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Publication numberUS3418969 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 31, 1968
Filing dateFeb 18, 1965
Priority dateFeb 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3418969 A, US 3418969A, US-A-3418969, US3418969 A, US3418969A
InventorsHarris James E
Original AssigneeEastman Kodak Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Treatment of fibers
US 3418969 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 31, 1968 J. E. HARRIS 3,413,959

TREATMENT OF FIBERS Filed Feb. 18, 1965 Sheet of 2 JAMES E. HARE/.5


BY MM M/MM ATTORNEYS Dec. 31, 1968 J. E. HARRIS 3,418,969

TREATMENT OF FIBERS Filed Feb. 18, 1965 Sheet 2 of 2 JA MES E. HA


BY ZJM/M X/M/ A4 M A T TOR/VE Y5 United States Patent 3,418,969 TREATMENT OF FIBERS James E. Harris, Kingsport, Tenn., assignor to Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester. N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Feb. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 433,621 3 Claims. (Cl. 118--325) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved apparatus for applying liquid addenda (i.e. treatment medium) to thick fiber bundles or mats includes an acoustical spray nozzle adapted to atomize the liquid addenda. Additional structure features include an application chamber to which there is connected a fractionating column and several exhaust ports. The fractionating column, into which the nozzle introduces the atomized addenda, and a defiection bafiie positioned inside the application chamber are adapted to remove any residual large addenda particles as the particles impinge against them. The smaller addenda particles continue through the column and around the deflection bafiie and finally through the fiber bundle as the bundle passes over the exhaust ports.

This invention relates to the application of various addenda to fibers in the form of yarns, tows and other elongated forms. More particularly, this invention concerns a more effective apparatus for applying addendum as a lubricant or other conditioning and improving agent to moving strands of fibers.

As well known in the prior art, in the spinning and winding of man-made fibers it is customary to apply lubricants frequently referred to as oil, antistats and the like yarn treating and conditioning agents to the moving fibers. A number of ways have been described in patents and publications and are in use.

For example, various methods, such as spraying the fiber with particles from a gas atomizing nozzle or immersion of the fiber in a bath of liquid, have been attempted; but these methods have resulted in problems. Particles from the conventional gas atomizing nozzle are relatively large and have a wide variety of sizes. This size variety in itself prevents uniform application. The large particle size also presents problems when the fibers being treated are in a form of a bundle or mat of many fibers in thickness. The large particles have a tendency to filter out on the surface fibers and thus leave the innermost fibers untreated. Although immersion of the fibers in a liquid bath solves the problem of applying the conditioning agent on every fiber, other problems are encountered.

It is often difiicult to remove the excess liquid in a uniform manner, and nonuniformity is the final result. Also, this process most generally requires a drying stage which may prove impractical due to the additional cost, the volatility of certain of the components, or the fact that the chemical and physical properties of many substances change when heated.

With further reference to the latter, some of the yarn treating agents in use at the present time are heat sensitive. Hence, in addition to the consumption of time for a drying step there is the problem that extended heating or overheating may degrade the yarn treating agent.

*It is believed apparent that the development of more effective and better apparatus and processes for applying various fiber treating agents to various types of fibers represents a highly desirable result. After extended investigation I have discovered what is believed to be an 3,418,969 Patented Dec. 31, 1968 especially useful and effective apparatus as will be described in detail hereinafter.

This invention has for one object to provide an apparatus for the treatment or conditioning of synthetic fibers. A particular object relates to the treatment of continuous lengths of synthetic fibers which are in the form of a crimped tow or ribbon, such as would emerge from a stufifer box crimper. Another object of this invention is to provide a new apparatus for the treatment and conditioning of synthetic fiber. Still another object is to provide apparatus for fiber treatment which applies a substantially uniform application of fiber conditioning agent. It is also an object to provide apparatus which can be used for the treatment of fibers which are in the form of a thick bundle or mat and which will treat not only the surface of the fiber mat, but also the innermost fibers. Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the accompanying drawings and the following description:

In the broader aspects of my invention I have provided a new apparatus construction. In this apparatus the fiber treating addendum, usually an oily liquid, is fractionated or classified before it contacts the fibers to be treated. Expressed in another way, the treating agent is not only generated in an extremely finely divided or dispersed form but any of the larger particles therein are removed before contact of the mist or fog with the fibers. By having a treating agent in such a form, which for convenience of description I term as a mist or fog, it is in a state that it will penetrate fibers, even bundles of fibers, that are a fraction of an inch in thickness. Hence, the yarn treating agent not only applies uniformly to the surface of the fiber bundle, but likewise relatively uniformly applies to the fibers in the interior of the bundle.

For assistance in a further understanding of this in vention reference is made to the attached drawings forming a part of the attached application.

