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1. WO2006098934 - APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MAKING MICROREPLICATED ARTICLE

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[ EN ]

What is claimed is:

1. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus to form a microreplicated article including a web having first and second opposed surfaces, comprising:
a first patterned roll, first nip roll and first coating die, the first coating die disposed adjacent a first side of the web substrate and the web substrate disposed
between the first patterned roll and first nip roll, wherein the first nip roll
touches a second side of the web substrate and the first patterned roll touches
the first side of the web substrate;
a second patterned roll, second nip roll and second coating die, the second coating die disposed adjacent the second side of the web substrate and the web
substrate disposed between the second patterned roll and second nip roll,
wherein the second nip roll touches the first side and the second patterned roll touches the second side; and
a drive assembly configured to rotate the first patterned roll and the second
patterned roll such that the first and second rolls maintain a continuous
registration within 100 micrometers.

2. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus according to claim 1 further comprising a first curing source disposed adjacent to the first patterned roll and a second curing source disposed adjacent to the second patterned roll.

3. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus according to claims 1 or 2 wherein the first nip roll is movable toward or away from the first patterned roll.

4. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus according to claims 1 to 3 wherein the second nip roll is movable toward or away from the second patterned roll.

5. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the second nip roll is disposed after the second coating die and before the second curing source.

6. A roll to roll microreplication apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the first nip roll is disposed after the first coating die and before the first curing source.

7. A method of making a microreplicated article including a web having first and second opposed surfaces on a roll to roll microreplication apparatus, the method comprising:
disposing a first curable liquid on a first side of a web to form a first side coated
web;
passing the first side coated web between a first nip roll and a first patterned roll, the first patterned roll forming a first microreplicated pattern in the first curable liquid on the first side of the web;
curing the first microreplicated pattern to create a cured first microreplicated
pattern;
disposing a second curable liquid on a second side of a web to form a second side coated web;
passing the second side coated web between a second nip roll and a second
patterned roll, the second patterned roll forming a second microreplicated
pattern in the second curable liquid on the second side of the web; and
curing the first microreplicated pattern to create a cured first microreplicated pattern;
wherein the first and second cured microreplicated patterns are registered to within 100 micrometers.

8. A method according to claim 7 wherein the first and second patterns are registered to within 10 micrometers.

9. A method according to claims 7 or 8 wherein the passing the first side coated web step comprises passing the first side coated web between a first nip roll and a first patterned roll, the first patterned roll forming a first microreplicated pattern in the first curable liquid on the first side of the web and the first nip roll pressing the first side coated web onto the first patterned roll.

10. A method according to claims 7 to 9 wherein the passing the second side coated web step comprises passing the second side coated web between a second nip roll and a second patterned roll, the second patterned roll forming a second microreplicated pattern in the second curable liquid on the second side of the web and the second nip roll pressing the second side coated web onto the second patterned roll.

11. A method according to claims 7 to 10 wherein the passing the second side coated web step comprises passing the second side coated web between a second nip roll and a second patterned roll, the second patterned roll forming a second microreplicated pattern in the second curable liquid on the second side of the web and the second nip roll pressing the second side coated web onto the second patterned roll controls a land thickness of the second side coated web.