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United States Patent Application 20180029327
Kind Code A1
Peterson; Michael February 1, 2018

LAMINATE FOAM AND METHODS OF MAKING LAMINATE FOAM

Abstract

A laminate foam material and a method of making laminate foam material is provided. The laminate foam material includes a layer of non-foam material sandwiched between two layers of foam material. The non-foam material is bonded to the foam material, such as with a bonding agent and/or by heating respective surfaces of the foam material until the surface softens or melts. When a heating process is utilized, the non-foam material is pressed against the softened or melted foam material. As the foam material begins to cool, the non-foam material becomes bonded to the foam material. The non-foam material is narrower than the foam material and is positioned relative to the foam material such that the edges of the non-foam material are concealed by the foam material. Foam products, such as foam mats, can be formed from the laminate foam material by cutting across the width of the foam material.


Inventors: Peterson; Michael; (Shawnee, KS)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

NOVATION IQ LLC

Lenexa

KS

US
Family ID: 1000002780598
Appl. No.: 15/666361
Filed: August 1, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62369549Aug 1, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: B32B 5/18 20130101; B32B 3/02 20130101; B32B 2307/54 20130101; B32B 37/10 20130101; B32B 37/06 20130101
International Class: B32B 5/18 20060101 B32B005/18; B32B 37/06 20060101 B32B037/06; B32B 37/10 20060101 B32B037/10; B32B 3/02 20060101 B32B003/02

Claims



1. A laminate product comprising: a first layer having opposed top and bottom surfaces; a second layer bonded to said top surface of said first layer; and a third layer having a bottom surface bonded to at least one of said second layer and said top surface of said first layer, wherein said first and third layers are each formed from a foam material, wherein said second layer is formed from a non-foam material, and wherein a density of the laminate product is less than the density of water.

2. The laminate product of claim 1, wherein the laminate product is a lake pad.

3. The laminate product of claim 1, further comprising a fourth layer having a bottom surface bonded to a top surface of said third layer, said fourth layer being formed from a foam material.

4. The laminate product of claim 1, further comprising: a fourth layer bonded to a top surface of said third layer; and a fifth layer having a bottom surface bonded to at least one of said fourth layer and said top surface of said third layer, wherein said fourth layer is formed from a non-foam material, and wherein said fifth layer is formed from a foam material.

5. The laminate product of claim 1, wherein a width of the first layer is larger than an associated width of the second layer and wherein said second layer is positioned relative to said first layer such that a first edge of said second layer is displaced from an associated first edge of said first layer, thereby creating a first edge region of the laminate product, the first edge region being devoid of said second layer.

6. The laminate product of claim 5, wherein a first edge of said third layer is substantially aligned with the first edge of said first layer such that the first edge region comprises a portion of each of the first and third layers, thereby concealing the first edge of said second layer between the first and third layers.

7. The laminate product of claim 6, wherein a width of the third layer is substantially equivalent to an associated width of the first layer such that a second edge of said third layer is substantially aligned with a second edge of said first layer.

8. The laminate product of claim 7, wherein said second layer is positioned relative to said first and third layers such that a second edge of said second layer is displaced from associated second edges of said first and third layers, thereby creating a second edge region of the laminate product, the second edge region being devoid of said second layer, thereby concealing the second edge of said second layer between the first and third layers.

9. The laminate product of claim 8, wherein said first layer is bonded directly to said third layer in at least one of said first and second edge regions.

10. The laminate product of claim 5, wherein said second layer is positioned relative to said first layer such that a second edge of said second layer is displaced from an associated second edge of said first layer, thereby creating a second edge region of the laminate product, the second edge region being devoid of said second layer.

