US 2695244 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
N 3. 1954 H. FOUNTAIN METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS PRINTING AND FLOCKING Filed Dec. 15, 1950 iii mummmumuuumcu INVENTOR. 72 un/a1'fl/ United States Patent METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTINUOUS PRINTING AND FLOCKING' Harold Fountain, Fall River, Mass., assignor to United Merchants and Manufacturers, Inc., Wilmington, Del., a corporation of Delaware Application December 15, 1950, Serial No. 201,005 11 Claims. (Cl. 117-13) This invention relates to printing and flocking, more particularly to the flocking and printing of flat surfaces adapted to receive a deposit of color, flock or other substance in predetermined and pre-selected areas as, for example, aweb of cloth, paper, plastic sheetings or other relatively flexible products having a surface suitable for printing or flocking.
The term floc'king c'omprehends' the deposition or distribution and fixation of finely divided particles or frag- Iiientary material upon a surface, usually in pattern form or design arrangement. The particles so deposited are referred't'o' as flock and ordinarily comprise very short cotton, rayon or wool fibers or other fibrous or filamentary material less' than one-quarter of an inch in length; often one-thirty-second or one-sixteenth of an inch. The diameter of the flock varies also, and usually is based upon the functional requirements of its end uses. In the textile industry flock is commonly applied for decorative effects to" draperies, upholstery, print goods anddress goods. The flock may be attached or aflixed to the surface by first applying to the material to be flocked a suitable adhesive for the flock as by inder roller, spray gun or silk screen, and subsequently depositing the flock fibers on the wet adhesive with a socalled beater bar, which utilizes the beating effect of a flat sided bar rotating against .the underside of the sheet to be flocked. Alternatively the flock may be applied electrostatically after the application of the adhesive to the surface of the material or web, by placing the adhesive carrying web in an electric field and supplying flock fibers to the region of the electric field whereby the fibers are oriented and deposited on the adhesive covered portions of the web surface.
By printing is meant the production of colored patterns or designs or parts thereof on a suitable surface as, for example, by machine or cylinder printing wherein a hollow copper roller engraved with a design or pattern and carried by a steel shaft Working in bearings, revolves in contact with a pressure roller to form a nip through which passes the material to be printed, after the color to be printed has first been applied to-the engraved portions of the copper roller.
The invention further relates to the printing and flocking of web material in a continuous operation or process whereby a theoretically endless length of sheet or web may, without interruption or work stoppage, be successively printed and flocked to form a regularly repeated, homogeneous, unitary or composite flocked and printed design on the web surface. There is also comprehended the production of such patterns in multi-color whereby color contrast is added to the striking appearance and effect of composite designs partly flocked and partly unflocked.
Among its other objects the present invention contemplates an assembly or combination of apparatus adapted for printing and flocking a web of material, preferably a textile product, in one continuous and uninterrupted process. Means are also proposed for continuously printing and flocking such material in vari-colored combinations, the flocked portions and printed parts having different colors or different shades of color as may be desired, all together makingup a unitary composite pattern repeat. A further object is the production of halftones, wherein pan ofthe pattern is ashade or several shades lighter than the color of the main pattern, or, in other words, the production of dark and light .tones of the same color in one means of a stencil, cyl- 2 and the same operation and in the same composite pattern.
Another object is amethod and means for successively printing and flocking selected areas'of a web, for example, a fabric, whereby the printed areas will register or be in registration with the flocked portions so as to form a homogeneous, unitary, multi-colored composite design. A further purpose is to provide a plurality of means for continuously printing and flocking composite designs in many different and attractive color combinations. A still further object is the production of composite mul-ti-colored flock-printed web material as a new article of commerce. As an additional factor theinvention proposes the making or manufacture of half-tone, multi-color, composite flock-printed designs on a surface of relatively flexible web material.
The term flock-printed as used herein is intended to refer to a web having a composite design thereon, apart of which is flocked and a part of which is printed without flock; or alternatively, a composite design which is partially printed without flock and subsequently flocked all over such design.
