WO1993021014A1 - Direct-to-helmet vacuum forming process for helmet decorating - Google Patents

Direct-to-helmet vacuum forming process for helmet decorating Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1993021014A1
WO1993021014A1 PCT/US1992/006907 US9206907W WO9321014A1 WO 1993021014 A1 WO1993021014 A1 WO 1993021014A1 US 9206907 W US9206907 W US 9206907W WO 9321014 A1 WO9321014 A1 WO 9321014A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
helmet
vacuum
plastic
invention
forming
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1992/006907
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Waylin Carpenter
Wes Carpenter
Tina Carpenter
Original Assignee
Waylin Carpenter
Wes Carpenter
Tina Carpenter
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42BHATS; HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42B3/00Helmets; Helmet covers; Other protective head coverings
    • A42B3/04Parts, details or accessories of helmets
    • A42B3/06Impact-absorbing shells, e.g. of crash helmets
    • A42B3/061External coatings, e.g. with light reflective material
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A42HEADWEAR
    • A42CMANUFACTURING OR TRIMMING HATS OR OTHER HEAD COVERINGS
    • A42C2/00Manufacturing helmets by processes not otherwise provided for
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C51/00Shaping by thermoforming, i.e. shaping sheets or sheet like preforms after heating, e.g. shaping sheets in matched moulds or by deep-drawing; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C51/16Lining or labelling
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C51/00Shaping by thermoforming, i.e. shaping sheets or sheet like preforms after heating, e.g. shaping sheets in matched moulds or by deep-drawing; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C51/10Forming by pressure difference, e.g. vacuum
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE, IN GENERAL
    • B29LINDEXING SCHEME ASSOCIATED WITH SUBCLASS B29C, RELATING TO PARTICULAR ARTICLES
    • B29L2031/00Other particular articles
    • B29L2031/722Decorative or ornamental articles

Abstract

A decorative design (26) is screen printed onto plastic sheeting (24), then directly adhered to a motorcycle helmet's outer surface (18) by an existing method known as vacuum-forming, thereby creating a new process of helmet decorating.

Description

PATENT APPLICATION

FOR

DIRECT-TO-HELMET VACUUM FORMING

PROCESS FOR HELMET DECORATING

BACKGROUND - FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to motorcycle helmets, specifically a heretofore untried method of decorating motorcycle helmets with vacuum-formable plastics.

BACKGROUND - DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART

Vacuum-forming as a process was first introduced many years ago. It is the process by which one takes a mold, then brings a heated plastic sheet over the mold, sealing the plastic sheet around the edges. A vacuum pump then sucks the air out and forms the plastic to the mold, duplicating its shape. Existing uses for vacuum-forming include the manufacturing of automotive and motorcycle parts, plastic swimming pools, and cosmetic display units.

Decorative ornamentation of helmets has been a part of world culture since the time of the ancient Romans. Methods for helmet decoration have since included: hand painting, using a brush and enamel, acrylic or oil based paints; air brush graphics using a hand held air brush and acrylic enamel or lacquer paint; decals, adhering by adhesive a thin plastic film to the object; spray painting with air pressure guns using enamel or lacquer paint. These methods are deemed largely as inefficient, time consuming and expensive, thereby limiting their application mostly to custom orders and small productions. The inefficiency of these methods has led to a limited variety of motorcycle helmet decorations, and some of the liveliest of the current designs can be attributed to vinyl taping and adhesive decal processes.

While vacuum-forming is a popular process in the field of decorative active-sporting helmets, particularly what is commonly known as the "bicycle helmet", it is important to note that the process commonly employs the use of a separate mold, thus making the vacuum-forming method for motorcycle helmets difficult, if not impossible, because of their shape, design, and venting. The process and method of vacuum-forming plastics directly onto motorcycle helmets, without using a separate mold, is solely the applicant's invention. Use of this method makes for a smoother, more solidly bonded decorative cover, eliminating steps, man hours, and the need for molds and mold-making equipment. The final step of installing a molded plastic cover to a helmet with tools and additional materials is replaced with a faster, easier, cleaner, and more functional process, resulting in a more eye-pleasing product.