11. A method of forming a laminate material for forming a laminate product, the method comprising: heating a top surface of a first piece of foam material; pressing a first piece of non-foam material against the top surface of the first piece of foam material while the top surface is still at an elevated temperature; retaining the first piece of non-foam material in contact with the top surface of the first piece of foam material while the top surface is allowed to cool; heating a bottom surface of a second piece of foam material; pressing the second piece of foam material against the first piece of non-foam material while the bottom surface is still at an elevated temperature; and retaining the bottom surface of the second piece of foam material in contact with the first piece of non-foam material while the bottom surface is allowed to cool, wherein the first piece of foam material forms at least part of a first layer of the laminate material, wherein the first piece of non-foam material forms at least part of a second layer of the laminate material, and wherein the second piece of foam material forms at least part of a third layer of the laminate material.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of heating the bottom surface of the second piece of foam material occurs after the first pieces of foam material and non-foam material are bonded together.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein each heating step and each pressing step occurs substantially contemporaneously with its respective heating or pressing step such that the first layer of non-foam material is simultaneously bonded to each of the first and second pieces of foam material.

14. The method of claim 11, further comprising positioning the first piece of non-foam material relative to the first piece of foam material such that a first edge of the first piece of non-foam material is displaced from a first edge of the first piece of foam material, thereby forming a first edge region of the laminate material, the first edge region being devoid of the first piece of non-foam material.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising positioning a first edge of the second piece of foam material so as to be substantially aligned with the first edge of the first piece of foam material such that the first edge region of the laminate material comprises a portion of each of the first and second pieces of foam material, thereby concealing the first edge of the first piece of non-foam material between the first and second pieces of foam material.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein a width of the second piece of foam material is substantially equivalent to an associated width of the first piece of foam material such that a second edge of second piece of foam material is substantially aligned with a second edge of the first piece of foam material.

17. The laminate product of claim 16, wherein the first piece of non-foam material is positioned relative to the first and second pieces of foam material such that a second edge of the first piece of non-foam material is displaced from associated second edges of the first and second pieces of foam material, thereby creating a second edge region of the laminate material, the second edge region being devoid of the first layer of non-foam material, thereby concealing the second edge of the first piece of non-foam material between the first and second pieces of foam material.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the first piece of foam material is bonded directly to the second piece of foam material in at least one of the first and second edge regions of the laminate material.

19. A method of forming a laminate product from a laminate material, the method comprising cutting the laminate material across an entire width of the laminate material so as to form first and second pieces of laminate material, the first piece of laminate material being sized to form a single laminate product and the second piece of laminate material being sized to form a plurality of laminate products, wherein the laminate material comprises: a first layer having opposed top and bottom surfaces; a second layer bonded to the top surface of the first layer; and a third layer having a bottom surface bonded to at least one of the second layer and the top surface of the first layer, wherein the first and third layers are each formed from a foam material, wherein the second layer is formed from a non-foam material, and wherein a density of the laminate product is significantly less than the density of water.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising trimming a first edge region of the laminate material so as to form a first edge of the laminate product, the first edge region of the laminate material being defined at least partially by a portion of the first and third layers of the laminate material extending beyond a first edge of the second layer of the laminate material.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 119(e) to co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/369,549, filed Aug. 1, 2016, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to laminate foam material and associated laminate foam products. More specifically, the present invention is concerned with methods of fabricating laminate foam material.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Laminate foam material is used for a variety of products, including foam mats and foam flotation devices. Laminate foam material is fabricated by bonding multiple layers of foam together. Flame lamination is one method of bonding foam material together.

[0004] Flame lamination involves heating the surface of the foam material, such as with an open flame, to soften and/or melt the surface of the foam material. Two pieces of foam material are then pressed together while their respective surfaces are still hot. As the surfaces cool, a bond is formed. Unfortunately, the bonds created are not always sufficient for every application. For instance, in some applications, such bonds can fail, causing delamination. One such instance involves the use of laminate foam as flotation devices. In such instance, multiple layers (often two) of foam material approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch each in thickness are flame laminated together to form a mat, often of sizes in the range of five to ten feet (or more) in width and ten to twenty feet (or more) in length. Some such mats, often referred to as lake mats and/or lake pads, are tied up next to a dock or boat, or tied to an anchor and allowed to float in a lake or other body of water and used as a swim platform for entertainment purposes. Often swimmers will jump from a boat or dock onto the mat, and the foam material and/or bond will break apart. Personal-size floatation mats formed from smaller sizes of the same or similar material can also break apart from use and/or abuse by a user. Consequently, it would be beneficial to have alternative laminating processes. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to have stronger bonds so that the laminate foam material will be less likely to delaminate and/or to provide a laminate foam composition that is stronger than those of the prior art.

