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Патент USA US3027182

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March 27, 1962 ‘l
3,027,172
W. B. VAILLANCOURT
MEANS FOR LUBRICATING ICE RUNNERS OR BLADES
Filed Sept. 8. 1960
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INVENTOR
WILFRED BENJAMIN
VAILLANCOURT
PATENT AGENT
Unite States Patent 0 ’
3,027,172
Patented Mar. 27, 1962
2
[Lexi
3,027,172
Referring now to FIGURES l and 2, an ice skate blade
of conventional form is shown, comprising a blade mem
Filed Sept. 8, 196%, Ser. No. 54,664
4 Claims. (Cl. 280-1112)
ber 10 of rectangular section mounted securely as by
welding or brazing in a longitudinal slot in a hollow,
tubular frame member 11. Two hollow frusto-conical
support posts or columns 12 and 13 extend upwards from
the tubular member 11 and carry respectively at their
MEANS FOR LUBRICATING ICE RUNNERS
0R BLADES
Wilfred B. Vaillancourt, 393 North St., Sault Ste. Marie,
Ctntario, Canada
The present invention is concerned with improvements
upper ends sole-supporting plate 14- and heel-supporting
plate 15.
The plates 14 and 15 are intended to be
in or relating to ice blades or runners such as are used, for 10 fastened to a skate boot (not shown) in known manner,
as by screws or rivets. The front end of the skate mem
example, in skates, sleds and ice boats which are intended
for travel upon ice surfaces.
At any temperature between about 10° F. and the
ber 10 is also fastened to the sole plate 14 by means
of a bracket 16 and rivets 17.
The interiors of the posts or columns 12 and 13, and
freezing point of water a sheet of ice is in equilibrium
with a thin adherent ?lm of water covering its surface, 15 of the tubular member 11 are in free communication with
one another, as by apertures 37, formed in the upper part
which ?lm will reduce considerably the friction of a
of tubular body 11, and together form a single reservoir
smooth body sliding upon the ice sheet. If the contact
for holding a quantity of liquid lubricant as indicated at
pressure of the body is sufliciently high the ?lm is momen
39. An apertured breather plug 18 is provided in the
tarily thickened over the area of contact and the sliding
friction coe?icient is reduced appreciably; this well-known 20 column 13 and/or the column 12, the plug being of a
form and provided with a capillary bore (not shown)
effect is understood to explain why ice skates, sleds and
such as will permit air to ?ow into the reservoir and yet
ice ‘boats can travel at relatively high speeds over ice
prevent liquid from escaping whenever the skate is held
with
the adherent
little effort.
surface
With
?lm
iceisatatbetween
its thickest
28° and
F. and
the 32°
lowest
on its side. In this embodiment the plug 13 is also
sliding friction coe?icient is manifested. Such ice is how 25 readily removable as by threaded engagement in a hole in
the wall of column 12 to provide a ?lling aperture through
ever less strong than a sheet held at a lower temperature.
which the reservoir may be ?lled with lubricant liquid.
In a skating arena with arti?cial ice ‘Where the tempera
It is to be understood that in other embodiments a sepa
ture of the ice is controllable, a temperature of about 16°
rate ?lling plug may be provided and that more than one
F. is preferred and is maintained to provide ice of optimum
hardness and toughness, and to allow ice hockey pucks 30 breather plug 18 may be also provided.
Flow control means for the liquid lubricant according
and other low contact pressure objects to slide easily
to a preferred embodiment are shown in detail in FIG
URE 2 and comprise two separate valve assemblies each
of which controls the ?ow of liquid in a respective ?ow
much reduction in friction as could be expected, but 35 path from the interior of the reservoir to the blade edge.
