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Publication numberUS3068836 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 18, 1962
Filing dateMar 21, 1961
Priority dateMar 21, 1961
Publication numberUS 3068836 A, US 3068836A, US-A-3068836, US3068836 A, US3068836A
InventorsFrancis T Spencer
Original AssigneePepperell Mfg Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for use in the fluid treatment of napped fabrics
US 3068836 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 18, 1962 F. T. SPENCER 3,068,336


2 Sheets-Sheet 1 n nn nnnh 4 INVENTOR.

fimzs'f Shea r Dec. 18, 1962 F. T. SPENCER 3,068,836

APPARATUS FOR USE IN THE FLUID TREATMENT OF NAPPED FABRICS Filed March 21, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 (DEPT/l 0f [IV/77171 n iff/lilfi N I 77 5 oy g 70077 15) ROLLS A 04 .91/ J: F


1 92mm; Z jaw/er Patented Dec. 18, 1962 3,068,836 APPARATUS FOR USE IN THE FLUID TREAT- MENT OF NAPPED FABRICS Francis T. Spencer, Biddeford, Maine, assignor to Pepperell Manufacturing Company, Boston, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Mar. 21, 1961, Ser. No. 97,197 9 Claims. (Cl. 118-34) This invention pertains to the manufacture of textile fabric, in particular, napped or similar fabric, and more especially to novel mechanism for so-treating napped fabric as to increase resistance to shedding and to improve its loft or appearance as compared with fabrics which have been freshly napped in customary manner.

Napped fabric has heretofore been treated in various ways for the purpose of improving it, for example, to provide flame-resistance, or resistance to shedding, crushing, or wetting.

For the attainment of the above desired characteristics, it has heretofore been proposed to treat the nap layer of the fabric as, for example, by spraying it with a liquid of a kind such as chemically or physically to change the character of the individual fibers; to cause adjacent fibers, where they contact, to coalesce; or to form a coating upon the individual fibers which may or may not cause the fibers to adhere to each other, and then allowing or causing the treating medium to dry, cure or set. While such treatment of the nap of certain fabrics has given good results, particularly when the result may be obtained by the employment of very dilute or low viscosity fluid, it has been found almost impossible to attain the useful eifects in many cases, since the aforesaid treatment may fail completely when applied to certain materials, or in other cases has the ultimate result of making the fabric dense and felt-like; of decreasing the loft of height of the nap; or of producing a nap having a crustlike surface having a distinctly different appearance and/ or feel from that which is demanded in the intended field of use of the material.

Some of the substances which have been employed in treating the napped material are found among the synthetic resins While others are solutions of certain inorganic salts. Thus, as flame-retardant materials for cotton, certain polymers made by reacting tris (l-aziridinyl) phosphine oxide, referred to as APO, or tris (l-aziridinyl) phosphine sulfide, referred to as APS, with tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphonium chloride, referred to as THPC have been employed. As Water repellants for cotton, substances such as ODT (octadecyl isocyanate) have been employed, and for crush-resistance the so-called Rohnite resins (which are water-soluble urea formaldehyde resins), and the so-called Safe-to-Set resins (which are cyclic urea resins), which are applied in water solution, have been used.

While the apparatus herein disclosed and claimed, may be found useful in the treating of napped or similar fabrics for any of the above-named purposes and by the employment of appropriate reagents such as mentioned, or others having similar capabilities, the invention is herein more specifically described in its relation to the prevention of, or substantially reduction, in the shedding of nap during customary use, or as the result of laundry treatment. While herein the term napped fabric is employed for convenience, it is to be understood that this term is not to be restricted to a fabric having a layer of upstanding fibers such as produced by passing a woven fabric through a conventional napping machine, but is to be considered as broadly inclusive of high-pile fabrics such as plushes and artificial furs made from textile materials. However, the invention is herein described by way of specific example as applied to the manufacture of a non-shedding household blanket.

Since certain of the synthetic fibers have, in recent years, been widely adopted in blanket manufacture, and because some of such fibers are very slippery and more prone to shedding when constituting a nap than the natural fibers, interest in the reduction of shedding of blanket fibers has been intensified. Thus, for example, it has been proposed to decrease shedding of a blanket wherein Orlon constitutes a susbtantial percentage of the nap, first by treating the napped fabric by spraying it with certain chemical substances and then subjecting it to heat, whereby the chemical so reacts with the material of the nap fibers as to soften the surface of the fiber which has been wet by the chemical, with the result that, when the fabric is allowed to cool, adjacent fibers coalesce at their contact points thus providing an interlock which substantially lessens the loss of nap during use. On the other hand, when a like treatment has been applied to blanket material Where the nap is predominantly cellulosic, for example rayon, although the insulating value and Wearing quality of the blanket are not adversely affected and loss of nap is somewhat reduced, the material shows a strong tendency to lose its original lofty appearance. Purchasers are greatly influenced by the appearance and feel of a blanket and thus would have a tendency to select an untreated blanket rather than that which has been treated. Moreover, since the cellulosic blanket treated as above does shed nap to some extent, it would not be permissible to mark such a blanket as shed-proof.

