US 3540096 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. PORTA Nov. 17, 1970 NEEDLED FABRIC SLEEVE AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING THE SAME 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 17, 1967 INVENTOR (Ia/ke poem BY i/zz, smx
NEEDLED FABRIC SLEEVE AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING THE SAME Filed July 17, 1967 J. PORTA Nov. 17, 1970 3S11eets-Sheet 2 ww m% INVENTORI. (10265 P0271 7 BY M,%m7, 1 0w I Q] Q lav-102N590.
NEEDLED FABRIC SLEEVE AND APPARATUS FOR MAKi I QG THE SAME Filed July 17. 1967 J. PORTA Nov. 17, 1970 5 Sheets-Sheet, 3
United States Patent 3,540,096 NEEDLED FABRIC SLEEVE AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING THE SAME Jorge Porta, Los Angeles, Calif. (1243 W. 134th St., Gardena, Calif. 90247) Filed July 17, 1967, Ser. No. 653,753 Int. Cl. D04h 18/00 US. Cl. 284 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A needled fabric sleeve of desired length including a tubular base of woven nylon, with a multiplicity of filaments of synthetic fibrous material, preferably polypropylene, needled into the tubular base while the latter is maintained under substantial tension and incrementally advanced between successive needling steps. The apparatus comprises a machine including spaced parallel horizontally disposed elongated rollers, a longitudinally extending apertured bedplate between the rollers, means including cantilevered support means for the bedplate and rollers for facilitating the mounting of the tubular base to extend around the rollers and across the bedplate, means for supporting the distal ends of the cantilevered members and for peripherally tensioning the tubular base, and means for needling fibrous material into the tubular base as the latter is incrementally advanced.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to the field of fabric sleeves, often referred to as felts, particularly as used as a sheath to cover rigid rollers made of steel or the like, in operations involving the squeezing of a wet workpiece, such as a piece of leather, between two rollers, at least one of the rollers being so sheathed, for the purpose of drying the leather during steps in the tanning process. The sleeve of the present invention is made of synthetic, non-hygroscopic materials, preferably employing nylon in its woven tubular base and polypropylene fibers needled into the base while the base is maintained under substantial tension. The sleeve is particularly long-lasting in use by reason of the strength of the woven fabric base resulting from its being made of nylon; and the polypropylene fibrous material needled into the tensioned woven nylon base provides resistance to abrasion during use and minimizes scratching or other harmful effects upon pieces of leather or other workpieces being squeezed between rollers sheathed by sleeves of the present invention.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention discloses novel improvements in needled fabric sleeves which are conventionally mounted loosely upon cylindrical rollers of metal in squeezing presses for wringing workpieces such as leather in the tanning industry. The invention is also directed to the apparatus for economically and rapidly manufacturing the sleeves, including the maintaining of the woven nylon tubular base under substantial tension While fibrous polypropylene is needled into the base by a multiplicity of needles vertically reciprocatable, the base being incrementally moved between successive entrances of the needles into the base. The apparatus includes spaced parallel rollers and means for incrementally advancing one of the rollers and an apertured bedplate between the rollers. Sleeves as contemplated by the present invention are typically from three to six feet or more in length and about ten or twelve inches in diameter. Mounting of the tubular base on the needling machine, and removal of the completed sleeve after needling, are accomplished by axial movement of the tubular base and completed sleeve in accordance with the present invention, and means are provided in the needling machine for supporting the elongated bedplate and rollers in cantilevered fashion at one end of the elongated members. The other or distal ends are firmly supported during operation by means which, after the sleeve is completed, may be readily moved transversely of the sleeve axis to inoperative positions beyond the extension of the sleeve periphery, whereby to permit axial removal of the sleeve from the machine.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an illustrative embodiment of the machine in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view, with the central portion omitted, of the lower part of the machine.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the arrows IIIIII of FIG. 2, with a sleeve shown in dotted outline on the machine; the trunnion link is shown in inoperative position in dotted outline.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view, on an enlarged scale, taken on the arrows IV-IV of FIG. 1, showing the needle bar in its raised position and a tubular woven base in position to be needled.
