Dokumentenidentifikation EP0686951 25.01.1996
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0686951
Titel Fussmatte mit Markierungsstreifen
Anmelder Milliken Research Corp., Spartanburg, S.C., US
Erfinder Kerr, Robert Charles, LaGrange, GA 30240, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, DE, DK, FR, GB, IE
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 19.05.1995
EP-Aktenzeichen 953033743
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 13.12.1995
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 25.01.1996
IPC-Hauptklasse G09F 3/04


This invention relates generally to rubber-backed dust control floor mats of the type which have a pile surface on one side and a rubber or rubber-like material on the other side. Mats of this type are generally used in access ways where people tend to brush or scrape their feet in order to prevent carrying of moisture and/or dirt, accumulated on their footwear, into other areas of the premises. Normally, these mats are located in areas of high pedestrian traffic, such as doorways. These mats are generally sold by the manufacturer to a rental laundry that, in turn, rents or leases such mats to the ultimate user.


Rubber backed mats such as used by the rental laundry industry require that the rental laundry's name be clearly and permanently identified on the bottom side of the rubber backing. It is often desirable to also permanently encode other items such as the date of shipment, or mat style number.

A further requirement of a mat labeling system is that it be possible to accomplish the labeling identity as a final step before packaging and shipping the mat to a customer. The labeling function can be readily accomplished during vulcanization of the nitrile type mat rubber to the pile-textile portion of the mat such as by using metal molds to cause the required identification into the rubber. Another possibility during vulcanization is to use preprinted (and protected) or colored rubber (or other polymer based materials) labels compatible with the nitrile rubber backing such that they will be permanently bonded/vulcanized in place. The problem with labeling systems applied during mat vulcanization is that these mats cannot be put in general inventory since they are already identified for a particular customer.

For mats that are first put in general inventory (without customer identification), various labeling systems have been attempted on the already vulcanized mats. It is possible to vulcanize rubber labels to the finished mat backing by use of a small heated press but the process is excessive in cost and time requirement, taking more than several minutes. In the past attempts have been made to "burn" identification numbers into the already vulcanized rubber but this is also very unsatisfactory - unsightly, obnoxious odor, difficult to read. Also, systems using laser cutting have been investigated but these have required excessive capital investment.

Therefore, it is an object of the invention to provide a rubber or rubber-like backed dust control mat which can be readily treated to provide identification thereon.

Other objects and advantages will become readily apparent as the specification proceeds to describe the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Figure 1 is a perspective view of the new and improved dust control mat with one edge lifted to show the identification strip;
  • Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1 showing identification placed in the identification strip;
  • Figure 3 is a cross-section view taken on line 3-3 of Figure 1.
  • Figure 4 is a detailed cross-section view of the identification strip shown in Figures 1 - 3; and
  • Figure 5 is a modification of the identification tab shown in Figure 4.

In the both forms of the invention the mats 10 consist of pile yarns 14 of cotton, polyester, nylon, etc. tufted through a woven or nonwoven substrate 16 of suitable material with the bottom 18 of the tufts adhered to the rubber or rubber-like backing 20 during vulcanization. Molded integral with the bottom of the backing 20 is an identification strip or label 22. Each of the mats commonly have a border portion 24 therearound.

The rubber or rubber-like backing 20 is a thermosetting material such as thermosetting nitrile rubber and the identification strip or label has a thermoplastic material 23 such as thermoplastic synthetic rubber adjacent the bottom surface of the backing 20. Examples of these would include halogenated polyolefin compositions, thermoplastic rubber, thermoplastic elastomers, thermoplastic olefins, certain olefins such as high temperature polypropylene, thermoplastic nylon 6 and 6.6, thermoplastic ionomers. Preferably the strip or label 22 will be fairly small in length and width in comparison to the size of the mat with a thickness in the range of 0.2 mm to 0.51 mm (.009 to .020 inches) think and preferably 0.38 mm (0.015 inches).

In the preferred form of the invention shown in Figures 1 - 4 identification strip 22 consists of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) layer 23 of 0.12 mm - 0.18 mm (.005" - .007") thickness, two thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or thermoplastic polyester (PTE) or thermoset polyester layers 25 each about 0.025 mm - 0.05mm (.001" - .002") in thickness and two thermoplastic polyurethane/polyvinyl chloride (TPU/PVC) layers 27 each about 0.025 mm - 0.05 mm (.001" - .002") in thickness. The TPU/PVC layers are in the approximate ratio of 80% TPU to 20% PVC. In addition, homogenous thermoplastic polyester can be used in layers 27.