The principal object of the present invention is to provide apparatus for so-treating blanket material Whose nap is predominantly of cellulosie fiber, for example ray, as to make it truly shed-proof and so that it suifers no apparent loss of loft by reason of the treatment to which it is subjected in making it shed-proof and whose feel and appearance, as compared with a freshly napped blanket, are not substantially modified, or may even be improved. A further object is to provide a novel apparatus for use in treating napped fabric, in particular, fabric wherein the nap comprises a susbtantial percentage of a synthetic fiber, for example cellulosic fiber, whereby the material becomes shed-proof with improved loft or appearance as compared with the fabric when freshly napped. A further object is to provide novel apparatus for use in treating napp-ed fabric, and which comprises means for applying a liquid so as to coat the nap fibers, and which does not chemically or physically modify the fibers, but which, after treatment, forms a bond for connecting adjacent fibers, and means for agitating the wetted nap to facilitate the penetration of the liquid throughout substantially the entire thickness of the nap layer, and means for heating the material so that the coating sets and bonds adjacent fibers together. A further object is to provide a novel apparatus for treating napped fabric comprising means for applying a dilute solution or liquid suspension of a selected reagent as a spray to the nap layer of the fabric, means for raising the nap while wet with the liquid, thereby to restore the napped fibers substantially to the positions which they occupied immediately after napping, and means for so-treating the fabric as to concentrate the reagent. A further object is to provide novel apparatus for use in making napped fabric shed-proof and which comprises means operative to hold the fabric under tension, and for spraying it with a dilute liquid suspension of a thermosetting bonding reagent while it is so held, means for raising the trapped fibers, while still wet with the reagent, so as to place the fibers substantially vertical with respect to the horizontal plane of the body of the fabric, and means for baking the fabric while held under widthwise tension. 7

Other and further objects and advantages of the invenmechanical part until it leaves the .tenten'ng frame.

3 tionwill be pointed out in the following more detailed description and by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic elevation, partly in vertical section, illustrative of apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical section on the line 33 of FIG. 2, illustrating one desirable means for controlling the speed of rotation of the nap-treating rolls;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary end elevation, partly in vertical section, and to larger scale, of the nap-treating rolls;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary radial section through one of the naptreating rolls, to larger scale, to illustrate a preferred form of pin; and

FIG. 6 is a diagram graphically illustrating one of the effects of the napraising rolls.

The apparatus of the present invention is particularly useful in the practice of such a method as is more fully described in the copending application for United States Letters Patent, Serial No. 83,538, now Patent No. 3,037,- 262, filed by Francis T. Spencer on January 18, 1961.

Referring to the drawings, the numeral 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2) designates the frame or casing of the apparatus, this casing comprising vertical side walls 10a and Nb (FIG. 2) spaced apart a distance exceeding the width of thefabric F to be treated, and which support bearings for transversely extending shafts 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15, the shafts 11, 12 and 13 carrying guide rolls 11a, 12a and 13a respectively.

The bearings for the shafts i4 and 15 are vertically adjustable in guideways 16 and 17, carried by the side walls 10a and 10b of the frame or casing, and'with provision, for example, adjusting screws 18 and 19, whereby these bearings may be moved up and down relatively to the casing or frame. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, each of the shafts 13, 14 and 15 has fixed thereto, near one end, a drum 20, 21 and 22 respectively, designed for engagement by means operative to control the speeds of these shafts. As here shown, a belt B is fixed :at one end to a bracket 23 carried by the frame and passes over the drum and then beneath the drum 21 and over the drum 22, and with its free end connected to a weight W In the 'same Way, a similar belt B is anchored at one end, 24,

a 'weight W These belts B and B may be of leather, or

other suitable material, and by their frictional engagement with the drums 20, 21 and 22, prevent these drums from turning freely. Obviously, equivalent means for opposing free rotation of shafts 13, 14 and 15 may be employed.