[0005] The lake pad/mat market is driven by the competing factors of durability and cost. Consumers want a low-cost option, but they do not want the pad/mat to tear or rip. Unfortunately, existing low-cost alternatives, such as those that use two layers of 2# or 3# density 5/8'' thick foam bonded together to make a 1.25'' thick mat, are more susceptible to tears or rips than some consumers and manufacturers would like, leading to rejection rates as high as 10%. Consequently, it would be beneficial to have a low-cost alternative that is less susceptible to tears and rips so that the rejection rate can be reduced without significantly increasing the cost of the product.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention comprises a superior laminate foam material for use in forming a laminate product and a method of making the same. In some embodiments, such as shown in FIG. 3, the foam material includes a first layer of foam material, a second layer of foam material, and a first layer of non-foam material that is bonded there-between. It will be understood that in some embodiments the layer of non-foam material is formed from a foam material having different properties from one or more layer of foam material. In some such embodiments, the layer of non-foam material is formed from a foam material having high tensile strength while one or more layer of the foam material is formed from a foam material having lower tensile strength.

[0007] In some embodiments, the layer of non-foam material extends substantially between opposed first and second ends of the foam material. In this way, the entire length of the foam material is bonded to the non-foam material. In some embodiments, the non-foam material extends partially from a first side of the first layer of foam material to a second side of the first layer of foam material.

[0008] In some embodiments, a second layer of foam material is bonded to the first layer of foam material and to the non-foam material such that the non-foam material is secured between the first and second layers of foam material. In some embodiments, the second layer of foam material is substantially the same width as the first layer of foam material but wider than the non-foam material. In some such embodiments, such as shown in FIG. 3, the non-foam material is displaced from opposed sides of the foam material such that the foam material defines opposed first and second strips of material where the first and second layers of foam material are bonded directly to each other and a center strip of material positioned between the first and second strips of material in which the first and second layers of foam material are each bonded to the non-foam material. In this way, the edges of the non-foam material are concealed by the foam material, thereby reducing risk of damage to, injury from, and/or otherwise associated with the non-foam material.

[0009] In some embodiments, the laminate foam material includes one or more additional layer of foam material bonded to the first piece of foam material such that the first piece of foam material is positioned between the additional piece of foam material and the second piece of foam material. In some such embodiments, an additional piece of non-foam material is positioned between the first piece of foam material and the additional piece of foam material. In other embodiments, a plurality of pieces of foam material are bonded together. In some such embodiments, a piece of non-foam material is positioned between at least some of the plurality of pieces of foam material.

[0010] The present invention further includes a method of making laminate foam material for forming a laminate product of the present invention. In some embodiments, a bonding agent is utilized to bond one or more layer of the laminate material to an adjacent layer of the laminate material. In some embodiments, a top surface of a first piece of foam material is heated, such as with an open flame, so as to create a thin layer of softened and/or melted foam material. A first layer of non-foam material is then pressed against the top surface of the first piece of foam material so as to bond the first piece of non-foam material to the top surface of the first piece of foam material. In some such embodiments, a bottom surface of the second piece of foam material is heated and pressed against the top surface of the first pieces of foam and non-foam material so as to bond the first and second pieces of foam material together with the first piece of non-foam material bonded there between. In some such embodiments, the first and second pieces of foam material are heated simultaneously or nearly simultaneously such that the top surface of the first piece of foam material and the bottom surface of the second piece of foam material are each softened and/or melted when the first and second pieces of foam material are pressed together.

[0011] The foregoing and other objects are intended to be illustrative of the invention and are not meant in a limiting sense. Many possible embodiments of the invention may be made and will be readily evident upon a study of the following specification and accompanying drawings comprising a part thereof. Various features and subcombinations of invention may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of this invention and various features thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] A preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which the applicant has contemplated applying the principles, is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.

