(19)
(11)EP 3 131 745 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.03.2019 Bulletin 2019/10

(21)Application number: 15718398.9

(22)Date of filing:  01.04.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B29D 35/14  (2010.01)
B29D 35/04  (2010.01)
A43B 13/12  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/023799
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/160509 (22.10.2015 Gazette  2015/42)

(54)

METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING A SOLE ASSEMBLY FORMED FROM MULTIPLE PREFORMS

VERFAHREN ZUR HERSTELLUNG EINER SOHLENANORDNUNG AUS MEHREREN VORFORMEN

PROCÉDÉ POUR LA FABRICATION D'UNE SEMELLE FORMÉ À PARTIR DE MULTIPLES PRÉFORMES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 14.04.2014 US 201414252076

(43)Date of publication of application:
22.02.2017 Bulletin 2017/08

(60)Divisional application:
19154005.3

(73)Proprietor: NIKE Innovate C.V.
Beaverton, OR 97005 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • WAN, Tee L.
    Beaverton, Oregon 97005 (US)
  • CHAISUMREJ, Thienchai
    Beaverton, Oregon 97005 (US)
  • WU, Chia-Yi
    Long An Province (VN)
  • LIN, Yu-Chen
    Long An Province (VN)

(74)Representative: Tombling, Adrian George 
Withers & Rogers LLP 4 More London Riverside
London SE1 2AU
London SE1 2AU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2013/023135
WO-A2-2010/045144
US-A1- 2008 073 806
WO-A2-2008/019980
DE-A1- 19 812 694
US-A1- 2012 304 501
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD



    [0001] Aspects of this disclosure relate generally to a sole assembly for an article of footwear, and, in particular, to a sole assembly formed from two preforms and a method and mold for manufacturing such a sole assembly.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Conventional articles of athletic footwear include two primary elements, an upper and a sole assembly. The upper provides a covering for the foot that comfortably receives and securely positions the foot with respect to the sole assembly. In addition, the upper may have a configuration that protects the foot and provides ventilation, thereby cooling the foot and removing perspiration. The sole assembly is secured to a lower portion of the upper and is generally positioned between the foot and the ground. In addition to attenuating ground reaction forces, the sole assembly may provide traction, control foot motions (e.g., by resisting over pronation), and impart stability, for example. Accordingly, the upper and the sole assembly operate cooperatively to provide a comfortable structure that is suited for a wide variety of activities, such as walking and running. An insole may be located within the upper and adjacent to a plantar (i.e., lower) surface of the foot to enhance footwear comfort, and is typically a thin, compressible member.

    [0003] The sole assembly may incorporate multiple layers. Some footwear include only a midsole, while others may also include an outsole secured to a bottom surface of the midsole. The midsole, which is conventionally secured to the upper along the length of the upper, is primarily responsible for attenuating ground reaction forces. The midsole may also form the ground-contacting element of footwear. In such embodiments, the midsole may include texturing, such as projections and recesses or grooves, in order to improve traction. The outsole, when present, forms the ground-contacting element and may be fashioned from a durable, wear-resistant material.

    [0004] The midsole may be primarily formed from a resilient, polymer foam material, such as ethylvinylacetate (EVA), that extends throughout the length of the footwear. The properties of the polymer foam material in the midsole are primarily dependent upon factors that include the dimensional configuration of the midsole and the specific characteristics of the material selected for the polymer foam, including the density of the polymer foam material. By varying these factors throughout the midsole, the relative stiffness and degree of ground reaction force attenuation may be altered to meet the specific demands of the activity for which the footwear is intended to be used. In addition to polymer foam materials, conventional midsoles may include, for example, one or more fluid-filled bladders and moderators.

    [0005] The sole assembly may be formed of multiple portions, with some or all of the portions having different colors. When EVA is formed in a mold assembly the color lines between the different colored portions may bleed, decreasing the aesthetic appeal of the footwear.

    [0006] WO 2010/045144 discloses a mold assembly includes an upper portion having an upper recess in a lower surface thereof; an insert having an upper surface configured to mate with the upper portion's lower surface; a first channel in one of the upper portion and the insert and in fluid communication with an exterior of the one of the upper portion and the insert and with the upper recess when the upper portion and the insert are in contact with one another. A lower portion has a lower recess in an upper surface thereof, the upper surface configured to mate with the insert's lower surface. A second channel in one of the lower portion and the insert, the second channel is in fluid communication with an exterior of the one of the lower portion and the insert and the lower recess when the lower portion and the insert are in contact with one another.

