US 3145429 A
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Aug. 25, 1964 J. c. RESOR 3,145,429
A PLURALITY OF RIBBON-LIKE FILAMENT O A SINGLE SHEET 0F FILAMENTS APPARATUS FOR COMBINING BUNDLES INT Filed Dec. 13, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.
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INVENTOR JOHN CHARLES RESOR Aug. 25, 1964 J c RESOR 3,145,429
' APPARATUS FOR BINING PILURALIT IBBON-LIKE FILAMENT INTO A SINGLE SHE FILAMENTS eets-Sheet 2 BUND Filed Dec. 13, 1962 INVENTOR JOHN CHARLES RESOR BY /%7 @MM/ ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,145,429 APPARATUS FOR COMBINING A PLURALITY 0F RIBBON-LIKE FILALIENT BUNDLES INTO A SINGLE SHEET 0F FILAMENTS John Charles Resor, Wayneshoro, Va., assignor to E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DeL, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 13, 1962, Ser. No. 244,443 5 Claims. (Cl. 19-157) This invention relates generally to textile apparatus for continuously drawing and crimping filamentary tow or bundles of spun filaments and, as illustrated herein, relates more particularly to improved means for guiding and arranging a plurality of filament bundles into a single composite filamentary bundle or tow suitable for crimping.
Most synthetic staple fibers are given an appreciable amount of crimp, or crinkle which facilitates their conversion into spun yarn. Most commonly, this crimp is established by passing a bundle of continuous filaments through a stuffer box type crinkler or crimper as disclosed in Hitt, US. Patent 2,311,174. In that crimper device the bundle of continuous filaments is led into the bite of two feed rolls which positively force the bundle into a restricting chamber and against a clapper plate. The clapper plate causes the bundle to fold back upon itself in the chamber until sufiicient pressure is built up to force the bundle past the resiliently positioned clapper plate and into a collection receptacle. The pressure between the feed rolls, the speed of the rolls, and the back pressure exerted by the clapper plate, all of which are easily controlled, determine in the main, the intensity of crimp. The I-litt crimper device is also suitably adapted for handling relatively wide variations in pre-established uniform bundle thicknesses.
In the manufacture of staple and tow of continuous crimped filaments, such as those of polyacrylonitrile and copolymers of acrylonitrile containing not less than 85% acrylonitrile, the filament bundles from each spinning machine or from a group of spinning machines are Washed and drawn and then, before being subjected to crimping and drying, several ribbons or bundles of filaments are combined to form a very large denier tow. In the earlier prior art, the several smaller bundles or ribbons after being passed through a stationary pin or comb guide assembly were brought together side-by-side over a roller stacking bar Where the individual bundles or ribbons were flattened out, widened perceptibly, and combined so that they continued on as a single wide ribbon to the crimper. The resultant combined single wide ribbon or tow of filaments formed by the prior art process tended to split apart into the original small bundles or ribbons at or after crimping. This splitting of crimped tow causes difficulties in the subsequent processing of the composite crimped tow such as during cutting and packaging. These difliculties result in unsaleable products which obviously is highly undesirable. 7
Young, in US. Patent 2,811,770, disclosed an improved bundle combining arrangement. That arrangement provided for bringing together a plurality of filament bundles or ribbons in slightly overlapping relationship to form a single larger, more cohesive, composite ribbon. In a representative embodiment of that prior art arrangement, as shown in FIGURE 6 hereof, stationary guide or so-called stacking bars were positioned in the continuous process following the pin guide assembly and ahead of the drying and crimping operations. While such arrangement tended to better consolidate the small filament bundles and provide better cohesion thereof through the series of slight overlaps, it did not completely solve the problem of split tow nor did it overcome certain other problems ice inherent to its arrangement. More specifically, the parial perspective showing of FIGURE 6 discloses a total of five continuous small filament bundles or ribbons numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 being converged in a stationary pin guide assembly 6. The small bundles emanated from the washing and drawing operations and, after passing through the pin guide assembly 6, were pulled alternately over and under a first stationary guide or stacking bar 7 to widen them. The adjacent widened individual small bundles 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were then overlapped with one another as they passed under a second stationary guide or stacking bar 8. This overlapping and tensioned engagement of the bundles resulted in a final product that is a wide cohesive unitary ribbon or tow 10 moving at relatively high speed over a cylindrical shaped rotatable positioning roll 9 toward a conventional crimper devices feed rolls. The ribbon or bundles 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were generally each about A inch wide and about -inch thick as they came from the washing and drawing operations.
