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Title:
WATERPROOF FOOTWEAR AND PROCESS FOR ITS MANUFACTURE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/007369
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Footwear comprising at least one lower portion (2) of an upper, which is joined by means of one or more seams (3) to an upper portion (4) which is lined internally with at least one waterproofing membrane (5), whose lower edge (5a) is fixed to the inner surface of the lower portion (2) of the upper by means of a layer of adhesive (7) arranged at least under the seams (3). The present invention also relates to a process for manufacturing said footwear.

Inventors:
MORLACCHI Matteo (Via Roma 46, I - Legnano Ml, 20025, IT)
OSTANI, Maurizio (Via Canova 15, I - Montebelluna TV, 31044, IT)
Application Number:
IT2006/000531
Publication Date:
January 18, 2007
Filing Date:
July 12, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NEXTEC S.R.L. (Via Del Bosco 41, Busto Arsizio, I-21052, IT)
MORLACCHI Matteo (Via Roma 46, I - Legnano Ml, 20025, IT)
OSTANI, Maurizio (Via Canova 15, I - Montebelluna TV, 31044, IT)
International Classes:
A43B7/12; A43B9/02; A43B23/06; A43D3/02
Foreign References:
DE10031827C12002-01-17
FR2833142A12003-06-13
US20010049886A12001-12-13
US6065227A2000-05-23
US6115940A2000-09-12
US6065227A2000-05-23
US6115940A2000-09-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PIZZOLI,Antoni et al. (Societa ltaliana Brevetti S.p.A, Via Carducci 8, l - Milano MI, 20123, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. Footwear comprising at least one lower portion (2) of an upper, which is joined by means of one or more seams (3) to an upper portion (4) which is lined internally with at least one waterproofing membrane (5), characterized in that the lower edge (5a) of the waterproofing membrane (5) is fixed to the inner surface of the lower portion (2) of the upper by means of a layer of adhesive (7) arranged at least under the seams (3).

2. Footwear according to the previous claim, characterized in that said adhesive (7) is waterproof.

3. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that said adhesive (7) is thermoactivable.

4. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the upper edge (2a) of the lower portion (2) of the upper is comprised between the waterproofing membrane (5) and the lower edge (4a) of the upper portion (4) of the upper.

5. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the lower edge (5a) of the waterproofing membrane (5) protrudes under the lower edge (4a) of the upper portion (4) of the upper. 6. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is permeable to water vapor.

7. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is elastic with a coefficient of elongation higher than 50%.

8. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is glued to the upper portion (4) of the upper.

9. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is joined to the upper portion (4) of the upper by means of a seam (9) made above the seams (3) joining the lower (2) and the upper (4) portions of the upper. 10. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the lower portion (2) of the upper is made of a waterproof material, in particular rubber or

polyurethane.

11. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the lower portion (2) of the upper is made of a single piece of a material molded with a sole

(I)- 12. Footwear according to one of the previous claims, characterized in that the upper portion (4) of the upper has a substantially tubular shape and is made of a material permeable to water, in particular leather or fabric.

13. Process for manufacturing a footwear, characterized in that it comprises the following operating steps: - fixing at least one waterproofing membrane (5) inside the upper portion (4) of an upper;

- joining the lower portion (2) of the upper to its upper portion (4) by means of one or more seams (3);

- fixing the lower edge (5a) of the waterproofing membrane (5) to the lower portion (2) of the upper by means of layer of adhesive (7) applied inside this lower portion (2) at least under said seams (3).

14. Process according to the previous claim, characterized in that the layer of adhesive (7) is applied inside the lower portion (2) of the upper before the lower (2) and the upper (4) portions of the upper are joined to each other. 15. Process according to claim 13 or 14, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is permeable to water vapor.

16. Process according to one of claims 13 to 15, characterized in that said adhesive (7) is waterproof.

17. Process according to one of claims 13 to 16, characterized in that said adhesive (7) is thermoactivable.

18. Process according to one of claims 13 to 17, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5), before it is fixed inside the upper portion (4) of the upper, is shaped and two opposite edges thereof are mutually glued, so as to form a tubular waterproofing sheath. 19. Process according to one of claims 13 to 18, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is glued to the upper portion (4) of the upper.

20. Process according to one of claims 13 to 19, characterized in that the waterproofing membrane (5) is joined to the upper portion (4) of the upper by means of at least one seam (9) made above the seams (3) joining the lower (2) and the upper (4) portions of the upper. 21. Process according to one of claims 13 to 20, characterized in that the lower edge (5a) of the waterproofing membrane (5) is folded up and temporarily fixed inside the same membrane before it is glued to the lower portion (2) of the upper.