The fabric F, which is to be treated, is received from a suitable source (not shown), it being understood that this fabric which may, for example, be a blanket fabric, of customary weave structure, has been napped according to any desired method and by the use of any desired type of napping machine. The fabric first passes beneath the guide roll 11a, then over the guide roll 12a and over the guide roll 13a, and then beneath a nap-treating roll R (FIG. 4), fixed to the shaft 14, and over a nap, treating roll R (FIG. 4) fixed to the shaft 15; After leaving the roll R the fabric enters a tentering frame T, which may be of any conventional type, comprising, as usual, endless chains C and C which are so guided as to provide parallel, horizontal runs, and which are provided with pins or teeth which engage the selvage edges of the fabric F, and which are so arranged as to tension the fabric transversely while drawing it along fromIthe source of V supply. It may be noted that after leaving the roll R the fabric, except for its margins, does not contact any y adjustment of'the bearings for rolls R and R the'pres sure of the rolls against the moving fabric may be varied. A casing or bake-oven K houses the ten-tering frame and,

5), having teeth or pins P projecting therefrom. This fabric, with its teeth or pins may, for example, be conventional napper roll cloth. As here shown (FIG. 5), the cloth has pins P provided with bends whose included angle is approximately However, it is contemplated that teeth or pin-s of other types may be found useful. Desirably, the pins P are of such length and are pressed down into the fabric with such force that they penetrate to the full depth of the nap layer. The shafts 1'4 and 15 turn freely in their bearings except as their rotation is retarded by the friction belts B and B As above noted, and as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the napped fabric F passes beneath the treating roll R and over the treating roll R and from the latter enters between the chains C and C of the centering frame, where its margins are engaged by the pins of the tenten'ng chains, which draw the fabric along in spite of the friction drag imposed by the belts B and B As the fabric passes from the guide roll 11a to the guide roll 12a, its upper surface sprayed with the selected treating material delivered by a bank of spray heads S, and in passing from guide roll 12a to guide roll 13a, its undersurface is sprayed with the treating material delivered by a second bank of spray heads S Thus, both surfaces of the napped fabric are Wetted with the treating material, it being assumed that the fabric is napped on both sides. -If the fabric were napped upon one side only, then the supply of treating material would be cut-oft from .the spray heads which are located at the unnapped side of the fabric.

Referring to FIG. 6, the body of the fabric is diagrammatically indicated at F, and nap fibers N and N are shown as projecting from its opposite faces. It has been found experimentally that the liquid-treating material delivered by the spray heads does not ordinarily penetrate very deeply into the nap since, in such napped material, the nap fibers-are very closely crowded together, and as the fabric travels along, the spray fails tov open up the nap sufliciently for the liquid the nap fibers.

According to the present invention, and by the use of the toothed treating rolls R and R the nap fibers are opened up and agitated by the entrance and exit' of the teeth or pins P as the fabric approaches and recedes from the rolls R and R and, because of such agitation, the liquid is caused to penetrate substantially to the roots of the fibers, so that the nap is thoroughly saturated. As

the pins recede from the fabric, they tend, by capillary action, or because of somedegree of adhesiveness of the treating material, to pull the nap fibers upwardly with them, with the result that, when the fabric leaves the toothed roll, the nap fibers are substantially perpendicular to the face of the base fabric, so that, in spite of the force with which the treating material is sprayed onto the napped surface, the fabric leaves the toothed rolls with the nap as'lofty as when it left the napping machine and, in fact, in most instances,with an improved loft and appearance. The thoroughly saturated nap (its individual fibers now being coated with the treating material) passes into the tentering frame without having exposed the wetted and lifted napped fibers to pressure at any point, 1

since the chains of the tentering frame engage the fabric at its margins only. As the material passes through the baking chamberK, it is exposed to a temperaturesuch V minimum temperature in the heating chamber of approxito penetrate to the roots, of a mately 250 F. has been found useful, although it may be desirable, in order to speed-up the operation, to raise the temperature to approximately 300 F. Among the treating materials, suitable for the purpose of shedproofing, may be mentioned an acrylic polymer known to the trade as Rhoplex HA8 which is made by the firm of Rohm & Haas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this being an aqueous dispersion of acrylic polymers which, when deposited from dispersion in Water, form a transparent film. It is recommended that, in the pnactice of the present invention by the apparatus herein disclosed, this dispersion should contain from 1 /2 to 7% of the chemical and from 93 to 98 /2 of water. When applied in this dilution the chemical is not appreciably sticky, so that it flows freely. Desirably, the liquid dispersion is applied to the fabric within the range of from 10% to by weight of liquid to cloth. As the water evaporates during the passage of the material through the baking chamber K, the chemical concentrates and first forms a sticky coating on the napped fibers, so that adjacent fibers, where they contact, adhere to each other, and then the coating sets to form a permanent bond between the fibers.

