US 3545029 A
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DecQ 1970 J. WALMSLEYY E'TAL 3,545,029
CLEANING OF LOOMS 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 12 1968 3, 1970 J. WALMSLEY ETAL 3,
CLEANING OF LOOMS Filed June 12, 1968 1 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 7
J. WALMSLEY ETAL 3,545,029
CLEANING OF LOOMS 3 Sheets-Sheet L6 Dec. 8, 1970 Filed June 12, 1968 United States Patent 3,545,029 CLEANING OF LOOMS Joseph Walmsley, Salisbury, and Charles F. Lamb, Cleveland, N.C., assignors to Grinnell Corporation, Providence, R.I., a corporation of Delaware Filed June 12, 1968, Ser. No. 736,534 Int. Cl. BllSb /00 US. Cl. l5314 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of and apparatus for cleaning looms, to avoid incorporation in the woven material of loose lint or the like, employs a stationarily-mounted tubular cleaning unit arranged to discharge a jet of air through a nozzle which automatically oscillates or rotates. The unit has a flexible tubular portion, preferably formed of a rubber-like material or a plastic which permits bending or flexing. Discharge outlets of the nozzle are offset from a longitudinal axis of the cleaning unit to bring about a swinging or rotary movement of the nozzle as it discharges air under pressure. Means are also provided for delivering compressed air intermittently and in succession to a number of groups of cleaning units each associated with a different group of looms; this reduces the rate of air supply required to carry out the desired cleaning action.
This invention relates to an effective and yet economical means and method for cleaning looms. It has been found especially adaptable to cleaning looms of the character adapted to produce narrow fabrics, such as, for example, the tapes used on venetian blinds.
One object of the invention is to reduce the expense required to achieve the effective cleaning of a loom, or of a large number of looms within a mill. Toward this end, we provide a tubular cleaning unit having a flexible tubular portion, and a nozzle at its free lower end. The nozzle has a discharge passage which extends along on axis other than the longitudinal axis of the tubular cleaning unit. The nozzle is shifted to follow curved paths by the discharge of compressed air through it, and distributes the air over an area for removing lint and the like from the material being woven, and also from the loom.
In dealing with a relatively large number of looms, we provide a single system involving a source of compressed air, a pipeline with branch lines for delivery of this air to each of a large number of tubular cleaning units of the character mentioned, each associated with a different loom, and timing means for automatically operating valves which control the delivery of compressed air to the cleaning elements. A selected group of cleaning units are supplied with air for a period sufficient to clean the associated looms, such as fifteen to eighteen seconds, then the air is cut off from those elements and simultaneously, or within a few seconds thereafter, is delivered to another group of the cleaning elements for a similar period. A number of other groups may be supplied in turn, each for a like period of time. Air is cut off from each group while the remaining groups are being supplied; in practice, any cleaning unit may be inactive for a period of about two minutes. This enables a much lower flow rate of compressed air to be supplied than if it were necessary to continuously blow the air through cleaning units carried by all of the looms. Accordingly, another object of the present invention is to achieve greater economy in the use of compressed air to carry out the cleaning which is required to maintain proper operation of the looms and prevent the incorporation in woven material of loose lint or other undesirable substances.
With the foregoing objects and advantages of the invention in mind, a preferred embodiment of the invention and a modification thereof will now be described in detail by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a loom having a cleaning unit of the present invention applied thereto;
FIG. 2 is a view in front elevation of a portion of the loom of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 33 in FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a view showing, in perspective, a preferred form of the cleaning unit, including a nozzle;
FIG. 5 is a view in side elevation of the nozzle of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the nozzle of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is an end view of the nozzle as seen from the left in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a schematic view showing a cleaning systemfor a plurality of looms, in accordance with another aspect of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a longitudinal sectional view through a modified form of tubular cleaning unit; and
FIG. 10 is an end view of the modified nozzle, as seen from the bottom in FIG. 9.
