US 3452412 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1, 1969 w. T. ALLM'AN, JR, ETAL 3,452,412
PROCESSING OF FLUID ENTANGLING NON-WOVEN FABRICS Sheet 012 Original Filed Dec. 28, 1965 FIGI no.4 Mm
WILLIAM T. ALLMANUR WILLIAM A. BURN,JR JAMES H. WINGER ATTORNEY y 1969 w. T. ALLMAN, JR. ETAL 3,452,412
PROCESSING OF FLUID ENTANGLING NON-WOVEN FABRICS Sheet Original Filed Dec. 28, 1965 FIGS R MM m L L A T M m L L W WILLIAM A. BURN, JR. JAMES H. WINGER WATTORNEY United States Patent 3,452,412 PROCESSING OF FLUID ENTANGLING NON-WOVEN FABRICS William T. Allman, Jr., and James H. Winger, Charlotte,
N.C., and William A. Burn, Jr., Rock Hlll, S.C., assignors to Celanese Corporation. of America, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Original application Dec. 28, 1965, Ser. No. 516,858, now Patent No. 3,357,074, dated Dec. 12, 1967. Divided and this application Dec. 4, 1967, Ser. No. 687,816
Int. Cl. D04h 17/00 US. Cl. 28-72 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method for forming fabrics of entangled fibers by overfeeding a sheet of fiber-containing strands into a restricted passageway, shifting the sheet back and forth widthwise while in the passageway and subjecting the sheet to a high velocity fluid jet whereby fiber entanglement takes place.
This invention which is a divisional application of copending application Ser. No. 516,858, filed Dec. 28, 1965, now US. Patent 3,357,074, granted Dec. 12, 1967, relates to the manufacture of non-woven fabrics. It is concerned particularly with a method of and apparatus for manipulating fiber-containing strands so as to dispose the strands at varying inclinations with respect to the length of a sheet formed by entangling fibers of adjacent ones or groups of the strands. The novel fabric so produced has a number of advantageous characteristics.
Processes for obtaining non-Woven fabrics in the form of assemblies of entangled fibers have been known. A process of particular interest is disclosed in US. Patent No. 3,055,080, granted to Claussen et al. on Sept. 25, 1962. In accordance with the disclosure of this patent, a plurality of yarns in the form of a flat sheet are fed continuously to fluid jet means having a slit-shaped nozzle. A jet of turbulent fiber plasticizing fluid acts upon the strands to crimp the individual fibers of the yarns and to entangle the fibers so as to form a cohesive sheet-like structure.
The present invention also is concerned with fluid entangling techniques for making non-woven fabrics. It is an object of the invention to provide a method of and apparatus for improving the widthwise strength characteristics of fabric produced by fluid weaving or entangling processes. Another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus which may be used to achieve pattern effects in fluid woven fabrics.
In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, a plurality of fiber-containing strands in sheet form are fed at a first rate toward fluid jet means and shifted back and forth laterally prior to their entrance into the fluid jet means to dispose the strands at varying angles with respect to the longitudinal axis of the fiber passageway through the fluid jet means. While the strands are within the fiber passageway of the fluid jet means they are contacted by a high velocity fluid stream that serves to entangle fibers from adjacent strands in such a manner as to provide the sheet with structural integrity. The sheet is engaged by feeding means again after it leaves the fluid jet means, but the second feeding means operates to advance the sheet at a rate slower than that to which the strands were fed into the fluid jet means. That is to say the linear rate of input is greater than the linear rate of output, so as to allow for the formation of loops in individual fibers and for inclination of the various strands relative to the lengthwise direction of the sheet.
It is contemplated that a plurality of groups of strands, each in sheet form, may be fed simultaneously to the fluid jet means, When this is done, it is preferred that the individual sheets be oscillated laterally out of phase with each other and that they enter the fluid jet means in generally superimposed relation. Fibers from the individual sheets become entangled not only with fibers from adjacent strands in the same sheet, but with fibers from strands in other sheets, producing a unitary assembly.
A more complete understanding of the invention may be gained from a consideration of the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of an apparatus setup suitable for the practice of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a longitudinal cross sectional view through a fluid jet structure of the type employed in the apparatus setup depicted in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a transverse cross sectional view taken along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2 and illustrating the entrance end portion of the fluid jet means;
FIGURE 4 is an elevational view of an oscillatable reed construction suitable for use in the apparatus setup depicted in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 5 is a somewhat schematic view illustrating the appearance of the face of a fabric formed through the use of the apparatus setup of FIGURE 1.
In FIGURE 1, the reference numeral 2 designates a conventional strand supply, such as a creel or one or more warp beams. A plurality of fiber-containing strands 4, preferably in the form of zero twist yarns made up of continuous filaments, are withdrawn from the yarn supply 2 by feed means, here shown as a single pair of feed rolls 6 and 8. Normally, it will be found preferable to pass the strands 4 over a strand guiding and tensioning member 10 disposed between the strand supply 2 and the feed rolls 6 and 8. Also, it is desirable ordinarily to pass groups of the strands 4 through strand separating means 12 and 14, such as reeds or eye boards, as the strands travel toward the feed rolls 6 and 8. The strands passing through the reed 12 have been designated 4a and the strands passing through the reed 14 have been designated 4b. If desired, separate sets of feed roll pairs may be provided for receiving the two groups 4a and 4b and these may be rotated at the same or different rates.
After being acted upon by the feed means, the strands of the group 4a pass through an oscillatable reed unit 16a and the strands of the group 411 pass through an oscillatable reed unit 16b. Either or both of the reed units 16a and 1612 may be shifted back and forth in the widthwise direction of the advancing strands as the strands pass through the reeds.
