US20060156663A1 - Removable and relayable floor covering - Google Patents

Removable and relayable floor covering Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060156663A1
US20060156663A1 US11/036,907 US3690705A US2006156663A1 US 20060156663 A1 US20060156663 A1 US 20060156663A1 US 3690705 A US3690705 A US 3690705A US 2006156663 A1 US2006156663 A1 US 2006156663A1
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Prior art keywords
floor
layer
surface
adhesive
applying
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Abandoned
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US11/036,907
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Chen-Chi Mao
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Zaxxon USA Inc
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Zaxxon USA Inc
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Priority to US11/036,907 priority Critical patent/US20060156663A1/en
Assigned to ZAXXON USA, INC. reassignment ZAXXON USA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MAO, CHEN-CHI
Publication of US20060156663A1 publication Critical patent/US20060156663A1/en
Assigned to ZAXXON USA, LLC reassignment ZAXXON USA, LLC CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE CORPORATE DESIGNATION OF ASSIGNEE PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 016341 FRAME 0079. ASSIGNOR(S) HEREBY CONFIRMS THE THAT THE CORPORATE DESIGNATION OF ASSIGNEE SHOULD BE ZAXXON USA, LLC. Assignors: MAO, CHEN-CHI
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B3/00Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form
    • B32B3/26Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer
    • B32B3/30Layered products comprising a layer with external or internal discontinuities or unevennesses, or a layer of non-planar form ; Layered products having particular features of form characterised by a particular shape of the outline of the cross-section of a continuous layer; characterised by a layer with cavities or internal voids ; characterised by an apertured layer characterised by a layer formed with recesses or projections, e.g. hollows, grooves, protuberances, ribs
    • 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
    • E04F15/0215Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements specially adapted for being adhesively fixed to an underlayer; Fastening means therefor; Fixing by means of plastics materials hardening after application
    • 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
    • E04F15/02172Floor elements with an anti-skid main surface, other than with grooves
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/18Separately-laid insulating layers; Other additional insulating measures; Floating floors
    • E04F15/185Underlayers in the form of studded or ribbed plates
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/22Resiliently-mounted floors, e.g. sprung floors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2250/00Layers arrangement
    • B32B2250/033 layers
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/10Properties of the layers or laminate having particular acoustical properties
    • B32B2307/102Insulating
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2307/00Properties of the layers or laminate
    • B32B2307/50Properties of the layers or laminate having particular mechanical properties
    • B32B2307/554Wear resistance
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2419/00Buildings or parts thereof
    • B32B2419/04Tiles for floors or walls
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B32LAYERED PRODUCTS
    • B32BLAYERED PRODUCTS, i.e. PRODUCTS BUILT-UP OF STRATA OF FLAT OR NON-FLAT, e.g. CELLULAR OR HONEYCOMB, FORM
    • B32B2607/00Walls, panels
    • B32B2607/02Wall papers, wall coverings
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T156/00Adhesive bonding and miscellaneous chemical manufacture
    • Y10T156/10Methods of surface bonding and/or assembly therefor

Abstract

A removable interior building surface-covering section member such as a floor tile, sheet, or plank is provided that can be laid without the use of adhesives and which can be removed and relayed repeatedly. The removable floor section member has multiple layers including an upper wear layer, an intermediate cushion layer and a lower adhesive layer. The lower adhesive layer may have alternating raised and lowered channels to increase adhesion moisture conditions.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • N/A
  • STATEMENTS REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
  • NA
  • REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX
  • NA
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to removable surface coverings. In particular, this invention is a structural improvement of floor tiles, sheets, or planks, including floor tiles, sheets, and planks or sections of varying sizes and shapes and surface types including those made from polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof in desired combinations, veneers thereof in desired combinations, and laminates thereof in desired combinations. More specifically, the invention is the enabling of loose-lay application, via the addition onto the conventional floor tiles, sheets or planks, a dual backing layer comprised of a foam layer and a cured adhesive layer. This dual layer, when added onto the back of a conventional floor tile, sheet, or plank, allows the flooring to be installed directly only with a slight application of pressure, without any additional application of glue or underlayment systems. In the meantime, this dual backing layer-enhanced flooring can be removed readily from the subfloor without any glue residue or any damage done to the subfloor or to the flooring substrate. Because of this backing-enhancement, the very same flooring tile, sheet, or plank may be reinstalled again without losing the effectiveness of its original tack. The current invention thereby makes possible a loose-lay flooring that is “stick, peel, stick”, or that is self-adhesive, removeable and relayable.
