US 2401927 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 11, 1946.
w. N. HADLEY 2,401,927
APPARATUS FOR OBTAINING MOISTURE REGAIN Original Filed Aug. 17, 1944 -2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR W/LFRED HADLEY I BYVKV/MM/ZY 11122511 ATTORNEY June 11, 1946. w HADLEY 2,401,927
APPARATUS FOR OBTAINING MOISTUREREGAIN 1 Original Filed Aug. 17,, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 A TORNEYS 'ject is stock is subjected Patented June 11, 1946 Wilfred N.
V Hadley, Springfield, Vt., assignor to Parks & Woolson Machine Co.,
a corporation of Vermont Original application August 17, 1944, Serial No. 549,916. Divided and this application April 27, 1945, Serial No. 590,708
4 Claims. (Cl. 342) though it may also be used for. treating other natural or synthetic fibres in various forms. One object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus for obtaining moisture regain with both control of the amount of moisture takenon and capacity to increase the absolute amount of moisture taken up by the fibres.
The purpose of the invention is to improve upon prior apparatus used by the textile industry at the present time, not only to effect regain quickly, but also to increase the amount possible to and above the normal regain of 14.2% and in a controlled manner. A further and important obto make available an improved apparatus by whichth'e. product in the form of scoured or dyed fibrous raw stock. top. yarn or cloth. may
. be rapidly and continuously impregnated with normal or desired amount of moisture and may thereupon be immediately packaged for shipment or use, thereby eliminating the long time period heretofore required to obtain normal moisture regain and the additional handling of the stock as heretofore required.
Due to the intense heat used in the drying of wool stock after scouring or dyeing, the moisture is driven off to such a degree that the resulting woolfibre is so called "bone dry" and brittle when in this condition. During the picking and carding operations that follow the dwitm'these fibres would be broken where there is no regain present to lubricate the fibres, so to speak. as they come in contact with the wire clothed picker and card rolls that tend to arrange fibres in parallel position with relation to each other. Broken and short stapled fibre results in poor spinning and weaving qualities and iii-reducing the value of the finished toll. yarn or fabric.
v The same danger is ever present while this wool to additional top and yarn preparatory operations. such as gilllng, combing and drawing. Here the stock is drawn through needled fallers and cylinders further to arrange the fibres parallel one to the other. The mere drawing of one fibre along adjacent fibres will cause breakage when not conditioned properly to lubricate the fibres and scale of the fibres. Yarns made up of short staple stock cause breakage of the product in the loom and necessitate more mending of the cloth with resulting oorer qual ity.
W001, top, yarn and fabrics are sold to exact moisture weight specifications, the normal moisture content of wool being 14.2% by weight, and it will be apparent that substantial loss is sustained if the moisture content is below normal. For example, if the product has but 5% regain by weight, 9%%'extra wool must be present to make. up the deficiency. My invention permits the immediate and controlled addition of moisture regain to balance the deficiency and thereby effects substantial savings as'will be readily understood.
Prior methods employed in imparting this regain have included (1) the exposing of the product to moisture charged areas supplied by atomized water or steam vapor and (2) the storing of the wool. top. yarn or fabric in a damp cellar for days during which it absorbs the required amount of moisture. The latter method is satisfactory from the standpoint oi regain obtainable but the time and work factorsirequired make it impracticable under modern commercial conditions. The remaining known methods and apparatus not only fall short of imparting the 14.2% normal regain, realizing at their best but 1% regain, but I furthermore are slow and impossible to control. In contrast to these prior methods and apparatus which provide no standardisation of regain. my improved apparatus is adaptable to the treating of fibres, top, yarn, or textile material in any stage of manufacture and enables the manufacturer to impregnate the stock quickly and economically and to fix therein and exactly regulate in percentage the desired amount of regain irrespective of transient conditions of the atmosphere.