    [0007] DE19812694A1 discloses the molding of an injection foamed product with material sections having different properties. Pre-forms (3a, 4a) of a secondary polymer are located in separate cavity areas (15, 17) of a main tool cavity and a primary polymer mixture (2a) containing a blowing agent is injected into the remaining cavity area of the closed tool. The tool (10) is maintained for a given time at a suitable temperature and pressure and then opened to allow both materials to expand. The primary and secondary polymers crosslink with each other during heating.

    [0008] It would be desirable to provide a midsole formed from two preforms and a method and mold for manufacturing such a midsole that reduces or overcomes some or all of the difficulties inherent in prior known devices. Particular advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that is, those who are knowledgeable or experienced in this field of technology, in view of the detailed description of certain embodiments.

    SUMMARY



    [0009] The principles below may be used to advantage to provide a sole assembly formed of preforms having different colors and a method of manufacturing such a sole assembly.

    [0010] The present invention is a method of manufacturing a midsole for an article of footwear as defined in the appended claims.

    [0011] By providing a method for manufacturing a sole assembly from multiple preforms, footwear with improved aesthetic appeal can be produced. These and additional features and advantages disclosed here will be further understood from the following detailed disclosure of certain embodiments.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0012] 

    FIG. 1 is a plan view of bottom of a sole assembly of an article of footwear formed from preforms.

    FIG. 2 is a section view of a portion of the sole assembly of FIG. 1.

    FIG. 3 is a section view of a heel portion of the sole assembly of FIG. 1.

    FIG. 4 is a section view of first and second preforms of the sole assembly of FIG. 1, shown in a mold assembly used to form the sole assembly.

    FIG. 5 is a section view of the mold assembly of FIG. 4 after the sole assembly has been formed from the preforms.

    FIG. 6 is a section view of the mold assembly of FIG. 4 with alternative embodiments of the preforms.



    [0013] The figures referred to above are not drawn necessarily to scale, should be understood to provide a representation of particular embodiments of the invention, and are merely conceptual in nature and illustrative of the principles involved. Some features of the mold assembly used to form a sole assembly formed of different preforms and related methods of manufacture depicted in the drawings have been enlarged or distorted relative to others to facilitate explanation and understanding. The same reference numbers are used in the drawings for similar or identical components and features shown in various alternative embodiments. Mold assemblies used for forming midsoles as disclosed herein would have configurations and components determined, in part, by the intended application and environment in which they are used.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS



    [0014] A sole assembly 10 for an article of footwear is depicted in FIG. 1. It is to be appreciated that in certain embodiments, sole assembly 10 may serve as a midsole, with an outsole (not shown) being secured to the bottom surface of the midsole. In other embodiments, as illustrated here, the bottom surface of sole assembly 10 serves as the ground-engaging portion (or other contact surface-engaging portion) of the article of footwear.

    [0015] Sole assembly 10 includes a first portion 12 formed of a first material having a first color, and a second portion 14 formed of a second material having a second color, where the second color is a different color than the first color.

    [0016] In certain embodiments, the first and second materials may also have different physical properties and, therefore, different performance characteristics. For example, the hardness of the various portions may be different. It is to be appreciated that any of the known physical properties or performance characteristics for sole assemblies can be different for the different portions of sole assembly 10, thereby altering the support, cushioning, load carrying capability, wear characteristics, and tread life of sole assembly 10, for example. Other suitable physical properties or performance characteristics will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.

    [0017] Sole assembly 10 serves to provide shock-attenuation and energy-absorption for an article of footwear. Sole assembly 10 can be used for any of various articles of casual footwear having configurations suitable, for example, for walking or lounging. Sole assembly 10 may also be included as part of a wide range of athletic footwear styles, including shoes that are suitable for soccer, running, basketball, baseball, cross-training, football, rugby, tennis, and volleyball, for example. An individual skilled in the relevant art will appreciate, therefore, that the concepts disclosed herein with regard to sole assembly 10 may be applied to a wide variety of footwear styles, in addition to the specific styles discussed herein and depicted in the accompanying figures.