  • In the need for efficiency, economy and speed in our accelerated construction industry, the surface-covering business has witnessed the challenge of escalating cost incurred by the labor, material, and time associated with installation and removal procedures. The waste of time, labor, and material is particularly evident in the flooring industry where the needs for durability and replaceability co-exist as constantly conflicting demands. For any floor to be durable and slip-resistant, it needs to be securely installed onto the earth. But the more solidly it is secured onto the earth, the harder and more costly it is to install the flooring and the harder and more costly it is to remove it and replace it with something else.
  • Prior to a conventional flooring installation, much labor, time and material is wasted in the removal of existing flooring and the recovery of the damaged subfloor to ideal conditions for the re-installation of the new floor. The removal of existing flooring causes residue of glue to be stuck on the subfloor. It also damages the subfloor itself and the old flooring substrate, yielding the old flooring material to be no longer re-useable after removal. When the removal is complete, additional labor, time and material are required to install the new floor securely onto the earth. Unnecessary environmental cost is also incurred in the wasteful discarding of the old flooring material, and in the repeated use of another new set of the cement, adhesive or underlayment system required for the new flooring.
  • So far, the surface-covering industry, in particular, the flooring industry, has seen innovations developed to increase the efficiency and reduce the cost of the conventional installation process. Self-adhesive tiles, produced with or without release paper, have been developed to eliminate the re-application of glue when installing the flooring material. Interlocking flooring systems have been developed to eliminate the application of glue altogether by making the adjacent tiles interlock through built-in features. Underlayment systems have been developed to eliminate the faulty subfloor conditions altogether and enable the new flooring to be fastened onto the underlayment systems directly instead of the subfloor. However, all of the existing developments, while being improvements, retain certain defects and create new ones in course. It is also notable that none of the existing solutions in the field make significant progress on removal segment of the use cycle.
  • Existing self-adhesive tiles in the industry make progress by way of a pressure-sensitive glue that bonds the flooring to the earth with only a slight use of pressure, and without any additional glue application on the job site. In removal, however, the self-adhesive tile damages the subfloor easily via glue residue and delaminates and destroys the substrate of the flooring material, yielding it no longer useable. The cost of renovation and upkeep is thereby increased significantly.
  • The existing solution of Interlocking flooring systems, especially those commonly found in laminates, create the defects of its own. After installation, the interlocked floor becomes a unitary and leveled surface that is locked in place against the seams of each tile or plank. As a result, an interlocked floor installed wall-to-wall cannot tolerate the contraction and expansion of each of the plank or tile. Over time, a severe campering problem inevitably results. In addition, interlocked flooring also suffers from an increased level of noise pollution due to the noticeable space left to echo traffic sounds between the subfloor and the interlocked floor. In removal, the interlocked flooring solutions create extra environmental burdens and incur more material and labor cost since a significant portion of it must be destroyed in order for the entire floor to be removed.
  • There have been floating floors developed with interconnected panels or sections to form a single unitary floor that can contract and expand as a unit. This typically requires that there be a space between the periphery of the unit and the walls of a room. The interconnected panels may be tongue and groove and glued. The interconnected panel may utilize a self locking joint that does not require the use of glue. However, such types of flooring are not ideal in aesthetics due to the gaps between the floor and the walls of the room. Their floating nature also make them limited and suitable for only temporary usages.
  • Underlayment systems, pre-glued or not, are also limited in their benefits. While eliminating the need for subfloor preparation by acting as a medium between the new flooring material and the subfloor, underlayment systems are in and of itself a complicated assembly. It is costly to produce, cumbersome and complicated to install. The extra labor in applying fasteners, stables, and or other forms of structural support elements to hold the flooring in place actually end up creating additional cost in the installation process. For most underlayment systems, specialized tools are also needed in the installation.
  • Aside from the limitations mentioned above, all of the existing solutions in the market create extra environmental burdens in the installation and removal procedures (i.e. the material waste as a by-product, the messy clean-up process, and the inability to recycle the used flooring after it is removed).
