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Title:
METHOD AND KIT FOR REPAIRING SURFACES OF CERAMIC MATERIALS AND THE LIKE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/024018
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Subject of the present invention is a method and a relative repair kit for surfaces of ceramic and similar materials, such as for example materials defined as "solid surface" and "engineered stone" whose surface finish is not one-color but has a well defined texture.

Inventors:
FIORATTI STEFANO (IT)
LONARDI CHIARA (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2019/056653
Publication Date:
February 11, 2021
Filing Date:
August 05, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TENAX SPA (IT)
International Classes:
C04B41/45; B44C1/165
Foreign References:
US20100032083A12010-02-11
JPH09136059A1997-05-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VINDIGNI, Eddy et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Method for repairing surfaces of ceramic or engineered stone or solid surface material, comprising the steps of:

(10) acquiring from an available photographic archive the image of the original undamaged material and selecting from the image of the original material the portion of the original texture corresponding to that of the missing texture and restoring it when identified on the surface of the material to be repaired,

(20) transferring by a printing technique the selected portion of the texture from the previous step on a transparent sheet,

(30) cutting the portion of the transparent sheet including the texture portion transferred onto the transparent sheet,

(40) injecting a liquid glue in the liquid state onto the area to be restored of the material to be repaired, so as to completely fill the void to be restored, said glue being capable of hardening and solidifying, thereby restoring the suitable support for the upper finish to be restored,

(50) at the end of the previous step, to applying the cutout on the glue layer according to previous step, still in the liquid state, comprised the texture portion according to step

(30)

(60) keeping the cutout texture in contact with the glue layer still in the liquid state, allowing the transfer of ink from the transparent sheet to the upper surface of the glue layer injected at step (40) from the moment of its liquid condition, for the whole hardening process of the glue and until its final hardening, for a prefixed application time T,

(70) once the previous step has ended and then the transfer of ink to the upper surface of the glue layer was made, which in turn has completed its hardening process, removing the cutout texture.

2 . Method according to claim 1 comprising the step (55) to be inserted between step (50) and step (60) which provides for:

(55) controlling the uniformity of distribution of the glue layer at the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter to the area to be treated, by visually verifying through the transparency of the texture to be transferred that the entire inner surface and the entire perimeter of the texture selection to be transferred is in contact with the glue layer.

3 . Method for repairing ceramic or engineered stone or solid surface materials, including the steps of:

(10) acquiring from an available photographic archive the image of the original undamaged material and selecting from the image of the original material the portion of the original texture corresponding to that of the missing texture and to be restored as identified on the surface of the material to be repaired,

(20bis) transferring through a printing technique the selected portion of the texture according to previous step on a rigid transparent sheet,

(30) cutting out the portion of the transparent sheet including the transferred texture,

(50bis) applying on the area to be restored the cutout of the transparent sheet, comprising the texture referred to in step (30),

(52) piercing the cutout texture with a syringe for injecting a liquid glue on the area to be restored of the material to be repaired, so as to completely fill the void to be restored and bounded by the transparent sheet, said glue capable of hardening and solidifying, therefore restoring the support suitable for the upper finish to be restored,

(60) keeping the cutout texture in contact with the glue layer still in the liquid state, by allowing the transfer of ink from the transparent sheet to the upper surface of the glue layer injected at step (40), from the moment of its liquid condition, for the entire hardening process of the glue and until its final hardening, for a prefixed application time T,

(70) once the previous step has ended and then the transfer of ink to the upper surface of the glue layer was made, which in turn has completed its hardening process, removing the cutout texture.

4 . Method according to claim 3, comprising the following step to be inserted between step (50bis) and step (52):

(51) applying a transparent rigid support suitable to be pierced by a syringe and configured to be applied in a solid form to the cutout texture, in order to avoid the same phenomena of deviation from the flatness condition during the piercing operation of the syringe to inject the glue.

5 . Method according to claim 1 or 2, also comprising the following step (30) and step (40):

(35) preparing the area to be restored by grooving the area to determine a groove at least 2 mm deep along the entire inner side of the damaged perimeter that defines the area to be restored, said defined depth dimension being defined with respect to the limit imposed by the surface height of undamaged material on the external side of the damaged perimeter, so that at step 40 a sufficient glue layer can be deposited uniformly near the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter, thus allowing the glue to adhere perfectly along all the damaged perimeter.