Since the invention is not concerned with the construction of the loom itself, but is directed to means for cleaning the loom and preventing lodging of lint or the like in the woven fabric, the construction of the loom will not be described in detail. Referring to FIGS. l-3 of the drawings, there is shown a portion of a conventional loom 10 of a kind suitable for weaving narrow-width fabrics, with certain well-known devices incorporated therein. The construction is such that two sets of warp threads 11, and two cooperating sets 11a, are woven to form two narrow fabric tapes or bands 15 at the same time. The yarns 11 and 11a are passed through a harness 12 which is Vertically disposed on the frame of the machine. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the warp threads 11 and 11a emerge from the harness 12 at an angle to one another, and the paths of these two sets converge toward each other as they pass on to a region in which the filler or weft threads are incorporated. In their passage from the harness 12 toward the weaving zone, the two sets of yarns are passed through inclined reeds 13 which are similar in nature to the harness 12. They assist in maintaining the warp yarns in properly spaced relation in the weaving region 14, where the filler or weft threads are interwoven with the warps to produce the fabrics 15.
The means for cleaning the loom and insuring the removal of any foreign matter, such as lint or the like, from the warp yarns as they approach the weaving zone 14, includes a pipe 16 extending from a suitable source of compressed air, not shown. At a suitable point along the pipe 16, there is provided a downwardly-extending T-shaped fitting 17 to support and supply the upper end of a cleaning unit -18. It will be understood that similar fittings may be provided for similar cleaning units associated with a number of other looms. Also, a similar fitting and cleaning unit may be provided toward the left of the one shown in FIG. 1, to impart a separate cleaning action in the region of the loom which forms the second strip of fabric produced by the same loom, as explained above.
Referring now to FIGS. 4 7, the cleaning unit 18 here illustrated is provided with a coupling 19 having a screw threaded portion 19a at its right end (FIG. 4) for connection with the fitting 17. Secured to and extending downwardly from the coupling 19, i.e., toward the left of the latter in FIG. 4, is a substantially rigid tube 20, and the opposite end of the latter is connected with a flexible tube 21 by means of a coupling 22. The
tube 21 is of such character that it permits bending to a certain extent under the forces developed by the passage of air under presure through the cleaning unit 18 and its discharge from the free end thereof. A material which we have successfully used for the tube 21 was a black rubber tubing sold under the trade name Davol as Stock No. 4041. In sample units found highly satisfactory in tests, this tube has an outside diameter of of an inch, an inside diameter of of an inch, and a length of 2% inches. Connected with the other end of the tube 21 by means of a coupling 23 is a tube 24 similar to the tube 20.
A nozzle 25 having a cylindrical portion 25a is connected to the free end of the tubing 24, integrally or otherwise. If the nozzle is separate from the tubing 24, it tightly receives the end of the latter and may be welded in place. Extending outwardly from the cylindrical portion 25a is a somewhat flattened and widened, tapered portion 25b.
In the tested samples previously referred to, the part 25a was approximately of an inch in outside diameter, the length or major dimension of the free outer end 25c, 25d was approximately of an inch, and the width of this end was about & of an inch. The length of the nozzle 25 in these samples was 1% inch, with the tapered portion 25b being inch long. The tube 24 and the nozzle 25 were made of copper, weighing 7.8 grams.
The lower end of the nozzle 25 has sloping surfaces 250 and 25d angled in opposite directions from a diagonal centerline. The aforementioned test samples had the surfaces in question inclined at an angle between 50 and 60 to the longitudinal axis of the nozzle member 25. The nozzle 25 can be swaged from tubing. Outlet passages 25g and 25h are drilled into the surfaces 25c and 25d to connect with the flattened interior passage 252. A portion 25 of the nozzle separates the outlet passages, which are offset from the longitudinal axes of the tubes 20, 21 and 24. In the aforementioned test samples, we found a diameter of inch satisfactory for the outlet passages, and they were spaced inch apart.
