US 2721370 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 25, 1955 2,721,370
L. CLUETT ET AL MACHINE AND PROCESS FOR SHRINKING AND F'TNISHING WOVEN TEXTILE FABRICS I5 Sheets-Sheet l Filed March 18, 1953 INVENTORS SANFORD L. CLUETT BY GEORGE A. SCHREINER mm M ATT'Y Oct. 25, 1955 s. 1 CLUETT ET AL 2,721,370
MACHINE AND PROCESS FOR SHRINKING AND FINISHING WOVEN TEXTILE FABRICS 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 18, 1953 INVENTOR. SANFORD L. CLUETT GEORGE A. SCHREINER ATT'Y Oct 1955 s. CLUETT ET AL MACHINE AND PROCESS FOR SHRINKING AND FINISHING WOVEN TEXTILE FABRICS 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed March 18, 1955 INVENTORS SANFORD L. CLUETT BY GEORGE A. SC REINER ATT'Y United States Patent "ice MACHINE AND PROCESS FOR SHRINKING AND FINISHING WOVEN TEXTILE FABRICS Sanford L. Cluett and George A. Schreiner, Troy, N. Y., assignors to Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc., Troy, N. Y., a corporation of New York Application March 18, 1953, Serial No. 343,194
13 Claims. (Cl. 2618.6)
This invention relates to cloth shrinking and finishing, and particularly to compressive shrinking of woven textile fabrics and the finishing of such shrunk fabrics. When a woven textile fabric is laundered it has a tendency to shrink, and this shrinkage is of two kinds, relaxation (wash) and progressive dimensional shrinkage. This invention relates to the relaxation shrinkage, and has probably its greatest field of usefulness in the treatment of all cotton woven fabrics, or woven fabrics having considerable cotton with other fibers in the yarns thereof. It is useful, however, wherever one desires to remove relaxation or Wash shrinkage from woven fabrics. Apparatus useful for compressive shrinking of woven fabrics is disclosed by way of example in U. S. Patents #1,86l,423 and #l,861,424, but machines of that type have commonly employed a felt belt which was sufliciently porous to permit escape through it of considerable moisture from the web during the shrinking operation. That face of the fabric web in contact with the heated drum of the shrinker was rather smooth and lustrous, such as is produced by the ironing of a face of a fabric, but the opposite face of the web which was in contact with the felt belt was relatively dull.
Attempts have been made to provide the smooth or ironed surface on both faces of the web by passing the web through such machines in tandem and reversing the web, face to face, between the two tandem machines, so that both faces of the web would be subjected in succession to the smooth ironing surface of the heated drum. This is disclosed in U. S. Patent $1 2,005,517. Another attempt to accomplish an equivalent result was to rerun the fabric through the same machine but with. the faces of the web reversed in the second run, but this required additional handling. In both of these cases, the final finish was not entirely that desired, because the face of the web which is in contact first with the heated drum, in the run through the second machine or in the second run through the same machine was in contact with the felt belt while quite moist, with the result that it losta substantial amount of its smoothness or ironed finish.
Various attempts were also made to obtain this smooth, ironed finish on both faces by using a rubber belt instead of a felt belt, but such attempts were not entirely satisfactory because the machines heretofore employed with rubber belts did not shrink the web as rapidly as it could be done when using a felt belt, and it was diificult to shrink the fabric on a rubber belt machine to as close a tolerance, uniformly and dependably as was possible on a felt belt machine. Examples of such rubber belt machines are illustrated in U. S. Patents #2,02l,975 and #2,l46,694. In the felt belt machines, heated shoes bearing on the intake rolls and extending almost into contact with the large heated drum, to press the web tightly against the felt belt were considered necessary in order to obtain adequate shrinkage of the fabric in a single operation, and replacement of the felt belt by a resilient rubber belt in such a machine was impractical because the fabric web must be narrower than the belt and the 2,721,370 Patented Oct. 25, 1955 side edge strip of the rubber belt would rub on the hot shoes and be rapidly damaged thereby. The shrinkage obtained by mere reversal of curvature of the belt would usually be inadequate and substantial deformation of the rubber belt at the nip is necessary. It is very diflicult to accurately control the shrinkage on a rubber belt machine because apparently the rubber of the belt does not pass uniformly through the deformation at the nip, and a fine and accurate regulation and control of the depth of compression of the belt at the nip is. not possible.
An object of this invention is to provide an improved method and means for shrinking woven fabric webs, by which one may obtain a smooth, ironed finish on both faces of the web, with which the web may be shrunk at approximately the same speeds that webs have been shrunk on felt belt' machines previously, with which the fabric may be fully dried in the shrinking and finishing operation, with which the shrinking may be performed uniformly to dependably closer tolerances than has been possible heretofore with a rubber belt type of compressive shrinking machine, and which will be relatively simple, efiicient, practical and inexpensive in cost of treatment.
Various other objects and advantages will be apparent from the following description of one embodiment of the invention, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out hereinafter in connection with the appended claims.
In the accompanying drawings:
Figs. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate fractional parts of a machine which has been constructed in accordance with this invention'; Fig. 1 being a side elevation of the first end part of the machine;
Fig. 2 being a side elevation of the middle part of the machine;
Fig. 3 being a side elevation of the final end part of the machine; and
Fig. 4 is a diagram illustrating the principle of compressive shrinking on a rubber belt machine.