6. Method according to claim 3 or 4, also comprising the following step (30) and step (50bis):

(35) preparing the area to be restored by grooving the area to determine a groove at least 2 mm deep along the entire inner side of the damaged perimeter that defines the area to be restored, said defined depth dimension being defined with respect to the limit imposed by the surface height of undamaged material on the external side of the damaged perimeter, so that at step 40 a sufficient glue layer can be deposited uniformly near the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter, thus allowing the glue to adhere perfectly along all the damaged perimeter.

7. Method according to any one of preceding claims in which the glue is a two-component, one-component glue, which can be catalyzed by means of UV or infrared rays, more preferably a two-component poly-aspartate.

8. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the printing technique is a laser or xerography or ink-jet or white toner printing, preferably a laser printing.

9. Method according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the transparent sheet is glossy or opaque or embossed, preferably in PVC.

10. Repair kit usable in the method according to any one of the independent claims for repairing the surface of a damaged ceramic or "engineered stone" or "solid surface" material comprising the cutout of a glossy or opaque or embossed transparent sheet, preferably in PVC, on which the portion of texture to be transferred to the support in the damaged area of the material to be repaired is present, with tools to inject the bi-component glue in the area to be repaired and distributing it evenly through a syringe, a spatula, a container containing a bi-component or a mono component glue or catalyzed by UV or infrared rays, more preferably two-component poly-aspartate and a timer to determine the application speed.

Description:
METHOD AND KIT FOR REPAIRING SURFACES OF CERAMIC MATERIALS AND THE LIKE

5

DESCRIPTION

TECHNICAL FIELD

10 The present invention relates to a method and the related repair kit of surfaces of ceramic materials and the like as for example, materials defined "solid surface" and "engineered stone", the surface finish of which is not monochromatic but has a well defined 15 texture.

STATE OF THE ART

Slabs or floors of ceramic material or of "solid surface" and "engineered stone" material have wide applications in the building and furniture field, with 20 a wider spread for example in kitchens, worktops and coverings of the cooking area and in bathrooms, as well as in various other applications.

Such materials are characterized by a certain plasticity during processing and by a certain rigidity 25 after the cooking process, and are widely diffused for their high melting points and used in coverings characterized by a certain heat resistance. The surface finish of the ceramic or engineered stone or solid surface material is decorated and in some cases is glazed according to various known procedures, in order to give the desired aesthetic effect.

The surface finish of such materials has also the purpose of protecting the piece from wear and of facilitating its cleaning and maintenance.

Such materials in addition to the advantages offered by their heat resistance and their low cost, in application fields in which they are employed, have considerable drawbacks due to their fragility, especially when they are used for making worktops, in cases in which they suffer for example from knocks or impacts caused by objects, which can either crack the material or chip it thereby damaging it, in most cases irreparably .

In the case in which such material has a one-color surface finish, their repair can be quite easy, by acting through a one-color grouting whose hue is congruent with the finish of the material to be repaired. However in the case of finishes provided with a well defined texture as for example with particular veins typical of marble or wood, for example the repair has insurmountable drawbacks under an aesthetic point of view, as a one-color grouting would become absolutely evident within an inhomogeneous texture. Therefore, the solution which today is expected is either the replacement of the entire tops or slabs of material, with a considerable economic burden, or a localized grouting with resins or one-color grouts. If, instead, the piece which was accidentally removed and separated from the surface in question was available, it would not be easy to apply, as it would hardly fit with the support and numerous modeling actions of the support should be made in order to avoid for example the formation of surface steps or unwanted voids once the piece is applied .

PURPOSES OF THE INVENTION

The primary purpose of the present invention is to obtain a method of repairing tops or slabs or in any case of surfaces in general made of similar ceramic materials capable of recreating the texture of the finish of the material on the area to be repaired, so that the repair results to be continuous and congruent with the texture of the material to be repaired.

Purpose of the present invention is also to provide a kit used in the method of repairing tops or slabs or in any case surfaces in general of ceramic or similar materials capable of recreating the texture of the finish of the material.

Further purpose of the present invention is to obtain a method and a repair kit which is easy to be operationally implemented either for both the in situ or off-site repair, or in the case in which the material to be repaired is sent to a company which provides for its repair.