FIGURE 1 is a partially sectioned view of the overall apparatus. FIGURE 2 is a partially sectioned view of a clapper gate assembly of FIGURE 1. FIGURE 3 is an enlarged view taken along line YY of FIGURE 1. FIG- URE 4 is a perspective view on an enlarged scale of one of the exhaust ports.

Referring now to the first figure, the apparatus, as shown in FIGURE 1, consists primarily of three parts: a commercially available acoustical spray nozzle 1, a fractionating column 2, and an application chamber 3. The acoustical spray nozzle incorporates within a single unit both a high energy sonic generator and a complementary liquid distribution system. Air and liquid are supplied to the nozzle by inlet tubes 24 and 25 respectively (FIG. 3). In operation, the liquid is fed into the sonic field. Constant frequency sound waves within this field provide an effective chopping action which breaks the liquid into a finely divided fog. The particles in this fog have a very narrow size distribution and, for the majority, are under 10 microns in diameter. These particles mix with air from the nozzle, and the result is a finely divided liquid air suspension. A spray nozzle, which exhibits these characteristics and produces particles of the type described, is the most desirable type for the proper and most economic functioning of this invention. Other commercially available spray nozzles may be used, but a plurality of nozzles would probably be required; and a larger amount of waste would be encountered.

The fractionating column 2 serves the .purpose of removing any large particles or agglomerates of liquid from the fog. Fractionation occurs, for example, due to the fact that the larger particles in the fog fall out of suspension. The fractionating effect is based on the principle that the rate of fall of a spherical particle in a viscous medium is proportioned to the square of the radius of the particles. This relationship is given by Stokes Law:

where zx=th6 radius of the sphere d and d =t-he density of the sphere and the medium respectively N=the coefiicient of viscosity of air V=the rate of fall of the particle Any particle whose rate of fall V is greater than the rate of air fiow up the column will fall out of suspension. Hence, the particular dimensions of tube or column 2 Will be chosen depending on the nature of the fiber treating agent being handled and the like factors.

Working in conjunction with the fractionating column are a plurality, as, for example, six auxiliary air jets 4 which are controlled by a needle valve 5 (FIG. 3). These air jets serve the purpose of changing the selectiivty of the fractionating columns by varying the rate of air flow in the column. Additional control of particle size is obtained by varying the air pressure on the nozzle 1 with needle valve 6 (FIG. 3).

The particle size most desirable for adequate penetration of the fiber bundle without excessive waste is dependent upon the thickness, compactness, and denier per filament of the fiber bundle. However, for most synthetic fibers, a particle diameter of approximately microns in diameter or smaller has been found to be generally satisfactory.

Referring further to FIG. 1, the liquid application chamber consists of a chamber (box) 7 with "a hinged door 8. Inside the box is mounted a deflection bafile 9 and two rectangular exhaust ports 10 and 11 with exit tubes 12 and 13 which may be connected to an external exhaust system not shown.

On the outside of the box are mounted two clapper gate assemblies 14 and 15. These clapper gates serve as entrance and exit openings for the fiber band. Referring now to FIG. 2, the clapper gates are made up of a rectangular metal case 16, two fiber band positioning guides 17 and .18, and a spring loaded gate 19 which is held in a partially opened position by set screws 20. The partially opened gate allows the fiber band to pass, but effectively blocks the passage of the fog to the atmosphere. In the event of an entanglement, knot, or fold in the fiber band, the gate will open to allow passage of the defect.

The deflection bafile 9 referred to above serves the purpose of preventing the particles which are emerging from the fractionating column from directly striking the fiber band. The hinged door 8 on the front of the application chamber allows for ease of threading of the fiber band and can be sealed when operation is begun.

In operation, the fiber band enters the application chamber through clapper gate 14 and exits through clapper gate 15.

Referring to FIG. 4, the exhaust ports are so positioned that the fiber band moving through the chamber must pass directly over the opening in the exhaust ports. These openings are covered with stainless steel screen 21 which acts as a support for the fiber band. Guides 22 and 23 on the sides of the ports maintain the fiber band in its proper path.

Due to the above arrangement, when the liquid fog is forced into the application chamber at a slight positive pressure, it circulates around bafile 9 and the fog or mist has no choice but to pass directly through the fiber band. The narrow size distribution and smallness of the liquid particles result in uniform application and excellent penetration.

In brief summary to this point the following may be observed from the drawings, particularly FIG. 1. A suitable fiber treating agent, of which illustrative compositions will be described hereinafter, is supplied under pressure to nozzle 1 where the treating agent which is assumed to be a flowable liquid is broken down to a particle size around 10 microns or smaller. The particles, which are dispersed in an air suspension, then pass through column 2 where the majority of all larger particles in the suspension are removed. Any of the remaining larger particles tending to be carried along by the gas stream impinge on bafile 9 and fall back into the column apparatus 2. Hence, the fog or mist of treating agent in the vicinity of baflie 9 is substantially all of the desired very fine particle size adapted to penetrate a fiber bundle. As may be noted, this fine particle fog can escape only through exhaust ports 10 and 11. However, with the moving fiber bundle passing over such ports the finely dispersed treating agent fully penetrates the fiber bundles thereby providing a uniform application of the desired amount of treating agent.