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but showing the needle beam in its lowered position, with the needles piercing the fibrous mass and the tubular woven base, the sleeve being seen in substantially completed condition.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view of the upper portion of the structure as seen in FIG. 3, showing a completely needled sleeve about to be removed from the machine, the idler roller having been moved toward the support beam to relieve peripheral tension on the sleeve, and the bedplate support and the idler roller support bracket having been moved transversely of the beam axis away from the beam to permit axial withdrawal of the sleeve from the machine.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary end elevational view of the upper portion of the machine shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the distal end of the support beam, showing details of the mounting thereon of the bedplate and one of the drive roller journal brackets.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS It will be understood that the needled sleeves of the present invention have peripheries small relative to their length, and many features of the present machine are particularly advantageous for such sleeves.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, and first to FIG. 1 thereof, the machine of the present invention is shown mounted upon a floor or other supporting surface indicated generally at 10, the machine including upright left and right members indicated generally at 12 and 14 respectively, the latter constituting a drive assembly housing. Across the upper part of the machine is a horizontally disposed housing indicated generally at 16 containing the means to be referred to later for imparting vertical reciprocating motion to the horizontally disposed needle bar indicated generally at 20. Within housing 14 there is provided a source of power such as a motor indicated generally at 22 and belt 23 for driving mutually fixed sheaves 24 and 25, the latter being connected through belt 26 to sheave 21 fixed to gear 27, which in turn is connected through the gear train indicated generally at 28 to gear 29. Crank arms 30 and 31 are eccentrically connected at their upper ends to gears 27 and 29 respectively, and at their lower ends are pivotally connected at 32 and 33 to brackets fixed to the needle bar 20. Bar is provided at each end with a block 36 and 38, the blocks being received in verticaly extending guideways carried by left end member 12 and upstanding housing 14 respectively. It will thus be understood that rotational power from motor 22 imparts vertical reciprocal movement to needle bar 20.
As best appears in FIGS. 4 and 5, needle bars 20 may take the form of an I-beam, including in its lower portion a pair of flanges and 41 extending forwardly and rear- Wardly respectively from a vertical web 42. A needle board is indicated generally at 44, retained in assembled relation on the lower surface of needle bar 20 by suitable clamp means indicated generally at 45 and desirably including screws 46 by which to facilitate removal of the needle board when necessary for maintenance or repair thereof. Projecting downwardly from the needle board is a plurality of needles indicated generally at 50, here shown as including a series of five rows of needles 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55, each row including a multiplicity of needles in lateral alignment extending across the width of the machine, as Will be seen in FIG. 1. There is provided beneath needle bar 20 a stripper plate indicated generally at 60, extending approximately horizontally substantially the length of the machine and provided with five rows of apertures therethrough, each such aperture 61 being in vertical alignment with one of the needles 50. Stripper plate is supported in its rear portion at 62 by the lower ends of vertically disposed support members 64. The latter are here illustratively shown as cylindrical, and their upper portions are received in vertical disposed sleeves 66, which terminate upwardly and are fixed to blocks 68, the latter being in turn fixed to the lower face of housing 16 extending across the length of the machine.
Beneath the stripper plate 60 there are provided in accordance with the present invention means for movably supporting a tubular woven base to permit needles 50 to be cyclically driven downwardly into the base, and means for incrementally moving the tubular base during the upper phase of the needle bar movement cycle. In the present illustrative form of the machine, such means include a bedplate indicated generally at 70, having as seen in section a Ushaped configuration including a central horizontally disposed web 72 and a pair of downwardly extending flanges 73 and 74 at the rear and front respectively of the central web 72. Web 72 has formed therethrough a number of apertures 75, each being in vertical alignment with one of the needles 50 projecting downwardly from needle bar 20.