In the illustrated embodiment of the invention, the parts of the machine shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 3 are arranged in tandem, with Fig; 1 being at the right, Fig. 3 at the left and Fig. 2 in between Figs. 1 and 3. Referring first to Fig. l, the woven cloth or fabric web 1 to be shrunk is brought to the machine in a carrier 2 in folded form, and is lifted from the carrier and passed over idler rolls 3 arranged in succession, which straighten out the web and create a fairly uniform drag on the fabric, so that it will feed fairly smoothly to a pair of feeding rolls 4 and 5 which are mounted for rotation in a frame 6. The frame 6 is supported on the base frame 7, and the web 1 after leaving the rolls 3 passes between some angularly disposed guide rolls 8, as usual in this type of machine. These guide rolls 8 further aid in smoothing out and straightening the Web, after which the web passes around an idle roll 9 and then over spreader bars 10 that are disposed approximately parallel to and spaced slightly from one another. From the spreader bars 10, the web 1 passes upwardly over and nearly around the upper roll 4, then downwardly in between the rolls 4 and 5, and then downwardly and partly around roll 5, and then over idle roll 11 to the apparatus for conditioning the web as to moisture, indicated generally at 12.
The roll 5 is mounted to rotate in bearings 13, each of which is supported on upright rods 14 carried by the base frame 7. The spreader bars 10 and the idle roll 11 are also rotatably supported on the same bearings 13. The upper roll 4 is rotatably mounted in end bearings 15 which are slidably mounted on the upright rods 14. A post 16 extends upwardly from each bearing 15, and slidably extends through a bushing 17 which is supported by arms 18 that are fixed on the upper ends of adjacent rods 14. A sleeve 19 is loosely mounted on the upper end of each post 16, above the bushing 17, the upper end of each post 16, to receive adjusting nuts 20. A lever 21 is pivoted at 22 to one of the arms 18, and extends beyond its pivot where it is connected by pivot pin 23 to one end of a link 24, the other end of which is pivoted to a rod 25, which extends in a direction from end to end of the roll 4- and is rotatably carried at each end by the adjacent sleeve 19.
The engagement of the sleeve 19 with the bushing 17 limits the downward movement of the roller 4 because the adjusting nuts 20 limit the upward sliding movement of the sleeve 19 on the post 16. Each link 24 is normally in an oblique position, and when the lever 21 is rotated clockwise in Fig. 1, it will raise the link 24 endwise and through it raise the rod 25 and both sleeves 19. The sleeves 19, acting on the nuts 20 will lift the posts 16, thereby lifting the bearings 15 and the upper roller.4. This can continue until the links 24 pass dead center positions, and then the parts will remain in this position because of the latching of lever 21 by the dead center positions of links 24. When the roll 4 is to be lowered, the handle 24 is moved counter-clockwise in Fig. 1, which shifts the links 24 back into the oblique positions after passing dead center, and this allows the roll 4 to descend until the sleeves 19 are stopped by the nuts 20. By adjusting nuts 21) it is possible to have just sufficient contact of the rolls 4 and 5 with the web to create desired driving pressure on the web to fed it at a definite rate without damage to the yarns of the web.
From the idler roll 11, the web 1 passes into the moistener or conditioning unit 12. This unit includes a housing 26 mounting a series of idle rollers 27 in a horizontal row across its top, and a row of similar rollers 28 mounted for independent rotation in the lower part of the housing chamber. The web 1 passes into the upper part of the housing 26, over one of the rollers 27, then back and forth between the rollers 27 and 28 for a number of passes after which it passes over an idle roller 29 downwardly beneath an adjustable roller 30 and upwardly and over another idle roller 31. The roller 30 is mounted in a frame which is tiltable at about its mid-length so that it can be rocked into a position to straighten the filling of the web. Disposed in front of the housing 26, just in front of an open window in the latter, is a spraycreating device 32 which supplies an atomized mist of moisture such as water, into the chamber of the housing 26 where it strikes the web 1, that is traveling downwardly in the housing 26. This effectively wets the traveling web, and the back and forth travel of the web in the housing 26 allows the water to penetrate the yarns and fibers thereof to the end that the web is thoroughly and uniformly moistened. The spray device may be any suitable device for atomizing the water and spraying it upon the web, but that illustrated utilizes blasts of air to atomize the water and discharge it as diverging streams of fine mist which impinge upon the moving web.
From the idle roller 31, the web passes around an idle roller 33, thence nearly around the periphery of a drum 34 which is supported by end shafts 35 carried thereby, axially thereof, and rotatably mounted in bearings 36 provided upon an extension of the housing 26. The drum 34 is free to rotate with a minimum of friction, and is a hollow, heated cylinder, supplied through its end shafts with steam or other heating medium. This heated drum heats the moistened web passing around it in contact therewith, and the heat so applied to the web spreads the moisture throughout the fibers of the yarns of which the web is woven. The web passes nearly around the heated cylinder or drum 34, over an idler roller 37, and then passes over the scrimp bars 38. These scrimp bars are fixed rods having on the periphery at each end thereof spiral ribs or grooves corresponding to threads, those at one end being right hand threads and those at the other end being left hand threads. The web, sliding over such bars, will have its side edges pulled or urged in opposite directions, that is outwardly, so as to keep the web perfectly flat and smooth and free of wrinkles and creases. From the scrimp bars 38, the web passes through the stretching device designated generally at 39, and which serves to stretch the web widthwise to the desired normal width which the fabric is expected to maintain after laundering.
