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1. WO1996041661 - HOCKEY STICK SHAFT

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[ EN ]

HOCKEY STICK SHAFT

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Field of the Invention
The present invention is directed to a shaft for a hockey stick made from one or more composite materials, and in particular, to a hockey stick shaft which has at least two portions, the portions having different internal and external dimensions and different external shapes. Further, the present invention is directed to a hockey stick shaft which has a roughened external surface to facilitate the holding of the hockey stick.

Description of the Prior Art
Hockey stick shafts made from composite materials, such as graphite and fiberglass, are known in the prior art. One type of these prior art hockey stick shafts has the same internal and external dimensions for the entire shaft.
In another type of prior art hockey stick shaft made from composite materials, the shafts have at least two portions in which the portions have different external dimensions. These shafts are made by adding resin material to the handle portion of the shaft to increase the external dimensions of the handle, with the internal dimensions of both portions being the same.
Prior art hockey stick shafts have smooth external surfaces. These smooth surfaces can result in the shaft slipping in the hands of a player using the hockey stick.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a hockey stick shaft made from one or more composite materials in which the hockey stick is formed with at least two portions, a handle portion and a blade retaining portion, the portions having different internal and external dimensions wherein the blade retaining portion has internal dimensions corresponding to the dimensions of the hosel of a hockey stick blade and the handle portion has external dimensions which are less than the external dimensions of the blade retaining portion.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a hockey stick shaft wherein the external shape of the handle portion and the external shape of the blade retaining portion are different.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a hockey stick shaft having a rough outer surface in order to enable a player to securely grip the shaft.
The present invention is directed to a hockey stick shaft formed from one or more composite materials, or from other materials such as aluminum or plastic. The shaft comprises a hollow handle portion; a hollow blade retaining portion; and a transition portion connecting the handle portion and the blade retaining portion. The handle portion, the blade retaining portion and the transition portion are integrally formed. The inside and external dimensions of the handle portion are less than the inside and external dimensions of the blade retaining portion. The external shape of the handle portion and the blade retaining portion may be different. Further, the hollow handle portion of the hockey stick shaft has a roughened outer surface.
The hockey stick of the present invention can be made in accordance with the method disclosed in our copending application Serial No. , filed concurrently herewith, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Figure 1 illustrates the layers of composite sheet materials used in forming a hockey stick shaft of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 2a is an exploded perspective view thereof; Figure 2b is an exploded cross-sectional view thereof; and Figure 2c corresponds to Figure 2b in a non-exploded view.
Figure 3 is a plan view showing the outer layer formed on the rolled layers of Figure 2c.
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of the rolled layers which are formed into the hockey stick shaft of the present invention.
Figure 5 is a plan view of a hockey stick shaft in accordance with the present invention.
Figures 6a and 6b are cross-sectional views of the handle portion of the hockey stick shaft of the present invention.
Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view of a blade retaining portion of the hockey stick shaft of the present invention.
Figure 8 is a partial view of a first embodiment of the roughened outer surface of the hockey stick shaft of the present invention.
Figure 9 is a partial view of a second embodiment of the roughened outer surface of the hockey stick shaft of the present invention.
Figure 10 is a perspective view of a hockey stick shaft and a hockey stick blade of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Figure 1 shows the layers of composite materials used to form a hockey stick shaft of the preferred embodiment of the present invention and Figures 2a - 2c are exploded views of a layup used for forming the hockey stick shaft. Each of the layers is made with sheets of one or more composite materials formed from fiber tapes impregnated with resin. The composite materials are reinforced with organic, inorganic and/or multiphase fibers and may be unidirectional or woven. Organic fibers include, but are not limited to, fibers made of carbon, boron, graphite and polymers such as olefin, nylon and aramid. Inorganic fibers include, but are not limited to, fibers made of glass, metal alumina and ceramic. Multiphase fibers include, but are not limited to, fibers made of boron/tungsten, boron coated carbon and silicon carbide. The particular composite materials used will depend upon the desired characteristics of the completed hockey stick shaft such as flex, strength, durability, toughness, kickpoint, torque, weight, shock dampening, ease of manufacturing and cost. An example of a composite material which may be used is Newport NCT-301.
Layer 1 is formed from a composite material which has unidirectional fibers therein. Layer 3, which is made from a unidirectional composite material, comprises a plurality of parallelogram-shaped pieces 3a, 3b and 3c placed side-by-side, each piece overlapping layer 1 along one edge thereof. Layer 5, which is the same material as layer 3, is formed from a plurality of parallelograms 5a, 5b and 5c which are positioned with one edge being positioned at approximately the point 6 of the overlap between layers 1 and 3, such that layer 5 overlaps both layers 1 and 3. Layer 7 is positioned on layer 1 on the side opposite the side on which layer 3 and 5 are positioned. Layer 7 is formed from a composite material which has woven fibers. Layer 7 with its cross-woven fibers will strengthen the hockey stick shaft.
After the layered sheet shown in Figure 2C is rolled on a mandrel, it forms a rolled layer sheet 9b shown in Figures 3 and 4. A further layer 8 of a cross-woven composite material which is the same as the material of layer 7, is then wrapped around the rolled layered sheet 9b to form an outer layer on the rolled layup or sheet. This rolled layup is then shaped and cured as shown in our co-pending application Serial No.
filed concurrently herewith, to form the hockey stick 9d of the present invention.
Figures 5 - 8 illustrate the hockey stick shaft

9d. The hockey stick shaft has a handle portion 9dl and a blade retaining portion 9d2. The handle portion 9dl has internal and external dimensions which are smaller than the blade retaining portion 9d2. The external shape of the handle portion 9dl can be made any desired shape such as rectangular, oval, or rectangular with rounded corners, such as in the preferred embodiments which are shown in Figures 6a and 6b. The external shape of the blade retaining portion can also be made to any desired shape which is either different or the same as the shape of the handle portion. The external dimension of the handle portions can be made any desirable size. The particular size and shape will depend primarily upon the desire of the user. However, the blade retaining portion 9d2 must have internal dimensions which correspond to the dimensions of the hosel lla of a standard hockey stick blade 11 which are approximately 1.02" x 0.62".
The hockey stick shaft 9d has a roughened external surface which enhances the ability of the player to hold the hockey stick. The roughness average is determined in accordance with ANSI ASME B46.1 1985. In one embodiment shown in Figure 8 , the roughened surface is formed with a predetermined pattern which corresponds to the release fabric used in one method of making the hockey stick shaft. In this embodiment, the roughness average is in a range of 666 - 1403 microinches. In an alternative embodiment shown in Figure 9, the external surface of the shaft is roughened by coating the surface of the cured shaft with a liquid, such as paint, having a granular material therein. In this embodiment, the roughness average is in the range of 1088 - 3016 microinches.
Figure 10 illustrates the manner in which the blade 11 is inserted into the blade retaining portion 9d2 of the hockey stick shaft 9d of the present invention. The inner dimensions of the blade retaining portion 9d2 corresponds to the dimensions of the hosel lla of the hockey stick blade 23.
The hollow handle portion of the hockey stick shaft may be filled with foam, such as honeycomb reinforcement fillers, closed cell high variable density foam, or other dampening or strengthening materials in order to alter the characteristics of the hockey stick shaft.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are, therefore, to be embraced therein.