03-28 2012-03-28 Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP2644802A1 EP2644802A1 (en) 2013-10-02
EP2644802B1 true EP2644802B1 (en) 2019-08-28

Family

ID=45976719

Family Applications (1)

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EP12161781.5A Active EP2644802B1 (en) 2012-03-28 2012-03-28 Substrate-free surface covering having coupling means

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Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110167744A1 (en) * 2010-01-11 2011-07-14 Mannington Mills, Inc. Floor Covering With Interlocking Design
DE202010013621U1 (en) * 2010-09-27 2011-12-28 Rampf Giessharze Gmbh & Co. Kg Plate, in particular floor tile

Family Cites Families (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3205633A (en) 1963-01-03 1965-09-14 Nusbaum Mortimer Floor or like tile
US5448865A (en) 1993-08-20 1995-09-12 Palmersten; Michael J. Panel interlocking means with stiffener
US5630304A (en) 1995-12-28 1997-05-20 Austin; John Adjustable interlock floor tile
US5791114A (en) 1997-04-02 1998-08-11 Mandel; Nigel Quick-assembly interlocking tile
SE518184C2 (en) 2000-03-31 2002-09-03 Perstorp Flooring Ab Flooring material comprising sheet-shaped floor elements which are joined by interconnection means
SE515210C2 (en) 2000-04-10 2001-06-25 Valinge Aluminium Ab A locking system for joining of floorboards and floorboards provided with such locking systems and floor formed of such floorboards
US6823638B2 (en) 2001-06-27 2004-11-30 Pergo (Europe) Ab High friction joint, and interlocking joints for forming a generally planar surface, and method of assembling the same
PT1323521E (en) 2001-12-24 2008-11-03 Forbo Giubiasco Sa Hard panel
PL1936068T3 (en) 2004-10-22 2012-07-31 Vaelinge Innovation Ab A method of providing floor panels with a mechanical locking system
EP2153967A1 (en) * 2008-08-14 2010-02-17 Tarkett France Substrate-free decorative surface covering
DE102008052774A1 (en) * 2008-10-22 2010-05-06 Nicocyl-Gmbh Method for producing floor panels made of a resilient plastic material
PL2339092T3 (en) * 2009-12-22 2019-11-29 Flooring Ind Ltd Sarl Method for producing covering panels

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110167744A1 (en) * 2010-01-11 2011-07-14 Mannington Mills, Inc. Floor Covering With Interlocking Design
DE202010013621U1 (en) * 2010-09-27 2011-12-28 Rampf Giessharze Gmbh & Co. Kg Plate, in particular floor tile

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