US 3339249 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 5, 1967 c. F. LIBBY FABRIC COMPACTOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 25, 1964 INVENTOR. CA RL F. Ll BBY mnmMwQm p 1967 c. F. LIBBY 3,339,249
FABRIC COMPACTOR Filed Aug. 25, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 m1; F G 3 CARL F. IBBY ATTO R N EYS United States Patent 3,339,249 FABRIC COMPACTOR Carl F. Libby, Stoughton, Mass., assignor to John D. Riordan, Hopkinton, Mass., and Gertrude'C. Libby, Stoughton, Mass, trustees of the Libby family trusts Filed Aug. 25, 1964, Ser. No. 391,884 4 Claims. (Cl. 26-18.6)
This invention relates to apparatus for longitudinally shrinking or compacting textile fabrics without the formation of wrinkles. While the mechanism hereinafter described and illustrated on the drawings is designed to operate on relatively narrow fabrics, similar apparatus will operate similarly on wider fabrics. Briefly, the fabric to be compacted is passed between lengths of two endless rubber belts which are firmly pressed together throughout the mutually engaging portions, these portions being made to contract longitudinally, thus shortening the fabric pinched between them. For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the following description thereof, and to the drawings, of which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of apparatus embodying the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view on a larger scale of rolls, belts and gear wheels shown in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic elevational view, on a larger scale, of the rolls and belts shown in FIGURE 2.
Mechanism for compacting fabrics can conveniently be mounted on a frame and may include an electric motor and driving connections (not shown) for rotating a shaft 12 on which two gear wheels 14, 16 are mounted. The gear wheel 14 is the larger of the two and meshes with an idle pinion 18 which in turn meshes with one of two gear wheels 20, 22 of equal size which mesh with each other so that they rotate at equal speeds in opposite directions.
The smaller gear wheel 16 meshes with an idle pinion 24 through which it drives two meshed gear wheels 26, 28 of equal size in opposite directions. The gear wheels 26, 28 are of the same size as the gear wheels 20, 22 so that they turn at a slower speed since the gear wheel 16 is smaller than the gear wheel 14. The gear wheels 20, 22 are mounted respectively on shafts 30, 32 on which also are mounted rolls 34, 36. In like manner the gear wheels 26, 28 are mounted respectively on shafts ,38, 40 on which also are mounted rolls 42, 44. As indicated in FIGURE 3, two endless belts 50, 52 pass through the nip of the rolls 34, 36 and through the nip of the rolls 42, 44, and are driven by the rolls. The belt are of rubber or an equivalent stretchable, resilient material and are of substantial thickness, e.g., inch or more. As indicated in FIGURE 2, the rolls 34, 42 are rotated in a clock-Wise direction, the rolls 36, 44 being rotated in the opposite direction. Since the rolls 34, 36 are driven at a slightly higher peripheral speed than the rolls 42, 44, the outer reaches of the belts 50, 52 are under tension and are stretched from the time they leave the slower driven rolls 42, 44 until they reach the faster driven rolls 34, 36. Consequently, the portions of the belts traveling from the faster rolls to the slower rolls contract as soon as they pass through the nip of the faster rolls. In making and assembling the supporting structure for the rolls 34, 36, the bearings for the shafts carrying these rolls are so spaced in relation to the diameters of the rolls that the spacing between the peripheries of the two rolls is slightly less than the combined thickness of the two belts 50, 52 which pass between them. These belts are thus squeezed or pinched as they pass between the rolls. Accordingly, the fabric to be compacted is tightly squeezed as it enters between the belts in the nip of the rolls 34, 36. Between the faster rolls and the slower rolls a number of idle rolls are mounted. These rolls form a 3,339,249 Patented Sept. 5, 1967 closely spaced series with the driven rolls to keep the belts 50, 52 firmly pressed together at all points as they pursue a sinuous course from the nip of the rolls 34, 36 past a plurality of the idle rolls. The fabric between these joined portions of the belts is thus continuously pressed between them. As these portions of the belts contract longitudinally after passing through the nip of of the faster rolls, the fabric between them is similarly contracted, the continued pressure on the faces of the fabric preventing wrinkling of the fabric. Six idle rolls 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64 are shown on the drawings by way of illustration, but a greater or lesser number of such rolls may be employed according to the particular fabric to be treated and the degree of shrinkage desired. In the machine illustrated on the drawings, the set of driven and idle rolls is arranged with the faster driven rolls uppermost and the slower rolls lowermost with the idle rolls in between. For convenience of description, the driven rolls may hereinafter be referred to as the upper or lower rolls, but it is evident that the roll assembly could readily be mounted at any angle so that the fabric traveling between the belts from the faster rolls to the slower rolls would move in a corresponding direction, e.g., horizontally or upwardly.