It was found that in this prior art arrangement, the individual filament bundles were being distorted to some degree in passing around the vertical pins of the pin guide assembly 6. In all cases the incoming small bundles or ribbons experienced high friction, fiber abrasion, and tended to thin out at their edges thus causing width expansion beyond the desired As-inch dimension. Also, there was some undesirable skewing of the filaments within the bundles due to the partial wrapping of the bundles around the vertical guide pins.
As the individual filament bundles or ribbons of this prior art arrangement came from the washing and drawing operations, they were positioned in a substantially horizontal plane; but, as they approached the vertical pins, they were gradually rotated about in a trans verse direction to their path of movement. After reach ing the vertical pins, they were then gradually rotated back 90". Almost constantly, an individual bundle erratically folded over upon itself during the pin guiding operation resulting in a thicker, narrower, individual filament bundle with a highly variable and erratic shape. This defect would be continued on through to the composite filament bundle or ribbon. Also, the overlapped portions of the adjacent ribbons or bundles resulted in thicker sections in the composite bundle. These excessively thick sections in the composite bundle, whether caused by a folded-over small bundle or by overlapping of the adjacent small bundles were too tightly gripped by the crimpers feed rolls resulted in undesirable surface wear or filament breakage in those sections.
Longitudinal narrowing of a folded-over small bundle frequently resulted in subsequent longitudinal splitting of the composite bundle which was structurally weak where adequate ribbon overlap was lost. And, even if splitting did not occur during or after tow crimping, the excessively thin region thus created in the composite bundle was often improperly crimped because of its being under-gripped in the bite of the crimper devices feed rolls. Thus filamentary damage resulted from under-gripping. And, stoppage of the draw-crimp operation resulted along with its attendant costly loss of operating continuity.
Another serious problem of such prior art apparatus was that of surface wear of both the plural small and the composite filament bundles or ribbons caused by the bundles abrasive contact with the various stationary apparatus surfaces under the aforementioned high-speed, tensioned operating conditions. The abrasion of bundles or broken filaments, irregardless of causation, resulted in a product having very poor mechanical quality.
It is, therefore, one object of this invention to provide improved means for simultaneously converging a plurality of continuously drawn filament bundles or ribbons into a compact unitary bundle or sheet prior to continuous high-speed crimping of the composite sheet.
Another object of this invention is to provide an improved apparatus arrangement for simultaneously guiding and arranging a plurality of continuously moving, spaced filament bundles into a cohesive unitary filament sheet so as to cooperate in maintaining crimping continuity and in maintaining high quality of the crimped product.
Still another object of this invention is to adapt the elements of such an apparatus arrangement to lightly engage the plural filament bundles and the compact unitary sheet with greatly reduced friction in order to minimize bundle and sheet surface wear and individual filament breakage therein.
Yet another object of this invention is to adapt such apparatus arrangement or system for controlled lateral alignment and handling of the continuously moving unitary sheet to attain substantially uniform sheet cross-section and filament density therein, and constant tensioned feed into a conventional textile crimper device.
The objects of this invention are achieved by an imroved apparatus arrangement or system generally comprising means for guiding the filament bundles into a parallel adjacent distribution and means for continuously forming the unitary sheet, the latter means being further adapted to laterally align and maintain the shape of the formed sheet. Preferably, all of the filament bundle and/ or sheet engaging elements of the apparatus are freely rotatable by the torques exerted by the continuously drawn filament bundles and unitary sheet.
The details of construction and operation of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, accomplishment of the stated objects as well as other objects, utility, and advantages thereof will be made more clearly apparent by reference to thefollowing detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like. elements in the various views are referred to by life characters of reference.
FIGURE 1 is a side view of an arrangement of this invention with certain elements shown schematically.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged end view of a first stage guide unit of the arrangement of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged side view of the first stage guide unit of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged perspective view of the rotatable second stage guiding and arranging. assembly of FIG- URE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional representation taken generally along line 5--5 of FIGURE 4 showing a single ribbon or layer comprising a plurality of continuously drawn filaments at their approximate tensioned engagement with the first rotatable cylindrical element of the second stage assembly of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of a prior art stationary pin guide assembly and an assembly of stationary stacking bars.