    [0018] For purposes of reference in the following description, sole assembly 10 may be divided into three general regions: a forefoot region 16, a midfoot region 18, and a heel region 20. Regions 16-20 are not intended to demarcate precise areas of sole assembly 10. Rather, regions 16-20 are intended to represent general areas of sole assembly 10 that provide a frame of reference during the following discussion. Although regions 16-20 apply generally to sole assembly 10, references to regions 16-20 also may apply specifically to first portion 12, second portion 14, or individual components or portions of sole assembly 10.

    [0019] For purposes of reference, sole assembly 10 includes a medial side 22 and an opposite lateral side 24. Lateral side 24 is positioned to extend along a lateral side of the foot (i.e., the outside) and generally passes through each of regions 16-20. Similarly, medial side 22 is positioned to extend along an opposite medial side of the foot (i.e., the inside) and generally passes through each of regions 16-20.

    [0020] As noted above, a separate outsole member may be secured to a bottom surface 26 of sole assembly 10, and serve as the ground-engaging surface of the footwear. In other embodiments, bottom surface 26 itself may serve as the ground-engaging surface of the footwear.

    [0021] In known fashion, an upper may be secured to the upper surface of sole assembly 10 in order to fully form the footwear. The upper may be secured to sole assembly 10 with an adhesive, or in any other known fashion. The upper is not shown here as those skilled in the art are well aware of how an upper is secured to a midsole, and, therefore, such a drawing is not necessary for an understanding of the invention.

    [0022] The materials used to form first portion 12 and second portion 14 of sole assembly 10 may I be injection phylon (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or "EVA"). The EVA may have a Vinyl Acetate (VA) level between approximately 9% and approximately 40%. Suitable EVA resins include Elvax®, provided by DuPont, and Engage, provided by the Dow Chemical Company, for example. In certain embodiments, the EVA may be formed of a combination of high melt index and low melt index material. For example, the EVA may have a melt index between approximately 1 and approximately 50.

    [0023] The EVA may also include various components including a blowing agent. The blowing agent may have a percent weight between approximately 10% and approximately 20%. Suitable blowing agents include azodicarboamide, for example. In certain embodiments, a peroxide-based curing agent, such as dicumyl peroxide may be used. The amount of curing agent may be between approximately 0.6% and approximately 1.5%. The EVA may also include homogenizing agents, process aids, and waxes. For example, a mixture of light aliphatic hydrocarbons such as Struktol® 60NS may be included. The EVA may also include other constituents such as a release agent (e.g., stearic acid), activators (e.g., zinc oxide), fillers (e.g., magnesium carbonate), pigments, and clays.

    [0024] Other suitable materials for first portion 12 and second portion 14 will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.

    [0025] As noted above, first portion 12 is formed of a material having a first color, while second portion 14 is formed of a material formed of a second color that is different than the first color. First and second portions 12, 14 may also have different physical properties. For example, first and second portions 12, 14 may have different hardnesses, densities, specific gravities, or any other desired physical property. Other suitable physical properties for which the first and second portions may have different values will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.

    [0026] As seen in FIGS. 1-3, bottom surface 26 of sole assembly 10 includes a plurality of vertically extending channels 28. Each channel 28 extends upwardly from its open end at bottom surface 26 with opposing sidewalls 30 and an end surface 32, which is seen in FIG. 2 as an upper surface of channel 28. The intersecting surfaces or interfaces 34 between first portion 12 and second portion 14 are positioned along a central portion of sidewall 30, above bottom surface 26 and below end surface 32.

    [0027] By positioning interfaces 34 along a central portion of sidewalls 30, any bleeding between the two different colors of first portion 12 and second portion 14, which can occur during the molding process and can produce an uneven line along interface 34, is not visible from an exterior of sole assembly 10 when sole assembly 10 is viewed straight on from the bottom, along the surfaces of channel 28, as viewed in FIG. 1. One would need to look at sole assembly 10 at an angle and look into channel 28 to be able to see any variance in the line forming interface 34. Thus, the aesthetics of sole assembly 10 are improved by positioning interfaces 34 along a central portion of sidewalls 30.