Bedplate 70, as will be seen in FIG. 1, extends substantially the entire working length of the machine, and is mounted upon a support beam indicated generally at 80 extending the entire length of the machine as seen in FIG. 1 and fixed at its right end 81 as by welds 82 to a mounting block 83 carried by the vertically extending housing 14. Bedplate is fixed to support beam by suitable means, here shown as including bolts 86 extending through flanges 73 and 74 of the bedplate into beam 80. As will be described in detail later in connection with FIGS. 3 and 6, the left end 87 of beam 80 is supported during operation of the machine by a vertically movable support block indicated generally at 88.
With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, roller means are provided in accordance with the present invention on which the fabric tubular base is mounted and incrementally moved during the needling operation. The roller means are here shown as including a front drive roller indicated generally at 90 and a rear tensioning roller indicated generally at 92, each extending substantially the full length of the machine.
Drive roller 90 is rotatably journaled at its left and right ends in brackets 93 and 94 respectively, the brackets being fixed to support beam 80. Adjacent journal 94 means are provided for incrementally rotating drive roller 90 in timed relation with the movement of needle bar 20 in the upper phase of its vertically reciprocating cycle. Such means are here shown as a ratchet and pawl arrangement indicated generally at and including a lever arm 102 arcuately oscillatable about the axis of shaft 104 and engageable in conventional fashion through click 105 with ratchet wheel 106 with which spring loaded pawl 107 is also is engagement. It will be understood that arcuate oscillation of lever arm 102 will cause incremental rotation of ratchet wheel 106 which, through suitable conventional gearing such as a worm gear or the like (not shown) serves to impart such incremental rotation to drive roller 90'. Arm 102 is driven in its arcuate oscillations through suitable means, here diagrammatically illustrated as including link 110, crank arms 112 and 114 and links 115 and 117, the latter link being pivotally connected at 118 to drive gear 27, eccentrically of such gear.
With further reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, means are provided in accordance With the invention for supplying fibrous material, here shown as a batt indicated generally at 120 and consisting of a multiplicity of thin filamentsof the selected material to be needled into the tubular base. Although the preferred filamentary material in accordance with the invention is polypropylene, preferably linear polypropylene, any of many olefin, filament-forming polymers can be used. Suitable olefin polymers useful in the invention are, for example, polyethylene, such as linear polyethylene. In addition, the olefin co-polymers may be used. The important criterion for suitability of use in acordance with the invention is high resistance to abrasion, and polypropylene is preferred for that reason.
Although in some installations batt 120 may be selffeeding rightwardly as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, nevertheless there may also be provided means for moving the batt into position under the stripper plate 60. Such means are here shown as including upper and lower rollers indicated generally at 122 and 124 respectively, one of the rollers, as 122, being driven by suitable drive means in timed relation with the movement of other movable parts of the machine. Batt 120 is fed along feed plate 126, spaced below stripper plate 60, and in substantial horizontal alignment with the central apertured portion 72 of bedplate 70. The individual filaments of batt 120 are there needled and entangled into the tubular woven base indicated generally at 130, the tubular base being here shown as extending around bedplate 70, drive roller 90 and rear or idler roller 92.
Means are desirably provided in accordance with the invention for maintaining the tubular base under substantial peripheral tension during the needling process. In the present illustrative form of the invention, such means include movable trunnions in which the opposite ends of idler roller 92 are journaled. The arrangement will be best understood by reference to FIG. 2, wherein the left and right trunnions are indicated generally at and 142 respectively. Each of these trunnions is fixed at its lower end 141 and 143 respectively to a shaft indicated generally at 145 extending the length of the machine and journaled to the machine at 146 and 147. At its distal end 150 trunnion 142 supports a rightwardly extending pinion 152 of idler roller 92, and roller 92 extends in cantilevered suspension leftwardly the length of the machine until its distal end is supported by trunnion 140, as will now be described.