Still another purpose of the present invention is to provide a repair method that is effective, durable over time and economic for the final customer.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Subject of the present invention is a method for repairing surfaces of ceramic or engineered stone or solid surface materials, comprising the steps of:

(10) acquiring from an available photographic archive the image of the original undamaged material and selecting from the image of the original material the portion of the original texture corresponding to the missing portion of the texture and to be restored once identified on the surface of the material to be repaired,

(20) transferring by a printing technique the portion of the texture selected at the previous step on a transparent sheet, (30) cutting the portion of the transparent sheet including the texture portion that was transferred onto the transparent sheet,

(40) injecting a liquid glue onto the area to be repaired of the material to be repaired, in order to completely fill the void to be restored, said glue being capable of hardening and solidifying thereby recreating the suitable support for the upper finish to be recreated, (50) at the end of the previous step, applying to the glue layer of the preceding step, still in the liquid state, the cutout comprising the texture part according to step (30),

(60) keeping the texture cutout fastened and in contact with the glue layer still in the liquid state, by allowing the transfer of the ink from the transparent sheet to the upper surface of the glue layer injected in the step (40) from the moment of its liquid condition, for the whole hardening process of the glue and until its final hardening, for a preset application time T,

(70) once the previous step has ended and then the transfer of the ink to the upper surface of the glue layer has ended, which in turn has completed its hardening process, removing the texture cutout.

By using such a method, the hardening time of the glue is exploited from the liquid layer to the solid state which constitutes the support for the transfer of the missing texture image, in order to simultaneously transfer the image of the selected texture precisely onto the support consisting of the glue layer.

To the previously defined repair method optionally the step of the uniform distribution of the glue control (55) can be added, below the texture cutout and the step (35) of the support preparation, in case of insufficient depth in order to make effective the gripping of the glue on the support and the uniform distribution of the glue on the support.

In a second embodiment of the method, the use of a rigid transparent sheet (step 20bis) and of a syringe to inject the glue (step 52) is provided. This second variant provides for the optional use of a transparent rigid support integrally applied to the transparent sheet (step 51) in order to avoid the event of deformations of the transparent sheet at the time of perforation with the syringe.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES The structural and functional characteristics of the present invention and its advantages with respect to the known prior art will become even clearer and evident from the underlying claims, and in particular from an examination of the following description, made with reference to the attached figures which show a preferred but not limited schematic embodiment of a protection system in question, in which:

Figure 1 shows a flow chart of the method according to a first embodiment;

Figure 2 shows a flow chart of the method according to the first embodiment with addition of an optional step 35;

Figure 3 shows a flow chart of the method according to the first embodiment with the addition of an optional step 55;

Figure 4 shows a flow chart of the method according to a second embodiment.

Figure 5 shows a flow chart of the method according to a second embodiment with the addition of an optional step 51.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As anticipated the method and the kit object of invention are used and applied to ceramic and similar materials, such as "solid surface" and "engineered stone", therefore to materials the surface of which is not a one-color, but has a particular texture that must be reproduced with continuity following its repair. The method object of the invention provides some necessary and other optional steps, the latter one depending in particular on the state of the damaged area and is substantially carried out according to two embodiment variants. The necessary steps of the method according to the invention set forth in the diagram in Fig. 1 in a first embodiment variant are the following:

10 acquiring from an available photographic archive the image of the original undamaged material and selecting from the image of the original material the portion of the original texture corresponding to the portion of the missing texture to be restored, which is identified on the surface of the material to be repaired,

20 to transferring by means of a printing technique a portion of texture selected by the previous step on a transparent sheet, 30 cutting the portion of the transparent sheet comprising the texture portion transferred onto the transparent sheet,

40 injecting a liquid glue onto the area to be repaired of the material to be repaired, so as to completely fill the void to be restored, said glue being capable of hardening and solidifying, thus recreating the suitable support for the upper finish to be restored,

50 at the end of the previous step, applying the cutout comprising the texture portion of step 30 onto the glue layer referred to in the preceding step, still in the liquid state,

60 maintaining the position of the texture cutout in contact with the glue layer still in the liquid state, by allowing the transfer of the ink from the transparent sheet to the upper surface of the glue layer injected at the step 40 from the moment of his liquid condition, for the entire hardening process of the glue and until its final hardening, for a prefixed application time T,

70 once the previous step has ended and then the transfer of the ink to the upper surface of the glue layer was made, which in turn has terminated the induction process, removing the texture cutout.