    [0028] It is to be appreciated that channels 28 can have any desired shape, and can be positioned at any desired location inboard of an external periphery 35 of sole assembly 10. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, a plurality of channels 28 are positioned in forefoot region 16 of sole assembly 10. These channels 28 are substantially S-shaped, being formed of a compound curve.

    [0029] Channels 28 can have linear or non-linear shapes. For example, in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, channels 28 formed in heel region 20 form concentric circles. In other embodiments, channels 28 could be formed to define one or more other shapes, such as a grid or array of hexagons, rectangles, or any other polygons or other shapes. Other suitable shapes for channels 28 will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.

    [0030] In certain embodiments, more than two portions can be used to form sole assembly 10, in order to introduce additional colors to sole assembly 10. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, a third portion 36 having a third color that is different than the first and second colors is seen positioned in heel region 20 of sole assembly 10. A fourth portion 38, having a fourth color that is different than the first, second, and third colors, is also seen positioned in heel region 20 of sole assembly 10. In the illustrated embodiment, third portion 36 and fourth portion 38 are concentric circles. It is to be appreciated that any number of colors can be used for different portions of sole assembly 10.

    [0031] A mold assembly 40 used to form sole assembly 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 4-5, and includes a bottom or first portion 42, and a top or second portion 44. An upper or top surface 46 of a first recess 47 of first portion 42 and a lower or bottom surface 48 of second portion 44 cooperate to define a midsole recess 50. In the illustrated embodiment, first portion 42, which is positioned beneath second portion 44, forms bottom surface 26 of sole assembly 10, while second portion 44 forms a top surface of sole assembly 10. It is to be appreciated that in other embodiments, first and second portions 42, 44 can have a different positional relationship with respect to one another.

    [0032] First portion 42 includes a plurality of projections 52 that extend upwardly from upper surface 46 and have vertically extending sides or sidewalls 54. As sole assembly 10 is formed in mold assembly 40, projections 52 serve to form the corresponding channels 28 in sole assembly 10 as described in greater detail below.

    [0033] In one method of forming sole assembly 10 in mold assembly 40, one or more first preforms 56 and one or more second preforms 58, which have previously been formed in known fashion in one or more separate mold assemblies, are positioned in midsole recess 50 of a heated mold assembly 40. As discussed above, in certain embodiments, first and second preforms 56, 58 are formed of EVA.

    [0034] A release agent may be applied to the exposed surface of first and second preforms 56, 58 and/or the surfaces of midsole recess 50 of first portion 42 and second portion 44 of mold assembly 40 in order to facilitate the separation of sole assembly 10 from mold assembly 40 after its formation. The release agent may be a spray release agent or any other suitable release agent. Suitable materials for the release agent include, for example, siloxane and water. Other suitable release agents will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art, given the benefit of this disclosure.

    [0035] Each first preform 56 is positioned within first recess 47 of midsole recess 50 on first portion 42 such that its upper or top surface 60 is positioned adjacent or along a central portion of a corresponding projection 52. In certain embodiments, top surface 60 is positioned approximately midway along a height of projection 52.

    [0036] In certain embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 4, a plurality of separate first preforms 56 are positioned in first recess 47 of first portion 42, which combine to form first portion 12 of sole assembly 10. In other embodiments, a single first preform 56 could be positioned in first recess 47 of first portion 42 with a plurality of apertures extending through first preform 56 through which projections 52 would extend.

    [0037] Each second preform 58 is positioned on top of the first preforms 56 such that its lower or bottom surface 62 is also positioned adjacent or along a central portion of a corresponding projection 52. In certain embodiments, bottom surface 62 is positioned approximately midway along a height of projection 52.

    [0038] In certain embodiments, as illustrated in FIG. 4, a single second preform 58 is positioned on top of first preforms 56, and includes a plurality of recesses 64 formed on bottom surface 62, each of which receives an upper portion of a corresponding projection 52. In other embodiments, a plurality of second preforms 58 are positioned on top of first preforms 56, and combine to form second portion 14 of sole assembly 10.

    [0039] Mold assembly 40 is then closed so that first portion 42 is in contact with second portion 44, with first and second preforms 56, 58 seated within midsole recess 50. First portion 42 and second portion 44 may be hinged together, or they may be separate elements that are suitably aligned and placed in contact with one another.