With the above and other objects in view as will be apparent, the present invention consists in the construction, combination and arrangements of parts all as hereinafter more fully described, claimed and illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. l is a schematic side elevation of a combined printing and flocking apparatus adapted to produce multicolor composite printed and flocked patterns on a web in a continuous operation, according to the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a front elevation of portions of the apparatus of Fig. 1 further illustrating the relative arrangement of parts as the cloth travels full width through the printing and flocking zones with provision for an'intermediate drying interval, if desired, which does not involve interruption of movement of the web or stoppage of the continuous printing-flocking operation;
Fig. 3 is a plan view of a furnisher or doctor blade modified by the insertion of color blocks, plugs or stops so as to section off the transverse length of the furnisher into separate compartments or containers for containing print stuffs of diflerent colors, one color for each section or container; and
Fig. 4 illustrates diagrammatically apparatus suitable for practicing a modification of the invention wherein a group or collection of printing elements are mounted at spaced intervals about a single pressure roller serving all of the printing units and serving also to form a nip with a stencil cylinder arranged in spaced relation following the last printing unit.
The present invention contemplates an assembly or combination of printing and flocking units co-acting to print and flock successively selected areas of a web in a continuous operation: the printed and flocked portions combining to form a unitary composite design of the same color or, if desired, of more than one color. To this and other ends as recited above and as will be hereinafter more apparent, it is proposed in one embodiment of the invention to mount an engraved printing roll so as to form a nip with a co-actingpressure roller, and color print a part or portions only of a predetermined pattern on a web as the web passes through the nip of the printing and pressure rolls. A rotatable stencil cylinder is also provided to form another nip, preferably with the same pressure roll, in a continuous operation whereby the remaining portions or part of the pro-selected design are printed with an adhesive adapted to receive and to retain a deposit of flock thereon. Following the color printing and adhesive printing or stencilling, the moving web of material may be fed into a flocking zone or station where flock is electrostatically or otherwise deposited on the wet adhesive, the flock fibers being desirably of a different color than the color printed portions of the design. After the flocking application, the web may be passed through a drier and from thence to atake up roll for storage or other use.
Ifthe production of halftoncs, as defined above, is desired, a variation in the depth of the engraving cut or de' pression on the printing roll is indicated. For example,
for ordinary purposes on textile fabrics of the marquisette or open weave type, an average depth of .007 of an inch is suitable for a full tone effect. For the halftone, a depth of about .0035 of an inch has been found satisfactory. Thus the present method of producing halftones is distinguished from the conventional methods of stippling and the use of half-resists which is an advantage because stippling is mainly carried out as a hand operation by highly skilled craftsmen or photographically, and the resist method requires not only the extra expense of the resist composition, but also two printing operations, first to print the resist and later the printing of the pattern color on top of the resist.
With the arrangement or assembly of a combined printing and flocking machine mentioned above, and excluding for convenience the halftone feature, attractive and striking patterns may be flock-printed as previously defined. For example, the design of a tree may be reproduced on an' open weave fabric by pigment printing the trunk and limbs thereof with a blue colored printing paste and applying white flock to the leaf portions of the tree design. By varying the depth of the depressions cut in the engraved printing roller as described, parts of the trunk and the limbs will appear as halftones or a shade or several shades lighter than the full tone color of the other portions thereof.
In a modification of the foregoing embodiment, added effects may be induced by incorporating in the supply or reservoir of printing paste an adhesive adapted to receive and retain a deposit of flock fibers. this embodiment it has been found that after the web has been printed and flocked successively, the flock fibers adhere not only to those portions of the design printed with a flock adhesive by the stencil, but also to the full tone portions of the color printed parts of the design on the web or fabric. The flock did not adhere to the halftone printed portions. Thus, in another example, cotton marquisette type fabric was run through apparatus of the invention modified, as stated, by adding an adhesive for the flock to the printing ink. The flock fibers were White and the print color was rose. The same design of a tree was reproduced and the pattern found to be flocked all over on the trunk, limbs and leaves except for the halftone printed parts of the limbs and trunk which did not take the flock to any extent noticeable by the unaided eye.