In considering prior patents and their relevance to invention, U.S. Patent #447,282 refers to a process for a veneer press to glue panels together with a thin layer of adhesive between the surfaces. This adhesive is, of course, an extra, somewhat messy step in adhering the plastic and helmet surfaces together, and does not involve vacuum-forming. U.S. Patent #2,419,758 is for the transparent coating of frangible articles, specifically the translucent coating of globes used with lights to make them more resistant to the shattering caused by shock during the firing of guns on ships, such a fragile orb could not, certainly, endure the process of the invention, and, indeed does not employ said method. U.S. Patent #2,335,139 is specifically for the mold forming of rubber articles, with the object being to avoid glues and disguise seaming. This is not part of the vacuum-forming process. U.S. Patent #4,644,630 refers to heat-shrinking a thin wrap of plastic onto a baseball bat for a metallic veneer. While the wrapping is used in a heat tunnel, the process involves pre-welding. Also, a different type of machine is used for the more global helmet, predicating the current use of molds on the vacuum-forming of helmet decorations. U.S. Patent #5,034.077 is for the vacuum-forming of plastics onto auto panelling. The process here involves clamping, plural staging and a different type of machine. This process for auto-panelling is primarily to eliminate surface defects. U.S. Patent #4,824,506, although similar in process is merely for protecting already thermo-formed films, thus does not require the meticulous stretching of unaltered (in appearance) plastic surfaces 200% over a 12" surface. Again, this invention is unique to motorcycle helmets. U.S. Patent #4,698,258 bonds fiberglass webbing by using a resinous composition, with the heat being used to fuse the webbing and resin. This process is particular to floor tile, layered surfaces, and decorations that employ chemical embossing. U.S. Patent #4,838,973 also refers to the use of adhesives to decorate auto-body parts. U.S. Patent #4,769,100 is similar to the aforementioned patents' process, but without the use of adhesives for automobile parts. Here, the object is to use pre-painted carer films without the pre-painted decorative process, and to eliminate surface defects.

The invention involves craft methods, such as stretching and applying plastics, that are particular to the artisan in decorating motorcycle helmets. The person skilled in the art would greatly improve his business and product with the invention. OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the invention are:

* Smoother, more solidly bonded surface.

* Elimination of steps, materials and man hours.

* Faster production of decorated motorcycle helmets.

* Saving of time, money, and manpower.

* An easier, cleaner process.

* More elaborate designs at a lower cost.

Further objects of invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

DRAWING FIGURES

In the drawings, separate figures use the same numerical suffixes.

* FIG 1 is of a motorcycle half-helmet

* FIG 2 is of a motorcycle 3/4 helmet

* FIG 3 is of a motorcycle full-faced helmet

* FIG 4 is of a vacuum-formable sheet of plastic

decorated with silk-screen graphics.

* FIG 5 is of a motorcycle helmet, a helmet stand

(mandrel) and a vacuum form machine base.

* FIG 6 is of a helmet on a stand in the machine, with a heater heating the plastic, which is in a vacuum form machine frame.

* FIG 7 is of the heated plastic drawn over the helmet.

* FIG 8 is of vacuum being applied to the space between the helmet and heated plastic.

* FIG 9 is of the decorated plastic formed to the helmet and removed from the machine.

* FIG 10 is of excess plastic trimmed away from the

helmet.

* FIG 11 is of the completed, decorated helmet.

* FIG 12 is of a completed helmet with visor attached. DRAWING FIGURES

IN THE FOLLOWING DRAWINGS, SEPERATE FIGURES

USE THE SAME NUMERICAL SUFFIXES

FIG (1) IS OF A HALF HELMET

FIG (2) IS OF A OPEN FACE HELMET

FIG (3) IS OF A FULL COVERAGE HELMET

FIG (4) is of a vacuum formable sheet of plastic decorated with Screen printed graphics

FIG (5) is of a helmet being placed on a stand or mandrel, on the vacuum machine base