  • There remains, therefore, a need for a flooring solution that is durable and slip-resistant against foot traffic in its adhesion on the subfloor, but that can be installed and removed readily without additional investment in time, labor, cost, tools or energy. There remains also a need for a flooring solution with a 100% clean removeability (will not damage the subfloor, leave any glue residue, nor become delaminated or damaged in its removal) and that retains all of its beneficial features and original adhesion tack in place so that it can be repositioned or reused after repeated installations and removals. It is also likewise advantageous and desirable to provide a method of flooring installation and replacement that is efficient and clean without the burden of glue residue removal and the creation of material waste in course.
  • Similarly, it is desirous to provide a moisture release enhancement as an additional feature in the flooring to minimize the dirt and grime collection in and under the tile seams and to release the pressure built-up due to moisture in the subfloor.
  • Additionally, it is desirous to provide a method of floor adhesion that is not “tacky” or “sticky” to the touch, does not leave a glue residue, is slip resistant and suitable for both permanent and temporary tile installations.
  • At last, it is desirous to provide a solution in flooring that can be installed, removed, and re-installed with a Do-It-Yourself “Stick, Peel, Stick” ease so the flooring can be transferred intact from one place to another by an untrained person, much like a piece of furniture.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,623,840 discloses a rubber-surfaced protective flooring tile and method of manufacturing the same which provides a covering over hard floor surfaces. The tile consists of two layers. The top has a bottom surface which has voids which extend from the bottom surface towards the top surface. The bottom layer is of granulated rubber and has a prepolymer material that binds to the voids in the top layer during the manufacture of the tile. The rubber tile provides cushion on hard surfaces to minimize injury in playgrounds, factory floors, fitness rooms, and physical therapy facilities.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,129,967 discloses a system for securing brittle ceramic tiles to the sub-floor without a supporting adhesive substrate. A liner is used to provide structural support and an energy absorbent layer is present which allows for the tile to withstand greater forces of abrasion without breaking. The liner is adhered to the sub-floor and the tiles are placed inside and are anchored to the liner and an impact resistant ceramic layer.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,694,689 discloses a modular flooring system which utilizes a free-lay support baseplate. Replaceable wear surface tiles fit within the baseplate. The baseplate allows for the maintenance of a level floor surface when placed over a preexisting worn floor and for the removal and replacement of flooring within the baseplate superstructure. The composite baseplate structure permits independent temporary displacement of each of the tiles.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,654,244 discloses a loose-lay and adhered to floor structure comprised of two layers of reinforced material suitable for use over stable and unstable sub-floors. The rigidity in the flooring is achieved by two layers of reinforced material sandwiching a cushion layer. Surface layers are placed on the outside of the reinforced layers. This reinforcement is designed to prevent buckling, curling and doming under a rolled load. As an alternative, the reinforcing layer may be pre-modified such that, when used to provide a surface covering the covering will have acceptable buckling characteristics.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,751,917 discloses a floor tile structure without an adhesive coating at the bottom. Each tiles surface layer and bottom layer are attached respectively on the upper and the lower surfaces of the soft double sided adhesive tape with pressure sensitivity. The surface layer is possibly made of rock, metal, or other hard material and the periphery is a smooth cross-section. Tiles are joined by placing the adhesive on the middle protruding convex layer of one tile onto the convex edge of the adjoining one and bonding the two together in the middle, leaving no need for bottom adhesion.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,751,912 discloses a modular interlocking tile and flooring system. Each tile is adapted to be coupled to another interlocking tile. Each tile includes a body having a playing surface and two male and two female interlocking sides. The interlocking mechanism is adapted to allow the modular interlocking tiles to connect together in a staggered fashion.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,802,159 discloses a roll-up tile system. Individual tiles lock together in a manner to form a plurality of non-bendable tile joints. The tile includes a hinge or fold line along a second axis. The hinges allow the multi-tile surface to be rolled up into a hollow tube from any direction along one of the axes. The rolled up floor panel consists of a plurality of tile panels.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,769,217 discloses an interconnecting disengageable flooring system. The system includes two or more flooring panels comprised of a top wear surface and a bottom surface for contact with the support structure. The panels have at least three edges and all edges have recesses formed therein. The system also comprises a connector having a base and a projection extending vertically from the base. The projection extending from the base is shaped to be received in a disengageable vertical connected fashion into the recesses of the panels.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,803,099 discloses a self-adhering surface covering having a wear surface and a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer on the lower surface of the wear surface and a barrier layer disposed on the adhesive layer. The surface covering has substantially no tack at about 10 psi at 140 degrees F. but has tack at about 20 psi at 75 degrees F. An adhesive which is substantially non-stringing may also be employed in the adhesive layer. The barrier layer includes substantially non-adhesive particles which have a crash resistance of at least about 10 psi while disposed on the adhesive layer. The method of making the self-adhering surface covering includes applying an adhesive to a substrate to form an adhesive layer having an adhesive surface, and applying a barrier layer comprising substantially non-adhesive particles to the adhesive surface to form the surface covering. The particles have a crush resistance of at least about 10 psi while disposed on the adhesive layer.