The result of the treatment makes the material truly shed-proof. As above pointed out, the secondary action of the treating rolls R and R is to lift the nap so that, in many instances, it has a loft and appearance superior to that of fabric which has been freshly napped and not otherwise treated.

Desirably, means is provided for removing loose fibers from the treating rolls R and R Thus, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 1, a vacuum nozzle V is associated with each respective roll and connected to a suitable pump (not shown), so as to suck up and carry away loose fibers.

While two rolls, like the rolls R and R appear to be entirely satisfactory for the purpose of obtaining the desired results, it is contemplated that a larger number of such rolls may be employed, for example, several upper rolls which alternate with lowers rolls, thus causing the fabric to follow a sinuous course such that it is first bent in one direction and then in the other, which helps to distribute the liquid among the nap fibers. It is further contemplated that if the fabric be napped upon one side only, one of these rolls may be omitted, although, in the latter case, it may be desirable to provide guide rolls, so arranged as to insure the contact of the fabric with the pins of the treating roll through an arc of substantial extent. In the arrangement here shown the arc is of the order of 130. Treating rolls of the order of four inches in extreme outside diameter, that is to say, the diameter measured from the tips of the pins lat diametrically opposite points have been found useful for the purpose, although it is contemplated that rolls of other size may be used. It may be noted that the tips of the pins are so arranged that their points are directed toward the oncoming fabric, so that, in turning the rolls against the braking force imposed by the belts B and B the pins are caused to enter deeply into the nap of the oncoming fabric. As the rolls turn, the angle of the pins changes in relation to the plane of the cloth and, as they recede from the fabric, they tend to pull the nap up with them so that the nap fibers are left standing substantially perpendicular to the body of the fabric resulting in a smooth and even surface.

While one desirable embodiment of the invention has herein been disclosed by way of example, it is to be understood that the invention is broadly inclusive of any and all modifications falling within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus for use in shed-proofing a previously napped textile fabric by the application thereto of a coating material, in liquid form, which coats the nap fibers without modifying the chemical or physical characteristics of the latter, said apparatus comprising, in combination with a tentening frame, having elements operative, by engagement with the opposite margins of the fabric, to hold the latter under transverse itension While traversing the fabric through a heating zone and while drawing it off under longitudinal tension from a source of supply, means operative to direct sprays of the coating material, in liquid form, against the opposite napped faces, respectively, of the dry, previously napped fabric as the latter is drawn along, treating rolls which contact op posite faces, respectively, of the fabric, after it has been wetted solely by the sprayed on liquid and before it reaches the tentering frame, each of said rolls having a covering of napper cloth with the tips of its pins directed toward the oncoming fabric, means for retarding the rotation of each treating roll, whereby its surface speed is less than the linear speed of the advancing fabric, so that its pins enter into the nap layer so as to induce deep penetration of the sprayed on liquid into the nap layer, and so that, in leaving the nap layer, the pins draw the nap fibers upwardly until they are substantially perpendicular to the body of the fabric, and means, in association with the tentering frame, operative to apply heat to the fabric as the latter is moved along through the tentering frame.

2. Apparatus for use in preparing a soft, drapeable, shed-proof blanket cloth of the kind wherein a woven body fabric has a layer, coextensive with the body fabric, composed of nap fibers projecting substantially perpendicularly to the 'body fabric at one side, at least, of the latter and wherein the body fabric retains substantially the same'characteristics as when newly woven, and wherein the nap layer is substantially the same as respects appearance, feel and loft as when freshly napped, said apparatus comprising means for supporting the previously napped and dry fabric to form a run wherein its nap layer is exposed, means for forcibly delivering a spray of fiber-coating liquid against the nap layer forming said run whereby the nap layer is wetted with the liquid to a fraction only of its depth, means for advancing the fabric with its incompletely wetted layer of nap exposed, and means operative, as the fabric is advanced, to cause the liquid, previously applied as a spray, to penetrate the nap layer substantially to the full depth of said layer.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the means for applying the liquid to the nap layer comprises spray nozzles supplied with liquid under pressure and arranged in a row extending widthwise of the fabric and so disposed as forcibly to deliver the liquid as a spray directly against the exposed face of the nap layer.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the means for causing the previously applied liquid to penetrate substantially to the full depth of said layer comprises a toothed roll extending transversely of the run of fabric to which the liquid has been applied, said roll being so located, relatively to the nap layer and having teeth of such length that, as the incompletely wetted fabric advances relatively to the roll, the tips of the teeth first penetrate said nap layer substantially to the full depth of the latter and then retreat from the nap layer, as the fabric continues to advance, while dragging the nap fibers ifipb into substantially perpendicular relation to the body a no.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the toothed roll which causes the liquid to penetrate to the roots of the nap fibers comprises a cylindrical core covered with a layer of mapper-roll cloth having the tips of its teeth directed toward the advancing fabric whereby, as the nap layer contacts the pins, the roll is turned, and means 0perative to retard rotation of the roll.