With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, trunnion 140 is provided, near its distal end, with a trunnion link 160, pivotally attached at its lower end to trunnion 140 for swinging movement about the axis 161. The outer end of trunnion link is provided with a bore 162 therethrough for receiving a fastening element such as capscrew 164 having a threaded shank 165 received in a threaded bore at the distal end of roller 92.
When capscrew 164 is disassembled from roller 92, trunnion link 160 may be swung about its pivotal axis 161, as best seen by a comparsion of FIGS. 3 and 6, so
that the trunnion link is completely withdrawn from the periphery of the sleeve. As will be later understood, the support member 88 for the distal end of support beam 80 may also be withdrawn outside the extension of the periphery of the sleeve, whereby to permit axial withdrawal of the sleeve from the machine after it has been completely needled.
Means are provided in accordance with the invention for peripherally tensioning the tubular base during needling. In the present illustrative embodiment of the invention, such means will be best understood by reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, and are here shown as including a shaft indicated generally at 170 journaled at 171 to the side wall of the machine and rotatable by suitable means such as handwheel 172. Shaft 170 is threaded in its distal portion as indicated at 174, and is engaged in an internally threaded boss 175 carried by trunnion 140 intermediate its ends. It will be understood that rotation of shaft 174 by means of handwheel 172 causes trunnion 140 to be moved rightwardly as seen in FIG. 3 about the axis of shaft 145. and also partially rotates shaft 145. The latter transmits the rotary motion to trunnion 142 at the other end of the machine, thereby moving the shaft extension 152 of roller 92 through an equal arcuate travel.
Means are provided in accordance with the invention for supporting the distal end of support beam 80, including element 88 previously mentioned, such means being movable transversely of the axis of beam 80 for a distance sufficient to be outside the longitudinal extension of the periphery of the finished sleeve, whereby to permit axial withdrawal of the sleeve after it has been completely needled in accordance with the invention. Such support means for the distal end of support beam 80 will be best understood by reference to FIGS. 2 and 7, showing the means in supporting relation with the beam distal end, and FIG. 6, showing the support means in withdrawn or non-supporting relation with the beam.
Specifically, the upstanding structural member 12 at the left end of the machine includes a vertically disposed wall indicated generally at 180 having mounted thereon a pair of spaced parallel guide members 182 and 184, fixed to wall 180 by suitable fastening elements 185. A vertically movable block, previously indicated generally at 88 includes outwardly projecting guide flanges 190 and 191, slidably received between guide members 182, 184 and side wall 180. At its lower end, block 88 is provided with an outwardly extending bracket 194, to which is attached by fastening means 195, the upper end of a rod indicated generally at 196. Means are provided in accordance with the invention for moving rod 196 upwardly and downwardly under the control of the operator, thereby moving support block 88 upwardly and downwardly between its upper supporting position of FIGS. 2 and 7 and its lower withdrawn position of FIG. 6. In the present illustration, suchactuating means for rod 196 may include a gear housing indicated generally at 200, having an input shaft 202 driven through suitable belting 203 by motor 204. The internal mechanism of gear housing 200 is not described in detail, since such details form no part of the present invention, and any of many conventional known gear systems may be employed to convert rotational power applied to shaft 202 into axial movement of rod 196.
Means are provided in accordance with the invention for locking the vertically movable block 88 in a selected position. In the present embodiment of the invention, such means are afforded by a vertically extending slot indicated generally at 210 formed in the block 88, and a locking pinion, indicated generally at 212 extending through slot 210, having its outer threaded end in engagement with a nut or the like 214 fixed to the inner surface of vertical wall 180 of the machine. An extended handle 216 may be formed on the outer end of pinion 212, so that manual torque applied to handle 216, through the enlarged collar 218, serves to force block 88 into frictional contact with 6 wall 180 and thereby to lock block 88 against vertical movement. The upper face of block 88 is desirably centrally recessed as seen, for example, in FIG. 6, whereby block 88 in its upper or operative position of FIGS. 2 and 7 furnishes not only vertical support to beam but also lateral support thereto.