This stretcher then delivers the stretched web to two more scrimp bars 40 disposed side by side but spaced slightly apart. Both of these scrimp bars 40 have the oppositely progressing spiral ribs or grooves at the end portions over which the side margins of the web pass for urging the edges of the web outwardly and thus maintain the web in the stretched, smooth condition in which it is delivered by the stretcher 39. The stretcher unit shown is one that has been in commercial use and is popularly known as a clip expander. It is disclosed, for example, in U. 5. Patent #2,082,981 of June 8, 1937, to which reference may be had for a disclosure of the full details thereof. In such a stretcher, the side edges of the web are picked up by clips on endless belts that extend along the side edges of the web, and the runs of these belts which carry the clamps gripping the side edges of the web gradually diverge as they travel, and stretch the web to the desired extent and then release it. As commercially used, these clip expanders have a sensitive control device with a control finger 41 that engages with a side of the web and shifts the belts carrying the clamps toward or from one another at the entrance end, depending upon the width of the web, so as to always receive and grip the web. The details of such control mechanism are, per se, no part of the present invention, but are in common use. A hand wheel 42 serves through suitable gearing to shift the other ends of the belts apart to the desired width for the web 1, that is, the width to which the web is to be stretched, as usual in this type of device.
From the scrimp bars 41), the web 1 passes into a compressive shrinking unit designated generally at 43 in Fig. 2. This unit 43 employs a heated cylindrical drum 4-4, usually hollow and heated through steam. This drum 44 is provided with end trunnions 45 which are disposed axially of the drum 44 and rotatably mounted in bearings 46 provided on a frame 47. An intake roll 43 has axial studs 49 which are rotatably mounted in arms 50, one at each end of the frame 47. Each arm 50 is pivoted by a pin 51 on the frame 47, and extends upwardly. Its upper end is pivotally connected by link 52 to a nut 53 through which is threaded a screw 5 that in turn is rotatably mounted in the frame. There is a screw 54 and nut 53 at each side of the machine. Each nut 53 has a flat side which slides along an arm 55 of the frame 47, which prevents rotation of the nut 53. When the screw 54 is rotated, it will feed the nut back and forth, depending upon the direction of the nut rotation of the screw.
Each screw, at its outer end, carries a micrometer dial 56, and at its inner end carries a worm wheel 57 which meshes with a worm screw 58. The screw 58 at each side of the machine is fixed on a common shaft 59 which extends from side to side of the machine and is rotatably mounted on the frame 47. A hand Wheel 60 is fixed on one end of the shaft 59, so that by turning the hand wheel 60 the nuts 53 may be shifted simultaneously back and forth and, in turn, shift the intake roller 48 toward and from the drum 44. An endless rubber belt 61 extends partly around the periphery of drum 44, between the drum 44 and the intake roll 48, and also around idler rolls 62 and 63, that are rotatably mountedon frame 47 with their axes parallel to the axis of rotation of drum 44. The roll 63 is mounted for adjustment to tighten or loosen the belt if desired, and thus vary the pressure of the belt against the drum 44. For this purpose a screw 63a is provided on each side of the frame 47, and mount- Qd fQl' rotation on its axis. A hand Wheel 63b on the outer end of each screw 63a-enables the screw. to be rotated in either direction as desired. A nut 63c isprovided on each screw and by sliding engagement with-the frame 43 is confined against rotation with the screw. Bearings for the roll 63 are mounted on the nuts, so that when a hand wheel 63]) is rotated, it will move the nut endwise along its screw and thus move the roll 63 at that end to tighten or loosen the rubber beltdepending on the direction of rotation ofthe hand wheel.
Pipes 64 and 65 are disposed along opposite faces of the belt 61 between the roll 63' and the idler roll 62, for spraying a fine mist of water upon the belt to cool it as it leaves the roll 63 and passes toward the roll 62. Each of the pipes 64 and 65 has a row of apertures lengthwise thereof to spray fine streams of water upon the belt to cool it. A pair of wringer rollers 66 and 67 are disposed on opposite sides of the belt between the roll 62 and the intake roll 48, and these wringer rolls 66 and 67 are forced into pressure contact with opposite faces of the belt, so as to squeeze off water or moisture adhering to the belt as itapproaches the intake roll 48. Thus the belt is cooled by thewater sprays and then the spray water is removed by the wringer rolls before the belt again meets the web 1 from the clip expander. The web 1' passes from the scrimp bars 40-intofaceto face contact with the convex face of the belt, thenbetween the belt and the drum 44, passes around the drum 44 and over an idle roller 68; mounted onthe topof the frame 47 and then it passes overa scrimp bar 69, provided on a suitable continuous drying device indicated generally at 70 in Fig. 3. While any suitable continuous dryer, such as a can dryer, can be used, the illustrated drying device 70 is an ordinary, felt belt, Palmer dryer or calender which is well known and extensively used in the trade. I
Such calenders have a large heated drum 71 (Fig. 3) mounted to rotate in a frame 72, and an endless felt belt 73 passes largely around the periphery'of the drum 71. An intake roll 74 is mounted for freerotation in frame 72, close to-thedrum so'as't'o feed'the felt belt 73 to the drum, and after the belt haspassed largely around the drum periphery, it leaves by passing over an idler roll 75, thence over idler rolls 76 and 77, then around a steamheated drum 78 which is mounted to rotate freely on its axis. The belt 73 then passesover another idle roll 79, and thence over a tilting roller 80' and idler rolls 81 and 82 back to the intake roll 74. The web I, after passing over scrimp bar 69, passes over an idler roll 83 into the space between the felt belt on the roll 74 and the heated drum, so as to pass between the felt belt and the drum in face to face-contact with both nearly around the drum. The web is then separated from the belt 73by'an idler roll 84, thence is passed over an idle drum 85 which is rotatably mounted on the top of the frame 72, thence over another idle drum 86, also rotatably mounted on the top of frame 72, then it passes through an oscillating folding device 87 where it is laid in folded condition in a cart 88. The folding device oscillates back and forth under the action of a crank arm 89, a crank pin 90, and a link 91 connecting the crank pin to an upward extension of the oscillating folding device 87. The drums 85 and 86 are driven by a chain and sprocket connection to feed the web at the same linear speed at which it is received from the felt belt calender 70, but without placing any particular tension on the web. A chain and sprocket drive is provided between the shaft of drum 86 and the shaft of crank arm 89.