At the same time it was also noted that the halftone portions appeared to be actually several shades darker, not lighter, than the full tone portions of the design due, perhaps, to the over-layer of white flock fibers adhering to the full tone areas.
By use of a doctor blade as a furnisher or printing composition supplier rather than merely as a cleaner, and inserting plugs or stops at intervals along its length further ornamental multi-color elfects may be obtained. In this application of the invention, the stops serve to lish a series or a plurality of individually separate composition containers or compartments and a dilferent color may be used in each compartment, the total number of colors being limited only by the number of stops inserted or employed on the furnisher. Thus, for example, in the case of the tree design mentioned above, if it be assumed that the height of the tree runs with the length of the fabric being printed and flocked, the limbs on one side of the tree may be printed blue for instance, those on the other side green and the trunk itself may be of a third color. Further subdivisions of the furnisher are also feasible by the addition of more plugs thereto.
It is to be noted that whether or not stops for the furnishing blade are employed, the design may be flocked all over after first color printing only selected portions thereof. On the other hand, if desired, only the portions of the pattern stencilled with an adhesive may be flocked. Similarly, halftones may be produced or omitted whether doctor compartments for multi-color printing parts of the pattern are utilized or not. 7
In another aspect or embodiment of the present improvements, greater color variations and combinations may be flock-printed on the web in one continuous operation by mounting a plurality of printing units about a single pressure roll as illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 4. Each print roll with its coacting doctor used as a furnisher will print a different color, the number of colors bemg limited to some extent, of course, by the periphery of the pressure roll common to each printing station.
After the material being processed passes, around the pres- In the practice of estabsure roll and through the last of the individual spaced printing zones it may be led through the nip of the pressure roll coacting with a stencil cylinder where a flock adhesive is applied in the form of the balance of the composite design after which flock is deposited either all over the pattern or only on the pprtions thereof not previously color printed by the printing rolls. It will be understood, of course, that where it is desired to deposit flock all over the design or all over the pattern except for halftone portions, a suitable adhesive for the flock should be added to the coloring or printing composition. Moreover, if such all-over flocking is not desired, it is advisable to provide a drying interval after or between each successive printing stage to prevent smearing or other objectionable defects. The use of a quick drying printing composition is also indicated and suggested wherever it is proposed not to flock the color printed portions of the composite flock-printed design.
A virtually unlimited variety of shades and color combinations may be produced by inserting stops of the character previously described in one, some or all of the furnishers coacting as printing ink composition containers with each print roll. Thus, for example, if 4 individual color compartments or containers are established for each printing station and 8 print rolls are installed about the periphery of a common pressure roller, 32 different colors may be utilized in the color printed portions alone of the composite flock-printed design, and the color of the flock subsequently added may distinctively differ from all the other colors or shades previously applied in color printing. It is also pointed out that where a plurality of printers is employed, each printer having multi-color compartments, an adhesive for flock may be incorporated in one, some or in all of such compartments and conversely a quick drying composition without a flock adhesive may be incorporated in one, some or all of the compartments. Thus the possible combinations and permutations of color and flock that may be produced are enormous.
Referring now more particularly to the several figures of the drawings, in Fig. l is diagrammatically illustrated apparatus suitable for practicing at least one embodiment of the present invention. As these show, a web 10 of the material to be flock-printed may be unwound from a creel or support 11 to move in the direction of the arrow toward the printing and flocking zones, wherein the web 10 is first printed with a portion of the desired pattern and subsequently stencilled with an adhesive and flocked at least over the balance of the pattern, run through a dryer and finally wound up on a take-up roll.
As the web 10 to be printed and flocked leaves the stand 11 in the open width form, it may be fed as by means of the tension rods 12, 13 over an idler 14, to the printer 15, suitably engraved as at 16 to reproduce on the web 10 only a portion of a preselected composite dc sign, the remainder of the pattern being carried by a stencil cylinder as will be explained.
