US 3900641 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Woodman et a1.
[451 Aug. 19, 1975 METHOD OF FORMING DECORATOR PANELS Inventors: Gerald A. Woodman, Bel Air;
Joseph Uscher, Studio City; Henry C. Jacoby, North Hollywood, all of Calif.
Assignee: Lancaster Products Company,
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Filed: Mar. 15, 1974 Appl. No; 451,579
Related US. Application Data Continuation of Ser. No. 219,895, Jan. 21, 1972, abandoned.
US. Cl. 428/38; 101/129; 156/277; 427/259; 427/265; 427/282; 428/195; 428/207; 96/50 PL Int. Cl. ..B41M 1/12; B4lM 1/30 Field of Search 117/15, 38, 45, 107, 5.5;
l01/128.3, 129; 156/277; 96/50 PL References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Sturm 117/38 Gagliardi 117/15 Cahero 260/318 Thompson et a1... 101/129 Askow 117/38 Primary Examiner--Michael R. Lusignan Attorney, Agent, or FirmMarvin H. Kleinberg ABSTRACT 13 Claims, N0 Drawings METHOD OF FORMING DECORATOR PANELS This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 219,895, filed Jan. 2], 1972, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a novel decorator panel and, more particularly, to a panel presenting the appearance of stained glass. Decorator panels are used as room dividers, movable or fixed shutters for windows or doors, and for a variety of other uses in an attempt to provide the interiors of residential structures with utilitarian as well as artistic expression.
2. Description of the Prior Art Many of such panels are formed of plastic such as polystyrene. with coloring agents dispersed either uniformly or non-uniformly throughout the plastic. Others are formed of clear or opaque material on whose surface a pattern has been printed by conventional silk screen or other techniques. Neither these nor any other known techniques has proven to be suitable for the simulation of a stained glass structure. The reasons for this are, first, that colors have not heretofore been available which can be used with transparent or semitransparent plastics which yield the rich colors attainable in glass materials. Normally available colors have a soft, dull appearance which is not typical of actual stained glass panels, and, by their use, the achievement of the intensity of color required has not heretofore been possible, second, in actual stained glass panels, the glass segments are separated and held in place by lead strips, which can be bent to any desired configuration. The use of lead provides a raised three-dimensional pattern which is characteristic of all stained glass. Obviously, prior art silk screen techniques do not provide either an actual or acceptable simulated grid pattern, and alternative techniques lending themselves to large scale production at reasonable cost must be employed.
The manufacture of realistic simulations of stained glass panels, therefore, requires two significant advances in the present state of the art of decorator panel manufacture; that is, coloring agents or dyes are required which would duplicate the colors conventionally used in the manufacture of stained glass, and a novel technique for the formation of a raised grid structure is also necessary.
The dyes suitable for use in practicing the present invention are available from Specialty Coatings and Chemicals lnc., of North Hollywood, Calif., under the trademark Special T as noted below, and will be discussed further in connection with the description of the application process. The novel techniques for the application of these dyes together with a method for applying a raised grid pattern to the surface of a plastic base will be discussed in detail below.
Briefly described, this invention is a novel and improved silk screen process adapted to apply the coloring agents or dyes described above to selected areas of a clean clear plastic material such as a polystyrene panel, together with a novel technique for depositing a relatively thick layer of opaque paint in a grid pattern, providing an extremely realistic simulation of the lead grid used in stained glass panels.
Considering first the process of applying color to selected areas of a plastic base, a high-impact polystyrene plastic sheet which is relatively transparent has been used as the base material.
Each of the plurality of colors to be applied requires the preparation of a silk screen by conventional photographic techniques. A relatively coarse silk screen having a No. lOXX mesh, threads per inch, has proved to be most suitable, since the particular coloring agents used attain a poured look and richer color when applied' with the relatively coarse screen.
Caremust be taken to clean the surface of the plastic initially with a solvent, such as alcohol, both to remove dust particles and to discharge the static electric charge which normally exists on the surfaces of such plastics. Failure to clean the surface properly results in imperfections or bubbles which mar the finished appearance.
After an appropriately masked silk screen has been laid on the surfaces of the plastic base, ink of the desired color is applied over the surface of the silk screen. The screen is then removed and the color allowed to dry before additional colors are applied. Care must be taken when removing the silk screen, however, to remove the screen relatively slowly to prevent fuzziness around the edges of the color pattern.