  • U.S. published patent application No. 20040129365 discloses a preglued underlayment assembly for a floor covering system having a substantially rigid underlayment. The underlayment has an upper and a lower surface and a pressure sensitive adhesive layer disposed on the upper surface and a release layer disposed on the adhesive layer.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is a structural improvement of a removable and relayable surface covering, preferably flooring, including but not limited to floor tiles, sheets, and planks or sections of varying sizes and shapes and surface types including those made from polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other homogeneous or heterogeneous resilient materials, in-laid floors, cushioned floors, carpet, stones, ceramics, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof in desired combinations, veneers thereof in desired combinations, and laminates thereof in desired combinations. The present invention makes such a structural improvement possible via the addition of an innovative backing layer onto any such flooring types. The backing layer may come in at least two varieties: without moisture-release channels and with moisture-release channels.
  • The structure of this backing without moisture-release channels to be affixed onto any variety of floor-covering tile, sheet, or planks is comprised of two layers. The top layer, which is adhered onto the conventional floor tile, sheet, or planks via any conventional glue used in flooring is composed of a soft, resilient, or foam material about 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm in thickness. The bottom layer of this backing, or the side that faces the earth in installation, is composed of any type of curable adhesive that has undergone curing or cross-linked process.
  • The soft, resilient, cushioned or foam material of the present invention can be any conventional foam layer used in surface covering, such as a foam layer used in flooring. In particular, the foam layer can be any suitable material known in the art for producing foam layers such as chemical blown polyvinyl chloride plastisols/organosols, acrylics, polyurethane foams, froth foams such as polyvinyl chloride plastisol, acrylics, melt processed foams such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, metallocene polyolefin's, elastomeric polyolefin copolymers. Additionally, any soft, resilient or cushioned material which are non-foamed may also be employed. The method of foaming via blowing agents and the specification of soft, cushioned or foam material required for the use in flooring is well-known in the art.
  • Various curable adhesives are known and can be utilized in the present invention. There is no specific limitations to the chemistry or composition of the adhesive, as long as the adhesive is curable and provided sufficient adhesion and slip resistance and can be removed and relayed. A common variety would be rubber-type adhesives, PVC-type adhesives, acrylic adhesives, e-beam curable acrylic adhesives, vinyl acetate-type adhesives, urethane-type adhesives, and combinations thereof. The curable adhesive, after the curing process, may be applied onto the foam layer by a conventional coating apparatus such as a reverse roll coater, a forward roll coater, a doctor blade, an air knife, or other similar apparatus. The thickness of the adhesive may be conventionally determined. In view of adhesion strength and economy, the adhesive layer is typically around 0.1 mm in thickness but can be less or more depending on the adhesive employed.
  • When this dual backing comprised of the foam layer and the curable adhesive is affixed onto a conventional floor tile, sheet, or plank made of any material composition, the floor is made into a loose-lay flooring system with the ease of “stick-peel-stick” features as mentioned above.
  • Additional features of this current invention is that the embedded foam layer increases the tile's evenly distributed contact with the sub-floor and thereby increases the leveling adhesion of the tile onto the floor. The foam layer also makes the floor more comfortable and warm to walk on, being more shock-absorbent and acoustically sound.