The printing assembly may comprise an engraved cop per cylinder 15 resting in bearings 17 and driven as by means of a belt or pulley 18 from a motor 19 to form a nip with a coacting rotatable rubber covered pressure roller 21. A doctor blade 20', to be used as a printing paste furnisher, may be mounted obliquely adjacent the print roll 15 on any convenient support (not shown) so as to form therewith a trough for supplying color printing paste to the travelling web 10 as the web passes underneath the edge 22 of the blade 20 and then through the nip formed by rolls 15, 21 and up to a stencilling cylinder. A pan 23 to catch drippings may be placed underneath the printing roll 15 and the doctor 20.
As will be understood, in operation the doctor blade 20 is pressed lightly against the working surface of the engraved roller 15. As roller 15 is rotated about .its longitudinal axis, the smooth surface portions thereof which are not engraved with the desired pattern are cleaned of color by the sharp knife edge of the doctor 2}). The etched out or engraved portions of the roller 15 will be scraped only at the peripheral surface of the roll 15 and the engraving itself will form a well or group of wells which carry the color to the cloth 10.
If the printed portions of-the pattern are not latento be flocked as well, it is advisable to incorporate a quick drying composition in the color printing paste so that the printed matter will be dry on the web 10 before it reaches the stencil cylinder. In some instances, depending upon the type and construction of the material 'being processed, it may be advantageous to light up a bank of drying lamps 24 or other suitable drying means'fixed to the brackets 25 and trained zone.
With further reference to the furnisher 20, a side piece or dam 26 may be provided at both ends of the blade 20 for maintaining the printing composition within the areadefined by the working surface of the printing roll 15 and the adjacent upper surface of the inclined blade 20 whereby the print stufl or color is supplied to the engraved portions of the rotating print roll 15. Moreover, as previously mentioned, the furnisher 20 may be sectioned ofl, temporarily or permanently, into individually distinct compartments or containers by inserting plugs or stops 27 (see Fig. 3) made of hard rubber, plastic or other composition at spaced intervals along the transverse length of the blade 20. By this means a plurality of colors may bepigment printed simultaneously in design form throughout the width of the travelling web of cloth or other material.
After printing and drying, and without interruption of the process, the web 10 may be carried into the nip of a rotating cylindrical stencil 28 driven by the pressure roller 21 serving both the printer and stencil 28,
which pressure roll in turn of separate and distinct spaced holes, dots or dashes, according to any pro-selected design pattern. The copper sheeting is then worked or formed into a rigid cylindrical stencil, care being taken to insure that the perforations therein will permit the adhesive to be deposited on the passed successively it receives by pigthe adhesive printed portions of the cloth the color printed portions thereof. If desired, however, the entire composite pattern area may be flocked after the color printing operation, by dispensing with the drying lamps 24 intermediate the step of color printing and adhesive depositing and by substituting in the color printing paste an adhesive suitable for flocking in place of the quick drying composition mentioned above.
After emerging from the flock box 34, the moving web 10 now flock-printed with a regularly repeated composite multi-color pattern, may be passed into a drying chamber 35 and from thence to a take up roll 36 for storage or other use.
Fig. 4 of the 38 (only one being illustrated) which may or may not be sectioned ofl into multi-color compartments as previdown upon the moving web 1-0 as it passes from the printing unit 15 to the stencilllng tions of the design which are not pigment printed with color by the several printers 37.
Although the drawings herein illustrate only one pressure roll common to the printing and .stencilling units, it will be appreciated that, if desired, an individual pressure roll may be substituted in the assembly foreach print roll. Further, if more than one stencil cylinder is made use of, additional pressure rollers may be added, one for each stencil. The addition of pressure rollers may be made without interrupting the continuous flockprinting of composite designs according to the present improvements.
What is claimed is:
l. The combination in 2. Assembly for continuously printing and flocking a moving web comprising coacting print and pressure rolls constructed and arranged to print a portion of a predetermined design on a web passing therebetween, a doctor blade in contact with the print roll in advance of intermediate its ends, said doctor blade with said pressure roller for the web, and means for applying flock to said adhesive on the web.