The particular above-identified inks used to provide the vivid colors required may be characterized as dye inks, rather than resin inks conventionally used in silk screen processes. It has been found that such dye inks give clear transparent colors whereas resin inks yield at best cloudy colors which were neither transparent nor bright.
On the other hand, a choice of dye inks presented the problem, normally associated with the use of such inks, that particles of imperfectly dissolved dye tend to be deposited on the base surface. The use of the novel ink formulations referred to above together with slower application of the ink and slower removal of the silk screen, have proved to yield satisfactory results. Such inks are commercially available from Specialty Coatings & Chemicals, Inc. of North Hollywood, California, under their trade mark Special-T" specially identified and coded BL-4 Special-T Stained Glass Coating, specifying color by name.
After the desired bright multicolor pattern has been applied to the surface of the plastic, a black raised grid pattern is then applied by a novel silk screening technique. As has been stated above, it is necessary, in order to give a realistic stained glass effect, to apply an extremely thick layer of paint. Naturally, a thick, viscous paint is required which will hold its shape after the silk screen used for deposit of the paint has been removed. It is also necessary, from a production point of view, that the process be relatively simple and that it is to consume a comparatively short period of time.
In applying the grid, a screen much coarser than any which has heretofore been used with silk screen techniques has been used. This screen is composed of monofilament threads having a spacing of approximately 20 threads per inch. Although such silk screens can be purchased from at least one manufacturer, they have been used, we are informed, only for straining operatings like cleaning batches of paint, and have not been used in silk screen reproduction.
In addition, to the coarse silk screen, a special photographic emulsion is used to create the mask pattern upon the silk screen it self. This photographic material has a thickness of three mils and must be obtained specially since the material is notin general use for silk screen or other processes.
A special black paint having substantially higher viscosity than normal paint, as well as extremely rapid drying time has also been developed for use in the process described. Such a suitable black paint is available from Specialty Coatings & Chemicals, lnc., under the code name PP-22 Special-T Black Lead Coating. Particular care must be taken that an adequate quantity of paint is used, and it is necessary to apply it by hand over the silk screen, at least twice, to achieve the desired, lead effect. It is also necessary to remove the silk screen with great care and very slowly.
The detailed steps of the preferred method include removing the electrical surface charge on the substrate by cleaning the surface with a solvent, such as alcohol;
placing a first of the silk screens over the surface of the plastic sheet, after suitably'masking the screen;
applying the clear dye ink of the desired color,
through the screen;
carefully removing the screen and mask, permitting the ink to dry;
replacing the screen with a screen for a second color;
repeating the silk screening steps until. all of the colors have been imparted to the panel;
next, using an extremely coarse silk screen and appropriate masks, applying a thick viscous paint to the surface of the plastic sheet, to create boundaries having a leaded appearance;
slowly and deliberately removing the screen and mask from the panel; and
after the thick and viscous paint has dried, making a second application of the thick viscous paint through the very coarse screen. It is important to note that at each silk screening step, the screen should be removed slowly and deliberately, with great care, to avoid smearing or overlapping any of the colors. Further, it is desirable to be sure that the inks have thoroughly dried after each step, before screening on a different color ink.
The use of the process described above produces a decorator panel which simulates an authentic stained glass structure and which presents an extremely attractive effect. While the techniques specified represent what are believed to be optimum choices, modifications in the materials used in the processes are permissible, without departing from the spirit of the invention described.
It is therefore claimed:
1. A simulated stained glass made by creating a raised boundary grid pattern around colored panels located on a sheet of clear plastic, employing the method comprising the steps of:
a. placing a coarse silk screen, approximating the mesh size used to strain and clean batches of paint, over the plastic sheet;
b. placing a mask including the desired grid pattern over the screen;
c. applying a thick viscous opaque paint to the plastic sheet through the masked screen; v
d. removing the screen and mask from the surface of the plastic sheet; and
e. drying the viscous opaque paint.
2. The product-by-process of claim 1 in which the coarse screen used in the process is composed of monofilament threads having a spacing of approximately threads per inch.