A further understanding of my invention may be had from a consideration of the following examples which are set forth for illustrating certain preferred embodi ments.

EXAMPLE I In this example the fibers to be treated comprised bundles of polyethylene terephthalate filaments in tow form in a band or ribbon of about /8" in thickness. The treating agent was Nopco 2152 P obtained from Nopco Chemical Company which is a completely formulated lubricant that provides satisfactory textile processing characteristics when applied to polyethylene terephthalate fibers. Or, in place of the oil composition an aqueous emulsion involving the aforesaid type of lubricant may be used as follows: 25 parts of Nopco 2152 P is dispersed in parts water by slowly adding the water to the oil while stirring. This emulsion may be applied to fiber using the instant application method.

'In addition, in this particular example the treating agents contained a small amount of an UV sensitive material for tests or tracer purposes.

The tow was threaded into and through clapper gate 14 across 10, 9 and .11 and out at 15. The treating agents were injected through nozzle 1 at the rate of 2 ounces per minute and atomizing air pressure was held at approximately 30 lb./in.'-". Air was injected through conduits 4 to the extent of about 2 cu. ft. per min.

The apparatus functions satisfactorily and a fine mist of treating agent relatively free of large particles encircled baffle 9, passed through the tow and that not taken up by the tow was withdrawn through exhaust ports 12 and 13.

As indicated above, an UV component had been incorporated for tracer purposes. Hence, samples of the tow exiting from gate 15 were passed under UV lights causing the UV component to be excited. From this test and examination it was readily apparent that the yarn treating agent was not only thoroughly but uniformly distributed over all the fibers, including fibers in the interior of the bundle. This distribution was considerably better than by prior apparatuses and methods.

In addition, the treating agent distribution was checked by chemical analysis. The distribution was found to have a range of no more than .01 percent. On the other hand, prior procedures had a range of more than .05 percent.

EXAMPLE II In this example the same type of fiber bundle, namely polyester tow as conducted through the apparatus of Example I was used in this run. However, in this example the fiber lubricant was altered to some extent. That is, in a separate external bath there was first applied a content of commercially obtainable liquid sold under the name Larostat. This was applied by passing the tow strand beneath the surface of the bath of such liquid followed by subjecting the wet fibers to drying with 140 C. air.

This first applied liquid is one that appears to withstand some subsequent heating without materially impairing the effectiveness of the yarn conditioning liquid.

The tow with this first treating agent applied as aforesaid was then passed through apparatus of the present invention and Nopco 2152 P was applied as the final conditioning agent as already described in Example I.

Testing of the exiting tow indicated uniform and thorough application of the conditioning agent to all the fibers. It is readily apparent that my apparatus and process lends itself to combination with existing or known fiber lubricating systems and it is obvious that the apparatus could be used advantageously with other common fiber lubricating formulations based on combinations of mineral oil, butyl stearate, fatty esters, fatty amides, fatty amines, sulfated or phosphated alcohols, fatty alcohols, ethoxylated fatty materials and the like. As indicated, for example, it may be advantageous to apply some yarn conditioning components by existing equipment and methods and then utilize the present invention for applying more difliculty applied components. Such combination procedure permits the utilization of a smaller apparatus construction in accordance with the present invention than when all the yarn conditioning components are applied by the apparatus of the present invention.

EXAMPLE III In this example, the yarn to be treated was comprised of bundles of cellulose acetate in tow form. This tow was treated with 20% aqueous emulsion of Nopcostat AS40 using the treating method described in Example I. The tow was subsequently cut into staple fiber and was found to process in a very satisfactory manner using conventional textile processing equipment.

EXAMPLE IV In this example, the yarn to be treated was comprised of bundles of modacrylic yarn in tow form. This tow was treated with a 20% aqueous emulsion of Nopcostat LV-44 in a manner similar to that described in Example I. The tow was subsequently cut into staple fiber and was found to process in a highly satisfactory manner on conventional textile equipment.

EXAMPLE V Nylon tow was treated with Nopcostat LL containing 0.1% of coumarin, a fluorescent material, using the application method described in Example I. Inspection of the tow under ultraviolet light showed that the lubricant was applied much more uniformly than can be obtained by other conventional application techniques.