[0013] FIG. 1 is a top view of a laminate material having a first layer of foam and a layer of non-foam material bonded thereto.

[0014] FIG. 2 is an end view of the laminate material of FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 3 is an end view of a laminate material having first and second layers of foam and a layer of non-foam material bonded there between.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a laminate product having two foam layers and a single non-foam layer posited there between.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a laminate product having three foam layers and two non-foam layers, each non-foam layer being positioned between two foam layers.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] As required, a detailed embodiment of the present invention is disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiment is merely exemplary of the principles of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

[0019] Referring to FIGS. 1-5, the present invention is a laminate material 100 for forming a laminate product 100 and a method of making the same. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the laminate material 5 includes a first layer 10 bonded to a second layer 20. In other embodiments, as shown in FIG. 3, the laminate material 5 further includes a third layer 30 bonded to the first 10 and/or second 20 layer. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is positioned between the first 10 and third 30 layers and is bonded to each. In some such embodiments, the first 10, second 20, and third 30 layers are formed from materials and/or are bonded in such a way that bonding the second 20 layer between the first 10 and third 30 layers creates a laminate material 5 having superior properties over a laminate material formed from the first 10 layer being bonded to the third 30 layer without the second 20 layer bonded there between.

[0020] Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the laminate product 100 includes opposed first 110 and second 120 ends defined by respective first and second ends of the first 10 and/or third 30 layer. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 extends substantially between opposed first 110 and second 120 ends of the laminate product 100. In this way, the entire length of the second layer 20 is capable of being bonded to at least one of the first 10 and third 30 layers.

[0021] In some embodiments, the laminate product 100 further includes opposed first 130 and second 140 edges extending between opposed first 110 and second 120 ends of the laminate product. In some embodiments, a first edge of the second layer 20 is displaced from the first edge 130 of the laminate product 100, thereby defining a first edge region in which the first 10 and third 30 layers are capable of being bonded directly to each other. In other embodiments, first and second edges of the second layer 20 are each displaced from respective first 130 and second 140 edges of the laminate product 100, thereby defining respective first and second edge regions in which the first 10 and third 30 layers are capable of being bonded directly to each other. In some such embodiments, the first edge region has a width that is substantially equal to a width of the second edge region.

[0022] In some embodiments, at least one of the first 10 and third 30 layers is formed from a material having good flotation properties. In this way, the first 10 and/or second 30 layer is configured to cause the laminate product 100 to be buoyant, thereby allowing the laminate product 100 to be used with and/or as a flotation device, such as a lake pad. In some embodiments, the first 10 and third 30 layers are each formed from a polymer material, such as polyurethane.

[0023] In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is formed from a material having good durability properties. In this way, the second layer 20 is configured to prevent and/or resist tearing and/or puncturing of the laminate product 100.

[0024] In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is formed from a polyethylene, such as woven polyethylene. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is formed from a polyester mesh. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is formed from a 7 ounce poly (7 ounces per square yard) material having a 12 by 11 weave, such as a 1500 denier scrim with 2.5 mils black UV coating on each side. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 is formed from a 12 ounce poly (12 ounces per square yard) material having a 14 by 16 weave, such as a 2000 denier scrim with 3.5 mils black UV coating on each side. In some embodiments, the second layer is formed from a 6-8 mil PE film or a 600 denier pure nylon.

[0025] In some embodiments, the laminate product 100 has a width of between 70 and 75 inches and a length of between 135 and 800 feet. In some embodiments, each of the first 10 and third 30 layers has a width substantially equivalent to the width of the laminate product 100 such that opposed first and second edges of the first layer 10 substantially align with respective opposed first and second edges of the third layer 30. In some embodiments, the second layer 20 has a width of approximately 65 inches.

