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Publication numberUS3263631 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 2, 1966
Filing dateNov 6, 1963
Priority dateNov 6, 1963
Publication numberUS 3263631 A, US 3263631A, US-A-3263631, US3263631 A, US3263631A
InventorsFreeman Benjamin H
Original AssigneeBarwick Carpet Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tufting machine having fluid yarn feeding means
US 3263631 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 2, 1966 B. H. FREEMAN 3,263,531

TUFTING MACHINE HAVING FLUID YARN FEEDING MEANS Filed Nov. 6, 1963 INVENTOR BENJAMIN H. FREEMAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent Office 3 ,263,631 Patented August 2, 1966 3,263,631 TUFTING MACHINE HAVING FLUID YARN FEEDING MEANS Benjamin H. Freeman, Lafayette, Ga., assignor to Barwick Carpet Mills, Incorporated, Lafayette, Ga. Filed Nov. 6, 1963, Ser. No. 321,775 8 Claims. (Cl. 112-79) This invention relates to apparatus and a method for tu'fting pile fabrics. The subject invention is particularly adapted for use in the carpet industry wherein a plurality of needles on an elongated bar are used to produce piles which completely cover one side of a backing fabric; but the use of the invention is not specifically limited thereto.

When it is desired to impart a particular pattern to a tufted carpet, the piles are generally made of different heights to present the desired patterned appearance. Thus, a single needle is relied upon to make both high and low loops. Since the apparatus used for such a tufting operation is incapable of varying the distance which each needle moves during each stroke, the patterned effect must be achieved by means other than changing the needle movement. Generally, this is done by controlling the rate at which the yarn is fed to each needle. The height of each loop so formed cannot be greater than the distance which the needle penetrates the fabric, and the variations in loop height must be obtained by shortening the previously formed loops. This is done by reducing the rate at which the yarn is fed to a needle so that the descending needle must backdraw or rob the yarn from a previously formed loop.

While such apparatus has proven to be effective in producing a patterned effect, it can be understood that the technical problems involved in setting up the pattern and feeding mechanisms can be quite complex. Also the type of backing material and yarns used must be selected so that backdrawing may be accomplished without binding of the yarn or tearing of the backing material. The speed of such apparatus is also somewhat restricted due to the length of needle movement required to obtain high piles.

Conventional apparatus must also provide a means for holding the loop in place when the needle makes its upward stroke. This is usually done by mechanical fingers or loopers which catch the loops as they are formed. These loopers must operate in timed relationship to the needle movement so that they will be retracted from the needle path during the needle descent and release the loop at the proper time. The sensitivity and intricacies of such loopers require constant attention and malfunctions of the loopers are a frequent cause of machine failure. The subject invention eliminates the need for such loopers in a tufting machine.

One alternative to this prior art method, disclosed in US. Patent 3,089,442 to I. T. Short, is to employ a hollow needle through which a continuous stream of air or other fluid is forced in order to feed the yarn through the needle. This apparatus, too, presents some technical difiicultis since it may be necessary to synchronize the needle movement with the yarn feed means in order to pull the yarn taut on the unlooped side of the backing fabric between subsequent loops. Also, this apparatus requires the use of hollow needles which must make relatively large holes in the backing fabric. It is also questionable whether this apparatus may form a tufted fabric if the yarn is fed to the needle at a constant rate.

The invention presented herein also contemplates the use of any suitable fluid, preferably air, to force the yarn to discharge from the needle. However, the method and apparatus of this invention are relatively simple to construct and operate, and the shortcomings of the prior art are significantly overcome.

It is an object of this invention to provide apparatus which is capable of making a patterned tufted fabric which does not require the backdrawing or robbing" of yarn from a previously formed loop, and which may produce a loop which is higher than the distance which the needle penetrates the fabric.

Another object is to provide a tufting machine which is capable of high speed and low vibration, due to the use of a relatively short needle stroke.

Still another object is to enable the yarn to advance throughthe needle only after the needle has penetrated the backing fabric, while preventing extensive backdrawing from previously formed loops.

Another object is to employ a novel means for drawing slack from the yarn supply only after the needle has passed through the backing fabric. This means is especially well adapted for a great variety of yarn feed means including both pattern feed and uniform feed.

Another object is to provide a tufting machine which does not require the use of mechanical loopers.

These and otherobjects are accomplished by the tufting machine disclosed herein which has means supporting a web of backing fabric, means advancing the web across the supporting means, a needle with an aperture terminating in a yarn outlet, which outlet is periodically moved through the backing fabric and withdrawn therefrom, and means located beneath the supporting means for directing a jet of fluid through the yarn outlet and away from the need-1e.

