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Glass Billiard Table Top Patent

Glass Billiard Table Top Patent

The following are the details, both technical and illustrative, as filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The glass billiard table is USPTO number 7,377,857, Nottage, May 27, 2008

glass billiard pool table patent image

A billiard table comprising a plurality of legs each of said legs having an upper support pad, a planar glass playing surface supported on the upper support pads of the plurality of legs, a plurality of pockets formed around the periphery of the planar glass playing surface, cushions located around the periphery of the planar glass playing surface, the cushions being securely fastened to the planar glass playing surface, a liquid or gel layer positioned on the planar glass playing surface and a flexible transparent liquid impervious film applied over the liquid or gel layer enclosing the liquid or gel layer between the planar glass playing surface and the flexible transparent liquid impervious film wherein the liquid or gel layer provides resistance to the rolling of a billiard ball across the flexible transparent liquid impervious film.

The claims defining the invention are as follows:

  1. A billiard table comprising a plurality of legs each of said legs having an upper support pad, a planar glass playing surface supported on the upper support pads of the plurality of legs, a plurality of pockets formed around the periphery of the planar glass playing surface, cushions located around the periphery of the planar glass playing surface, the cushions being securely fastened to the planar glass playing surface, a liquid or gel layer positioned on the planar glass playing surface and a flexible transparent liquid impervious film applied over the liquid or gel layer enclosing the liquid or gel layer between the planar glass playing surface and the flexible transparent liquid impervious film wherein the liquid or gel layer provides resistance to the rolling of a billiard ball across the flexible transparent liquid impervious film.
  2. A billiard table as claimed in claim 1 further including a lower flexible film below the transparent liquid or gel layer on the playing surface.
  3. A billiard table as claimed in claim 2 wherein the flexible film above and below the liquid or gel layer form a separate envelope which can be removed from the glass playing surface.
  4. A billiard table as in claim 1 wherein the flexible transparent liquid impervious film is selected from the group comprising polyester film, polyurethane film, plasticised PVC film or silicone film.
  5. A billiard table as in claim 1 wherein the liquid is a silicone fluid having a viscosity in the range of 50 to 10000 centistokes.
  6. A billiard table as in any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the glass, the flexible transparent liquid impervious film and the liquid or gel layer are all transparent.
  7. A billiard table as in claim 1 further including a hard coating on the upper flexible film.
  8. A billiard table as in claim 1 wherein the glass has a thickness of from 12 to 18 millimetres.
  9. A billiard table as in claim 1 wherein the flexible film has a thickness of from 0.1 to 0.5 millimetres.
  10. A billiard table as in claim 1 wherein the liquid or gel layer has thickness of from 0.25 to 1 millimetre.
  11. A billiard table as claimed in claim 2 wherein the flexible film below the transparent liquid or gel layer on the playing surface comprises a sound and shock absorbing layer.
  12. A billiard table as claimed in claim 11 wherein the sound and shock absorbing layer comprises a material selected from the group comprising polyethylene, polypropylene, plasticised PVC, polyester , polyurethane, a silicone rubber film or a polytetrafluoroethylene film.
  13. A billiard table as claimed in claim 11 wherein the sound and shock absorbing layer has a thickness of from 0.5 mm to 3 mm.
  14. A billiard table as claimed in claim 2 further including a sound and shock absorbing layer below the lower flexible film.
  15. A billiard table as claimed in claim 14 wherein the sound and shock absorbing layer comprises a material selected from the group comprising polyethylene, polypropylene, plasticised PVC, polyester , polyurethane, a silicone rubber or polytetrafluoroethylene.
  16. A billiard table as claimed in claim 14 wherein the sound and shock absorbing layer has a thickness of from 0.5 mm to 3 mm.
  17. A billiard table as claimed in claim 3 wherein the envelope is sealed around its edges by a heat seal.
  18. A billiard table as claimed in claim 3 wherein the envelope is sealed around its edges by an adhesive.

The cushion assemblies may comprise an aluminium extrusion and be fastened to the glass table top 9 as shown in FIG. 4. The cushion assemblies could alternatively be injection moulded, plastics extrusions or formed by other methods. A net to collect the balls may be provided at each pocket in a conventional manner but according to this particular embodiment of the invention a ball return system is provided.

The ball return system comprises a track 14 along the top of each wing 5 and 6 which directs a ball which enters a pocket 11 towards the legs of the table 3 and 4. The ball may alternatively travel through a groove in the wing. Where each wing 5 and 6 is formed from two adjacent plates the ball may travel between the two halves of the wing. Before the ball reaches the leg it is caught and travels along in a ball track 15 which extends along each side of the table under the table top 9 but visible through the glass top 9 from a corner wing 5 to the side wing 6 until the central side wing 6 is reached at which position the ball falls onto a cross tracks 19 and travel across the cross tracks at the end of which the ball falls into a receiving tray 21. Balls which fall through the pockets which are on the same side as the retrieving tray 21 fall directly from corner wing 5 to the side wing 6 along the longitudinal tracks 15 into the receiving tray.