The roller 77 in the felt .belt calender 70 is adjustable back and forth to tighten the felt belt in any suitable manner. The larger heated drum 71 of the calender 70 is usually and preferably about 60 inches or more in diameter and it is positively driven by gearing from a drive'shaft 92 whichv extends into a variable speed, gear box 93 and which is provided with change speed mechanism similar to that provided on a lathe so that the spindle'of the lathescan be driven ataany of a plurality of diiferent speeds. These change gears, or variable speed boxes, are will known in the industry and the change in speed is made by shifting of the gears between right and left in Fig. 3 through shifting of a handle 94. Inasmuch as such change or variable speed gear boxes are commonly used in the metal tool industry, they have been shown only conventionally here. They are shown, for example, in Fig. 1 of U. S. Patent #1,950,398 and also in U. S. Patent #2,037,676.
The drive shaft 92 extends along one side of the frame 43 of the shrinker and there carries a spur gear 95 which meshes with another spur gear 96 which is fixed on one end of a shaft 97. The shaft 97 extends along y the front of the moisture conditioning unit 12 to a position alongside of the frame 7. The shaft 92 carries a bevel gear 98 which meshes with a bevel gear 99 which, in turn, operates a sprocket Wheel and, through it, a chain 100 which runs over a sprocket wheel 101 which is rotatably mounted in the frame 43. The sprocket wheel rotates with a pinion of about the same size which meshes with a gear 102 which is fixed on one of the trunnions of drum 44 so that the heated drum 44 is continuously driven from the shaft 92. The rotation of the drum 44 serves to drive the endless heavy rubber belt 61. The rubber belt is preferably about two inches thick and is of solid, soft elastic rubber, with a hardness of about 30 to 35 as measured by a Shore Dur-Ometer.
The shaft 97 is continuously driven through a gear box 103 from a main drive shaft 104. The shaft 104 carries a pulley 105 which is belt driven from a suitable motor not shown. Gear boxes such as 103 are illustrated in U. S. Patents #l,950,398 and #2,037,676 to which reference may be had for a more complete disclosure of the details thereof. In said U. S. patents the main drive shaft of the gear box serves to operate a vertical shaft (corresponding to the present shaft 106, Fig. l) which extends vertically at one side of the frame and by which a pair of feed rollers are driven. In the present case, the shaft 106 has a beveled gear drive to the lower roll 5, and a similar but splined gear drive to the upper roll 4, so that. the two rolls 4 and 5 are positively driven at a selected but variable speed from the main shaft 104. The speed of the. shaft 106 can be varied by shifting the change speed handle 107 which couples the shaft 106 to the main shaft 104 through the variable change speed mechanism. This change speed mechanism is adjusted by major increments through a handle 108 and by a minor increments through a handle 107. The manner in which the upper and lower rolls 4 and 5 are driven from the shaft 106, areillustrated clearly in said U. S. Patents #1,950,398 and #2,037,676. The variable speed mechanism by which the large drum 7 1, or felt belt calender, is driven at any of a plurality of different speeds, is operated by adjustment of the handle 94. This is illustrated in Fig. 9 of said U. S. Patent #2,037,67-6 which also illustrates how the large heated drum is driven from the change speed mechanism.