  • The curable adhesive, in the meantime, has the additional feature of being non-stringing and non-sticky to the touch before installation and after removal. All of its original tack remains in place after the flooring removal and even more significantly, after the removed flooring is cleaned with water or a damp cloth.
  • The backing structure with moisture-release channels remains the same as the version without the moisture-release channels except that the soft, resilient, cushion or foam layer is molded with regular intervals of indented and protruded channels. This interval layer overrides a layer of cured adhesive. Strips of protruding and indented foam channels with cured adhesive follow and allow for moisture release. They also reinforce the surface tension of the tile's adhesion onto the subfloor and make the flooring only removeable from the sub-floor surface with a pull parallel to the vertical structural lining on the foam backing layer, but un-removeable when pulled with a horizontal or diagonal pull force.
  • By this construction each tile, sheet, or plank of any variety of flooring material as listed above is capable of being installed by a loose lay application which requires no glue, release paper, underlayment systems, interlocking mechanisms and with manual and clean removeability that allows the transferals and repositioning of such a floor with all of its original tack and features in place. The vertical lines of the cushion layer on the backing resist horizontal or diagonal pull force of tile removal from floor creating a 100% recyclable, slip resistant loose lay tile.
  • More specific features and advantages will become apparent with reference to the DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION, appended claims, and the accompanying drawing figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a polyvinyl chloride floor tile without moisture-release channels according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a polyvinyl chloride floor tile without moisture-release channels according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a polyvinyl chloride floor tile with moisture-release channels according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a polyvinyl chloride floor tile with moisture-release channels according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart of the production process for the invention onto a vinyl tile.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • As previously stated, conventional flooring is traditionally installed on sub-floors by either pre-glue or glue applications, interlocking mechanisms, or underlayment systems. This invention is an improved method upon removeable and relayable flooring as well as other advantages that will be more fully discussed below.
  • Floor section member 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 represents one section of a floor system that may take the form of a vinyl tile or other flooring material types including but not limited to from polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof in desired combinations, veneers thereof in desired combinations, and laminates thereof in desired combinations The embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 describe a section without moisture-releasing channels. Floor section member 10 is a self-adhesive, loose-lay installed floor surface covering which may have multiple layers: an upper wear surface 11 which is seen. An internal adhesive layer 12 secures the surface layer to a cushion material layer 13. Another internal adhesive layer 14 is provided by the backing coating of cured adhesive 14. The surface layer 11 in FIG. 1 and 2 may be made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or other suitable surface material. The present invention is applicable to other surface layers of a variety of materials, including polymeric resins, rubber, linoleum, reinforced resin, in-aid floors, all resilient flooring, carpet, stone, ceramic, wood, wood parquet, composites, veneers, and laminates or combinations thereof. The surface layer can be of varying width, thickness, density and edge shape design, color, pattern, chemistry, or composition dependent on the specific material of which the surface layer is made.
  • The surface layer 11 is adhered to the thin cushioned backing of cushion material layer 13 by an adhesive layer 12. Surface layer 11 is defined by its upper surface 11 a, the uppermost surface of tile, and its lower surface 11 b, the bottommost surface of layer 11. Internal adhesive layer 12 adheres surface 11 b to surface 13 a which is the uppermost surface of cushion layer 13. Cushion material layer 13 is defined by its upper surface 13 a and lower surface 13 b. Surface 13 b adheres to a backing coating of cured adhesive like material 14. Layer 14 is defined by its upper surface 14 a and lower 14 b. Layer 14 is the bottommost layer of sample floor section member 10 with a lower surface 14 b.
  • The surface layer 11 is any type of flooring material which may include but is not limited to polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof in desired combinations, veneers thereof in desired combinations, and laminates thereof in desired combinations thereof. The cushion material layer 13 may be comprised of a variety of soft material layer including but not limited to foamable material in particular, the foam layer can be any suitable material known in the art for producing foam layers such as chemical blown polyvinyl chloride plastisols/organosols, acrylics, rubber foams, polyurethane foams, froth foams such as polyvinyl chloride plastisol, acrylics, melt processed foams such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, metallocene polyolefins, elastomeric polyolefin copolymers. Additionally, any soft, resilient or cushioned material which are foamed or non-foamed may also be employed. The thickness of the cushion material layer is about 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm. The soft cushioned layer 13 increases the tile's evenly distributed contact with the sub-floor, and thereby increases the leveling adhesion of the tile onto the floor. It also enhances the acoustic absorption of the floor while making the floor more comfortable to walk on and more shock-absorbent.