FIGURE 7 is a partial sectional view taken at line 7-7 of FlGURE 1 with certain parts broken away.
The general arrangement of the preferred embodiment of this invention is best shown in FIGURE 1. A supporting frame structure 21 extends vertically upward from a supporting base member 22 and 23. Adjustably mounted between the extremities of the supporting frame structure 21 are a plurality of vertically extending supporting beams 24. The supporting beams 24 may be made of suitable angle brackets the ends of which are slidably secured by suitable means such as threaded nuts 61 and bolts 60 in slots in the upper and lower horizontal elements of frame structure 21 as shown in FIG- URES l and 7. These angle brackets 24 may be adjusted in the horizontal direction, and preferably each functions to individually support one of a plurality of first rotatable means or first stage guide units 25.
A plurality of second rotatable means which comprise a second stage guiding and arranging assembly 26, shown schematically in FIGURE 1, are mounted in operative association with the supporting frame structure 21, the first stage guide units 25, and the plurality of moving spaced, relatively narrow filament bundles or ribbons generally designated by the numeral 27. The second stage assembly 26 may either be mounted in an extended portion (not shown) of the frame 21,- or it may be aifixed to other suitable structure.
Each of the first rotatable means or plurality of first stage guide units 25 generally comprises a supporting bracket 28, a beam member 29, a roll supporting and canting means 30, and a rotatable roll 31. FIGURES 2 and 3 show the cantilevered supporting arrangement for the rotatable roll 31. The supporting bracket 28 is adapted for vertical positioning movement within the frame 21 by means of its slidable locking engagement in an extended slot provided in the vertically extending angle bracket 24. Angle brackets 24 may be rotatably mounted at each end by suitable conventional means, not shown, for rotary movement about a vertical axis, swinging beam member 29 in a horizontal plane. This arrangement permits alignment of the axis of roll 31 perpendicular to ribbon 27. The beam member 29 is mounted in supporting bracket 28 by suitable bolts or screws 32.
A vertical plate member 35 is slidably positioned in agroove on the upper surface of beam member 29 and secured in position by a suitable device such as set screw 34. The roll supporting and canting means 30 is carried on plate member 35. One relatively simple embodiment of the roll supporting canting means 30 comprises a plate member 35 supported in the beams 29 groove 33, a pair of roll end plates 36 slidably mounted over a concave surface portion of the plate member 35 for limited bi-directional movement, and a roll element 31 having a shaft 37 secured between the end plates 36 and adapted for free rotational movement thereon.
Movement of the end plates 36, roll shaft 37, and rotatable roll element '31 along the concave track surface is accomplished by loosening set screws 38 mounted on the end plates as and sliding the entire assembly'30 to the desired position.
Set screws 38 are used to operatively lock the pair of roll endplates 36 in the selected canted position on the track member 35. Each rotatable roll 31 is fixed to a roll shaft 37, and is adapted for engagement with one of the filament bundles 27 being continuously pulled from the washing and drawing operations, or so-called first position.
Roll 31 and bundle 27 surface engagement thus continuously takes place over the concave peripheral surface of the roll 31, the pulling or drawing tension on the filament bundle 27 generally determining the rotational speed of the rotatable roll 31. It can be seen that positioning of the rolls 31 and the surface configuration of rolls 31 combine to provide positive alignment of the filament bundle with a minimum of bundle surface abrasion and twisting or folding-over. Also, roll 31 surface configuration helps maintain uniformity of bundle 27 dimensions and filament density .in the rapidly moving bundle 27.
The second means or rotatable second stage guiding and arranging assembly 26 comprises a first rotatable cylindrical element or roll 46. This assembly 26 is best seen in FIGURE 4 wherein a total of seven individual filament bundles or ribbons 27 are being converged from the first stage guide units 25, into a parallel adjacent distribution. One cross-sectional representation of the precisely controllable distribution may be seen in FIG- URE 5.
In FIGURE 5, all of the plurality of filament bundles, or ribbons. are shown at the approximate time of their tensioned engagement with the first rotatable cylindrical roll 46. The direction of this latter tensioned engagement of roll 40 opposes that of the rotatable rolls 31. Combination of the individual ribbons 27 establishes a unitary sheet 43 at roll 40, the second stage assembly 26, sometimes referred to in the art as a stacking assembly, further comprises means for laterally aligning the composite tow or unitary sheet 43 and so-called sheet continuity means.