It is thought apparent from the foregoing that the present invention is susceptible of use for the treatment of a wide variety of fibers. The examples illustrate the penetration and uniform application to fiber bundles that were of the order of A5" in thickness or somewhat thicker in the case of novelty yarns having nubs thereon. Such illustrations show the functioning of the invention under conditions of yarn treating that have been regarded as diflicult in prior art operations. It is apparent that with thinner yarn bundles or ribbons the invention functions more readily and easily but with equally good dispersion and uniformity.

While in the above examples certain yarn treating compositions have been described, such as for illustrative purposes and is not a limitation on the present invention. Since the present invention functions with yarn conditioning agents which have presented some difiiculty of uniform application in prior art procedures it is apparent that the present apparatus and process may be used with many yarn conditioning compositions which have not presented as much difliculty of application. However,

such use with less diflicult compositions still provides better results in that more thorough and uniform dispersion of the conditioning agent is obtained. In general, any fiber treating agents and conditioning agents that have heretofore been applied by conventional sprays may be more uniformly and otherwise better applied by the pres ent invention.

The foregoing provides means for preparing new textile products wherein the uniformity of the lubrication and the lubrication on the fibers is of a particle size relatively consistently 10 microns or less. The particular micron size may be controlled to a larger or smaller extent by the control of nozzle .1, the diameter and length of the column, control of air flow in the column, sonic production of the liquid spray and other features discussed above. Certain changes may be made in my apparatus as follows:

MODIFICATIONS Dimensions of the application chamber may be changed depending upon the dimensions of the fiber bundle being treated. Dimensions of the fractionating column may be changed depending upon what particle size and what ratio of liquid to gas is desired in the mist or fog.

Design of the application chamber may be changed provided that the new design allows a finely divided liquid air suspension to be forced through the fiber bundle at a slight positive pressure. The number of air jets at the base of the column may be changed. The design of the base of the fractionating column may be changed depending upon the type of spray nozzle utilized and the geometry of the spray pattern produced by the nozzle. For example, some nozzles may produce a circular cone-shaped spray pattern, some an elliptical cone shaped pattern, and some a flat, planer spray pattern. It would be desirable to change the design of the column base for each of the above described spray patterns. The type of spray nozzle used may be changed as long as the nozzle used produces a larger quantity of particles of approximately 10 micron diameter and below. For example, a conventional air atomizing or mechanical atomizing nozzle could be used. The gas used for production or carrying of the liquid particles in the apparatus need not be air. For example, nitrogen or steam could be used.

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinabove and as defined by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. Apparatus adapted to uniformly apply liquid addenda to a continuous moving fiber band comprising:

( 1) an enclosed chamber having restricted entrance and exit openings adapted to guide the moving fiber band into and out of said chamber;

(2) column means communicating with said chamber, said column means having supported therein a nozzle adapted to atomize and discharge said liquid addenda into said column means;

(3) a deflection bafile positioned within said chamber adjacent the juncture of said column means and enclosed chamber so that said atomized liquid addenda is diverted thereby; and

(4) at least one exhaust port positioned within said chamber and comprised of a fiber support means and additional guides adapted to direct said fiber band moving thereacross, said exhaust port being further adapted to remove from said chamber any excess of said atomized liquid addenda that passes through said fiber band.

2. Apparatus as is described in claim 1 wherein there is at least one additional fluid delivery device also supported by said column means in such manner that fluid 3,418,969 7 8 emitted therefrom will force said atomized liquid addenda 3,226,773 1/ 1966 Paliyenko 118325 X into said chamber and through said fiber band.

3. Apparatus as is described in claim 2 wherein said FOREIGN PATENTS nozzle is an acoustical device incorporating a sonic gen- 183,922 4/ 1907 yerator and a liquid distribution means. 5

ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.

JOHN P. MCINTOSH, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,736,289 2/1956 Allen 118325X 3,172,780 3/1965 Csok et a1 l18-325 X

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2736289 *Nov 23, 1954Feb 28, 1956Allen Alfred WApparatus for applying a plastic coating to threads, yarns, etc.
US3172780 *Apr 10, 1961Mar 9, 1965 Apparatus for treating textile filaments
US3226773 *Sep 26, 1960Jan 4, 1966Celanese CorpMethod and apparatus for opening and applying finishes to multifilament tows
*DE183922C Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3503702 *Feb 2, 1967Mar 31, 1970Gaston County Dyeing MachProcess and apparatus for fluid treatment of substrate
US4421055 *Jul 16, 1980Dec 20, 1983Molins LimitedApparatus for treating filter material
EP0080790A2 *Aug 4, 1982Jun 8, 1983Tokyo Copal Chemical Company LimitedMethod and apparatus for forming an extremely thin film on the surface of an object
U.S. Classification118/325, 118/326, 68/5.00D, 28/283
International ClassificationD06B1/00, D06B1/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06B1/02
European ClassificationD06B1/02