In order to mount a tubular base on the machine, preparatory to its being needled in accordance with the invention, the idler roller 92 is moved to a position relatively close to support beam 80. With support block 88 in its lowered position as seen in FIG. 6, tubular sleeve may be slid axially along its length extending generally around the two rollers and bedplate 70. Support block 88 is then moved upwardly, as by means of motor 204, into its beam-supporting position seen in FIGS. 2 and 7. Trunnion link 160 is then pivoted into its operative position seen in FIG. 3 and is attached to roller 92 by capscrew 164. The woven tubular base is then peripherally tensioned by movement of roller 92 away from support beam 80, by actuation of handwheel 172, serving to move trunnions and 142 into their operative or extended positions, supporting roller 92 in its extended position.
A portion of the batt 120 is then positioned between the stripper plate 61 and bedplate 70, and the operator then commeneces the needling operation by energizing the main driving motor 22. This, in accordance with the description given hereinabove, causes vertical reciprocating movement of the needle bar 20 and the needles 50 projecting downwardly therefrom, each penetration of the needles causing portions of the fibrous batt120 to become entangled with the woven tubular base 130 in known manner. The tubular base 130 is intermittently advanced by the intermittent rotation of roller 90, and it may be desirable to provide, on the surface of rollers 90, small irregularities or teeth 91, whereby to certainly grip the inner surface of the tubular base 130 to insure proper incremental advance thereof.
The needling operation may continue until a desired compaction of fibrous material on the tubular base 130 has been achieved, depending upon the intended use of the finished sleeve. When the desired compaction has been achieved, the machine is stopped and peripheral tension on the finished sleeve is removed by actuation of handwheel 172. Trunnion link is then disengaged from roller 92 and is pivotally swung into its position seen in FIG. 6, and support block 88 is unlocked by handle 216 and then lowered as also seen in FIG. 6. The finished sleeve may then slid axially of its length from the machine.
Modifications and changes from the preferred embodiments of the invention hereinabove described and illustrated are within the contemplation of the invention.
1. In a machine for making a sleeve by needling filaments of fibrous material into a tubular base whose periphery is small relative to its axial length, the machine being provided with an elongated bedplate having an apertured portion, a roller for engaging the inner surface of a tubular base and disposed adjacent and parallel to the bedplate, an elongated needle bar above the bedplate having a plurality of needles projecting downwardly in registration with the bedplate apertures, means for cyclically reciprocating the bar vertically, and means for incrementally rotating said roller when the needle bar is in the upper phase of its vertical movement cycle,
the provision of a cantilevered support beam having one end fixed to the machine and extending at least slightly longer than the length of the longest sleeve to be needled by the machine, the bedplate and roller being carried by the support beam,
and support means at the distal end of the support beam, movable between an operative position supporting said distal end and an inoperative position withdrawn in a direction transverse to the beam axis sufficiently to permit axial withdrawal of the needled sleeve from the roller and bedplate.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1 including means for applying peripheral tension to the tubular base during needling.
3. The invention as defined in claim 1 including a second roller disposed parallel to the support beam and on the opposite side thereof from the first named roller.
4. The invention as defined in claim 3 including means for selectively adjusting the effective tubular base periph- 10 ery determined by the first named roller, the second roller and the bedplate, whereby to apply peripheral tension to the tubular base. I
5. Theinvention as defined in claim 3 including means at the end of said second roller which is adjacent the References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,117,359 1/1964 OByrne 28--4 3,166,823 l/196S Bernard 2872.2 3,287,786 11/1966 Goy 284 3,375,561 4/1968 Ford 28-722 15 LOUIS K. RIMRODT, Primary Examiner