We have found that the discharge of air through the passages 25g and 25h has a tendency to move the nozzle and to flex the tube 21, and this brings about an oscillatory or circular movement of the nozzle in irregular curved paths, which causes the air to be blown across the adjacent portion of the surface of the loom and also across and through the warp threads of the fabric being produced. When compressed air is first admitted to the nozzle, it commences to oscillate in an irregular manner from the original vertical position, and then to rotate in a path of increasing diameter. The maximum diameter of the path is reached in a few seconds. The air stream is thus directed in more or less random curved paths over an area within a cone generated by rotation in the path of maximum diameter; and the entire area of the loom lying within this cone is cleaned. Blowing of air through the tested samples of the unit 18 in the manner explained, under a pressure of 30 to 40 p.s.i., for a period of about fifteen to twenty seconds, causes the air stream issuing from the nozzle to cover the entire area within a cone defined by its maximum deflection from the vertical or at-rest position. Discontinuing the blowing of air for a period of about two minutes, and then repeating this cycle throughout the time the machine is in operation, will effectively serve to keep the loom clean, and thereby satisfactorily reduce the amount of lint or the like incorporated into the fabric as it is being produced.
The dimensions of tested cleaning units, and the operating pressure of 30-40 p.s.i., have been given in some detail because it is not yet established what if any limits may apply. However, We have found that some lengths and types of rubber tube are not satisfactory for the element 21, the other dimensions remaining the same,
4 as they do not permit sufficient motion of the nozzle. It may well be that the tube 21 must be selected in proper relation to the nozzle 25 by experiment, to get the best nozzle motion.
As has been explained, the present invention is adapted for the efiicient and effective cleaning of a large number of looms which are arranged in a plurality of groups within a mill. Operation of a cleaning unit 18 by admitting compressed air for a period of fifteen to twenty seconds, and then cutting off the flow for about two minutes, is adequate for proper cleaning of a single loom. It is therefore feasible to clean a number of looms or groups of looms successively, using a smaller compressed air supply than would be required to clean all of them at the same time. For example, six or eight different groups of looms can be cleaned using the above time sequence, with a source of compressed air capable of supplying air under the desired pressure to only one group of the cleaning units 18 at any one time.
A system of this kind is illustrated in FIG. 8, which schematically shows an arrangement of eight different groups of looms 26a26h, inclusive, each of these groups having for example forty looms. Air under pressure is supplied through a common pipe 27 to each of a group of T-shaped fittings 28a28h. The fitting 28a is connected by a conduit 29a with a valve 30a, which is subject to operation by a solenoid 32a. When the solenoid is energized, the valve 30a opens to deliver compressed air from conduit 29a to conduit 31a. The latter is in turn connected by various branches to each of forty cleaning units, each similar to the unit 18, which are associated each with one of the group 26a of looms. Thus, whenever the solenoid 32a is energized for a period of time, all of the cleaning units 18 associated with the forty looms of group 26a will be operated to effect their cleaning action during that period of time. upon completion of this cleaning operation, the next solenoid 32b is energized to operate a valve 30b to deliver compresed air through a conduit 31b to another group of cleaning units 18 mounted on the group of looms 265. A similar situation exists in relation to each of the other groups of looms, so that each of the eight groups of looms 26a-26h can be subjected to cleaning action in succession, and in a continuously-repeated cycle.
For controlling the operation of the various valves, the solenoids 32a-32h are successively energized for predetermined time intervals by a suitable timer 38, which may be of well-known construction. One terminal of each of the solenoids 32a-32h is connected with a power source 33 by a line 34 and a line 35, from which extends branch lines 36a36h to each of the solenoids. The other terminal of the power source 33 is connected by a line 37 to the timer 38, which may, for example, include a rotating arm 39 suitably timed to make one revolution in two minutes, or whatever period is desired. The arm may be rotated step by step through a pawl and ratchet means, or it may be rotated continuously like the second hand of a clock. In the latter event, a slight pause of a few seconds will occur between the deenergizing of one solenoid and the energizing of the next. In the course of its revolution, the arm 39 succesively engages segments 40a40h, which are of such length as to complete a circuit for a suitable period, say fifteen to twenty seconds, if the arm is advanced continuously like the hand of a clock. Segment 40a is connected by a line 41a with the opposite terminal of the solenoid 32a from that with which the line 36a is connected. In a similar manner, the other segments 4012-4011 are connected by lines 41!)- 41/1 with the correspondingly designated solenoids.
It will be understood from the foregoing that the varlous groups of looms may be successively subjected to the cleaning action described for a suitable period, and while one group is thus being cleaned, the looms of the other groups will be operating without the delivery of compressed air for cleaning.