    [0040] Heat is continued to be supplied to mold assembly 40 with first preform 56 and second preform 58 contained therein for a predetermined period of time. In certain embodiments, mold assembly 40 is heated at a temperature of between approximately 170°C and 180°C for approximately 10 minutes, thereby causing first and second preforms 56, 58 to partially melt and bond together to form first portion 12 and second portion 14, respectively, of sole assembly 10, filling midsole recess 50 as seen in FIG. 5. The specific temperature and time period used to form sole assembly 10 in mold assembly 40 can be varied, in known fashion, depending on the particular EVA used.

    [0041] After this heating step is complete, mold assembly 40 is opened, and sole assembly 10, formed of first portion 12 and second portion 14, expands in known fashion after it is removed from mold assembly 26. Sole assembly 10 then goes through typical stabilization steps, including cooling and trimming, as necessary.

    [0042] The process of bonding within mold assembly 40, and the expansion of sole assembly 10, can produce bleeding between the different colors of first portion 12 and second portion 14, which may create an uneven bleeding lines at interface 34, as seen in FIG. 1 and discussed above. By positioning top surface 60 of each first preform 56 and bottom surface 62 of each second preform 58 along central portions of projections 52, the interfaces 34 that are formed in channels 28 are less visible from an exterior of sole assembly 10, thereby improving the aesthetics of the footwear.

    [0043] As noted above, providing different physical properties for first and second preforms 56, 58and, therefore, first and second portions 12, 14, allows sole assembly 10 to be customized or optimized to provide particular aesthetic and/or performance characteristics.

    [0044] Another embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 6. In this embodiment, a compression molding process is used to form sole assembly 10 in mold assembly 40. In this embodiment, first and second preforms 56, 58 are positioned in first recess 47 of first portion 42 when mold assembly 40 is cool. Mold assembly 40 is then closed so that second portion 44 is in contact with first portion 42. In this embodiment, midsole recess 50, and first and second preforms 56, 58 are sized such that first and second preforms 56, 58 are compressed when mold assembly 40 is closed.

    [0045] Mold assembly 40 is then heated for a predetermined period of time. In certain embodiments, mold assembly 40 is heated at a temperature of between approximately 130°C and 140°C for approximately 15 minutes, thereby causing first and second preforms 56, 58 to partially melt and bond together to form first portion 12 and second portion 14, respectively, of sole assembly 10, filling midsole recess 50 as seen in FIG. 5. The specific temperature and time period used to form sole assembly 10 in mold assembly 40 can be varied, in known fashion, depending on the particular EVA used.

    [0046] While mold assembly 40 is still closed, it is cooled, allowing sole assembly 10 to fully cure and stabilize. This compression molding process provides for sole assembly 10 to have a finished configuration that has the same dimensions as that of midsole recess 50.

    [0047] Once sole assembly 10 is completely stabilized and cured, mold assembly 40 is opened, and sole assembly is removed from midsole recess 50. Sole assembly 10 may be further finished, such as with trimming.

    [0048] Thus, while there have been shown, described, and pointed out fundamental novel features of various embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form and details of the devices illustrated, and in their operation, may be made by those skilled in the art within the scope of the claims. Substitutions of elements from one described embodiment to another are also fully intended and contemplated. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.


    Claims

    1. A method of manufacturing a midsole for an article of footwear comprising
    placing a first preform (56) into a first recess (47) in a first mold member (42) of a mold assembly (40), the first mold member including a plurality of projections (52) extending upwardly from a bottom surface of the first recess and positioned inwardly from a peripheral edge of the first recess;
    placing a second preform (58) on the first preform such that interfaces between a top surface (60) of the first preform and a bottom surface (62) of the second preform are positioned adjacent central portions of the projections;
    closing the mold assembly by positioning a second mold member (44) in contact with the first mold member, the first and second mold members cooperating to define a midsole recess (50);
    maintaining the mold assembly for a predetermined period of time at a predetermined temperature such that the first and second preforms bond together to form a first portion and a second portion, respectively, of a sole assembly (10) within the midsole recess; and
    removing the sole assembly from the mold assembly.
     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first (56) and second (58) preforms are formed of EVA.
     
    3. The method of claim 1, wherein a color of the first preform (56) is different than a color of the second preform (58).
     
    4. The method of claim 1, wherein a physical property of the first preform (56) is different than a physical property of the second preform (58).
     
