US 3368256 A
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United States Patent 3,368,256 APPARATUS FOR NEEDLING FIBER WEBS Ernst Fehrer, Linz, and Walter Kern, Leonding-Berg, Austria, assignors to Spezialmaschinenfabrik Dr. Ernst Fehrer, Linz-Wegscheid, Austria Filed Dec. 10, 1965, Ser. No. 512,968 Claims priority, application Austria, Jan. 27, 1965, A 664/65 2 Claims. (Cl. 28-4) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A needling machine including .a plurality of juxtaposed units, each unit comprising a bearing frame, a section of a crankshaft journaled in the frame, two motion transmitting rods guided in the frame for rectilinear reciprocating motion and attached to a common needle board, and connecting rods connecting the motion transmitting rods to the crankshaft section, the several frames being mounted on a common rigid support, and the crankshaft sections being connected by flexible couplings between the frames.
This invention relates to an apparatus for needling hair or fiber webs or the like, which comprises a multiplicity of needles which are inserted in needleboards, pass through a perforated stripper, and penetrate from above into the web. The web is advanced intermittently over a support, which is also perforated. The needleboards perform an up and down motion between successive advances of the web which motion is derived from an overhead drive shaft. The needles are provided with barbs which catch individual hairs or fibers and pull them along. As .a result, the penetration of the needles through the web improves the coherence of the hairs or fibers and the degree of felting thereof. Needling operations can be carried out on structures having a fabric base and on pure hair or fiber webs.
In the known apparatus of this type, the needleboard holder consists of a beam, which extends throughout the width of the web. This beam may be suspended from connecting rods driven by an eccentric shaft which is disposed over the beam and extends transversely to the direction of advance of the web. The ends of the beam are guided in vertical slots of lateral columns, which carry also the bearings for the continuous eccentric shaft. In another known design, the needleboard holder consists of a continuous beam, and a pantogra-ph provided at each end of the beam serves for guiding and moving the same. Each of these pantographs is swung up and down by an eccentric drive. All these designs are quite satisfactory for relatively narrow webs. More recently, it has often been required to needle webs or the like which have a width of several meters. In this case, the known designs involve a highly complicated and expensive structure because the beam which is moved up and down must have a high fiexural stiffness, means must be provided to suppress vibration, and a clamping or canting in the guides for the beam must be avoided. These requirements are further increased when it is necessary to increase the number of needles and with it the Width of the needleboard and possibly also the stroke frequency of the need-leboard holder in order to increase the output rate of the apparatus. A further disadvantage of the known apparatus resides in that a separate structure is required for each apparatus suitable for a given width of web and it is not possible to assemble apparatus for webs of different widths from equal prefabricated units.
It is an object of the invention to eliminate these disadvantages and provide an apparatus which involves a smaller structural expenditure, is suitable for needling 3,368,256 Patented Feb. 13, 1968 Webs even of extremely large width with a high output rate, and which is assembled from prefabricated units so that apparatus for needling webs of different widths may be selectively assembled from equal prefabricated units.
According to the invention, the needleboard holder comprises a plurality of individual section beams, which are arranged in line, the driving shaft is assembled from section shafts, which correspond in number to the section beams and are connected by flexible couplings, and each section beam has a separate boxlike bearing frame associated with it which guides the section beam and includes the bearings for and associated section shaft, the bearing frames being secured one beside the other to form continuous beams or the like. An apparatus for needling very wide webs can now be obtained without difliculty because it is no longer necessary to provide a single beam, which is moved up and down, for spanning the entire width of the web, but it is sufficient to provide a suitable number of section beams in line. The short section beams are subjected only to relatively small stresses and for this reason may be light in weight. Besides, any flexural vibration or the like will be negligibly small. Owing to the relatively small dimensions of the section beams, their guidance in the bearing frames does not involve any difiiculty. As the bearing frames comprise also the section shaft bearings, small units are obtained, which comprise all essential parts and which do not involve any difiiculty as to the guidance, bearing arrangement and drive. It is sufiicient to mount these units one beside the other on continuous beams so that an apparatus for webs of different widths can be obtained, depending on the number of units which are provided. The flexible couplings between the section shafts will entirely compensate any inaccuracies in dimensions, deflections, vibration and the like. The continuous beams serve only as a support and can be made sufficiently rigid without requiring an excessive structural expenditure. If a rigid, continuous eccentric shaft or crankshaft were used, as in the previous designs, for driving the needleboard holder which consists of section beams, it would be virtually impossible to overcome the resulting design difficulties be cause a drive shaft having a length of several meters and provided with a plurality of connecting rods or the like would have to be dimensioned, designed, mounted and arranged so that a satisfactory operation and motion of the section beams without canting is ensured at a relatively high speed and in spite of the load. The continuous beams need not belong to the apparatus itself because the individual bearing frames might be secured to continuous beams of an overhead floor structure or the like.
An embodiment of the invention is shown by way of example in the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. 1 is a sectional view taken on line I-I of FIG. 2 and shows the most important parts of a needling apparatus.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on line II-II of FIG. 1.
The web or the like which is to be processed is advanced intermittently over a perforated support 1. A stripper 2, which is also perforated, is disposed over the support. Needles are inserted in needleboards 3 so as to be closely spaced one beside the other and behind the other and pass through the stripper 2 to penetrate into the web. The needleboards 3 are slidably inserted in a plurality of section beams 4, which are arranged one beside the other and suspended from rods 5. The rods 5 are connected by connecting rods -6 to crank shaft sections 7. Each section beam 4 has associated with it a separate, rigid, boxlike bearing frame 9, which guides the rods 5 and comprises two bearings 8 for the shafts.
The section shaft associated therewith are sections interconnected by flexible couplings 10. The bearing frames 9 are secured to beams 11 which extend transversely to the direction of advance of the web throughout the width of the latter.
A rotation of the drive shaft assembly composed of the shaft sections 7 causes an up and down movement of the section beams 4 and the needleboards 3 so that the needles can penetrate through the web. It will be understood that the Web will be advanced only when the section beams 4 are in a raised position, whereas the Web remains stationary when the section beams with the needleboards descend. Depending on the width of the Webs to be processed, different numbers of equal, prefabricated units consisting each of a bearing frame 9, shafe section 7, rods 6 and and needleboard holders 4 may be secured to the beams 11.
What is claimed is:
1. In a web needling apparatus having a plurality of needle boards, each needle board carrying a multiplicity of needles, and drive means for moving said needle boards toward and away from a web to be needled, the drive means including a drive shaft an motion transmitting means interpose between the drive shaft and each needle board, the improvement in the drive means which comprises:
(a) a plurality of bearing frames juxtaposed axially of said shaft,
(1) said shaft being constituted by a plurality of shaft sections and a plurality of flexible couplings sequentially connecting said sections;
(b) bearings on each frame, said shaft sections being respectively journaled in said bearings,
(c) guide means on each frame,
(1) said motion transmitting means including a plurality of motion transmitting members respectively engaged by said guide means for reciprocating movement of each of said motion transmitting members in a rectilinear path, and means for moving said members in said path in response to rotation of said shaft,
(2) said needle boards being fastened to respective motion transmitting members for movement therewith; and
(d) a common support carrying said bearing frames.
2. In an apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein each coupling is interposed between respective bearings of two adjacent frames.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,742,133 12/1929 Chase 284 2,148,511 2/1939 Specht et al 284 2,902,746 9/1959 Bateman 28-4 3,010,178 11/1961 Rust 284 ROBERT R. MACKEY, Primary Examiner.