Referring now to FIGS. 9 and 10, there is illustrated a different type of cleaning unit than that of FIGS 4-7. In this modified form, a coupling element 43 is connected by threads with a fitting 42 extending downwardly from a compressed air pipeline (not shown). From the base of the coupling element 43, there projects downwardly a tube 44 which has a spherical portion 44a adjacent its upper end to permit turning and swinging of the element 44. To the lower end of the tube 44 there is attached a plastic tube 45, formed of a vinyl resin or the like. At its lower end 45a the plastic tube snugly receives the upper end 46a of a nozzle 46. The lower end 46b of the nozzle is flattened so as to increase its width and reduce its thickness. The nozzle has a passage 46d for discharging compressed air, which is delivered through the tubes 44 and 45. As shown in FIG. 9, the passage 46d is in clined at a small angle to the vertical to discharge at an orifice offset from the longitudinal central axes of the tubes 44, 45 and the nozzle 46, adjacent the righthand side of the portion 46b of the nozzle. The arrangement is such that the tubular unit composed of parts 44, 45 and 46 will be caused by the flow of compressed air to swing in relation to the coupling 43, and to move laterally of the axis of the unit. The unit as a whole can oscillate and rotate by virtue of the ball joint connection 44a. Thus, the nozzle will be shifted continuously while supplied with compressed air, so as to deliver an air stream over an area of the loom to push lint and other objectionable particles away from that region.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been shown and described in detail, various changes and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the true scope of the invention, which we therefore intend to define in the appended claims without limitation to the details of the illustrated embodiments.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for cleaning the weaving zone of a loom, comprising a source of air pressure stationarily located above said loom, a cleaning unit having a tubular member with a longitudinal passage for air extending from a first end to a second end thereof, said first end being connected to said source of air pressure for air flow through said longitudinal passage, said second end depending freely downwardly toward said loom from said connection of said first end, and said second end having a nozzle thereon with two outlet passages lying in a plane including the longitudinal axis of the tubular member, each outlet passage extending downwardly and flaring outwardly of said longitudinal axis and terminating in an orifice at the lower end of the nozzle, said lower end having two upwardly sloping surfaces angled in opposite directions from a diagonal centerline on said lower end with each said orifice lying within a respective one of said upwardly sloping surfaces for discharging said air from said outlet passages a portion at least of said cleaning unit between said first and second ends having sufficient resilient flexibility to bend in response solely to said discharge of said air from said orifices to cause said second end having said nozzle to shift its position and thereby to define a circular cleaning pattern above said weaving zone.
2. Apparatus as recited in claim 1, said apparatus further comprising means for controlling the flow of air from said source to said longitudinal passage, and means for actuating said control means.
3. Apparatus for cleaning the weaving zone of loom, comprising a source of air presure stationarily located above said loom, a cleaning unit having a tubular member with a longitudinal passage for air extending from a first end to a second end thereof, said first end being connected to said source of air pressure for air flow through said longitudinal passage, said connection comprising a spherical bearing portion defined by said first end and a coupling member attached to said source of air pressure and surrounding said spherical bearing portion, said second end depending freely downwardly toward said loom from said connection of said first end, and said second end having a nozzle thereon with an outlet passage extending downwardly and flaring outwardly of said longitudinal passage and terminating in an orifice at the lower end of the nozzle for discharging said air from said outlet passage, a portion at least of said cleaning unit between said first and second ends having suflicient resilient flexibility to bend in response solely to said discharge of said air from said orifice and together with said connection thereby to cause said second end having said nozzle to shift its position and thereby to define a circular cleaning pattern above said weaving zone.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,531,566 11/1950 Gustafson 15-405UX 2,844,495 7/1958 Long 13437 2,977,181 3/1961 Reiterer 15-301X 3,003,177 10/1961 Hijiya 15405X 3,053,700 9/1962 Kulp 134-21X 3,304,570 2/1967 Seress et al 134-21UX 3,305,184 2/1967 Seress et al. 1343'7X 2,931,061 4/1960 Holtzclaw 15312 FOREIGN PATENTS 376,433 7/1932 Great Britain 57-56 695,643 8/1953 Great Britain 5756 833,769 3/1952 Germany 15-314 MORRIS O. WOLK, Primary Examiner J. T. ZATARGA, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.