The optional steps of the method can be applied to all variants of the method set forth in the present description:

Step 35 to be inserted between step 30 and step 40 (see Fig. 2) for the first variant of the method according to the invention and between steps 30 and 50bis for the second variant according to the invention:

35 to prepare the area to be restored by creating channels in the same area in order to determine a deep groove of at least 2 mm along the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter that defines the area to be restored, said depth dimension being defined with respect to the limit imposed by the height of the surface of undamaged material on the external side of the damaged perimeter, so that at step 40 a sufficient layer of glue can be deposited uniformly near the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter, thus allowing the glue to perfectly adhere along the entire damaged perimeter.

Additionally, it is possible to use in the method exposed a transparent lucid sheet and then A smooth, but also opaque or a suitably embossed one, in such a way that the embossing returns to the conformation surface of the material to be repaired, being in this case reproducible not only the texture in terms of color and design representations, but also the surface conformation of the material to be repaired.

Still a further optional method according to step 55, applicable to all the variants of the method set out in this description, is to be inserted between step 50 and step 60 (see Fig. 3) which provides for:

55 controlling the uniformity of the distribution of the glue layer at the inner side of the entire damaged perimeter in the area to be treated, by visually checking through the transparency of the texture to be transferred that the entire inner surface and the entire perimeter of the texture selection to be transferred are in contact with the glue layer. The necessary steps of the method according to the invention are set forth in the diagram in Fig. 4, in a second embodiment variant, consisting in:

10 acquiring from an available photographic archive the image of the original undamaged material and selecting from the image of the original material the portion of original texture corresponding to that of the missing texture, and to be restored as identified on the surface of the material to be repaired,

20bis transferring, by means of a printing technique the portion of texture selected at the previous step onto a rigid transparent sheet,

30 cutting out the portion of the transparent sheet, including the transferred texture,

50bis applying on the area to be restored the cutout of the transparent sheet, comprised the texture referred to in step 30,

52 piercing the cutout texture with a syringe, for injecting glue in a liquid state on the area to be restored of the material to be repaired, in such a way as to completely fill the void to be restored and delimited by the transparent sheet, said glue being able to harden and solidify, thus restoring the support suitable for the upper finish to be restored,

60 keeping the cutout texture in contact with the glue layer still in the liquid state, allowing the transfer of the ink from the transparent sheet to the upper surface of the glue layer injected at step 40, from the moment of its liquid condition, through the process of hardening of the glue and up to its final hardening, for a predetermined application time

T,

70 once the previous step has ended and then the transfer of the ink to the upper surface of the layer of glue has been made, which in turn has completed the hardening process, removing the cutout texture.

The optional steps of the method according to its second variant as described are: step 51 to be inserted between step 50bis and step 52 (see Fig. 5):

51 applying a transparent rigid support suitable to be pierced by a syringe and configured to be applied in solid form to the cutout texture, to avoid the same phenomena of deviation from the flatness condition during the piercing operation of the syringe for injecting the glue.

In order that the exposed method achieves the intended purposes, it is necessary that the glue is a two-component glue, a single-component glue, catalyzed by UV or infrared rays, more preferably with a poly-aspartate bicomponent, which does not contain VOC (volatile organic components) having a low impact in terms of odor caused during their use and also being more efficient in keeping the definition of the texture printed on the transparent sheet, and in that the printing technique is a laser printing or xerography or ink-jet or white toner printing, preferably a laser printing as a more efficient printing and image transfer process on the support.

Additionally, in order that the method achieves the intended results, it is necessary that the application T is longer than 1 hour, which guarantees the complete transfer of the image and the complete hardening of the glue.

The kit object of the invention used in the method for repairing the exposed surface of a ceramic material or "engineered stone" or damaged "solid surface", therefore necessarily involves the cutting of a transparent, glossy, opaque, embossed sheet, preferably PVC, on which the texture portion to be transferred is present on the support in the damaged area, with tools for injecting the bi-component glue in the area to be repaired and distributing it uniformly, for example with a syringe, a spatula or other suitable instruments, a container containing two-component, a single-component glue, catalyzed by means of UV-or infrared rays, more preferably a poly- aspartate bi-component, and a timer to determine the application time, in order to guarantee the end of the image transfer process on the glue and its complete hardening.