FIG (6) is of a helmet on a stand on the base of the machine, with a heater heating the

plastic in the machine's upper frame

FIG (7) is of the heated plastic drawn down

over the helmet forming an air tight seal

around the sides

FIG (8) is of the vacuum being applied to

the space between the helmet and plastic,

bonding the plastic to the helmet

FIG (9) is of the decorated plastic formed

to the helmet and removed from the machine

FIG (10) is of the excess plastic trimed away from the helmet

FIG (11) is of the decorated helmet fully assembled

FIG (12) is of a completed helmet with

visor attached NUMERICAL REFERENCE CHART

(10) SNAPS

(12) TRIM

(14) PADDING

(16) WINDSCREEN

(18) HELMET SHELL

(20) HOLE

(22) RIM

(24) PLASTIC SHEET

(26) GRAPHICS

(28) HELMET

(30) HELMET STAND

(32) VACUUM MACHINE BASE

(34) HEAT ELEMENTS

(36) HEAT

(38) PLASTIC HOLDING FRAME

(40) HELMET ON STAND

(42) HEATED PLASTIC DRAWN

OVER HELMET

(44) PLASTIC FORMED ONTO HELMET

(46) VACUUM LINE

(48) FORMED PLASTIC ON HELMET

(50) EXCESS PLASTIC

(52) PLASTIC BONDED TO HELMET

(54) FINISHED HELMET

(56) VISOR

(58) RIVETS

(60) HALF-HELMET

(62) OPEN FACE-HELMET

(64) FULL COVERAGE HELMET

(66) SCISSORS PATENT APPLICATION CONTINUED

SUMMARY

A decorative design is screen printed onto plastic, then directly adhered to a motorcycle helmet's outer surface by the method known as vacuum-forming, thereby eliminating or by-passing existing methods of helmet surface decoration. Accordingly, the reader will see that the invention is of tremendous value to the industry of motorcycle helmet decorations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an application of direct vacuum-forming of plastics for decorative purposes onto motorcycle helmets. Motorcycle helmet styles include: the half-helmet - "cop" or "chips" helmet, the 3/4 helmet, or "open-faced" helmets, and the full faced helmet. Said helmets are to be decorated with an unlimited variety of colors and designs.

Briefly, the preferred embodiment of present invention comprises one or all of the aforementioned helmet styles, having side snaps, and outer trim removed or unassembled until completion of decorative process. Using a .005 to .125 inch thickness of vacuum-formable plastic sheeting, approximately 24" by 30", the sheet is screen printed with industry standard, vacuum-formable inks, in an unlimited variety of colors, and designs. The helmet is placed on a mandrel or stand in the vacuum machine, where upon the plastic is placed in the machine's upper frame, and heated to a temperature of approximately 250-350 degrees fahrenheit. The plastic is then vacuum-formed directly onto the helmets' outer shell surface, eliminating the existing helmet decorating process of using metal molds in the vacuum-forming process of helmet decoration. The helmet may be just a shell or partcially assembled with foam padding inserted. Outside snaps, rim trimming, chin straps, and windscreens must be added to helmet after process is completed. DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED PROCESS OF OPERATION

Referring to FIG.4, a 24" by 30" sheet of vacuum-formable plastic has been silk screened with an industry standard, vacuum-formable ink. Some examples of vacuum-formable plastics are: Polymethyl-Methacrylate, Polythene, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, ABS, Polyvinyl, Cellulose Nitrate, Aceto-Butyrate, and Polycarbonate, some examples of vacuum-formable inks include: Naz-Dar Plastivac, Naz-Dar All Purpose, Ink Dezyne Multi-Purpose, Color-Mix "HG" Series, and Manoukian Evolution.

The plastic is of .030 thickness and stretchable to 250% its normal size. The plastic is ready to be vacuum-formed onto the helmet. Referring to FIG.5, a motorcycle helmet is then put upon a mandrel or stand, which is on a vacuum machine base. FIG.6, shows the vacuum machine frame, which is holding the plastic above the helmet. Heating the plastic from above so that it may stretch over the helmet, which is on the mandrel, is a heater. Notice that the helmet is the mold. With the plastic heated and pliable, (see FIG.7), it is lowered and drawn over the helmet, stretching to 250% its normal size. With the plastic stretched and fitted over the helmet, the excess air is then vacuum-pumped from between the helmet and the plastic through a vacuum line (FIG.8), adhering the plastic to the helmet. The helmet, with the plastic vacuum-formed onto it, is now removed from the machine (See FIG.9). This process does not require allotted cooling times. The excess plastic is now ready to be trimmed from the helmet using standard cutting scissors or other mechanical cutters. FIG.10, the helmet, now decorated, is ready to be fully assembled. Using a knock on beading or glue beading with contact cement, the outer trim is adhered to the outer rim. The chin straps are then installed using rivets with a standard rivet machine or a hand held rivet gun. If visors are required or desired, 3 snaps may be riveted onto the front of the helmet with a rivet gun, and the visor may then be fastened onto the helmet using connecting snaps. From the description above, a number of advantages to direct vacuum-forming onto the motorcycle helmets becomes evident:

A) The only excess material is the trimmed away plastic.