A complete understanding of the invention may be had by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a view, partially in section, of a tufting ma chine embodying the present invention, also showing means for positively feeding the yarn to the needle;

FIG. 2 is a greatly enlarged section of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1, showing the needle construction, plenum chamber, and fluid jet of the instant invention; and r FIGS. 3 and 4 are detail views of a needle which is designed for use in a machine of the type disclosed.

The tufting machine of FIG. 1 is of somewhat conventional construction in that it has an elongated bar which carries a plurality of needles 2. Reciprocating motion is imparted to the bar and needles by means of a connecting rod 4 which is slidably mounted in the guide and bearing member 6. Member 8 depends from the cross-head member 10 in order to support the guide and bearing member 6. Within the chamber formed by the support member 8 and cross head member 10 is .a drive shaft 12 which rotates about a fixed axis. The drive shaft carries an eccentric 14 about which a sleeve 16 rotates. The sleeve 16 is pivotally attached to the connecting rod bypin 18, which thus causes the rotary motion of the drive shaft to be transformed into reciprocatory motion of the needles.

Means including a cross bed 20 are provided for supporting a web of jute or other backing material B in a manner so that reciprocating needle will penetrate the backing material and be withdrawn therefrom. Any conventional means such as take-up device 24 is provided to advance the backing material B across the cross bed 20, preferably in an intermittent manner. Of course, an opening 22 must be provided to permit the needle to penetrate sufliciently the backing material.

The novel aspects of the instant invention are best shown in FIG. 2. Located permanently beneath the cross bed 20 and a relatively thin needle plate 19 is an air plenum chamber 30 containing air at a pressure above that of the ambient atmosphere. This chamber 30 has a semi-cylindrical cavity cut out of one wall thereof and positioned adjacent the path of the needle to receive the needle 2 after it descends through the backing material. A relatively small jet-like passage 32 extends through the plenum wall to the semi-cylindrical cavity. This jet is preferably inclined downwardly, i.e. away from the backing material and its supporting means, and facing generally in the direction of movement of the backing material.

As clearly shown in FIG. 2, the needle 2 has a transverse aperture or eye 28 which passes through one wall thereof to form an outlet opening for the yarn Y. This outlet preferably faces in a direction generally parallel to the direction which the web of backing material B is advancing. The outlet is, of course, in the lower section of the needle which is projected through the backing fabric during the tufting operation. I

The needle 2 is so oriented with respect to the jet passage 32 that when the eye aligns with the jet, a stream of high velocity air will cause the yarn Y in the needle to pass into the needle and through the yarn and fluid passage formed by the aperture 28, and then exit through the outlet opening located at the needles outer surface to form the loops for the pile fabric. Due to the location of the jet, this action takes place only while the needle is beneath the cross plate 19.

Bafile means 34, located directly beneath the needle may also be used for directing some of the fluid from the jet down and around the needle, to assist in ejecting the yarn from the outlet opening. The flow of fluid directed by this baffle would be in an upward direction near the yarn outlet.

So that the yarn will feed freely from the yarn supply or feeding means, the needle 2 is provided with an external longitudinally extending groove 36 which faces the jet when the needle is down. Thus the incoming yarn will not be pinched between the backing fabric B and the needle 2 at the point of penetration. Also, if the transverse aperture in the needle passes below the jet 32, the stream of fluid will flow along the fluid passage formed by the groove and the aperture to advance the yarn. A guide is located at the upper portion of the needle, where the yarn first enters the groove.

It is apparent from the foregoing that the amount of yarn passing through the needle and forming a loop may be considerably greater than the distance to which the needle penetrates the backing fabric. In fact, if the needle were permanently held in the position shown in FIG. 2, an endless amount of yarn could be fed through .the outlet opening. It therefore is desirable to limit the amount of yarn which is presented to the needle during each stroke of the machine. This may conceivably be done by some type of tension device which will oppose the tendency of the air jet to advance the yarn, but preferably the yarn is positively fed from a yarn supply to the needle. Numerous feed devices of well known construction may be used, but the illustrated means is relatively simple, quite adequate, and therefore a preferred embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 1, the feed means comprises a pair of driving rollers 38 and 40; the roller 38 rotates in an opposite direction and at a higher speed than roller 40. Mounted between these rollers is a pivoted arm 44 which carries a pair of idler feed wheels 42. The yarn Y passes between these wheels 42 and its rate of feed is determined bythe speed of the idler wheels. As shown, the arm 44 is in a position so that one of the wheels 42 rests against the high speed wheel 38. This will produce a relatively high loop pile. When a solenoid 46 or other similar device is actuated to throw the arm 46 so that the wheels 42 will be driven by the low speed wheel 40, a shorter pile will be produced. A brake member 48 contacts one of the idler wheels 42 when the arm 44 is passing from one position to another. By selectively controlling the feed means of the various needles, an ornamental fabric having patterned high and low loop piles may be produced. Of course a fabric with uniform pile height may be manufactured by using only one of the wheels 38 or 40, and thus feeding the yarn at a constant rate of speed.