In a storage area generally shown by the arrow 25 cues, triangles and a folding cover for the billiard table, when not in use, may be stored. It will be seen that by this invention there is provided a billiard table of innovative and modern design with a transparent top. For commercial applications advertising illustrations or the like may be provided on the transparent top or on the flexible film forming the playing surface envelope as will be discussed with respect to FIG. 5. FIG. 4 shows one embodiment of cushion assembly 13. The glass playing surface 9 has the envelope or laminate 27 providing the rolling resistance on it. The envelope or laminate 27 extends under the aluminium extrusion 31 forming the cushion assembly 13 which is mounted onto the glass 9 by means of a bolt 29 which passes through the aluminium extrusion 31 forming the cushion assembly 13 and through the glass 9. The cushion 33 is received in a recess 34 in the cushion extrusion 31. The envelope or laminate 27 has a peripheral frame 35 and a resilient band 36 extends from the frame 35 to be received under the cushion extrusion and to be clamped there. The resilient band 36 provides resilient tension to the envelope or laminate 27 which will assist with absorbing differential thermal expansion and contraction between the table top 9 and the laminate 27. FIG. 5 shows the detail of the construction of one embodiment of the laminate which forms the playing surface. The glass layer 9 has an envelope 27 on it which comprises a first flexible impervious film 40, on that is a gel layer 42 and over that is another flexible impervious film 44. A hard layer 46 maybe provided onto the upper flexible film 44. The hard layer 46 can be provided by a transparent film vacuum deposited onto the film 44 or by a hard polish provided on the upper surface of the film 44. The envelope 27 around the edge is sealed by heat sealing, double sided tape or adhesive 48 or other means and may be clamped under the cushion to provide a smooth and tight upper surface. The use of a double sided tape with some thickness will provide a thickness for the gel or liquid layer. As discussed earlier the edge of the laminate 27 may alternatively include a frame and a resilient band or hooks to hook around the edge of the table.

In one particular embodiment the flexible films 40 and 44 comprise a 250 micron type 515 Dupont Melinex.TM. film, above and below the liquid silicon. The silicone layer 42 is Dow Corning `200` silicone fluid, a water clear silicone with a viscosity rating of 500 centistokes. A thinner film may not hold its flatness against the liquid silicone as well as a thicker one, so has an uneven appearance after balls have been rolling on it. Anything too thick will not slow the balls down enough as it doesn't `take the shape` of the contact patch of the ball to allow the fluid to do its job. A range of viscosities between 200-1000 cps is preferred. The thinner/runnier silicon works in slowing the ball down but the ball tends to roll slowly after it has initially come to a stop. Thicker grade silicon does not slow the ball down from speed quite as well as thinner silicon, and tends to not recover the `dents` made by the balls as quickly.

FIG. 5A shows a detailed view of an alternative structure of the laminate structure for the surface of a ball playing table. An envelope 27 comprises a first lower flexible impervious film 40a, on that is a gel layer 42 and over that is an upper flexible impervious film 44. A hard layer 46 maybe provided onto the upper flexible film 44. The hard layer 46 can be provided by a transparent film vacuum deposited onto the film 44 or by a hard polish provided on the upper surface of the film 44. The lower flexible impervious film 40a is formed from a thicker and softer material than the upper flexible impervious film 44. This will assist with providing sound deadening and protection for a table surface from balls being dropped onto it. The envelope 27 around the edge is sealed by heat sealing or adhesive 48 or other means and may be clamped under the cushion to provide a smooth and tight upper surface. In one particular embodiment the upper flexible film 44 comprise a 250 micron type 515 Dupont Melinex.TM. film. The lower flexible film comprises a PVC with a thickness of 1 mm. The silicone layer 42 is Dow Corning `200` silicone fluid, a water clear silicone with a viscosity rating of 500 centistokes.

FIG. 6 shows a plan view of a laminate of the present invention suitable for use as a playing surface with a games table. The laminate 50 suitable for a billiards table has pocket cut outs 52 at the corners and the middle of the sides. Apertures 58 as shown on the upper and left hand side are provided around the periphery of the laminate 50 to enable the bolts which hold the cushion assembly to pass through. In an alternative, as shown on the lower and right hand sides, a cut out 59 may be provided to enable the bolts which hold the cushion assembly to pass through. In this embodiment the laminate envelope is formed from two sheets of Mylar.TM. polyester sheet joined together at the edges 54 by means of a double sided adhesive tape 56. Where the type of material of the film above and below the liquid or gel layer allows, the edges of the films may be heat sealed together to provide the envelope. The laminate may be of the type discussed in relation to FIGS. 5 or 5A.

A gas strut lift system (not shown) may be provided in each leg of the table according to the present invention to allow raising or lowing of the table between a billiard table height and a standard table height. A suitable locking mechanism (not shown) may be provided to remove the load from the struts when it is being used as a billiard table. The frame to support the table comprising the legs and wings maybe provided in a form which can be assembled so that the playing table according to the present invention can be packed flat for transport. It will be seen that by this invention there is provided a laminate surface for a games table and a games table including the laminate surface and in particular a billiards table which is innovative and modern in design but which provides rolling resistance substantially similar to conventional tables by the use of the laminate structure on the playing surface. The laminate structure provides rolling resistance and noise reduction.

Glass Billiard Table Top Patent

  • Title: Glass Billiard Table Top Patent
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 12/31/2008 6:35:00 PM

Glass Billiard Table Top Patent Comments

  1. Brednan CottleBrednan Cottle from South Africa on 7/21/2009 1:17:13 AM
    1. Where and how can I buy one of these glass top billiard tables?
    2. What are the dimensions of this glass top pool table?
    3. Can it be shipped to any location?

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