U.S. Patent 8,557,160 (October 15, 2013), "Direct Forming of Non-Textile Fabric Elements from Plastic Pellets," Gregory W. O'Connor and James S. Gregg (Samsonite IP Holdings S.a.r.l., Luxembourg, Luxembourg).
Traditional plastic forming such as injection molding, blow molding, and extrusion involves melting and shaping the melt, requiring complex equipment and precise control. Forming processes can be simplified by solid phase forming using ultra-high molecular-weight polymers. This process produces articles having high heat-distortion temperatures as well as porous layers with integrally formed skins. However, solid phase forming has not been used to form connected, separately formed units.
O'Connor and Gregg formed a non-textile fabric by coining single polymeric pellets into an individual element in a single forming step which can be simultaneously linked to form a continuous structure. This includes positioning a pellet in a mold cavity, and forcing the pellet into the shape of the mold cavity. The forcing step preferably uses an energy and speed where the pellet superplastically deforms to fill the mold cavity. This process is best carried out with four mutually inter-engaging rollers.
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|Title Annotation:||Samsonite IP Holdings S.a.r.l.; received patents|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2014|
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