One of the import-ant features of the above-described apparatus is that the yarn is fed through the needle outlet opening only after the needle has penetrated the backing fabric. This prevents an excess of yarn from dangling from the needle prior to the penetration of the fabric, which excess may stay on the unlooped side of the backing fabric, rather than passing into the loop.

The sequence of operation-s of this apparatus during each stroke is as follows: the needle in its uppermost position holds the yarn in a certain point along the length of the yarn; during the downward stroke of the needle, the yarn continues to be held in this position, and the yarn coming from the feed means falls slack; when the needle penetrates the backing fabric, the slack leading from the previously formed loop is pulled taut by the motion of the needle, and there may be some slight movement of the yarn through the needle outlet due to the needle movement; the needle aperture then becomes aligned with the jet so that the slack leading from the yarn supply or feed means to the needle is taken up by expelling yarn through the needle outlet; then the needle is withdrawn, leaving a loop pile in the backing material.

The method of tufting represented by the above sequence produces many of the advantages possessed by this invention.

When setting up a machine for the practice of this invention, if back drawing of yarn from previously formed stitches is not desired, it is necessary that the yarn feed means advance, during each stroke of the machine, a quantity of yarn in excess of the distance between successive needle penetrations.

Various modifications may be made to the apparatus disclosed herein, while remaining within the scope of the invention. For example the needle need not have the single transverse eye, but may have any means defining a yarn outlet in a section which penetrates the backing material, provided that the jet or other flow inducing means may be brought into alignment with the needle in a manner to cause the jet gases to flow through the outlet. It is quite possible that some type of hollow needle device may be devised for use in the claimed method and apparatus.

The word beneath in the following claims is not to be construed in its more limited use, but pertains to the side of the backing material towhich the needle extends after penetration,- i.e. the looped side.

The invention is not to be construed as limited to the specific embodiment set forth hereinabove, but by the following claims.

I claim:

1. A tufting machine comprising, means for supporting a web of backing fabric, means advancing said web in a given direction, a needle having a yarn passage and a lower section with a yarn outlet therein, said yarn passage and said yarn outlet forming a fluid passage in said needle, said fluid passage having a fluid inlet in said lower portion of said needle communicating with a portion of said yarn passage, means periodically moving the lower section of said needle through said backing fabric and withdrawing said lower section therefrom, means permanently located beneath said supporting means adjacent the path of said needle for directing a jet of fluid into said fluid inlet of said needle at a point beneath said supporting means and through said yarn outlet while the lower section of the needle is beneath the means for supporting the web to cause a yarn to move through said outlet and away from said needle.

2. A tufting machine comprising,'means for supporting a web of backing fabric, means advancing said web in a given direction, a needle having a yarn passage and a lower section with a yarn outlet therein, said yarn passage and said yarn outlet forming a fluid passage in said needle, said fluid passage having a fluid inlet in said lower portion located beneath said supporting means adjacent the path of said needle for directing a jet of fluid into said fluid inlet of said needle at a point beneath said supporting means and into the path taken by said needle beneath said supporting means, said jet means lying at a constant distance from said supporting means and being oriented to cause a flow of fluid while the lower section of the needle is below said supporting means into said fluid inlet and through said yarn outlet and away from said needle to cause a yarn to move through said outlet.

3. A tufting machine comprising, means for supporting a web of backing fabric, means advancing said web in a given direction, a needle having a yarn passage and a lower section with a yarn outlet therein, said yarn passage and said yarn outlet forming a fluid passage in said needle, said fluid passage having a fluid inlet in said lower portion of said needle communicating with a portion of said yarn passage, means periodically moving the lower section of said needle through said backing fabric and withdrawing said lower section therefrom, means for positively feeding y-arn to said needle, jet means permanently located beneath said supporting means adjacent the path of said needle for directing a jet of fluid into said fluid inlet of said needle at a point beneath said supporting means and into the path taken by said needle beneath said supporting means, said jet means lying at a constant distance from said supporting means and being oriented to cause a flow of fluid through said outlet and away from said needle while the lower section of the needle is beneath the means for supporting the web to cause a yarn to move through said outlet.