4. Apparatus for continuously printing and flocking a web moving lengthwise in open width form comprising in combination, print roller means for color printing with a coloring composition including an adhesive adapted to receive and the composite ruption of movement of the web.
6. Apparatus for continuously printing and flocking a web moving lengthwise in open width form, comprising in combination print roller means for color printing, partially in full tone and partially in half tone, only a portion of a predetermined composite design on the surface of the web as it advances, with a coloring composition including an adhesive adapted subsequently to receive and retain a deposit of flock fibers, stencil roller means for stencil printing the balance of the composite design on the moving web with an adhesive for flock, and means for securing flock only to the portion of the composite design printed in full tone and the stencil printed portion.
7. Apparatus for continuously printing in half tone and full tone and flocking a web moving lengthwise in open width form, comprising in combination pressure roll means for receiving and moving the web through the apparatus, print roller means constructed and arranged to coact with the pressure roll means, said print roller means including means for color printing, partially in full tone and partially in half tone, only portions of a predetermined composite design on the surface of the web as it advances, with a coloring composition including an adhesive adapted subsequently to receive and retain a deposit of flock fibers, means including the same pressure roll means for stencil printing the remainder of the composite design on the moving web with an adhesive for flock, and means for securing flock only to the portion of the composite design printed in full tone and the stencil printed remainder, while leaving free of flock the halftone printed portion.
8. Method of continuously printing and flocking composite designs on the surface of a web, which comprises moving the web into a printing zone, color printing part of the composite design on the web with a coloring composition comprising an adhesive adapted to receive and retain a deposit of flock fibers, stencil printing the balance of the composite design on the moving web with an adhesive for flock without allowing the adhesive comprised in the color printed part of the composite design to dry, moving the partially color printed and partially stenciled web into a flocking zone without allowing the color printed and stenciled portions to dry, and applying flock to the undried color printed and stenciled portions of the composite design on the surface of the moving web.
9. Method of continuously printing in half tone and full tone and flocking composite designs on a web surface, comprising the steps of movingthe unprinted and unfiocked web into a printing zone, color printing with a coloring composition containing an adhesive for flock, partially in full tone and partially in half tone, only portions of the composite design, moving the web, partially printed in full tone and partially printed in half tone, into a stenciling zone without permitting the adhesive in the coloring composition to dry, stencil printing the balance of the composite design on the moving web with an adhesive adapted to receive and retain additional flock, moving the Web, partially printed in full tone and partially printed in half tone and partially stenciled, into a flocking zone without permitting the stenciled portion and the full tone color printed portions to dry, and applying flock to the stenciled portion and the full tone color printed portion of the composite design on the surface of the moving web, while leaving the halftone color printed portion free of flock.
10. Assembly for continuously printing and flocking a moving web comprising coacting print and pressure rolls constructed and arranged to color print only a portion of a predetermined composite design on a web passing thcrebetween, a doctor blade in contact with the print roll in advance of the pressure roll for supplying a plurality of colors to the surface of the print roll, said doctor blade having a color block intermediate its ends, and means for subsequently flocking the color printed portion and the remainder of the composite design on the web without interruption of movement of the web.
11. A web having a tri-partite composite design comprising a portion color printed in full tone and flocked, a portion free of flock and color printed in half tone, and a flocked and stenciled portion.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,379,368 Speer May 24, 1921 1,673,933 Cadgene et a1 June 19, 1928 1,941,962 Tone Jan. 2, 1934 2,084,827 Schwartz et a1 June 22, 1937 2,206,570 Johnston July 2, 1940 2,217,133 Overlack Oct. 8, 1940 2,294,513 Pearson Sept. 1, 1942 2,387,929 Monroe Oct. 30, 1945 2,496,665 Hermonson Feb. 7, 1950 2,533,985 Aronstein et a1 Dec. 12, 1950