In accordance with my invention. the wool stock as it comes from the drier is subjected to saturated steam, and immediately thereafter it is subjected to a sub-zero temperature for a time period sufficient suddenly to chill the stock and quickly condense and fix the moisture therein. I have herein illustrated and described, by way of example, improved mechanism for-carrying the process into execution and including means for controlling the percentage of regain by regulating the-diameter and volume of steam employed and the speed or the product through the treated areas. The mechanism also preferably includes a deep freeze unit maintained at a temperature approximating F. and to which the stock is immediately conveyed-following its saturation'by the steam and I have ioundthat the subjecting of the stock to this temperature for. a period of thirty seconds is ordinarily sufiicient to eilect the object of the invention. v y
I have proved in practice that the subjecting.
of woolen cloth in continuous web form to super-saturated steam immediately followed by the passing of the cloth through the deep freeze chamber effects the immediate fixing of 2. moisture regain in the individual fibres to and exceedin 14.2% and such reg in remains subst ntially permanent under normal conditions. The amount of regain can be controlled to a fraction of 1% enabling the operator to introduce an actual normal regain of 14.2% by weight or such variation thereof as may be desired. In contrast to present day conditioning machines that at best cannot produce in excess of 7% regain at a maximum speed of 18 yards per minute, the production possibilities of my apparatus are up to 100 yards per minute. The only presently available known methods of imparting a total normal regain of 14.2% is by storage of the product in loose condition forseveral days in a damp cellar and such process is extremely limited and objectionable in several respects a will be understood. In contrast thereto, my invention permits the immediate and accurate impregnating of the stock to th desired and normal degree of regain andfurthermore'permits any further treating of the product immediately, rapidly and continuously in a manner eliminating the delays, uncertainties and repeated handlings of the product which have been required in processes heretofore known and employed,
These and other features of the invention will be best understood and appreciated from the fol- I lowing description of preferred embodiments thereof selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings in which, Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of one form of apparatus which I may employ;
Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic view of one form of apparatus for treating strip fabric in accordance .with my invention; and
Fig. 3 is a. diagrammatic view of an apparatus combining my invention with an apron steamer.
In Fig. l I have shown in diagrammatic form one apparatus for treating woolen stock or synthetic or other fibres in accordance with my invention, it being understood that the construc-.
it had at the time of leaving the drier.
In accordance with my invention the stock I is received from an suitable conveyor upon a foraminous apron or conveyor 2. This apron passes closely over a. steam chamber 3 which can be supplied with damp steam from any suitable pipe 4 having a control valve 5. The steam from the chamber 3 passes through the apron and through the wood stock, imparting to the latter a degree of moisture which can be regulated by the degree of saturation of the steam and by the speed given to the apron 2., Immediately after passing the steam chamber the apron carries the wool stock between refrigerating plates 6 and 1 which can be supplied witha refrigerant from any desired source through pipes 8. These plates may be spaced to form a chamber, or .may be in light contact with the stock, the exact form of refrigerating apparatus not being critical. The refrigerant is maintained at a temperature sufficiently low so that the moisture present in the stock or cloth after the steaming operation will be frozen practically instantaneously. Thus the steam saturated product is immediately chilled and thesteam-derived moisture contained in the prod uct is set and fixed, thereby establishing a substantially permanent moisture regain the degree of which is controlled by the various factorsheretofore described. If the saturation has been carried beyond the normal moisture content of the product the excess moisture tends to evaporate under normal atmospheric conditions.
In Fig. 2 I have shown an apparatus for carrying out the same fundamental idea to finished woolen cloth, which may be supplied from a roll .or from the usual apron steamer which gives the final finish to the cloth. If an apron steamer, sometimes known as a semi-decator, i used, it may itself serve as a source of steam, as will be described below, otherwise the'web 9 is fed over suitable guide rolls Ill across an open-topped steam chest H having within it suitable perforated steam entrance pipes l2. In the form shown the guide rolls III are arranged to pass the cloth once or twice over the top of the steam chest in order to increase the moisture regain for a given speed of the web, The cloth then passes over a guide roll l3 into a chamber ll provided with coils l5 serving for the circulation of a refrigerant. .As in the former case, the refrigerant is supplied at a temperature sufliciently low to cause practically instantaneous freezing of the condensed steam vapor taken up b the fabric.
Guide rolls I 6 within the chamber direct the fabric in successive reversed paths to .increase its length of travel within the cold chamber, and the fabric leaving the chamber is directed by a guide roll I! to a positively driven windup roll I8 against which rests the usual windup reel I9. The speed of the cloth through the chamber can be regulated by changing the speed of the driven roll I8. The cloth wi1l thus, be wound on the roll IS in a condition having a. controllable amount of moisture within it which can readily be regulated to give to the cloth at the time-when it is wound on the roll-substantially the same moisture content as that required by equilibrium between th cloth and the atmosphere, under normal conditions.