    5. The method of claim 1, wherein the mold assembly (40) is at ambient temperature when the first (56) and second (58) preforms are placed in the mold assembly, and wherein the first and second preforms are compressed when the mold assembly is closed.
     
    6. The method of claim 5, wherein the mold assembly (40) is then heated to a predetermined temperature for a predetermined amount of time, and then cooled to a predetermined temperature.
     
    7. The method of claim 1, wherein the mold assembly (40) is heated when the first (56) and second (58) preforms are placed in the mold assembly, and the mold assembly is then continued to be heated at a predetermined temperature for a predetermined amount of time.
     
    8. The method of claim 1, wherein the first preform (56) has a plurality of apertures extending therethough, each aperture receiving a portion of one of the plurality of projections (52).
     
    9. The method of claim 1, wherein a third preform (36) is placed in the mold assembly (40) before it is closed, the first preform (56) having a first color, the second preform (58) having a second color, and the third preform (36) having a third color.
     
    10. The method of claim 9, wherein a fourth preform (38) is placed in the mold assembly (40) before it is closed, the fourth preform having a fourth color.
     
    11. The method of claim 1, wherein a plurality of second preforms (58) are placed on the first preform (56) such that each interface between the top surface (60) of the first preform and a bottom surface (62) of each second preform is positioned adjacent central portions of the projections (52), and at least some of the second preforms have a color different than the color of the first preform.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer Zwischensohle für einen Schuhwerkartikel, umfassend:

    Anordnen eines ersten Vorformteils (56) in einer ersten Ausnehmung (47) in einem ersten Formelement (42) einer Formanordnung (40), wobei das erste Formelement eine Vielzahl von Vorsprüngen (52) aufweist, die sich von einer unteren Oberfläche der ersten Ausnehmung aufwärts erstrecken und einwärts von einem Umfangsrand der ersten Ausnehmung positioniert sind;

    Anordnen eines zweiten Vorformteils (58) auf dem ersten Vorformteil, so dass Übergangsstellen zwischen einer oberen Oberfläche (60) des ersten Vorformteils und einer unteren Oberfläche (62) des zweiten Vorformteils angrenzend an zentrale Abschnitte der Vorsprünge positioniert sind;

    Schließen der Formanordnung durch Positionieren eines zweiten Formelements (44) in Berührung mit dem ersten Formelement, wobei das erste und das zweite Formelement zusammenwirken, um eine Zwischensohlenausnehmung (50) zu definieren;

    Halten der Formanordnung bei einer vorbestimmten Temperatur für einen vorbestimmten Zeitraum, so dass das erste und das zweite Vorformteil sich verbinden, um einen ersten Abschnitt beziehungsweise einen zweiten Abschnitt einer Sohlenanordnung (10) innerhalb der Zwischensohlenausnehmung zu bilden; und

    Entnehmen der Sohlenanordnung aus der Formanordnung.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste (56) und das zweite (58) Formteil aus EVA gebildet sind.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine Farbe des ersten Vorformteils (56) anders als eine Farbe des zweiten Vorformteils (58) ist.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine physikalische Eigenschaft des ersten Vorformteils (56) anders als eine physikalische Eigenschaft des zweiten Vorformteils (58) ist.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Formanordnung (40) bei Umgebungstemperatur ist, wenn das erste (56) und das zweite (58) Vorformteil in der Formanordnung angeordnet werden, und wobei das erste und das zweite Vorformteil zusammengedrückt werden, wenn die Formanordnung geschlossen wird.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Formanordnung (40) dann für eine vorbestimmte Zeitdauer auf eine vorbestimmte Temperatur erhitzt wird und dann auf eine vorbestimmte Temperatur abgekühlt wird.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Formanordnung (40) erhitzt wird, wenn das erste (56) und das zweite (58) Vorformteil in der Formanordnung angeordnet werden, und die Formanordnung dann weiter für eine vorbestimmte Zeitdauer bei einer vorbestimmten Temperatur erhitzt wird.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste Vorformteil (56) eine Vielzahl von hindurch verlaufenden Öffnungen hat, wobei jede Öffnung einen Abschnitt von einem aus der Vielzahl von Vorsprüngen (52) aufnimmt.
     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei ein drittes Vorformteil (36) in der Formanordnung (40) angeordnet wird, bevor sie geschlossen wird, wobei das erste Vorformteil (56) eine erste Farbe hat, das zweite Vorformteil (58) eine zweite Farbe hat und das dritte Vorformteil (36) eine dritte Farbe hat.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei ein viertes Vorformteil (38) in der Formanordnung (40) angeordnet wird, bevor sie geschlossen wird, wobei das vierte Vorformteil eine vierte Farbe hat.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei eine Vielzahl von zweiten Vorformteilen (58) auf dem ersten Vorformteil (56) angeordnet werden, so dass jede Übergangsstelle zwischen der oberen Oberfläche (60) des ersten Vorformteils und einer unteren Oberfläche (62) eines jeden zweiten Vorformteils angrenzend an zentrale Abschnitte der Vorsprünge (52) angeordnet ist und mindestens ein Teil der zweiten Vorformteile eine andere Farbe als die Farbe des ersten Vorformteils hat.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de fabrication d'une semelle intermédiaire destinée à un article chaussant comprenant des étapes consistant à :