B) The process is quick and efficient. It eliminates the use of costly molds and man-hours that would be needed to adhere a pre-molded cover to a helmet.

C) By eliminating this mold step, we now have an

alternative method of decorating motorcycle helmets which was not possible with molds because of their egg-like shape.

D) The steps are quick and easy, and do not require the time or produce the waste of current motorcycle decoration methods, such as tape striping, decaling, hand painting, and air brushing, all of which require spray painting and spray-painted clear-coating.

E) Because the plastic can be printed in reverse on its underside, graphics or colors are protected against scratching by the clear, thick, high-gloss plastic outer surface which can be polished to remove scratches should they occur.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE OF INVENTION

Thus, the reader will see that the direct vacuum-forming process will be a boom to the motorcycle helmet industry. It is a process that is clean, efficient, cost saving, time saving, and durable. The process can apply to any of an unlimited assortment of colors, designs, names, slogans, or any decoration which can be silk screened onto vacuum-formable plastic, and directly vacuum-formed onto a motorcycle helmet. Preferably, the completed process will cover the outer helmet with a plastic surface of .005 to .030 inch thickness, with graphics printed on the underside and completely visible on the outside of the helmet.

The present invention is described in terms of specific embodiments, and it is anticipated that alterations and/or modifications thereof will therefore become apparent to those skilled in the art. It is anticipated and believed that those skilled in the art will find this process a boom to the art of helmet decorating, and a boom to the industry.

While the above description contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limitations in the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one embodiment thereof. Many variations are possible.

Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their equivalents, rather than merely by the examples given. The invention allows the revolutionizing of the helmet decorating industry, making possible, bold and intricate designs at a non-cost prohibitive and mass-producible level.

Claims

PATENT APPLICATION CONTINUED
CLAIMS - VACUUM-FORMING PLASTICS ONTO MOTORCYCLE HELMETS
The claims of the invention are as follows:
A method of helmet decoration wherein a motorcycle helmet, unassembled or partcially assembled minus rim trimming, chin straps, and snaps for visors and windscreens (inner lining optional as a pre-process condition), is decorated by directly vacuum-forming a sheet of pre-screen printed plastic onto helmet. By placing the helmet upon a stand or mandrel, it is covered by directly vacuum-forming a decorated plastic sheet of .005 to .030 inch thickness of an unlimited variety of colors and designs, using industry-standard vacuum-formable inks at approximately 250 to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Snaps, outer rim-trimming and windscreen (if applicable) are to be added to helmets in the post process. The claim is of the actual process of vacuum-forming plastic sheeting directly onto fiberglass and plastic motorcycle helmets.
Since the industry standards for decorating helmets is limited to:
A) Vacuum-formed, decorated covers using molds. (Not currently used on motorcycle helmets because of their shape.)
B) Spray painting custom colors.
C) Air brush grpahics, followed with clear-coat.
D) Vinyl tape striping, followed with clear-coat.
E) Screen printed decals, followed with clear-coat.
Therefore the invention of the process of directly vacuum-forming onto helmets is hereby claimed to be unique. It is precisely this industry standard that has made the invention such an elusive concept for so long. That no person, skilled in the art or otherwise, has tried to achieve success with this method is testament to the unobviousness of the invention, especially in light of the fact of its advantageousness in the field ofmotorcycle helmet decorating, an industry that has been around for many years. Inventor claims the invention to be novel in function, particularly pointing out that the claimed invention of directly vacuum-forming; helmets is strictly the inventors, and distinctly claiming the application of process as the invention.
PCT/US1992/006907 1992-04-09 1992-08-17 Direct-to-helmet vacuum forming process for helmet decorating WO1993021014A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US86633892 true 1992-04-09 1992-04-09
US866,338 1992-04-09

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WO1993021014A1 true true WO1993021014A1 (en) 1993-10-28