3. The product-by-process of claim 1 in which the mask used in the process is created by applying a photographic emulsion having a thickness of approximately 3 mils directly to the coarse screen.
4. The product-byprocess of claim 1 in which the appearance ofleading is achieved by applying through the mask and screen a black paint having a substantially higher viscosity than normal, and which has a substantially rapid drying time over the coarse screen.
5. The product-by-process of claim 1 in which the appearance of leading is achieved by applying a thick viscous paint over the screen at least twice, to achieve a three-dimensional effect of lead by repeating the steps of the method at least once using the same screen.
6. A simulated stained glass panel made by the process of first creating a transparent colored panel on a transparent plastic surface, and comprising the steps of:
a. removing the electrical surface charge on a sheet of clear transparent plastic;
b. placing a silk screen mesh over the surface of the plastic sheet and a mask over the screen;
c. applying a dye ink having the desired color to the sheet through the mask and the screen;
d. slowly removing the screen and the mask from the plastic, thereby leaving the plastic with the panels of color in the desired configuration;
e. drying the dye ink thus applied; and
f. repeating steps (b), (c), (d) and (e) using different colors of dye ink and different masks respectively corresponding thereto, whereby a transparent panel is produced having the desired configuration of colored transparent areas.
7. The product-by-process of claim 6 in which the electrical charges on the surfaces of the sheet of clear plastic are removed by a thorough cleaning of all areas of the surface with a volatile solvent solution to prevent the formation of bubbles and other imperfections in the colored areas.
8. The product-by-process of claim 6 in which the desired colored dye ink is applied to the sheet by spreading the dye ink evenly and slowly by hand over the mask and screen.
9. The product-by-process of claim 6 in which the mask and screen are removed very slowly and evenly from the plastic after each application of a colored dye ink.
10. A simulated stained glass panel having colored areas on a plastic surface, separated by boundaries simulating leading made by the process comprising the steps of:
a. removing the electrical surface charge on the sheet of clear plastic;
b. placing a silk screen mesh over the surface of the plastic sheet and a mask over the screen;
c. applying special colored transparent paint having the desired color to the sheet of plastic through the mask and screen;
d. slowly and deliberately removing the screen and the mask from the plastic, thereby leaving the plastic with the areas of the desired color;
e. repeating steps (b) and (c) using different colors and masks to create a panel having all of the required color areas; and
f. creating a raised boundary pattern around the colored areas to simulate lead holding the stained glass in place, comprising the steps of:
i. placing a coarse silk screen of a mesh size approximating the mesh size used to strain and clean batches of paint over the surface of the sheet of plastic;
ii. placing a mask over the screen;
iii. applying a thick viscous paint to the surface of the plastic sheet through the mask and screen; and
iv. removing the screen and mask slowly and deliberately from the sheet of plastic.
11. A simulated stained glass panel produced by the method comprising the steps of:
a. placing a silk screen mesh over one surface of a clear, transparent plastic sheet;
b. applying a first mask to the screen;
c. applying through the unmarked areas of the screen to the surface of the sheet a solution of a first bright, transparent, vividly-colored, alcoholsoluble dye ink in solvent;
d. slowly and deliberately removing the screen and the mask from the surface of the sheet, thereby providing deposited areas of the first color on the surface;
e. drying the dye ink in said areas;
f. repeating steps (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) with different masks and different bright. transparent, vividly-colored, alcohol-soluble dye inks to completely cover the surface of the sheet with discrete,
transparent, vividly-colored, contiguous areas;
g. forming a grid of simulated stained glass leading by depositing a raised, opaque strip overlapping the boundaries of the contiguous colored areas comprising the steps of:
i. placing a coarse silk screen of a mesh size approximately the mesh size used to strain and clean batches of paint over the surface of the sheet;
ii. placing a mask over the screen having openings in said grid pattern overlapping said contiguous boundaries;
iii. applying a thick, viscous paint through said opening in the mesh onto said boundaries to form a raised strip in the form of said grid;
iv. removing the screen and mesh slowly and deliberately from the surface of the sheet; and
v. drying the thick viscous paint.
12. The product-by-process of claim 11 wherein the method further includes the step of dissipating charge on said surface before applying any of said dye inks.
13. The product-by-process of claim 11 in which said coarse screen contains about 20 threads per inch.
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