22. Process according to one of claims 13 to 21, characterized in that the lower portion (2) of the upper is made of a waterproof material, in particular rubber or polyurethane.

23. Process according to one of claims 13 to 22, characterized in that the lower portion (2) of the upper is made of a single piece of a material molded with a sole (1).

24. Process according to one of claims 13 to 23, characterized in that the upper portion (4) of the upper has a substantially tubular shape and is made of a material permeable to water, in particular leather or fabric.

25. Process according to one of claims 13 to 24, characterized in that a last (10) is inserted into the footwear after the lower (2) and the upper (4) portions of the upper are joined to each other.

26. Process according to the previous claim, characterized in that the footwear is heated after the last (10) has been inserted therein.

27. Process according to claim 25 or 26, characterized in that the footwear is pressed laterally after the last (10) has been inserted therein.

28. Process according to one of claims 25 to 27, characterized in that the last (10) is heated to at least 50° C before it is inserted into the footwear. 29. Process according to one of claims 25 to 28, characterized in that the last

(10) is expanded in the footwear.

30. Process according to one of claims 25 to 29, characterized in that the last

(10) is provided with at least two shaped members (10a, 10b), rigid or semirigid, which can be mutually moved away by an extensible device (11). 31. Process according to the previous claim, characterized in that the first shaped member (10a) corresponds to a portion of the foot which includes the heel, while

- S -

the second shaped member (10b) corresponds to a portion of the foot which includes the tip.

32. Process according to claim 30 or 31, characterized in that a rod (10c) which protrudes out of the footwear is joined to the first shaped member (10a) or to the second shaped member (10b).

33. Process according to one of claims 25 to 32, characterized in that the outer surface of last (10) is concave in correspondence with the seams (3) joining the lower (2) and the upper (4) portions of the upper.

Description:

WATERPROOF FOOTWEAR AND PROCESS FOR ITS MANUFACTURE

The present invention relates to a waterproof footwear, and in particular a footwear which can be provided with a semipermeable or breathable, i.e. impermeable to water and permeable to water vapor, upper portion. The present invention also relates to a process for manufacturing said footwear.

US patent 6065227 discloses footwear comprising a lower portion of an upper, which is made of a molded waterproof material and is joined by means of two seams to a leather upper portion which has a substantially tubular shape and is lined internally with a waterproof membrane. The seams pierce the waterproofing membrane, so that a waterproof tape must be glued onto the seams for preventing the penetration of water into the footwear. However, the application of the waterproof tape inside the finished footwear is relatively difficult, especially if the footwear is a boot, so that the lower portion of the upper is preferably provided with a wide lower opening for easily reaching the area to be waterproofed. Therefore, it is impossible or at least unadvisable to manufacture the lower portion of the upper in a single piece with the sole of the footwear.

For overcoming this disadvantage, US patent 6115940 discloses a lower portion of the upper which can be carried out in a single piece of a material molded with a sole. As a matter of fact, the upper edge of the lower portion of the upper is provided with an inner lip which can be easily glued onto this edge for sealing the seams. However, this solution requires a particular mould for obtaining said lip in a single piece with the lower portion of the upper, with consequent higher manufacturing costs. Furthermore, the presence of the lip hampers the seaming of the of the lower portion of the upper to its upper portion.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a waterproof footwear which is free from said disadvantages, i.e. which can be manufactured in a simple and economical way. Said object is achieved with a footwear and a process for its manufacture, whose main features are disclosed in claims 1 and 13, respectively, while other features are disclosed in the remaining claims.

Thanks to the particular arrangement of the waterproofing membrane, the seam

between the upper and lower portions of the upper is sealed internally in a simple and effective manner. This arrangement simplifies also the process for its manufacture, especially if the lower portion of the upper is made of a single piece of material molded with the sole of the footwear and/or if a particular expandable last is employed. The waterproofing membrane is preferably permeable to water vapor and is elastic with a coefficient of elongation higher than 50%, while the adhesive used for gluing it to the upper is preferably waterproof and thermoactivable, so as to improve both the waterproofing and the comfort of the footwear.