[0026] In some embodiments, the second layer 20 has a thickness that is substantially less than a thickness of the first layer 10. In some embodiments, the first 10 and/or third 30 layer is formed from a material having a thickness of 0.35'' with a 3# density, a 5/8'' thickness with a 2# or 3# density, a 0.7'' thickness with a 2# density, and/or a 3/4'' thickness with a 2.1# density. In some such embodiments, the first 10 and third 30 layers each has a thickness of 5/8'' and the second layer 20 has a thickness that is substantially less than 5/8'' such that the laminate product 100 has a total thickness of approximately 1.25''. In other embodiments, one of the first 10 and third 30 layers has a thickness of 5/8'', the other of the first 10 and third 30 layers has a thickness of 0.70'' or 0.75'', and the second layer has a thickness that is substantially less than the thickness of either of the first 10 and third 30 layers such that the laminate product 100 has a total thickness of approximately 1.325 or 1.375, respectively. In still other embodiments, the first 10 and third 30 layers each has a thickness of 0.70'' and the second layer 20 has a thickness that is substantially less than 0.70'' such that the laminate product 100 has a total thickness of approximately 1.40''. In some embodiments, the first 10 and/or third 30 layer is formed from a material that is red, orange, yellow, or blue.

[0027] It will be appreciated that the first 10 and third 30 layers are formed from a material of a group of materials generally referred to as "foam" materials and that the second layer 20 is formed from a material of a group of materials generally referred to as "non-foam" materials. In some embodiments, the volume of foam materials is substantially greater than the volume of non-foam materials such that the density of the present invention is substantially equivalent to the density of the foam materials. It will be appreciated that some embodiments of the present invention include various layer configurations and that various layers of such embodiments include various properties, including different thicknesses, densities, colors, materials, and the like.

[0028] In some embodiments, the laminate product 100 further includes a fourth layer (not shown) made from a foam material. In some such embodiments, the foam material of the fourth layer is substantially similar to the material of the first 10 or third 30 layer. In some embodiments, a fourth layer formed from foam material is bonded to the third layer 30 such that the third layer 30 is positioned between the fourth layer and the second layer 20.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 5, some embodiments of the laminate product 100 further include a fourth layer 40 made from a non-foam material. In some such embodiments, the non-foam material of the fourth layer is substantially similar to the material of the second layer 20. In some embodiments, the laminate product 100 further includes a fourth layer 40 formed from a non-foam material and a fifth layer 50 formed from a foam material. In some such embodiments, the fourth layer 40 is bonded to the third layer 30 and the fifth layer 50 is bonded to the fourth layer 40 such that the non-foam material of the fourth layer 40 is positioned between the foam material of the third 30 and fifth 50 layers. In some such embodiments, the fifth layer 50 has a width that is substantially equivalent to a width of the third layer 30 and the fourth layer 40 has a width that is measurably less than the width of the third 30 and fifth 50 layers such that centering the fourth layer 40 with the third 30 and fifth 50 layers creates opposed first and second edge regions in which the fifth layer 50 is capable of being bonded directly to the third layer 30. It will be appreciated that, in other embodiments, the laminate product 100 includes a plurality of layers of foam material bonded directly to an adjacent layer of foam material and/or bonded to a layer of non-foam material positioned there between.

[0030] In some embodiments, each of three layers of foam material of a laminate product 100 has a thickness of 5/8'' and each of one or more layer of non-foam material has a thickness substantially less than 5/8'' such that the laminate product 100 has a total thickness of approximately 1.87''. In other embodiments, one of three layers of foam material of a laminate product 100 has a thickness of 0.75'', each of the other two layers of foam material of the laminate product 100 has a thickness of 0.35'' or 5/8'', and each of one or more layer of non-foam material of the laminate product 100 has a thickness substantially less than the thickness of each layer of foam material such that the laminate product 100 has a total thickness of between approximately 1.45'' and 2.00''.

[0031] The present invention further includes a method of making the laminate product 100 of the present invention. In some embodiments, a bonding agent is utilized to bond one or more layer of the laminate material to an adjacent layer of the laminate material. In some embodiments, a top surface of a first piece of foam material is heated, such as with an open flame, so as to create a thin layer of softened and/or melted foam material. A first piece of non-foam material is then pressed against the top surface of the first piece of foam material so as to bond the first piece of non-foam material to the top surface of the first piece of foam material, thereby creating a first 10 and second 20 layer of the laminate product 100 formed from a foam material and a non-foam material, respectively. In some embodiments, the method further includes heating a bottom surface of a second piece of foam material, such as with an open flame, so as to create a thin layer of softened and/or melted foam material and pressing the first and second pieces of foam material together so as to bond the first and second pieces of foam material together with the first piece of non-foam material bonded there between, thereby creating a laminated product 100 having first 10, second 20, and third 30 layers. In some such embodiments, the first and second pieces of foam material are heated simultaneously or nearly simultaneously such that the top surface of the first piece of foam material and the bottom surface of the second piece of foam material are each softened and/or melted when the first and second pieces of foam material are pressed together.