The strands of groups 4a and 4b come together again at the entrance end of a fluid jet means 18. In this zone, the two strand groups will be in the form of superimposed sheets. They pass together in this form through the fluid jet means where they are acted upon by high velocity fluid to entangle the fibers of the various strands and to produce a cohesive sheet or fabric structure. The fabric structure issuing from the fluid jet means has been designated 40 in FIGURE 1.
The fabric 46 passes over guide means 20 and is fed away by fed rolls 22 and 24, the surface speed of which is substantially less than the surface speed of the input feed rolls 6 and 8. This difference in the linear rates of advance in the two parts of the system makes it possible for the fibers to assume angular positions with respect to the length of the fabric 40. Individual fibers extend laterally in loop or crimp form to interlock with fibers from other strands, and the strands as such have wavy configurations along the length of the fabric 40. The wavy configuration of the strands is suggested in FIGURE 5. From this view, it will be observed that novel pattern effects have been achieved. Also, the lateral extent of the strands in various portions of the fabric serves to improve the widthwise strength characteristics of the fabric. The lateral spacing of the strands making up the fabric may be varied in order to produce different effects and structural properties. In the interests of clarity, the strands 4a and the strands 4b have been shown in FIGURE 5 as being rather widely spaced apart in a lateral direction, but it will be understood that greater fiber densities are possible and often desirable.
The construction of the jet means 18 will be apparent from a consideration of FIGURES 2 and 3. The jet means illustrated in FIGURE 2 is made up of a body 26, an inlet end unit 28, and an outlet end unit 30. A yarn passageway 32 formed internally of the units 28 and 30 is elongated in the transverse direction as suggested in FIGURE 3 to permit the groups of strands 4a and 4b to remain generally in sheet form as they pass through the jet means 18.
Air or some other suitable fluid under premure is introduced into the jet means through openings 34 and 36. The proximate surfaces 38 and 40 at the adjacent ends of the inlet and outlet units 28 and 30 are spaced apart from each other to permit the fluid to pass downwardly from the inlet ports 34 and 36 into contact with the fibercontaining strands and out the lower outlet end of the yarn passageway 32. The flow velocity of the air is high, and as a result the fibers making up the strands are looped and otherwise distorted to produce an entangling effect that gives the fabric the desired cohesive character.
Although the fluid flow through the outlet end of the strand passageway 32 has a component in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the strand passageway, the several strands making up the groups 4a and 4b do not straighten under the influence of this flow. It has been found that the entanglement of the fibers is suflicient to lock the strands in angular positions coresponding generally to the angularity resulting from the lateral oscillations imparted to the strands by the reeds 16a and 16b just prior to their entrance into the strand passageway 32.
In connection with the oscillation of the strands back and forth in the widthwise direction, particular attention is invited to FIGURE 4 of the drawings. In this view, a reed 16b, and means for oscillating it, are shown. The reed 16b is made up of a frame 38 carrying separator members 40 that serve to space individual ones or small group of the strands 4b. In FIGURE 4, varying numbers of strands 4b have been shown in the spaces between adjacent ones of the separator members 40 to indicate that the exact number is not a matter of critical importance. The frame 38 includes laterally extending end members 42 mounted for sliding movement in openings 44 in stationary support members 46 and 48. Spring means 50 normally urges the reed 16a to the right as viewed in FIGURE 4, but pattern means 52 may overcome the bias of the spring means 50 to move the reed 16b to the left.
The illustrated pattern means 52 is very simple in comstruction, being made up of a driven shaft 54 having mounted thereon an eccentric 56. As the shaft 54 is rotated, the eccentric 56 earns the reed 16b to the left and then recedes to allow the spring means to shift the reed 16b to the right. Various forms of pattern means are known to the art, and it is contemplated that the selection of particular pattern means will be based on structural considerations and also on the intricacy of the desired patterning. The details of the pattern means form no part of the present invention.
The appearance effects achieved as a consequence of the wavy dispositions of the strands and the splayed arrangements of individual fibers in the fabrics produced in accordance with this invention may be varied somewhat through selection of various strand materials for use in the process. The strands may be in the form of tows, slivers, yarns, or other assemblies, of either natural or synthetic fibers. The fibers and/or strands used in any given fabric may have the same or different color, luster, and/or denier characteristics.
Although a single embodiment of the invention has been illustrated in the drawings, it will be understood that this embodiment is exemplary only.
What is claimed is:
1. In the manufacture of fabrics having a multiplicity of mechanically entangled fibers, the method which comprises:
feeding a sheet of fiber-containing strands at a first rate toward a restricted passageway having sufficient width to receive the sheet in a generally flat condition; shifting said sheet back and forth in a widthwise direction as the strands enter said passageway; interoducing a fluid flowing at high velocity into an intermediate portion of said passageway to entangle fibers of the adjacent strands; and removing the sheet from the exit end of said passageway at a second rate less than said first rate. 2. The method of claim 1 in which a second sheet of fiber-containing strands is fed toward said passageway simultaneously with the first-mentioned sheet and enters said passageway in superimposed relation to the firstmentioned sheet, and in which the flowing fluid entangles fibers from said second sheet with fibers from said first sheet.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,055,080 9/ 1962 Claussen et al 28-72 XR 3,113,413 12/1963 Jacobs et al. 5734 3,120,733 2/1964 Brcen 57-157 XR 3,302,386 2/ 1967 Gonsalves et al. 28-72 XR LOUIS K. RIMRODT, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 28722 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,452,412 July 1, 1969 William T. Allman, Jr. et a1.
It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 3, line 55, "16a" should read 16b Column 4,
line 34, interoducing" should read introducing Signed and sealed this 21st day of April 1970.
WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Officer