Further advantages and features of the footwear and of the process according to the present invention will become clear to those skilled in the art from the following detailed and non-limiting description of some embodiment thereof with reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

- figure 1 shows a perspective view of the footwear;

- figure 2 shows a partial, enlarged and sectioned view of the footwear of figure 1 according to a first embodiment of the invention;

- figure 3 shows a partial, enlarged and sectioned view of the footwear of figure 1 according to a second embodiment of the invention; and

- figure 4 shows a longitudinally sectioned view of the footwear of figure 1 during the manufacturing process. Referring to figure 1, it is seen that the footwear according to the present invention comprises in a known way a lower casing which is suitable for containing a foot and includes at least one sole 1 joined to a lower portion 2 of an upper. In the present embodiment, sole 1 and the lower portion 2 of the upper are preferably formed by a single piece of a waterproof molded material, in particular rubber or polyurethane, but in other embodiments they can be formed by two or more pieces molded separately, which are then joined to each other. The lower portion 2 of the upper is joined by means of one or more seams 3 to an upper portion 4 of the upper, which has a substantially tubular shape and is made of a material permeable to water, in particular leather or fabric. With reference to figure 2, it is seen that the inner surface of the upper portion 4 of the upper is lined with at least one waterproofing membrane 5, preferably

semipermeable or breathable, i.e. impermeable to water and permeable to water vapor, in particular with a permeability to water vapor greater than 400 g/m 2 * 24h. The waterproofing membrane 5 is preferably elastic with a coefficient of elongation higher than 50% and is made of a polymeric material, for example PTFE, polyurethane or polyester. The waterproofing membrane 5 can be also coupled with an inner protective fabric. In the present embodiment of the invention, the waterproofing membrane 5 is fixed to the upper portion 4 of the upper by means of a discontinuous or continuous layer of adhesive 6, in particular polyurethane glue, so that the upper portion 4 of the upper remains breathable if the waterproofing membrane 5 is semipermeable. The lower edge 5a of the waterproofing membrane 5 preferably protrudes under the lower edge 4a of the upper portion 4 of the upper.

According to the invention, the lower edge 5a of the waterproofing membrane 5 is not joined to the upper portion 4 of the upper but is instead fixed to the inner surface of the lower portion 2 of the upper by means of a continuous layer of adhesive 7 arranged at least under seams 3. Adhesive 7 is preferably waterproof and thermoactivable. The upper edge 2a of the lower portion 2 of the upper is preferably comprised between the waterproofing membrane 5 and the lower edge 4a of the upper portion 4 of the upper. A sock 8 acting as an inner lining can be fixed into the footwear.

Referring to figure 3, it is seen that in a second embodiment of the invention, the waterproofing membrane 5 is not glued to the upper portion 4 of the upper, but is instead joined thereto by means of at least one seam 9 made at the top of the upper portion 4 of the upper. Also sock 8 is joined to the upper by means of seam 9.

For manufacturing said footwear, a waterproofing membrane 5 is shaped and two opposite edges thereof are mutually glued, so as to form a tubular waterproofing sheath which can be glued and/or seamed into the upper portion 4 of the upper. The lower edge 5a of the waterproofing membrane 5 can be folded up and temporarily fixed into the same membrane, for example by means of pieces of adhesive tape, so as to not hamper the seaming step. Adhesive 7 is applied inside the lower portion 2 of the upper, after which the latter is joined to the upper portion 4 of the upper by means of seams 3. Referring to figure 4, it is seen that the lower edge 5a of the waterproofing membrane 5 is extended downwards and arranged against the layer of adhesive 7,

preferably with the aid of a last 10 inserted into the footwear. The latter can be then heated, for example in a oven, for activating adhesive 7. Alternatively or additionally, last 10 can be heated to at least 50° C before it is inserted into the footwear. When adhesive 7 is activated, the footwear is laterally pressed in a uniform and continuous way for pressing the lower portion 2 of the upper against the waterproofing membrane 5. Before said pressing is carried out, last 10 can be expanded in the footwear and for this purpose it is provided with at least two shaped members 10a, 10b, rigid or semirigid, which can be mutually moved away by an extensible device 11, for example a pneumatic piston, wherein the first shaped member 10a corresponds to a portion of the foot which includes the heel, while the second shaped member 10b corresponds to a portion of the foot which includes the tip. A rod 10c which protrudes out of the footwear is joined to the first shaped member 10a or to the second shaped member 10b. The outer surface of last 10 is preferably concave in correspondence with seams 3. After the pressing, last 10 is retracted and extracted from the footwear when the latter has cooled.

Further modifications and/or additions may be made by those skilled in the art to the hereinabove described and illustrated embodiments, while remaining within the scope of the following claims.