4. A tufting machine comprising, means for supporting web of backing fabric, means advancing said web in a given direction, a needle having a lower section with an aperture extending transversely therethrough and forming a yarn passage and a yarn outlet, said yarn passage and said yarn outlet forming a fluid passage in said needle, said fluid passage having a fluid inlet in said lower portion of said needle communicating with a portion of said yarn passage, means periodically moving the lower section of said needle through said backing fabric and withdrawing said lower section therefrom, jet means permanently located beneath said supporting means adjacent the path of said needle for directing a jet of fluid into said fluid inlet of said needle at a point beneath said supporting means and into the path taken by said needle aperture beneath said supporting means, said jet means lying at a constant distance from said supporting means and being oriented to cause a flow of fluid through said aperture and away from said needle outlet while the lower section of the needle is beneath the means for supporting the web to cause a yarn to move through said outlet.

5. The tufting machine of claim 4 wherein said needle has an external groove extending longitudinally at least throughout the portion which penetrates said fabric, said groove facing said jet means and communicating with said transverse aperture.

6. The tufting machine of claim 4 having stationary bafiie means deflecting said fluid jet around said needle and against yarn passing from said outlet.

7. The tufting machine of claim 4 wherein said jet means is oriented to cause a flow of fluid toward said needle path in a direction away from and inclined to said supporting means.

8. A tufting machine comprising, means for supporting a web of backing fabric, means advancing said web in a given direction, a needle having a lower section with an aperture extending transversely therethrough and forming a yarn passage and a yarn outlet therein, said yarn passage and said yarn outlet forming a fluid passage in said needle, said fluid passage having a fluid? inlet in said lower portion of said needle communicating with a portion of said yarn passage, said outlet facing in a direction parallel to said given direction of web movement, means periodically moving the lower section of said needle through said backing fabric and withdrawing said lower section therefrom, jet means permanently located beneath said supporting means adjacent the path of said needle for directing a jet of fluid into said fluid inlet of said needle at a point beneath said supporting means and into the path taken by said needle aperture beneath said supporting means, said jet means lying at a constant distance from said supporting means and being oriented to cause a flow of fluid through said aperture and away from said needle outlet to cause a yarn to move through said outlet while the lower section of the needle is beneath the means for supporting the Web.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,830,463 11/1931 Foster 11279 2,080,322 5/1937 Vesconte 112218 3,005,428 10/1961 Von Lehn 112-222 3,089,442 5/1963 Short 11279 3,217,675 11/1965 Short 112-79 FOREIGN PATENTS 618,165 2/1949 Great Britain.

FRANK J. COHEN, Primary Examiner.

JORDAN FRANKLIN, Examiner.

M. I. COLITZ, J. R. BOLER, Assistant Examiners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1830463 *Jan 19, 1928Nov 3, 1931Mechanical Rubber CoLoop forming machine
US2080322 *Apr 5, 1933May 11, 1937Union Special Machine CoNeedle cooling device for sewing machines
US3005428 *Jun 24, 1958Oct 24, 1961Singer Mfg CoSewing machine needle with cooling characteristics
US3089442 *May 3, 1962May 14, 1963Internat Leasing CorpTufting method and apparatus
US3217675 *Nov 7, 1962Nov 16, 1965Internat Leasing CorpMethod and apparatus for the production of pile fabric
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3333560 *Oct 5, 1965Aug 1, 1967Singer CoStitch-forming mechanisms for sewing machines
US3937157 *May 29, 1974Feb 10, 1976Abram N. SpanelMethod and means of tufting
US4285293 *Oct 26, 1979Aug 25, 1981Union Special CorporationCombined needle guard/needle cooler for sewing machine
US4549496 *Mar 16, 1984Oct 29, 1985Fabrication Center, Inc.Apparatus and method for producing patterned tufted goods
US5515798 *Apr 13, 1995May 14, 1996Aerospatiale Societe Nationale IndustrielleStitching head including needle guide for producing a reinforcement in a composite component
US6228460Jun 1, 1993May 8, 2001Interface, Inc.Tufted articles and related processes
US6230638 *Jan 14, 2000May 15, 2001Masland Carpets, Inc.System for directional air enhancement of a textile tufting machine
US6293211 *Feb 11, 2000Sep 25, 2001Tapistron International, Inc.Method and apparatus for producing patterned tufted goods
US6401639Mar 22, 2001Jun 11, 2002Cyp Technologies, LlcTufting apparatus with dual yarn feed mechanism for producing patterned tufted goods
Classifications
U.S. Classification112/80.7, 112/80.16, 112/281
International ClassificationD05C15/00, D05C15/32
Cooperative ClassificationD05C15/32
European ClassificationD05C15/32