Methods of making floor tile and wall covering from extruded hot recycled vinyl thermoplastic membrane having discrete fibers randomly dispersed therein

  • US 5,560,797 A
  • Filed: 05/19/1995
  • Issued: 10/01/1996
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/09/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A method of continuously fabricating a cushiony tough vinyl plastic floor or cover product having a decorative top side, comprising the steps of:

  • (a) in an extruder, extruding a single-ply sheet, made up substantially of recycled membrane and comprising a proportion of discrete tough fibers, sufficient to create a cushion effect in the product fabricated, randomly dispersed in a vinyl substrate, at an extruding temperature in which the membrane is in a soft plasticized hot state, of a semi-solidity in which it can be drawn under tensile load without substantially reducing in thickness;

    (b) reducing said fibers principally to the one-eighth to three-eights of an inch range in length by cooling the sheet extrudate, chopping the sheet extrudate into particles in which the discrete fibers are reduced in length, and then passing said chopped extrudate into said extruder to reextrude it; and

    , as necessary to achieve the size reduction, repeating this step;

    (c) when said reduction is achieved, immediately moving the single ply sheet while at substantially extruding temperature continuously into the nip between a pair of heat radiating laminating rolls;

    (d) passing a solid state compatible polymer top side cover film product selected from the group comprising transparent sheet, colored sheet and sheet with decorative imprinting, closely alongside one of said laminating rolls to apply radiant preheat to it, and then passing it continuously into said nip with the single ply sheet;

    (e) utilizing heat in said single ply sheet and the heat imparted by said one of said laminating rolls to bring said cover film product to bonding temperature while applying compressive pressure to autogeneously heat weld said single ply sheet and cover film product in surface to surface sealed contact, without the imposition of air bubbles or wrinkles between them, to form a welded product; and

    (f) cooling said welded single ply sheet and cover film product.

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