    mettre en place une première préforme (56) dans une première cavité (47) d'un premier élément de moule (42) d'un ensemble de moule (40), le premier élément de moule ayant un ensemble de saillies (52) s'étendant vers le haut à partir de la surface inférieure de la première cavité et située vers l'intérieur à partir du bord périphérique de la première cavité,

    mettre en place une seconde préforme (58) sur la première préforme de sorte que les interfaces entre la surface supérieure (60) de la première préforme et la surface inférieure (62) de la seconde préforme soient adjacentes aux parties centrales des saillies,

    fermer l'ensemble de moule en positionnant un second élément de moule (44) en contact avec le premier élément de moule, le premier élément de moule et le second élément de moule coopérant pour définir une cavité de semelle intermédiaire (50),

    maintenir l'ensemble de moule pendant une durée prédéterminée à une température prédéterminée de sorte que la première préforme et la seconde préforme se lient pour former respectivement une première partie et une seconde partie d'un ensemble de semelle (10) dans la cavité de semelle intermédiaire, et

    enlever l'ensemble de semelle de l'ensemble de moule.


     
    2. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel la première préforme (56) et la seconde préforme (58) sont réalisées en EVA.
     
    3. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel la couleur de la première préforme (56) est différente de la couleur de la seconde préforme (58).
     
    4. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel une propriété physique de la première préforme (56) est différente d'une propriété physique de la seconde préforme (58).
     
    5. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel l'ensemble de moule (40) est à température ambiante lorsque la première préforme (56) et la seconde préforme (58) sont mises en place dans l'ensemble de moule, et la première préforme et la seconde préforme sont comprimées lorsque l'ensemble de moule est fermé.
     
    6. Procédé conforme à la revendication 5,
    selon lequel l'ensemble de moule (40) est alors chauffé à une température prédéterminée pendant une durée prédéterminée puis refroidi à une température prédéterminée.
     
    7. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel l'ensemble de moule (40) est chauffé lorsque la première préforme (56) et la seconde préforme (58) sont mises en place dans l'ensemble de moule et l'ensemble de moule continue alors à être chauffé à une température prédéterminée pendant une durée prédéterminée.
     
    8. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel la première préforme (56) comporte un ensemble d'ouvertures s'étendant au travers de celle-ci, chaque ouverture recevant une partie d'une saillie de l'ensemble de saillies (52).
     
    9. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel une troisième préforme (36) est mise en place dans l'ensemble de moule (40) avant qu'il soit fermé, la première préforme (56) ayant une première couleur, la seconde préforme (58) ayant une seconde couleur et la troisième préforme (36) ayant une troisième couleur.
     
    10. Procédé conforme à la revendication 9,
    selon lequel une quatrième préforme (38) est mise en place dans l'ensemble de moule (40) avant qu'il soit fermé, cette quatrième préforme ayant une quatrième couleur.
     
    11. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1,
    selon lequel un ensemble de secondes préformes (58) est mis en place sur la première préforme (56) de sorte que chaque interface entre la surface supérieure (60) de la première préforme et la surface inférieure (62) de chaque seconde préforme soit adjacente aux parties centrales des saillies (52), et au moins certaines des secondes préformes ont une couleur différente de la couleur de la première préforme.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description