6. Apparatus according to claim 4, comprising means operative, by engagement with the margins of the fabric, after it leaves said roll, to hold the fabric under transverse tension and with its napped face free from contact with any mechanical part, and means for so heating the napped material, while so held under transverse tension, as to concentrate the liquid within the nap layer.

7. Apparatus according to claim 4, comprising means operative so to guide the fabric that it is caused to engage the periphery of the toothed roll through an angle ,eX- ceeding 90. I

8. Apparatus according to claim 2, for treating a fabric which has previously been provided with a nap layer on each of its opposite sides respectively, further characterized in having nozzles arranged forcibly to deliver liquid in the form of a spray against each respective nap layer so as to wet the fiber of each layer for a portion only of its depth, and means operative to cause the liquid, so applied to each layer, to penetrate substantially to the full depth of the nap layer at each side respectively, of the latter.

9. Apparatus for use in treating soft, drapeable blanket cloth of conventional type comprising a woven body portion having at one side, at least, a layer consisting of fibers projecting substantially perpendicularly to the body portion thereby to make said nap layer shed-proof while retaining those characteristics of the body portion which is possessed when newly woven and without'chemically changing the character of the nap fibers and wherein the nap layer retains substantially the same appearance, feel and loft as when thecloth is freshly napped, said apparatus comprising means for first Wetting the surface of the nap,

coating upon the nap fibers, means operative to advance the fabric, while avoiding any such pressure to the fabric as would tend to flatten the nap into the field of action of nap-agitating means, nap-agitating means operative to cause the moisture which was applied to the outer surface of the nap layer to penetrate substantially to the roots of the nap fibers, and means operative so to support the fabric as to avoid pressure such as might flatten or compress the nap layers while subjecting the material to heat such as to concentrate the applied fluid thereby coating the nap fibers without contacting the fluid with the body fabric.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 35,823 Henderson July 8, 1862 84,483 Earnshaw Dec. 1, 1868 127,731 Bailey June 11, 1872 172,690 Becker Jan. 25, 1876 494,152, Martinot Mar. 28, 1893 494,492 Schofield M r. 28, 1 9 504,010 Wilson Aug. 29, 1893 1,769,397 Stricland July 1, 1930 1,880,486 Richardson Oct. 4, 1932 2,590,713 Libbey Mar. 25, 1952,

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3288103 *Jan 2, 1964Nov 29, 1966Beacon Mfg CoMechanisms and methods for the production and treatment of napped fabrics
US3326711 *May 2, 1963Jun 20, 1967West Point Pepperell IncMethod of and apparatus for preparing napped fabric
US3402988 *Apr 2, 1965Sep 24, 1968Agriculture UsaChemical deactivation of catalyst at both faces of a cellulosic fabric impregnated with a resin-catalyst system to improve abrasion resistance of fabric after curing
US4062989 *Jun 14, 1976Dec 13, 1977M. Lowenstein & Sons, Inc.Method and apparatus for coating moving webs and products produced thereby
US4162955 *Oct 10, 1978Jul 31, 1979Midland-Ross CorporationElectrodeposition coating apparatus
US5958137 *Nov 3, 1997Sep 28, 1999Nextec Applications, Inc.Apparatus of feedback control for the placement of a polymer composition into a web
US6312523 *Sep 27, 1999Nov 6, 2001Nextec Applications, Inc.Apparatus of feedback control for the placement of a polymer composition into a web
U.S. Classification118/34, 118/325, 8/120, 28/162, 118/118, 118/314, 26/29.00R, 118/124, 118/68, 68/62, 26/2.00R
International ClassificationD06B21/00, D06C29/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06C2700/29, D06B21/00, D06C29/00
European ClassificationD06C29/00, D06B21/00