It will be observed from the foregoing that the rolls 4 and 5, which feed the web to the moisture conditioner, can be set to operate at any of a plurality of different speeds, determined by adjustment of the change speed handles 107 and 108, which determines the linear speed at which the web is delivered to the moisture conditioner 12. The shaft 97 is driven. at a definite rate from the main shaft 104, independently of the rate of operation of the feed rolls 4 and 5. Since the shaft 97'is geared to shaft 92, through a fixed speed ratio, the drum 44 of the shrinker will be driven at a uniform speed. The rolls 4 and 5 are set, by suitable manipulation of the variable speed handles, 107 and 108, to feed the web to the moisture conditioner at alinear rate greater than that of the web leaving the drum. 44 of the shrinker 43, by an amount larger than the potential shrinkage of the web, so that the web will be overshrunk by some amount which need not be known. Then by manipulation of the handle 94 the felt belt calender can be operated at a speed which will stretch the overshrunk web until the overshrinkage is removed. For example, if the fabric web to be treated is determined by a preliminary test of a sample, to have a potential laundry shrinkage of 6%, the speed of the intake rolls 4 and 5 are set to feed the web at a selected linear speed, greater than that required to give a shrinkage of 6%, and then the speed of the felt belt calender is set to deliver the web at a lower rate than it is delivered by the rolls 4 and 5 but greater than the rate of delivery by the shrinker 43, which will be equivalent to about 6% shrinkage. The intake roll 45 of the shrinker is then set against the drum 44 under a pressure which will give a shrinkage of more than 6% to fabric just before leaving the drum 44 of the shrinker. The felt belt calender pullsout all over-shrinkage above the 6%. It is therefore, immaterial how much over-shrinkage the web is given in the rubber belt mechanism shown in Fig. 2, because one does not need to know the amount of that shrinkage. The difference in linear speeds of the web, as delivered by the feed rolls 4 and 5 and as delivered by the felt belt calender, will always determine and fix the amount of the residual shrinkage left in the web.
It is possible to easily over-shrink a fabric on the rubber belt mechanism shown in Fig. 2, because in that machine, the warp yarns of the web are pushed together and crimped and the yarns set in that condition, so that when the web leaving such a machine is moistened and allowed to dry without tension, there could be a slight elongation of the web.
By a comparison of the linear speeds of the web as delivered by the rolls 4 and 5 with that of the web as delivered by the drying calender or other dryer, the actual net shrinkage given to the web is easily computed. In fact, apparatus is available on the market for comparing such speeds and indicating the shrinkage directly on a gauge, and it has been applied successfully to one of these machines. The gear boxes may also be replaced by variable speed electrical or hydraulic motors which enable one to operate the feed rolls 4 and 5 at one selected but variable speed, the shrinker at a selected speed, and the dryer or drying calender at another selected, but variable, speed.
The principle of shrinking by the use of the mechanism shown in Fig. 2 is illustrated diagrammatically in Fig. 4. The intake roll 43 sometimes called the pressure roll, is forced against the main drum 44 under sufficient pressure to squeeze or indent to a substantial extent, the portion of the rubber belt 61 which is disposed between the pressure roll 48 and the drum 44. A plurality of marks are indicated on the side edge face of the belt, which marks are parallel to each other and equally spaced when the belt is unflexed. Those on the belt portion which is on the pressure roll will be radial to the axis rotation of the pressure roll, until they are near the area of the nip, and then the belt is distorted and thinned through the nip as shown by the positions of the lines as they pass through the hip and when the marks are well beyond the nip, they will then be radial to the axis of rotation of the main drum. After the surface of the belt engaging the web passes the nip, that belt surface slows down and contracts lengthwise, pushing the web yarns together with it, which is aided by the fact that the concave surface of the belt is then compressed lengthwise by the change to concave shape from the convex form.
The fabric will adhere to the rubber belt surface, and be compressed lengthwise progressively with the contracting belt surface, because of the higher frictional resistance between the belt and web than between the web and the heated drum. The surface of the main drum is polished and heated so that it acts like the ironing surface of an ordinary laundry iron, which has relatively low frictional resistance between the drum or ironing surface and the web. Consequently the web will slow down with the belt, and as the stretched surface of the belt passes the nip, and becomes concave, the web will contract with the belt and slide on the periphery of the main drum. Since the fibers of the web yarns are plastic at the time the heat is transmitted to the web by the drum, the heat will set a crimp in the yarns after the latter have been pushed together by contraction of the portion of the belt surface with which the web was in contact.
The fabric web as it leaves the drum and belt is at a temperature above the vaporization point of the water held in the yarns of the web, and when the heated web is uncovered, a considerable amount of the moisture in the web flashes off from the web as steam while the web is passing from the drum 44 over idle roll 68 and to the scrimp bar 69. The web then travels through the felt belt calender between the felt belt and the heated drum where the web is further heated and dried, but in as much as the web leaving the main drum 44 of the shrinker flashes off much of its moisture before it reaches the felt belt calender, the web, in passing through the felt belt calender, does not lose the ironed effect that was obtained from the rubber belt and drum 4-4.
In the operation of this machine, the web to be treated is brought in a dry condition in a cart to the starting end of the machine, which is the right hand end of Fig. l. A sample of this dry fabric is wash tested first, to determine its potential residual shrinkage when laundered. Then the speed of the feed rolls 4- and 5 is set to feed the web at a linear speed which, compared with the linear speed of the web leaving the shrinker unit, permits more shrinkage than the predetermined potential shrinkage for that web. The speed of the continuous dryer "i0 is set to deliver the web at a linear speed which is greater than the linear speed of the web as delivered by the drum 44 of the shrinker, but less than the linear speed of the web as delivered by the feed rolls 4 and 5. The difierence, in these speeds of the web passing rolls 4 and 5, and leaving the dryer, is selected to cause removal of that part of the preascertained potential shrinkage of the pretested sample which it is desired to remove. It is dithcult to set the rubber belt shrinker so as to give accurate and uniform shrinkage, and to predetermine just what shrinkage will result from a given setting of the pressure on the rubber belt at the nip. Therefore, the web is first overshrunk, and then is stretched by the continuous dryer to pull out the excess over-shrinkage, or any part thereof, or even stretch the web to put back into it some of the removed potential shrinkage.
