Stock material or miscellaneous articles – Structurally defined web or sheet – Including variation in thickness
This invention pertains to the art of endless belts for use in exercising treadmdills, and more specifically to a belt construction for use in an exercising treadmill.
DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
In the art it is known to use endless conveyor-type belts on exercising treadmills to simulate a walking or running exercise. While conveyor belts useful in industry often employ supporting rollers along their length, such arrangements are unsatisfactory for exercising treadmills because of the bumpy sensation caused thereby. Merely eliminating the supporting rollers, however, causes friction problems between the underside of the belt and the supporting surface.
The conveyor belt system disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,711,090 to Fielder attempts to overcome the friction problem by providing a belt having a low-friction sheet on an inner portion of the belt which moves against a flat support surface which is similarly lined with low-friction material. The support system provides a rigid base without providing for any vertical movement of the belt, or cushion, when in operation.
In order to reduce the likelihood of injury to a user of an exercise treadmill, it is beneficial to provide a yieldable surface which cushions the vertical movements of the user.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,689,066 discloses a fairly complex system whereby a series of collapsible bellows undergird an upper belt section in an effort to provide resilient and yieldable support thereto. The series of bellows are located beneath the inner belt surface and are overlaid with a low-friction sheet. The belt slides against this low-friction sheet during operation of the treadmill.
European Patent Document EP 196 877 discloses a shock absorbent moving platform for use in exercising.
The present invention provides a yieldable and resilient belt for use in an exercising treadmill which further provides a low-friction surface for effective movement of the belt.
According to one aspect of the invention, an endless belt for use with an exercising treadmill comprises a planar first portion comprising a continuous underlying ply of low friction material, and a second portion comprising a series of projections. Each projection has a pair of oppositely inclined side walls and a top, the top being generally parallel to the plane of the first portion. The projections extend the width of the belt and the tops are laterally spaced transverse to the lengthwise dimension of the belt.
According to another aspect of the invention, each of the projections comprise an internal core of compressible and resilient material, and an overlying skin of abrasion resistant material.
According to another aspect of the invention, the low-friction material is selected from the group consisting of: ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE), nylon, polyester, etc.
According to another aspect of the invention, the compressible and resilient material is selected from the group consisting of: polynorbornene, foam, butyl.
According to another aspect of the invention, the overlying skin is selected from the group consisting of: abrasion resistant synthetic, natural rubber or blends thereof.
According to another aspect of the invention, the first portion further comprises a reinforcing ply disposed between the underlying ply and the second portion.
According to another aspect of the invention, an endless belt for use in an exercising treadmill comprises a continuous underlying ply of low friction material, an internal core of compressible and resilient material, and an overlying skin of abrasion resistent material attached to the internal core. The internal core has an inner surface coextensive with the underlying ply, and an outer surface having a plurality of transversely extending V-shaped grooves therein.
One advantage of the present invention is the provision of an energy absorbing internal core in the construction of a belt for use with an exercising treadmill.
Another advantage of the present invention is the provision of an underlying ply of low friction material in the belt construction to aid movement of the belt against a supporting surface.
Another advantage of the present invention is the cross-sectional shape of the upper portion which allows for expansion of the internal core upon compression of an upper belt section.
Another advantage of the present invention is the provision of V-shaped grooves in the outer surface which helps the belt ease around end rollers.
Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.
patent: 3641601 (1972-02-01), Sieg
patent: 3659845 (1972-05-01), Quinton
patent: 3689066 (1972-09-01), Hagen
patent: 3711090 (1973-01-01), Fiedler
patent: 4509510 (1985-04-01), Hook
patent: 5018722 (1991-05-01), Whitmore
patent: 0196877 (1985-03-01), None
patent: 1139936 (1955-12-01), None
patent: 2441563 (1978-11-01), None
International Search Report.
Emerson Roger D
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
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