The means in a preferred embodiment for laterally aligning the composite sheet 43 comprises a second rotatable cylindrical element 41 in spaced parallel arrangement with the first rotatable cylindrical element 40. The second roll element 41 is adjustably canted, by means not shown, to shift the entire sheet 43 laterally for aligned feed to the following crimping operation, or so-called second position. A third rotatable concave element 42 is preferably provided, as a part of the second stage assembly 26, to maintain the transverse dimensional uniformity of the continuously formed sheet 43 and to maintain the substantially parallel arrangement of the individual filaments within the sheet 43. This third element or roll 42 is in spaced parallel arrangement with the second rotatable cylindrical element 41.
Thus the third rotatable concave roll functions relative the sheet 43 in a manner similar to one of the functions of the first stage guide units 25 rotatable roll 31 relative its individual filament bundle 27.
It is believed that operation of the disclosed apparatus is clear. The plurality of spaced, relatively narrow filament bundles or ribbons 27 are simultaneously, continuously pulled at a given speed from an earlier processing zone which might include a plurality of spaced washdraw or finishing positions. Optionally, they may be pulled under a conventional finish idler roll. Each of the drawn filament bundles or ribbons 27 is then directed towards tensioned engagement over the concave peripheral surface of one of the several rotatable rolls 31.
Each of the rolls 31 can be easily canted, pivoted horizontally, and aligned laterally so that the individual bundles or ribbons 27 are converged into a controlled distribution. Preferably the final distribution is one in which the filament bundles are moving in parallel overlapping alignment.
After leaving the rolls 31 of the first stage guide units 25; the individual bundles or ribbons 27 are then movably engaged, or stacked, under a first rotatable cylindrical element 40 common to all of the guided, converged bundles 27. The latter engagement cohesively combines the individual filaments bundles or ribbons 27 into a unitary sheet.
The stacked, or combined bundles or ribbons, are then pulled as a unitary sheet or ribbon 43 over a second rotatable cylindrical'element 41. This element 41 is adjustable to shift the entire sheet 43 laterally for precise guided alignment under a third rotatable concave ele ment 42 and on to following positions such as a dryer and a textile crimper device. The concave element 42 tends to maintain transverse dimensional uniformity of the rapidly moving sheet 43 and filamentary arrangement within the sheet 43. Finally, the carefully aligned, uniform unitary sheet 43 is pulled by suitable means to the following position which may involve heating and crimping operations.
In applicants novel arrangement, filamentary damage caused by surface abrasion is substantially reduced by adapting all of the filament engaging elements to rotate with the drawing movement of the frictionally engaged bundles 27 and the engaged unitary sheet 43. Also, the arrangement is adapted for providing guidance of the filament bundles 27 towards formation of a composite sheet 43 with a minimum of transverse movement or twisting thus reducing bundle fold-overs. And, both the bundles 27 and the composite sheet 43 are at all times precisely aligned with their cross-sectional shapes substantially maintained within controllable limits.
The concave faces of the rotatable rolls 31 will keep the bundles 27 centered in the roll faces and will not distort the bundles 27 as would the prior art devices such as the pin guides of FIGURE 6. Also, roll 42 has a concave surface adapted to help maintain the composite sheet in a compact form suitable for the crimping operation. The numerous adjustments available on this apparatus make it possible to receive filament bundles 27 from divergent directions and guide them to a combined sheet of uniform dimensions and filament density without having the bundles pass over stationary elements. The radius of curvature of the concave roll surfaces is suitably controlled above a minimum which would cause folds in the ribbons and below a maximum which would cause poor ribbon stability due to poor consolidation of the ribbon or tow.
The use of the apparatus of this invention has resulted in a very significant reduction of undesirable roll wraps or folds using 2 and 3 denier per filament tow. The wraps referred to are undesirable drawing and crimping wraps, which interrupt drawing and crimping continuity.
Furthermore, the percent of off-quality production also decreased significantly with the use of the present invention.
The mounting arrangement of the first stage guide units 25 shown in FIGURE 1 is only one of several types of mountings that have been used. It is desirable that the mounting used allow easy adjustment by both pivoted movement and lateral movement of the rotatable roll 31 in the horizontal plane and also allow partial rotation of the roll canting means 30 about horizontal axis perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the rotatable roll 31 itself. In FIGURE 2 this partial rotation is afforded by adjusting the position of the roll canting means 30 on the concave track of the track member 35, but in other embodiments the roll canting means 30 may be partially rotatable without translational adjustment.