It will be understood that generally one desires to reduce the potential relaxation shrinkage of a fabric web as closely as possible to zero residual shrinkage, so that the fabric will neither elongate nor shrink when subsequently laundered. However, if there should be any instances where one desires to leave a desired amount of residual shrinkage in the web, or a desired amount of over-shrink: age in the web, this can be accomplished by regulating the amount of stretching given to the web by the drying unit. If one desires to leave some of the over-shrinkage in the web, one sets the speed of the dryer so as not to stretch the fabric enough to remove all over-shrinkage, and if one desires to leave a selected amount of residual shrinkage in the fabric, one sets the speed of the dryer to pull the fabric endwise a little more than that which removes the over-shrinkage. The difference in the linear speeds of the web, as delivered by the feed rolls 4 and 5 and as delivered by the dryer, determines the amount of shrinkage left in the fabric, and accurate adjustment of the shrinker 43 is not required because one merely sets it to definitely over-shrink the web.
The web is conducted first through the moisture conditioner 12, where it is subjected to the water spray, and carried back and forth in the conditioner to enable the moisture to penetrate the yarns of the web, then it preferably passes over the heated idler drum 34 where it is moderately heated. The heat-so imparted,.aidsinspreadling the moisture throughout the-web and therefore helps in rendering the fibers and yarns of the fabric web more plastic. The web then passes-through the clip expander or stretcher 39, where the web is'pulled sidewise to the width which it should have in order that there will be substantially no shrinkage in the direction ofthe filling, when the fabric is subsequently laundered. The web is delivered in this moist condition, and at this desirediwidth, to the shrinker unit where it passes first'into face to face contact with the outer convex surface of the rubber belt 61 on the intake or pressure roll 48; It thenpasses with the rubber belt into contact with the drum 44 which is heated. The pressure between the pressure'roll and' the drum squeezes the belt in the nip,.so as to substantially indent the rubber belt at thenip',
As the belt and web travel together in contact with the drum 44, the web will slide on the smooth, heated surface of the drum, because the frictional resistance of the heated, smooth surface of the drum 44 against the sliding movement of a wet fabric web thereover, is much less than the frictional resistance offered by the surface of the rubber belt against the slippage of. a wet fabric over its face. Therefore, the-fabric adheres to therubber belt and slides on the surface of the drum and thisc'ontraction of the rubber belt carriesthefabric withit, pushing the warp yarns of the web endwise, and the filling yarns closer together, and crimps them somewhat in that condition. This, in effect, shortens the fabric web and is called, in the trade, compressive shrinking. The heated drum surface acts likean iron to create a smooth finish on the face of the web in contact therewith, and the rubber belt surface is smooth, and also creates a ve'ry smooth finish on the otherv face of the web which is incontact with it. Thus a smooth finishl resembling an ironed surface is provided simultaneously on. both faces of the web as it passes through the shrinker'and' is shrunkl.
Since the drum 44 is heated to a temperature above 212 F., the web passing in contact therewith will also be heated above 212 F. which is suificie'ntto' vaporize the moisture in the yarns of the web, but since the web is confined between the drum periphery and that of the rubber belt which is impervious,v very little of the moisture can escape from the Web, until after the web separates from the belt and the drum.- Upon' this separation, the moisture in the web, which has been heated: above the vaporization point of water vapo'ri'zes or flashes off quickly to a considerable extent while the web' is travelingto the continuous dryer. Thus theweb' entering the dryer will be partially dried and, therefore, its contactwith th'e felt belt of the dryer will notremove much of the smooth, lustrous appearance received from the shrinker, and this desired appearance will be largely retained.
The web then passes over the drums 85 and SdWhere any remaining moisture has an opportunity to escape by the time the fabric is folded as'i't-is deposited-in the cart 88. The operation is, therefore, continuous and can be performed at a very rapid rate, even as fast as regular felt belt compressive shrinking machines are operated. The shrinkage can be accurately and closely controlled in this manner, so that one can shrink fabric to a very close tolerance. With the simple controls of the speed, of rolls 4 and 5, and of. the continuous dryer, it is not necessary to employ operators with extremely high skill for the process and machine, but ordinary operators are satisfactory.
With this machine and using this process, it is possible touse a softer or more elastic rubber belt than has usually been used on prior rubber belt shrinking apparatus, and thus one can obtain greater shrinkage'in the shrinking unit through greater compression of the belt at the nip between the pressure roll and thedrum For example, rubber belts having a hardnesso'f about 30 to 35 as determinedbythe Shore Dur-Ometer has been very successful on this newmachine. Rubber belts commonly used on lift the rubber belt type of shrinkage machines heretofore employed had a hardness of about 55' to 60 as measured on a Shore Dur-Ometer, which is considerably greater hardness than that which has been successfully used on this new machine and withv this new process. The-softer rubber belt is advantageous when operating at the higher speeds. The drum 44 is considerably larger in diameter than the intake or pressure roller 48, but the diameter of the drum 44 is preferably notmuch larger than about 24 inches, because if the diameter of the drum 44 is too large it presents a surface to the rubber belt at the nip which approaches flatness, and it is not possible to indent the belt temporarily at the nip as effectively with a fairly fiat object as when the drum and the pressure roll are both of relatively small diameters.