[0032] In some embodiments, the first piece of non-foam material is at least partially secured to at least one of the first and second pieces of foam material prior to the respective first or second piece of foam material being heated. In some such embodiments, the first piece of non-foam material is pressed against the top surface of the first piece of foam material prior to the top surface of the foam material becoming softened and/or melted. In other embodiments, the first piece of non-foam material is pressed against the bottom surface of the second piece of foam material prior to the bottom surface of the second piece of material being heated.

[0033] In some embodiments, a multi-burner flame laminator, such as a three burner flame laminator, is used to bond the foam material together. In some such embodiments, first and second flame bars are each angled relative to respective first and second foam layers as the first and second foam layers are heated simultaneously by respective first and second flame bars. In some such embodiments, one or more flame blocker is used relative to the first and/or second flame bar so as to redirect heat away from the non-foam layer as the first and second foam layers are being heated. In this way, a double-layer of foam material can be formed in one pass while the non-foam layer is protected from heat damage and/or deterioration associated with heat.

[0034] In some embodiments, triple-layer foam material and other foam material having more than two layers of foam material can be formed using a flame laminator. In some such embodiments, a first foam layer is heated by one or more flame bar/burner so that the non-foam layer can be bonded to the first foam layer. In some such embodiments, one or more flame blocker is used relative to the one or more flame bar/burner so as to redirect heat away from the non-foam layer as the first foam layer is being heated. In this way, the non-foam layer can be bonded to the first foam layer while protecting the non-foam layer from heat damage and/or deterioration associated with heat. In some embodiments, second and third foam layers are each heated by one or more flame bar/burner so that the second and third foam layers can be bonded to the first foam layer. In some such embodiments, one or more flame blocker is used with the one or more flame bar/burners so as to redirect heat away from the non-foam layer as the second and third foam layers are being heated.

[0035] In some embodiments, forming the foam product 100 includes cutting the laminate foam material along its entire width so as to create at least part of the foam product. In some embodiments, the material is further cut at one or more location along its length. In some such embodiments, the foam material has an original width of approximately 75 inches and is cut down to a width of between approximately 70 and 72 inches.

[0036] In some embodiments, cutting the laminate foam material along its width includes cutting the non-foam material such that the non-foam material is at least partially exposed at one or more end(s) of laminate product 100. In other embodiments, the non-foam material is sized and spaced and the process of cutting the material along its length is coordinated with the sizing and spacing of the non-foam material such that cutting the material along its length does not include cutting the non-foam material.

[0037] In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed. Moreover, the description and illustration of the inventions is by way of example, and the scope of the inventions is not limited to the exact details shown or described.

[0038] Although the foregoing detailed description of the present invention has been described by reference to an exemplary embodiment, and the best mode contemplated for carrying out the present invention has been shown and described, it will be understood that certain changes, modification or variations may be made in embodying the above invention, and in the construction thereof, other than those specifically set forth herein, may be achieved by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that such changes, modification or variations are to be considered as being within the overall scope of the present invention. Therefore, it is contemplated to cover the present invention and any and all changes, modifications, variations, or equivalents that fall with in the true spirit and scope of the underlying principles disclosed and claimed herein. Consequently, the scope of the present invention is intended to be limited only by the attached claims, all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

[0039] Having now described the features, discoveries and principles of the invention, the manner in which the invention is constructed and used, the characteristics of the construction, and advantageous, new and useful results obtained; the new and useful structures, devices, elements, arrangements, parts and combinations, are set forth in the appended claims.

[0040] It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

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