The first stage guide units 25 are preferably mounted in a stepwise or staggered manner in three dimensions each unit determining a separate filament bundle 27 path which is in lateral alignment in one direction with the paths of the other bundles. In a three-dimensional chart with horizontal coordinates X and Y and vertical coordinate Z, no two rotatable rolls 31 would have the same value for their X, Y, or Z coordinates.
The elements 40, 41, and 42 of the second stage assembly 26, or stacking assembly rolls, are generally fixed in position and it is not necessary to allow for any wide adjustments of them.
Operating with the apparatus of this invention has also substantially reduced the number of split tows. Fiber damage has also been reduced. These improved results appear to at least partially result from the fact that a more uniform and stable sheet 43 is supplied to the crimper and sliding friction of filaments against stationary metallic elements is eliminated. The individual filament bundles or ribbons 27 no longer fold over on themselves to form narrower bundles as they often did in the old pin guide system. The final sheet 43 built up from a number of thinner bundles 27 is freer of thick places which would cause fiber damage, and the sheet 43 is freer of thin places which would cause poor crimping. The use of this apparatus arrangement or system has significantly improved the continuity of drawing and crimping, and has substantially decreased imperfections in crimped tow or staple cut from the tow.
In accordance with the patent laws, a preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed in detail. Numerous changes and modifications within the spirit of the invention will occur to those skilled in the art and all such are considered to fall within the scope of the following claims wherein, I claim:
1. An improved apparatus for continuously receiving a plurality of separate moving filament bundles proceeding from a given source, guiding, and deflecting said bundles to form a single unitary tow of controlled uniform width and thickness suitable for crimping, said apparatus comprising, in combination; a first means for engaging and supporting each moving filament bundle at separated positions sequentially staggered in three dimensions in space,- saidmeans constructed and arranged to establish a ribbon-like configuration for each bundle at each position,-and a secondmeans operatively associated with said first means for receiving in a given zone spaced from. said positions each of said bundles having the ribbon-like configurations and laterally combining such bundles into a single coherent moving sheet of filaments, said sheet having a controlled uniform width and thickness; said second means also supporting'and maintaining said moving sheet in its controlled form in said zone for forwarding to a subsequent treatment; said apparatus further comprising a supporting structure, said first means comprising a plurality of first stage bundle guiding and supporting units adjustably mounted on said support structure at said separated sequentiallystaggered positions in spaced and positionedso that in any three dimensionalcoordinate system each unithas different coordinates, each of said units adjustably mounted on said structure for limited move ment along the line of movement of the moving bundles and in two dimensions transverse to the line of bundle movement, each said unit cooperating with said other units-to laterally align said bundles inoneldimension' while maintaining said bundles separated in each of the two other-dimensions, said second means comprisinga second stage bundle guiding and supporting unit adjustably mounted on said support structure to converge said bundle in said two-otherdimensions, engage and combine said bundles into the single sheet of filaments, and laterally position -the single resultant sheet of filaments.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said first stage bundle guiding and supporting units each comprise a freely rotatable roll element having a surface arranged for rolling contact and engagement with one of said bundles.
'3. The apparatus of claim 2 in which said surface comprises a peripheral portion of each of said roll elements which portion is concavely curved along its axis of rotation.
4.' The apparatus of claim 3 in which each of said roll elements is mounted for additional relative angular movement above. two axes which are substantially perpendicularto each other and to'the axis of rotation of the roll.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 in which said second stage filament bundle guiding and supporting unit comprises at least one relatively enlarged freely rotatable cylindrical roll element mounted on said support .structure for receiving all of said bundles at a single position in lateral engagement with each other to form the single sheet of filaments, and an-additional freely rotatable element mounted on said supporting structure for rotation about an axis substantially parallel to the axis of the' cylindrical roll element, said additional rotatable element having a bundle engaging peripheral portion concavely curved along the axis of rotation to control the configuration of the resultant sheet of filaments.
.References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,557,182 Micklethwaite Oct. 13, 1925 2,215,112 Van Beck et al Sept. 17, 1940 3,067,480 Cocker Dec. 11, 1962