This application is a division of Ser. No. 11/435,653, filed May 17, 2006, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety and which is pending as of the filing date of this application.
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OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to golf club heads, more particularly of the composite metal “wood” type, and a method of making golf club heads.
2. Description of the Background and Relevant Information
Wood-type golf club heads traditionally were made from wood, e.g., persimmon. However, with advances in materials, wood-type golf club heads are currently predominantly made from high performance metals such as titanium, and other materials such as fiber-reinforced plastics. Many club heads made from fiber resin composite materials are compression molded around relatively rigid molding cores. In instances where a hollow interior cavity is desired, dispersible cores made from meltable materials such as wax or low melting point metals have been employed.
Wood-type club heads made predominantly of metal may be fabricated by welding or adhesively joining together edges of two or more thin sections of a club head shell made of metal such as stainless steel, beryllium copper, aluminum, titanium, etc., thereby producing a one-piece shell.
For some years now, heads made entirely of a composite material, with the exception of the sole, have been manufactured. Such types of constructions are rarely favored by professional players because they are most often made of a single element, by the compression molding method, without any particular regard to the distribution of mass.
A head made of a plastic material is disclosed in British Patent Publication No. 2,128,539. This head is made of a single thermoplastic element injected into a mold around a meltable core. The head thus manufactured does not allow a good control over the trajectory of the balls because the problem of balancing the club is not resolved.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,000,454 discloses a head made of a reinforced plastic material and comprising an element acting both as the reinforcement of the striking face and as the balancing weight. However, such a structure does not yet permit the club to be balanced satisfactorily.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,824,636 B2 is directed to a method for the manufacture of a hollow three-dimensional fiber golf club head wherein a fluid-removable core shaped in the general form of the golf club head is placed in a flexible pressurizable bladder surrounding the core. At least one ply fiber impregnated with a curable resin is wrapped over the core and bladder, and a cured part is formed by pressurizing the bladder while the core, bladder and impregnated fiber is in a female mold to force the plies against the inner surface of the mold. After heating to cure the resin, the bladder and the fluid removable core is removed from the interior of the cured part by disintegrating the core with a fluid sufficient to allow removal of the bladder. This method is complex and difficult of reproduction on a commercial scale.
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OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to overcome the disadvantages inherent to the above described and traditional methods and resulting structures of club heads, and to provide a new head design as well as a new method of manufacturing such head.
Thus, one of the more specific objects of the invention is to provide a manufacturing method enabling a more efficient new head structure to be obtained, especially as regards distribution of mass, durability, and finishing quality. The method according to the invention is particularly adapted to the large scale production of elements requiring a minimum number of operations to produce what might be considered a complex yet highly advantageous golf club head.
Thus, according to the invention, a method of manufacturing a golf club is disclosed. The method is comprised of the following steps. A single continuous filament is wound multiple times about a soluble core. The wound core is then located in a mold. The wound core is then pressure coated with a resin in the mold. The resin disperses among the filament windings. The resin is allowed to cure and form a filament and resin shell about the core. The soluble core is then removed from the shell while the continuous filament is retained within the shell.
The shell has an inside surface and an outside surface. The inside surface defines a substantially hollow interior portion and the inside surface has a plurality of ribs that extend into the interior portion. The ribs and the shell are substantially comprised of the resin and the single continuous filament located within the resin.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
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The above, as well as other advantages of the present invention, will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description when considered in the light of the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic, perspective view of an embodiment of a component for use in the method of the present invention;
FIG. 1A depicts a cross-sectional view of a mold for forming the component depicted in FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of one embodiment of a filament winding machine and the component of FIG. 1 of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a schematic, cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a mold for use in the method of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is a schematic, perspective view of another component of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a schematic, cross section of a preferred embodiment of a structure for creating a shaft-receiving portion in the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a schematic, perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a schematic, perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a schematic, cut-away view of one embodiment of a club head of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a schematic, perspective view of one embodiment of the bottom of a club head of the invention; and
FIG. 10 is a schematic, perspective view of one embodiment of a club head produced in accordance with the invention.