. In Fig. 3 is shown a modification in which the usual apron steamer or semi-decating machine is employed as the source of saturated steam. In this figure an apron steameris shown conventionally as mounted on a frame 20. Upon this frame is joumaled a hollow metal drum 2| having its outer surface perforated with closely spaced holes. The drum is mounted on a shaft 22 which can be rotated by any of the usual means. To the interior of the hollow shaft 22 is coupled a pipe 23 to which are coupled branch p pes 24 and 25 having. valves 26 and 21 respectively located in them. By one of these pipes 24 superheated or dry steam can be admitted to the interior of the drum to be blown out through its perforations; through the other of the pipes 25 suction may be applied to the interior of the drum when desired.-- It will be understood that one valve would be closed before the other one is opened. Other valve and piping arrangements may of course be substituted; Mounted on a shaft 28 is a reel 29 for apron material 30 in [the form of a wide web of suitable fabric. The
cloth 3| to be treated passes over a smoothing bar 32 and over suitable supply and guide rolls 33, 34 and 35 to a pair of tension bars 36 around which it is looped as shown. It then passes together with the apron 30 over a roll 31 and is wound up on the large drum 2|. When the thickness of cloth and apron on the drum 2| has been built up as much as is convenient for the steaming operation the cloth is separated at a cross seam (it being generally supplied in a chain of standard lengths sewed together) and its second or following end is thrown over a stationary bar 88. A few extra turns of apron are wound on the drum and superheated or dry steam passed through the cloth and apron for the desired period. The steam supply is then shut off and suction turned on through another line 25. So far the operation is the same as in standard apron steaming or semi-decating.
Leaving the fabric and apron still wound upon the dmm 2|, super-saturated or damp steam is admitted through a valved line 39 for a length of time suflicient to permit the dried-out fabric to regain the desired amount of moisture. The apron is then wound back on the drum 29 and when the end of the'fabric 40 appears it is secured to the end of the preceding run, or to a cotton'leader, which has been thrown over a bar 4! at the conclusion of the preceding operation. The previous cloth piece. or the leader, hasits end projecting from the freezing chamber 42 which, in the case shown, is provided with guide rolls 43 and pipes 44 for the circulation of a re- 7 frigerant. A power driven wind-up roll 45 receives the fabric from the chamber and winds it on a take-off roll 46. A guide roll 41 is employed to direct the remoistened fabric 40 from the tension bars 38 to the freeze chamber. It'
may be remarked that in general it will not be necessary to loop the fabric reversely about the tension bars 38 in withdrawing it from the roll II in the same way as it was reversely wound through these bars while it was being wound up on the roll for the reason that tension during the freezing operation is not important. Subiecting the warm. moisture ladened cloth to the deep freeze chamber sets and flxes this moisture in its state of permeation throughout each individual fibre comprising the fabric and provides the normal amount of moisture regain which remains within and as a substantially permanent content of the product.
The process herein disclosed is claimed in my co-pending application Ser. No. 549,916, filed August 17, 1944, of which the present application is a division.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. An apparatus for treating strip fabric, comprising a steaming drum, means for passing said fabric to and winding it onto the drum, means 7 for impregnating the fabric on the drum with through the chamber.
saturated steam, a freezing chamber adjacent to the drum, means for maintaining the chamber at sub-freezing temperature, and means for unwinding the steamed fabric from the drum and passing it through the chamber.
2. An apparatus for treating strip fabric, comprising a steaming drum, means'for passing said fabric to and winding it onto the drum, means for impregnating the fabric on the drum with superheated steam, means for impregnating the fabric on the drum with saturated stem. 9. freezing chamber adjacent to the drum. means for maintaining the chamber at sub-freezing temperature, and means for unwinding the steamed fabric from the drum and passing it through the chamber.
3. An apparatus for treating strip fabric, comprising a steaming drum, means for passing said fabric to and winding it onto the drum, means for impregnating the fabric on the drum with superheated steam, means for subjecting the fabric on the drum to suction, means for impregnating the fabric on the drum with saturated steam, a freezing chamber adjacent to the drum,
means for maintaining the chamber at subfreezing temperature. and means for unwinding the steamed fabric from the drum and passing it through the chamber.:
'1. An apparatus for treating strip fabric, comprising a steaming drum, means for impregnating fabric wound on said drum with saturated steam, a freezing chamber adjacent to the drum, means for maintaining the chamber at sub-freezing temperature, and means for unwinding the steamed fabric from the drum and passing it