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0668030A1 (en) * 1994-02-17 1995-08-23 AGV S.p.A. Apparatus and process for decorating helmets by covering them with a sheet of pre-decorated synthetic material
WO1995023682A1 (en) * 1994-03-04 1995-09-08 Armacel Pty Ltd A method and apparatus for forming structural articles
EP0701892A3 (en) * 1994-08-24 1996-09-18 Tuscarora Ltd Method of making an article by lining a preformed foam article with a thermoplastic sheet and a helmet
WO2004006706A1 (en) * 2002-07-15 2004-01-22 Rem Line S.R.L. Method for manufacturing motorcyclist helmets and helmets obtained thereby
JP2013524027A (en) * 2010-04-02 2013-06-17 レイザー スポーツ エンフェーLazer Sport Nv Helmet cover
US8551279B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2013-10-08 3M Innovative Properties Company Multilayer articles and methods of making and using the same
US8661572B2 (en) 2007-09-06 2014-03-04 Artisent, Llc Helmet edge band
US8932424B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2015-01-13 3M Innovative Properties Company Paint film composites and methods of making and using the same
KR101547337B1 (en) * 2015-01-28 2015-08-25 주식회사 그린켐텍 Method of Manufacturing Bulletproof Helmet with Multiple Tone Printing

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3479666A (en) * 1968-07-24 1969-11-25 American Safety Equip Camouflaged helmet shell and method for making same
US4769100A (en) * 1986-09-22 1988-09-06 General Motors Corporation Method of applying carrier films prepainted with metallic paint to automobile body panels
US4824506A (en) * 1988-04-21 1989-04-25 General Motors Corporation Process for protecting thermoformed films
US4838973A (en) * 1986-07-02 1989-06-13 General Motors Corporation Method of applying painted carrier films to automobile body parts
US5034077A (en) * 1989-09-05 1991-07-23 Jack Pata Method for thermoforming and bonding a paint-coated polymeric film to a substrate
US5125994A (en) * 1989-11-01 1992-06-30 Eastman Kodak Company Thermoforming method

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3479666A (en) * 1968-07-24 1969-11-25 American Safety Equip Camouflaged helmet shell and method for making same
US4838973A (en) * 1986-07-02 1989-06-13 General Motors Corporation Method of applying painted carrier films to automobile body parts
US4769100A (en) * 1986-09-22 1988-09-06 General Motors Corporation Method of applying carrier films prepainted with metallic paint to automobile body panels
US4824506A (en) * 1988-04-21 1989-04-25 General Motors Corporation Process for protecting thermoformed films
US5034077A (en) * 1989-09-05 1991-07-23 Jack Pata Method for thermoforming and bonding a paint-coated polymeric film to a substrate
US5125994A (en) * 1989-11-01 1992-06-30 Eastman Kodak Company Thermoforming method

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0668030A1 (en) * 1994-02-17 1995-08-23 AGV S.p.A. Apparatus and process for decorating helmets by covering them with a sheet of pre-decorated synthetic material
WO1995023682A1 (en) * 1994-03-04 1995-09-08 Armacel Pty Ltd A method and apparatus for forming structural articles
EP0701892A3 (en) * 1994-08-24 1996-09-18 Tuscarora Ltd Method of making an article by lining a preformed foam article with a thermoplastic sheet and a helmet
WO2004006706A1 (en) * 2002-07-15 2004-01-22 Rem Line S.R.L. Method for manufacturing motorcyclist helmets and helmets obtained thereby
US9572387B2 (en) 2007-09-06 2017-02-21 Artisent, Llc Helmet edge band
US8661572B2 (en) 2007-09-06 2014-03-04 Artisent, Llc Helmet edge band
US8551279B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2013-10-08 3M Innovative Properties Company Multilayer articles and methods of making and using the same
US8932424B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2015-01-13 3M Innovative Properties Company Paint film composites and methods of making and using the same
US8992718B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2015-03-31 3M Innovative Properties Company Multilayer articles and methods of making and using the same
US9656442B2 (en) 2008-03-25 2017-05-23 3M Innovative Properties Company Paint film composites and methods of making and using the same
JP2013524027A (en) * 2010-04-02 2013-06-17 レイザー スポーツ エンフェーLazer Sport Nv Helmet cover
US9706806B2 (en) 2010-04-02 2017-07-18 Lazer Sport Nv Helmet cover
KR101547337B1 (en) * 2015-01-28 2015-08-25 주식회사 그린켐텍 Method of Manufacturing Bulletproof Helmet with Multiple Tone Printing

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