The layers 25 are preferably thermoplastic polyurethane but other thermoplastic polymers such as thermoplastic elastomers and thermoplastic polyester can be used, if desired. The layer 23 is a strip of Goodyear Chemigum® TPE alloy (nitrile and PVC alloys).

In the modification of Figure 5 only one layer 25 of thermoplastic polymer and only one layer 27 of TPU/PVC are used with the total thickness being 0.30 mm (.002"). The thermoplastic layer 25 and the TPU/PVC layer 27 are both about 0.05 mm (.002") thick while the layer 23 is approximately 0.20 mm (.008") thick.

The thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) alloy portion of the layer 23 is not only relegated to Chemigum® TPE but can also be based on alloys of the following types some of which are commercially available: Ally to Elastomer/Thermoplastic Commercial Name/Supplier EPDM Polypropylene Santoprene/AES* Natural Polypropylene Vyram/AES Nitrile Polypropylene Geolast/AES;Flexel/Goodrich

The thermoplastic film phase which adheres to the TPE and is receptive to sublimation printing inks must also be doped or made receptive to the TPE with a compatible phase. Compatibility with the elastomer appears key in this application. Thermoplastic materials which can be doped, laminated to the TPE, and is receptive to sublimation inks include: thermoplastics urethane (polyol, polyester based), thermoplastic polyester, thermoset polyester, etc. The commonality among these sublimation ink receptive polymers is their polarity whether it be a cationic or electronegative deposition. The art of sublimation printing is well established and will not be described in detail except to point out this printing process leads to the rapidity with which the thermoplastic or thermoset phase can be printed.

The above composite label in both forms of the invention will be provided or printed as a thin patch in the range of 0.22 mm - 0.38 mm (.009" - .015") thick and positioned in the required location during mat vulcanization with the TPE phase bonded to the mat rubber backing and the thermoplastic or thermoset phase exposed. The vulcanized mats can be put in general inventory since they will be without customer identification. The mats can be taken from general inventory and the identification process (applying the customer's label) can be accomplished by means of applying a heated platen with sufficient pressure to a paper carrier containing sublimation inks. The inks volatilize from the paper and deposit onto the receptive thermoplastic or thermoset phase in a manner of 3 -8 seconds resulting in a permanent, wash durable customer identification.

In the event the sublimation label is incorrect or unacceptable for any reason the labeling can be corrected with the application of a new composite label. A heated scraper sufficiently heated to remove the thermoplastic film is employed. Because of cross-linking between the elastomer phase of the TPE and the thermosetting backing, the TPE remains intact. A new blank label can be fused to the exposed attached TPE because of the compatible thermoplastic phases (in this case PVC) of the Chemigum® TPE. The compatibleness of thermoplastic and elastomer polymers in a TPE affords bridging the gap between thermosetting rubber and homogenous thermoplastics materials.

Color concentrates can be added to the separate label composite layers to give different background colors to the label composite. Color tinting in this manner could eliminate or mask the visual difference (reflectance) observed between the laminated TPE and thermoplastic layers. Color coding mat aid in production differentiation as well.

  1. A dust control mat (10) having an upper pile surface (14) and a thermosetting rubber-like backing (20) characterised in the provision of a thin label (22) of smaller dimensions than and attached to the backing (20), the label (22) having a layer (23) composed of nitrile and a thermoplastic elastomer adjacent the rubber-like backing (20) and at least one layer (25, 27) of ink receptive material connected thereto for the reception of identification ink markings.
  2. A mat in accordance with Claim 1 wherein the label is in the range of 0.2 mm - 0.4 mm (0.009 - 0.015 inches) thick.
  3. A mat in accordance with Claim 1 or Claim 2 wherein there are at least two ink receptive layers (25, 27).
  4. A mat in accordance with any preceding claim wherein one or more of the ink receptive layers is polyurethane.
  5. A mat in accordance with any preceding claim wherein there are at least four polyurethane layers.
  6. A mat in accordance with any preceding claim wherein one or more of the ink receptive layers is polyester.
  7. A mat in accordance with any preceding claim in which the label (22) is vulcanized to the backing (20).
  8. A mat in accordance with any one of Claims 1 to 6 in which the label (22) is printed to the backing (20).
  9. A mat in accordance with any preceding claim in which the label (22) is a blank label.

A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik



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