Liquid which has reached the junction of the side face
subsequently it has been proposed to apply a liquid lubri
of the blade 10 with the ice surface 41 moves by capillary
cant between the ice and the blades or runners to reduce
action as a ?lm wetting running surface 10a to provide a
the sliding friction still further. The result of reducing the
thin lubricating layer (not shown) on which the concave
sliding friction is to increase the speed possible for a
given effort, or to reduce the force required in starting a 40 blade slides. Each valve includes a tubular housing or
body 19 which extends through the hollow member 11,
body from rest and in maintaining it in motion at a
with its longitudinal axis inclined to the vertical when the
predetermined speed.
without sticking.
It was at one time believed that the thickened layer
of water under the ice blades or runners provided as
A primary object of the present invention is therefore
skate is in its normal upright position. The axis of hous
to provide a new form of lubricated ice blade or runner,
ing 19 may conveniently be inclined at 45° from the ver
and, in accordance with this invention, this object is 45 tical, although somewhat greater or lesser angles of in
clination may be employed. The housing 19 is ?xed in
the member 11 by any suitable means, for example by
welding or upsetting its ends in apertures 22a formed by
drilling through both walls of the frame along a diameter.
adjusting the rate of flow of liquid from the reservoir
along a flow path to the ice-engaging face.
50 A screw 20 is coaxially mounted in the housing, engaging
achieved by providing an ice blade or runner comprising
a blade member having an ice-engaging face, a reservoir
for a lubricant liquid, and liquid flow control means for
Another object of the present invention is to realize a
skate or runner having relatively thin blades whose ice
contacting surface is lubricated, and to this end an ice
blade or runner is provided comprising a blade member
having two side faces and an ice-engaging face, a reser
voir for a lubricant liquid and at least two liquid flow con
trol means for adjusting the rate of ?ow of liquid from
the reservoir along respective flow paths over the side
faces to the ice-engaging face.
A particular form of ice skate blade intended primarily
for playing ice hockey will now be described, by way of
example, with reference to the accompanying drawing,
wherein:
a correspondingly screw-threaded bore 20a intermediate
the ends of housing 19. ,The screw 20 has a tapering
pointed end 21 which extends into an axial counterbore
22 of lesser diameter adjacent the lower end of the body,
thereby constituting a ?ow-controlling needle valve. A
restoring spring 23 is engaged beneath the head of the
screw in bore 20b to ensure that the screw cannot turn
accidentally due to vibration and shock.
A transverse bore or port 24 through the housing in
tersects the axis of bore 29a at its junction with counter
bore 22, thereby providing a passage in communication
with the interior of the reservoir. With the screw 20
seated “home” at the junction with bore 24, liquid can
not escape from the reservoir and the rate of ?ow is con
FIGURE 1 is a view in side elevation of the skate hav
trollable by withdrawing the point of the screw from
ing a reservoir and liquid ?ow control means according 65 this “home” position to a desired setting. The liquid
passing into the counterbore 22 is led therealong to an
to the invention;
aperture 22a and ?ows down by way of a channel 25
FIGURE 2 is a section taken on the line 2-—2 of FIG
. in the side of tubular member 11 and thence down the
URE l and drawn to a larger scale, and showing one
side of blade 10. The liquid reaches the contact zone
form of liquid lubricant flow control means; and,
70 between the blade and the ice surface and so lubricates the
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3—3 show
contact.
‘
ing an alternative ?ow control valve means.
3,027,172
4
A shallow groove or channel 44} may also be provided
in the side face of the blade member 110 transversely
of its length to provide a more de?nite flow path for the
liquid. Such a channel may however be omitted in fa
vour of unguided downward movement of liquid over the
mass of ?laments of a durable non-swelling substance
such as one of the polyamides known in the trade as
“nylon,” or a suitable polyester material.
