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IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000223333D
Publication Date: 2012-Nov-19
Document File: 5 page(s) / 322K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database



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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 32% of the total text.

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The problem is that a dark color carpet pile is blocking a significant amount of light. For example, the light throughput for a black carpet can be as low as 0.2 % compared to a light transmission of 30 % for a fully white carpet. One solution is to add white yarns to the carpet pile, but this changes the appearance of the carpet. For example a mix of black and white yarns will give a gray impression. Thus, the problem is how to make a carpet pile with a dark color and a higher light transmission. The solution proposed here is to use a mix of dark yarns and transparent yarns. Because the transparent yarns don't have a color, they will not change the appearance of the carpet very much, while improving the light transmission at the same time.


A tufted carpet comprises a primary backing layer in which tufts are made, typically using nylon yarns. Subsequently a coating of latex is spread onto the bottom of the carpet in order to lock the tufts in place. This is called the pre-coat latex layer. After the pre-coat layer has dried, an additional layer of latex is applied (the so-called adhesive layer), onto which a secondary backing is applied. The carpet is then placed in an oven (autoclave) to cure the latex. The purpose of the secondary backing is to give the carpet structure extra strength.

Figure 1: Carpet layer structure.

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Light sources can be placed below the carpet, and the carpet is made light-transmissive by using a translucent carpet adhesive between the primary and secondary backing.

Typically, the carpet adhesive is made light transmissive by removing the filler materials from the adhesive. Figure 2 shows some first experimental results.

Figure 2: Experimental results of placing LED light sources below a light transmissive carpet. Left: carpet with LED string underneath. Right: carpet with LED array video tile behind it.

Broadloom carpets sold in 12 ft. wide rolls constitute approximately 80 % of the commercial carpet market in the U.S, with the balance (i.e., 20 %) being modular tiles and 6 ft. wide roll goods. The most popular modular tile sizes in the U.S. are squares measuring 18 by 18 inches, and to a much lesser extent 24 by 24 and 36 by 36 inch-square modular sizes are also used. Modular tile is gaining a greater market share in business office environments for reasons which include: ease of access to subfloor utilities; less disruption in normal work activities during carpet installation and/or replacement; simplification of modular furniture reconfiguration in open-office planning settings; ease of transport in multi-story buildings; unlimited design flexibility; ease of installation and removal; durability and cost effectiveness; selective replacement of damaged carpet capability; dimensional stability; and high performance.

Carpet tiles are often multi-layered products, in which each layer performs some specific function....