The idle rolls are in staggered array as shown. The driven roll 36 is a little higher than its companion roll 34 so that the uppermost idle roll 54 can be placed nearer to the nip of the upper driven rolls. In like manner the lower driven roll 44 is a little higher than the roll 42 so that the lowermost idle roll 64 can be nearer to the nip of these driven rolls. By this arrangement, the belts 50, 52 are continuously flexed about one roll or another from the time they enter the nip of the upper driven rolls until they leave the nip of the lower rolls. In this way a substantially constant interfacial pressure is maintained between the joined portions of the belts which have between them the fabric to be compacted. These idle rolls serve to spread the shrinking process to some extent. It is observed that about of the compacting occurs between the nip of the upper driven rolls and the idle roll 54, the remaining 15% being distributed evenly between the remaining idle rolls. Hence the number of idle rolls required will depend on the degree of compaction desired and the type of fabric operated on. If enough idle rolls are employed to keep the fabric continuously pressed during the shrinking stage, additional rolls are unnecessary and there is no need to press the slower rolls 42, 44 together.
When the belts 50, 52 are stretched as they ascend from the lower rolls to the upper rolls, they decrease in width and thickness, the original width and thickness being restored when the belts contract in descending from the upper rolls to the lower rolls. Since the fabric to be treated is between this portion of the belts, the fabric also is widened and thickened, but in the case of a relatively narrow web, such widening is negligible.
The idle rolls may be mounted for individual lateral adjustment so that any of them can be retracted to an inoperative position or can be adjusted to increase or decrease the pressure on the belts 50, 52. For this purpose each idle roll may be mounted on a slide 66 horizontally movable in a groove in a supporting plate 68 which is mounted on or is a part of a fixed panel 70 (FIGURE 1). Each slide 66 is adjustably secured by a bolt 72 (conventionally indicated in FIGURE 3) which extends through a slot 74 into the plate 68. The idle rolls can thus be readily adjusted for optimum operation on difierent types of fabric.
The progress of the compacting operation can be more closely regulated by employing driven intermediate rolls in place of the idle rolls. These intermediate rolls would be driven at progressively slower peripheral speeds.
v The differential speeds of the upper and lower driven rolls can be changed by replacing the gear wheels 14, 16
with another pair of wheels having a different ratio of diameters. A greater differential can be employed for loosely woven fabrics than for more tightly-woven fabrics.
If a relatively high degree of shrinkage is desired, the fabric can be run through the apparatus two or three times. The major shrinking in such case is done by the first push, the subsequent pushes having diminishing effect.
In order to obtain a better set for the treated fabric, it may be steamed just prior to its introduction into the compactor. For this purpose a suitable steam box 80 may be mounted on the frame and supplied with steam through a pipe 82. The fabric F to be treated is fed to the steam box by driven feed rolls 84 and thence to the compactor. The steam softens the fibrous filaments of the fabric and tends to reduce temporarily any natural springiness which may be inherent in the yarn in the fabric.
1. Apparatus for compacting a textile fabric, which comprises two endless belts of stretchable, resilient material having a portion of each pressed together in mutual face-to-face contact from a point of juncture to a point of separation, means for supporting and driving said belts at equal speeds whereby to receive fabric at the point of juncture and to discharge said fabric at the point of separation, said supporting and driving means being adapted to maintain the portions of said belts approaching the point of juncture in a longitudinally stretched condition as compared with the mutually joined portions and to press the belts strongly together at said point of juncture, and means for maintaining a continuous interfacial pressure on said belts from said point of juncture to a substantial distance therefrom.
2. Apparatus as described in claim 1, said supporting and driving means including a pair of rolls about which respectively said belts pass and are pressed together at said point of juncture.
3. Apparatus as described in claim 1, said last named means comprising means for causing said mutually pressed portions of the belts to follow a continuously sinuous path from said point of juncture.
4. Apparatus for compacting a textile fabric, which comprises a pair of upper rolls, a pair of lower rolls spaced from said upper rolls, a plurality of intermediate rolls between the upper and lower rolls, two endless elastic belts one of which passes around one of the upper and one of the lower rolls, the other belt passing around the other upper and the other lower rolls, means driving the upper rolls at a higher peripheral speed than the lower rolls and in a direction to cause the belts'between the rolls to move from the faster rolls to the slower rolls, means supporting the faster rolls spaced by a distance less than the normal combined thickness of the two belts between them, and means supporting said intermediate rolls in staggered array with the two belts traveling in face-to-face contact in a continuously sinuous path from the nip of the faster rolls to the point of engagement with the lowermost intermediate roll, whereby continuous interfacial pressure between the belts is maintained from the nip of the faster rolls to the point of engagement with the lowermost intermediate roll.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS OTHER REFERENCES 1,063,569, August 1959, German printed application, 2618.6.
ROBERT R. MACKEY, Primary Examiner.