In prior rubber belt machines, the webs have usually been conditioned as to moisture some time before being brought to the machine for shrinking and which period varies uncertainly, and because of that fact, it is difficult to determine the potential relaxation shrinkage of the web in its moistened condition. Without such a knowledge, it is diflicult to set the shrinking mechanism to give an accurate control over the residual shrinkage to be left in the web. In the prior uses of the rubber belt, the web was usually framed first, and if the tension, because of the processing, held the web down in width it was necessary to re-process it afterward; This is an expensive procedure. Because of the variable factors in the use of the prior rubber belt shrinkers, the speed of the webin many of those most commonly used has not averaged more than 15 to 30 yards per minute if they were to obtain reasonably dependable shrinkage control of the web, whereas with this process and machine the web may be passed through it at or moreyards per'minute and yet one can have a very accurate control ofthe shrinkage removed or left in the web. Since the web to be treated by this machine and process is brought to the machine in a dry condition, one can immediately and accurately ascertain by a wash test the potential wash shrinkage of it in that condition, and can set the relative speeds for the dry web at the feed rolls 4 and 5, and for the shrunk web leaving the continuous dryer, and thus can control, with much and uniform accuracy, the potential residual wash shrinkage left in'the web.
It will be understood that various changes in the details, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art, within the principle and scope'of the invention as expressed in the appended claims;
1. Cloth shrinking and finishing apparatus comprising a pair of intake feed rolls between which is passed a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished, means for driving said rolls selectively at any one of a plurality of different speeds, a moisture conditioner disposed to receive said web from said rolls, pass it, and moisten it while so passing, a stretcher device disposed to receive and pass the moisture conditioned web from said conditioner, and during the passing pull the web laterally to a desired width, and deliver it at that width, a relatively large, heated, cylindrical drum mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis in a position adjacent the delivery end of said stretcher device, a relatively thick, endless, resilient rubber belt extending partially around the periphery of the drum in contact therewith, an intake roller disposed alongside the drum, mounted for rotation on its longitudinal axis which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of said drum, and feeding said belt to said drum between them, idler rollers disposed to guide said belt, as it leaves said drum, back to and over said intake roller, means for shifting said intake roller toward and from said drum and thereby creating a selected pressure on the belt between the drum and the intake roller, guides for receiving the web of selected width as delivered by said stretcher device and passing it against that face of said belt on said intake roller which will later engage with the drum periphery, before the belt contacts with said drum, means for tensioning said belt against said drum, means for cooling said belt after it leaves said drum and before it again contacts said intake roller, means for rotating said drum at a selected speed which gives the web a linear speed slower than the linear speed passed by said rolls, a felt belt continuous drying machine, means for operating said drying machine selectively at any of a plurality of different speeds to deliver the web at a linear speed which is greater than the linear speed at which the rubber belt passes the shrunk web, but less than the linear speed at which the web is passed by said rolls, guide means for removing the web from said drum and belt, after the belt leaves the drum, and guiding it free of added moisture into said drying machine, and means for receiving and holding the dried web leaving said drying machine.
2. A continuous cloth shrinking and finishing machine comprising a web feeding device for continuously feeding a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished, means for operating said device to feed said web continuously and selectively at any of a plurality of different linear speeds, a moistening element disposed to receive and continuously pass said web from said device, and to moisten the web while passing it, a heated, smooth surface in contact with which said moistened web passes continuously as it leaves said element for spreading the moisture in the web, means for laterally stretching the moistened web leaving the heated surface progressively to a selected width and delivering it continuously at that selected width, means for receiving the delivered, laterally stretched web and continuously compressively over-shrinking it in a lengthwise direction while it is confined under pressure approximately normal to its faces between a heated, smooth surface and a relatively thick, resilient, flexible, rubber belt, and means for continuously receiving the shrunk web, stretching it to remove any desired part of the over-shrinking, and drying it, while it is free of any added moisture.
3. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises feeding said web linearly and continuously in an endwise direction at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web so fed as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, progressively stretching the moving, moisture conditioned web sidewise to a selected width, then overshrinking lengthwise, by compressive shrinking, the moving, moisture conditioned web while the web is confined between a smooth, heated surface and an elastic, rubber surface, flashing oif considerable moisture from the shrunk web, and then continuously stretching the moving shrunk web lengthwise sufficiently to approximately eliminate the overshrinkage of the web, and progressively drying the shrunk web, while it is free of any added moisture.
4. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises feeding said web linearly and continuously in an endwise direction at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web so fed as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, progressively stretching the moving, moisture conditioned web sidewise to a selected .width, then overshrinking lengthwise by compressive shrinking, the moving, moisture conditioned web while the web is confined under face to face pressure between two surfaces, one of which is heated at least to approximately the vaporization point of water and has relatively low frictional resistance to sliding of a wet fabric web thereover, and the other of which is elastic and contracting and has a rubber face with a relatively high frictional resistance to sliding of a wet fabric web thereover, removing some of the moisture from the shrunk web, continuously and progressively stretching the moving, shrunk web in a lengthwise direction sufliciently to leave in the web approximately the desired, potential laundry shrinkage, and
progressively and continuously drying the shrunk web, While it is free of any added moisture.
5. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises feeding said web linearly and continuously in an endwise direction at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web so fed as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, progressively stretching the moving, moisture conditioned web sidewise to a selected width, progressively placing the moisture conditioned, laterally stretched web between a low friction, heated surface and an elastic, rubber surface progressively contracting said rubber surface and the web in contact therewith while confining the web between said surfaces under a face to face pressure on the web sufiicient to prevent it from crepeing, causing an extent of such contraction of the web greater than the desired final contraction of the web, removing considerable moisture from the contracted web, continuously and progressively stretching in a lengthwise direction the contracted web from which such moisture has been removed, until the web possesses the desired final extent of lengthwise contraction, and drying the contracted web, while it is free of any added moisture.
6. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises positively feeding said web continuously at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, progressively stretching the moving, moisture conditioned web to a selected width, and delivering it continuously at that width, progressively pushing the warp yarns of said moving, moist, stretched web together in an endwise direction at a linear speed selectively less than said first mentioned, linear speed, and sufficient to overshrink the web, confining the web during such pushing together under pressure between a heated surface and a resilient, rubber belt, and then progressively heat drying the moving shrunk fabric while it is free of any added moisture at a linear speed less than the first mentioned speed but greater than said second mentioned linear speed.
7. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises positively feeding said web continuously at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, progressively stretching the moving, moisture conditioned web sidewise to a selected width, and delivering it continuously at that width, progressively pushing the warp yarns of said moving, moist, stretched web together in an endwise direction while the web is moving at a linear speed selectively less than said first mentioned, linear speed, confining the web during such pushing together under pressure between a heated surface and a resilient, rubber belt, and then progressively heat drying the moving shrunk fabric while it is free of any added moisture while moving it at a linear speed greater than said second mentioned linear speed, but less than said first mentioned speed.
8. A cloth shrinking and finishing machine comprising means for positively feeding a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished continuously at a selected but changeable linear speed, a conditioner unit disposed to receive and pass said web continuously, moisten said passing web and render its yarns plastic, stretcher means for continuously receiving and passing the web from said conditioner and during the passing progressively stretching it sidewise to a selected width and delivering it at such selected width, means for compressively shrinking said stretched web in a direction lengthwise of the web while between a heated drum and a flexible, resilient, endless rubber belt operating at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, and means for progressively and continuously stretching and heat drying the shrunk fabric, while it is free of any added moisture.
9. A cloth shrinking and finishing machine comprising means for positively feeding a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished continuously at a selected but changeable linear speed, means for moisture conditioning the yarns of the passing web progressively and continuously, stretcher means for continuously receiving and passing the moisture conditioned web and during the passing progressively stretching it sidewise to a selected width and delivering it at such selected width, means for compressively shrinking said stretched web in a direction lengthwise of the web while confined against crepeing between a heated drum and a flexible, resilient, endless rubber belt operating at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, and means for progressively and continuously heat drying the shrunk fabric While it is free of any added moisture at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, but greater than said second mentioned linear speed.
10. A cloth shrinking and finishing machine comprising means for positively feeding a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished continuously at a selected but changeable linear speed, means for moisture conditioning said moving web so fed, stretcher means for receiving and passing the web from said conditioning means and during the passing progressively stretching it sidewise to a selected width and delivering it at such selected width, means for shrinking said moisture conditioned web lengthwise by passing it continuously between the smooth, circular periphery of a heated drum and a relatively thick, resilient rubber belt, under heavy face to face pressure between the drum and belt sufiicient to substantially indent said drum into the rubber belt, but at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, and means for progressively and continuously stretching and heat drying the shrunk web while it is free of any added moisture at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed but greater than said second mentioned linear speed.
11. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises feeding said web, while moisture conditioned to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, at a selected linear rate, progressively and continuously overshrinking lengthwise, by compressive shrinking, the moving, moisture conditioned web while the web is confined between a smooth, heated surface and an elastic, rubber surface, and then continuously and progressively stretching the moving, shrunk web lengthwise sufliciently to eliminate from the web, any desired part of the overshrinkage and leave in the web a desired amount of residual shrinkage, and progressively and continuously drying the web with that amount of residual shrinkage therein.
12. A process for continuously shrinking and finishing a woven textile fabric web which comprises feeding said web linearly and continuously in an endwise direction at a selected linear speed, conditioning the moving web so fed as to moisture content to render plastic the fibers of its yarns, then overshrinking lengthwise, by compressive shrinking, the moving, moisture conditioned web while the web is confined between a smooth, heated surface and an elastic, rubber surface, flashing oif considerable moisture from the shrunk web, and then continuously stretching the moving shrunk web lengthwise sufliciently to approximately eliminate the overshrinkage of the web, and progressively drying the shrunk web, while it is free of any added moisture.
l3. A cloth shrinking and finishing machine compris ing means for positively feeding a woven fabric web to be shrunk and finished continuously at a selected linear speed, means for moisture conditioning the yarns of the passing web progressively and continuously, means for compressively shrinking said stretched moisture conditioned web in a direction lengthwise of the web while confined against crepeing between a heated drum and a flexible, resilient, endless rubber belt operating at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, and means for progressively and continuously heat drying the shrunk fabric while it is free of any added moisture at a linear speed less than said first mentioned linear speed, but greater than said second mentioned linear speed.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,861,423 Cluett May 31, 1932 2,037,676 Cluett Apr. 14, 1936 2,082,981 Schreiner June 8, 1937 2,084,367 Woodhead June 22, 1937 2,450,022 Schreiner Sept. 28, 1948 FOREIGN PATENTS 453,541 Great Britain Sept. 14, 1936 542,169 Great Britain Dec. 30, 1941