Suitable lubricating liquids are clear water, preferably
having a low concentration of dissolved salts and sus
pended matter. Emulsions of the water-in-oil type and
side faces, particularly where blade 10 is very thin.
substances in the nature of wetting agents are however
The other of the said two valve assemblies comprises
preferred to water alone for the reason that such materials
a second tubular body designated 19a also extending
have advantages of greater lubricity and/or lower surface
through the tubular frame member with its longitudinal
axis at 45° to the vertical, but oppositely inclined to the 10 tension, thereby promoting the ?ow and spreading of lu
bricant liquid along the running surface. Desirable ad
?rst valve. Liquid ?owing from valve body 1% is led
ditives are non-ionizing organic polyhydroxy compounds
in its respective flow path by a channel 25a and thence
such as glycerol and several of the soluble polyols hav
down the other side face of blade member 10. While
ing the property of lowering the freezing point of a solu
two separate valve mounting bodies 19 and 19a are dis
tion containing them.
closed for the embodiment described, more than two
One composition found to be highly e?fective as a lubri
valves and their associated flow paths may be provided
cant and having other desirable use properties, was com
in other embodiments not illustrated herein. It is be
posed of an emulsion in water of a light mineral oil with
lieved to be apparent that such additional valves and
a metallic sulfonate emulsi?er. This was produced by
?ow paths may be arranged as desired along a frame
mixing approximately ?ve volumes of water with one
member to discharge liquid lubricant to the running sur
part of a product known as “Veltex 1000,” the latter being
face at a point or points so that as much lubricant may
composed of from 5 to 25 percent by weight of a metal
be supplied as may be found necessary. Such a modi
lic sulfonate emulsi?er with from 95 to 75 percent of
?cation is contemplated as being particularly applicable
petroleum lube oil in a viscosity range from about 10
to lubrication of sled and ice yacht runners of consider
to about 30. Various glycol type emulsi?ers may al
able length running at high speed.
ternatively be employed or may be added to the Veltex
Preferably, the heads of the plugs 18 and the screws
20 are slotted to receive a coin, a screwdriver blade, or
product, for example ethylene glycol may be a constit
other manipulative tool whereby they can be turned to ad
just ?ow rate of the liquid. In the embodiment illus
uent.
The amount of liquid reaching the ice surface is very
trated the heads of the plugs and screws are shown as 30 small and no disadvantageous effects have been found to
arise from its use. The modi?cation of conventional
standing slightly protruding from the skate blade mem
bers, although in other embodiments they may be set
in recesses sufficiently deep to ensure that they are not
struck by hockey sticks or other skates while in use.
tube and column forms of hockey skate structure as
described provides a reservoir of ample capacity for long
periods of skating. While the invention has been speci
The interior surfaces of the tubular member 11 and the 35 ?cally illustrated as applied to known skate structures
it is to be understood that the reservoir volume may be
exterior surfaces of the valve bodies 19 and 19a are
preferably coated with a liquid—impervious layer 26, egg.
of polyethylene applied as a coating from a liquid melt,
greatly increased and in addition detachable tanks may
which serves to aid in the prevention of corrosion and
rusting of these surfaces. The layers 26 may not be re
quired where the reservoir and ?ow control devices are
fabricated of nonrusting materials, such as stainless steel
or aluminum, for example.
In those embodiments adapted to existing forms of
through ?lling plugs 18.
be disconnectably connected in lieu of ?lling the reservoirs
Although in the embodiments described the liquid
lubricant is led to the running surface via ?ow paths on
opposite side faces, a groove 49 may be cut to such depth
adjacent the lower margin of each side face as to apply
the liquid more directly along the running face liia. To
tubular hockey skate having apertured sole and heel plates 45 preserve blade or runner strength, a ?ne bore (not shown)
Y141 and 15, it is advisable to employ suitable sealing means
may be passed obliquely from the running face 10:: up
between the boot and the reservoir space to prevent loss
wardly to intersect the groove 40 on one side face only,
of liquid or damage to the boot sole.
and the valve set to discharge to that side only.