  • The bottom layer 14 is a coating of cured-adhesive that adheres onto the sub-surface with very slight pressure and allows removal and repositioning with its original tack in place without glue residue or delaminating the substrate. The cured-adhesive that comprises layer 14 may be made of any adhesive that is curable, including rubber-type adhesives, PVC-type adhesives, acrylic adhesives, e-beam curable acrylic adhesives, vinyl acetate-type adhesives, urethane-type adhesives, and combinations thereof. The bottom layer must provide sufficient adhesive properties to maintain the floor section member in place during use. It should also be releasable so the floor section member can be removed and relayed repeatedly.
  • A common adhesive is made of modified acrylate, with viscosity of 3000-5000 cps/25 degrees Celsius, with density of 1.0-1.1 g/cm 3, with curing speed greater than 10 M/min/Lamp (80 Wcm-1) with 80% of active component. The coating method for this adhesive can be either a reverse roll coater, a forward roll coater, a doctor blade, an air knife, or other similar coating apparatus.
  • The criteria for the lower adhesive layer applied on the foam layer and exposed to the subfloor would be any curable adhesive which: (1) has undergone curing or cross-linked processing; (2) has initial tack that's sufficient to bond or hold the particles to the adhesive surface and maintain the back layer in contact with the subfloor, (3) be non-stringing and relatively resistant to penetration or compression of particles, (4) about 1 to 2 mil but can be less than 1 mil or greater than 2 mils depending on the adhesive used; (5) retains strong adhesion on subfloor when flooring is pulled vertically upwards.
  • The foam layer may have about 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm thickness but could vary depending on the foam material used. The curable adhesive thickness can be conventionally determined, typically between 0.01 mm to 0.3 mm, but preferably lower than a thickness of 0.1 mm.
  • Another embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 is the floor section member 20 which represents a tile with the present invention with moisture-releasing channels. Floor section member 20 has multiple layers: A surface layer 21 is the uppermost layer that is seen and is the contact and wear surface. An internal adhesive layer 22 is adhered to the lower surface 21 a. A cushion material layer 23 is positioned below the wear surface layer 22. The lowermost layer includes the raised and lower alternation molding channels in regular intervals. Layer 24 may be a curable adhesive layer that functions as the glue that holds the floor section member in place and allows it to be removed and relayed. The layer 24 is preferably pressure-sensitive and may be made of rubber-type adhesives, acrylic adhesives, including e-beam curable acrylic adhesives, vinyl acetate-type adhesives, urethane-type adhesives, and combinations thereof, or any other adhesives commonly used that can be curable. Layer 24 is comprised of alternating raised and lowered protruding channels members 27 and indented channels 26.
  • Surface layer 21 in FIGS. 3 and 4 may be made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), however, the present invention can be applied tinder a surface layer of a variety of materials including but not limited to polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof in desired combinations, veneers thereof in desired combinations, and laminates thereof in desired combinations. The surface layer can be of varying width, thickness, density and edge shape design, color, chemistry, or composition, dependent on the specific material of which the surface layer is made.
  • Surface layer 21 is adhered to the cushion material layer 23 by the internal adhesive layer 22. Surface layer 21 is defined by its upper surface 21 a which is the uppermost contact and wear surface of sample tile 20 and its bottom surface 21 b. Internal adhesive layer 22 adheres to surface 21 b and surface 23 a which is the uppermost surface of cushion layer 23. Cushion layer 23 is comprised of a variety of ethylene vinyl acetate foam, polyethylene foam, rubber foam, polyvinyl foam or any other soft, cushioned, resilient foam material. The thickness of the cushion material layer is 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm. The soft cushioned layer 23 increases the floor section member's evenly distributed contact with the sub-floor, and thereby increases the leveling adhesion of the floor section member onto the floor.