Referring now to FIGURE 3, another form of ?ow
In illustration of the efficacy of the present invention
control means is illustrated in which a single tubular body
a test was carried out employing a fresh, smooth ice sheet
27 is mounted transversely horizontally in the tubular
at 16° F. on which a pair of skates were supported in
frame member ‘11. A screw-threaded bore 33 extends
parallel and loaded equally with 200 pounds load on
the length of tubular body 27 and contains a plug 28
each. A horizontal pull Was applied to accelerate the
of resilient porous compressible material disposed inter
skates to a sliding speed of 180 feet per minute, after
mediate the ends of the body between the two screws 55 which a constant speed was maintained, and the pull
29 and 29a threadedly received in the body ends. Each
measured. The test was repeated with a plain water
screw has a respective axial bore 30 and 30a, one end
lubricant, and with a water-oil emulsion as described.
of each bore being in contact with the plug 28 and the
The respective pulls required to sustain speed of 180 feet
other end being open to communicate with the aper
per minute were 8 pounds, 3 pounds, and 2.6 pounds.
ture 22a in the skate frame member. By movement of 60
Various other embodiments of the invention will readily
the two screws in an axial direction to compress the plug
suggest themselves in applying thepteachings set out here
28 between them, the porosity and hence the ?ow ca
inbefore, within the scope of the appended claims.
pacity of the plug material for conveying liquid from
I claim:
the reservoir to bores 30 and 30a is decreased, and may
1. An ice blade comprising a longitudinal blade mem
be brought to zero by sufficiently compressing the plug. (i5 ber providing an ice-engaging-‘facs and a pair of side
Retraction of the screws ‘29 and 29a permits reservoir
faces, a longitudinal tubular member in which the blade
fluid to enter tubular body 27 through side port 311 and
member is supported, said member providing a reservoir
to flow through the plug, and thence by way of bores
for a liquid lubricant, an opening in said tubular member
3d and 30a down channels 25 and 25a to ?ow down the
communicating with said reservoir, liquid flow control
opposite side faces of blade member 1% to the running 70 means for adjusting the rate of ?ow of liquid from said
reservoir through said opening, and a liquid guiding
face 10a. Any suitable number of such valve devices
channel formed in the exterior surface of said tubular
may be provided along the length of a blade or runner.
member for guiding said flow of liquid along a iiow path
Two or more ports 31 may be provided in the wall of
from said opening over a side face to the ice~erigaging
tubular body 27 to expedite movement of liquid into
plug 28. The latter is preferably formed as a jumbled 75 face.
3,027,172
6
2. An ice blade as claimed in claim 1 wherein the
said ?ow control means comprises one or more valve
bodies secured in a respective opening in said tubular
member having coaxial threaded bores and having their
bore axes inclined from the vertical, one end of each of
said bores being disposed external to said reservoir, port
means in said valve body communicating with said res
ervoir and with said bore, and screw needle valve means
said bore intermediate the ends of said valve body, valve
control means threadedly engaged in said bore and mov
able axially therein upon relative screw rotation to engage
said plug whereby to vary the compression of said mate
rial, port means in said valve body for conveying said
liquid lubricant from said reservoir into said plug, and
respective bores in said valve control means for convey
ing liquid between said plug and said liquid guiding
threadedly engaged in said bore for controllably regulat
channels.
ing the flow of liquid from said port through said valve 10
4. An ice blade as claimed in claim 1. wherein said
member to said external end,
3. An ice blade as claimed in claim 1 wherein the
said ?ow control means comprises a valve body trans
versely mounted in said tubular member, a bore in said
valve body extending therethrough and opening at its 15
ends externally of said tubular member, an internal
thread formed in said bore, a plug of resiliently com
pressible material pervious to said liquid lubricant ?lling
longitudinal blade member has its side faces grooved to
provide a liquid ?ow guiding path between said channel
and said ice-engaging face.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
569,621
1,548,032
Dore ________________ __ Oct. 20, 1896
Gamble ______________ __ Aug. 4, 1925
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