  • Layer 23 is defined by its upper surface 23 a and lower surface 23 b. Molding layer 24 may be comprised of a curable adhesive layer 25 that is adhered or glued to the bottommost surface 23 b of cushion layer 23. Layer 24, the bottommost layer of floor section member 20 may comprise a plurality of vertical protruding channels 26 alternated with adjacent vertical indented channels 27. As shown in FIG. 3 which is a bottom view of the floor section member 20, channels 26 and 27 extend parallel to each other for the length and width of the floor section member.
  • Molding layer 24 molds to the sub-floor upon which it is laid and reinforces the surface tension of the tile's adhesion on the sub-floor. Such molding resists horizontal and diagonal pull forces and movement on the sub-floor. The floor section member can only be removed from the floor with a pull parallel to the vertical structural lining oil the foam backing-layer 23 because of air channels on the grids. The floor section member remains intact and cannot be easily displaced with a horizontal or diagonal pull. The moisture releasing channel layer 24 allows water to evaporate from its point of contact with the sub-floor. Allowing for such evaporation helps to maintain the floor section member's adhesion to the sub-floor and to maintain the aesthetic value of the floor section member. Moisture in the floor section member collects unwanted particles soiling the floor section member and distressing the point of contact of layer 24 with the sub-floor.
  • FIG. 5 is a flowchart of a typical production process for a floor section member in the form of a vinyl tile. The production process follows generally conventional means of tile manufacturing either via extrusion, calendar or heat pressure lamination. With reference to schematic 41, the process may begin with a top layer that may be a polyvinyl film that may be design printed. The polyvinyl chloride tile is then extruded into the tile by heat lamination and the process shown in schematic 42. The process referenced in schematic 42 begins with a polyvinyl chloride compound mixed with calcium carbonate and processed via a bumberly and extruded into the tile by a crushing machine. The tile surface may then be embossed, cooled, and annealed. Glue may then be applied to the tile back.
  • The foam layer, the first layer of the current invention is then combined to the tile material described above. Schematic 43 shows the process for incorporation of the foam layer. Schematic 43 begins with a foamable material compound processed via a bumberly, extruded, and cut to fit the tile material already produced.
  • As referenced in schematic 41, after the foam layer is adhered onto the tile's backing and formed, the back surface of the tile is smoothed, and an optional ultraviolet coating may be added. The tile is then dried with ultraviolet lighting. The cured adhesive is then applied onto the foam layer and followed by drying with ultraviolet lighting. The production process is then complete, and the tile is ready for packing.
  • It is believed that the primary use of the invention would be with standard flooring. However, it also has application in analogous environment that call for the properties of the preferred embodiments. Flooring is used as a covering on surfaces other than floors.
  • Although the foregoing specific details describe various embodiments of the invention, persons reasonably skilled in the art will recognize that various changes may be made in the details of the apparatus of this invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Therefore, it should be understood that, unless otherwise specified, this invention is not to be limited to the specific details shown and described herein.

Claims (16)

1. A self-adhesive, loose-lay installed floor surface covering comprising;
an upper wear surface layer;
a cushioned backing adhered to the upper wear surface layer to increase the surface covering's evenly distributed contact with a sub-floor, and thereby increase the leveling adhesion of the tile onto the sub-floor; and
a cured adhesive applied onto the cushioned backing's lower surface that adheres to a sub-floor to hold the floor in place during use and that adheres onto a surface with very slight pressure on its own and that allows removal and repositioning with its original tack in place, without additional glue residue, damage done to the subfloor or delaminating of the substrate so that it can be removed and relayed repeatedly.
2. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the upper surface may be comprised of floor tile, sheet, or plank material types including those made from polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites, veneers, and laminates and polymeric resins
3. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the cushioned backing may be comprised of a soft material layer including foamable material such as chemically blown polyvinyl chloride plastisols/organosols, acrylics, polyurethane foams, rubber foams, froth foams such as polyvinyl chloride plastisol, acrylics, melt processed foams such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, metallocene polyolefins, elastomeric polyolefin copolymers.
4. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the lower surface may comprise a curable or cross-linked adhesive material made of PVC-type adhesives, rubber-type adhesives, acrylic adhesives, including e-beam curable acrylic adhesives, vinyl acetate-type adhesives, urethane-type adhesives, and combinations thereof.
5. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the lower adhesive layer has moisture release grid channels onto the backing layer to enhance its adhesion to a sub-floor and provide moisture-release enhancement.
6. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the lower adhesive layer includes vertical indentations and protrusions to reinforce the surface tension of the floor surface covering's adhesion on the sub-floor.
7. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the lower adhesive layer comprises a self-adhesive surface covering that can be removed from a subflooring surface with a pull parallel to the vertical structural lining on the foam backing layer because of the air channels on the grids and which stays intact and is not easily displaced with a horizontal or diagonal pull force.
8. The floor surface covering of claim 1 wherein the flooring can be removed and cleaned with water and still retain its original tack for repositionability and reinstallation.
9. A method of forming a self-adhesive, loose-lay installed floor surface covering comprising the steps of;
applying a cushioned backing adhered to an upper wear surface to increase the surface covering's evenly distributed contact with a sub-floor, and thereby increase the leveling adhesion of the tile onto the floor; and
applying a cured adhesive onto the thin cushioned backing to increase the surface tension of the floor adhesion and hold it in place during use and that adheres onto a surface with very slight pressure and that allows repositioning with its original tack in place, without additional glue residue or delaminating of the substrate so that it can be removed and relayed repeatedly.
10. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the cushion backing includes applying it to the lower surface of floor tiles, sheets, and planks or sections of varying sizes and shapes and surface types including those made from polyvinyl chloride, rubber, linoleum, polymeric resins, reinforced resins, vinyl composite, or other resilient materials, carpet, stones, ceramic, metals, glass, textiles, wood, composites thereof, veneers thereof, and laminates thereof.
11. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the cushion backing includes applying a cushion backing comprised of soft material layer including foamable material.
12. The method of claim 11 wherein the step of applying the cushion backing includes applying chemical blown polyvinyl chloride plastisols/organosols, acrylics, rubber foams, polyurethane foams, froth foams such as polyvinyl chloride plastisol, acrylics, melt processed foams such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, ethylene vinyl acetate, metallocene polyolefins, or elastomeric polyolefin copolymers.
13. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the lower surface comprises applying a curable or cross-linked adhesive material made of PVC-type adhesives, rubber-type adhesives, acrylic adhesives, including e-beam curable acrylic adhesives, vinyl acetate-type adhesives, urethane-type adhesives, and combinations thereof.
14. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the lower surface comprises applying a lower adhesive layer that has moisture release grid channels onto the backing layer to enhance its adhesion to a sub-floor and provide moisture-release enhancement.
15. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the lower surface comprises applying a lower layer that includes vertical indentations and protrusions to reinforce the surface tension of the floor surface covering's adhesion on the sub-floor.
16. The method of claim 9 including the step of applying the lower surface comprises applying a self-adhesive surface covering that can be removed from the surface with a pull parallel to the vertical structural lining on the foam backing layer because of the air channels on the grids and which stays intact and is not easily displaced with a horizontal or diagonal pull force.
US11/036,907 2005-01-14 2005-01-14 Removable and relayable floor covering Abandoned US20060156663A1 (en)

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US11/036,907 US20060156663A1 (en) 2005-01-14 2005-01-14 Removable and relayable floor covering
EP06718179A EP1836362A2 (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Removable and relayable floor covering
AU2006204972A AU2006204972A1 (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Removable and relayable floor covering
JP2007552447A JP2008509308A (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Floor finishing material that can be removed and rearranged, and manufacturing method thereof
PCT/US2006/001072 WO2006076487A2 (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Removable and relayable floor covering
CNA2006800008223A CN101052772A (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Removable and relayable floor covering
KR1020077008149A KR20070062992A (en) 2005-01-14 2006-01-12 Removable and relayable floor covering
US11/470,845 US20080010930A1 (en) 2005-01-14 2006-09-07 Removable and relayable floor covering

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KR20070062992A (en) 2007-06-18
EP1836362A2 (en) 2007-09-26
JP2008509308A (en) 2008-03-27
WO2006076487A3 (en) 2007-10-18
US20080010930A1 (en) 2008-01-17
WO2006076487A2 (en) 2006-07-20
AU2006204972A1 (en) 2006-07-20
CN101052772A (en) 2007-10-10

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