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Publication numberUS3570275 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 16, 1971
Filing dateSep 16, 1968
Priority dateFeb 8, 1965
Publication numberUS 3570275 A, US 3570275A, US-A-3570275, US3570275 A, US3570275A
InventorsHelmut Fuchs, Karl-Joachim Kummer, Friedrich Weber
Original AssigneeHalbmond Teppiche Veb
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for the continuous dyeing of textile webs and the like
US 3570275 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 15, 1971 F. WEBER ET AL APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8. 1965 ll Sheets-Sheet l T 53 l L i FIG. 2

,4a r/4a' Y 2a a 3 K INVI'IN'I'ORS mar To Aziome y March 16, 1971 F. WEBER ETAL 3,570,275


I A W March 16, 1971 F WEBER ET AL 3,570,275

APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYIzllNG 01" TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8, 1965 11 Sheets-Sheet 7,

FIG. 5


BY ag AfforneY' March 16, 1971 F. WEBER ETAL 3,570,275


BY Km March 16, 1971 F. WEBER ETAL 3,570,275


Attorney March 16, 1971 F, W B ETAL 3,570,215


Friedrich Weber Helmut Fuchs Karl-Joachim Kummer INVI'IN'I'URS March 16, 1971 WEBER ETAL APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8, 1965 ll Sheets-Sheet 7 Friedrich Weber Helmut Fuchs Karl-Joachim Kummer INVI'IN'I'UHS m CR0 March 16, 1971 F. WEBER ETAL 3,570,275



' as o p Atiomey March 16, 1971 F. WEBER ETAL APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8, 1965 FIG. 75


BY IN WK A' (3 AH! urn y March 16, 1971 WEBER ETAL 3,570,275

APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8, 1965 11 Sheets-Sheet 10 p All? 55k l m Friedrich Weber He lmut Puch a Karl-Joachim Kummer March 16, 1971 F, WEBER ETAL 3,570,275

APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Original Filed Feb. 8. 1965 L1 Sheets-Sheet 11 I I\\ I\ I\ W m (\3 I\ II I i q i II II l I I I I I o o o o Friedrich Weber Helmuc Fuchs Karl-Joachim Kmmler INVICN'I'ORS BY :Karl Ja Patented Mar. 16, 1971 3,570,275 APPARATUS FOR THE CONTINUOUS DYEING OF TEXTILE WEBS AND THE LIKE Friedrich Weber, Zittau, and Helmut Fuchs and Karl- Joachim Kummer, Gross-Schonau, Germany, assignors to'VEB Halhmond-Teppiche, Oelsnitz Vogtland, Germany Original application Feb. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 431,129, now Patent No. 3,443,878, dated May 13, 1969. Divided and this application Sept. 16, 1968, Ser. No. 796,622 Int. Cl. D06p /00 US. Cl. 68-205 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus for pattern dyeing a substantially continuous web in which a continuous stream of a liquid dyestuff is circulated at a treating station along a closed path proximal to or ending against the web and, at selected locations transversely of the Web, portions of the dyestutf stream are deflected away from or against the web under the control of a pattern programmer while the balance of the dyestuif stream continues uninterrupted along the closed path. Programmed pneumatic jets, electrostatic or electromagnetic deflection devices, or simple stream blocking and unblocking elements are used to control the deflection of the stream.

This application is a division of application Ser. No. 431,219, filed Feb. 8, 1965, now US. Pat. No. 3,443,878.

Our present invention relates to the continuous production of,.patterned sheet material and, more particularly, to the patterned dyeing of continuous webs of textile fabrics, synthetic-fiber sheets and the like.

The continuous dyeing of fabrics and other sheet material in the form of continuous webs has been carried out heretofore in such manner as to produce a uniform color ing of the web or various color patterns. In the production of constant-color fabrics bands and other continuous sheets, the web is either passed into a bath of the coloring material or is sprayed continuously with the dyestuif from one or more nozzles as the web is displaced along a predetermined transport path. Color patterns can be produced continuously, according to earlier proposals in this field, by regulating (i.e., turning on and off) the dye stream emanating from one or more of these nozzles in a programmed manner. Thus some areas of the fabric web pass the dyeing station without being sprayed whereas other areas are subjected to treatment with the fine particles of the dyestuif. The flow through the spray nozzles is conventionally regulated by the usual programming devices including electrical, mechanical or pneumatic mechanisms designed to control the valve and other elements regulating the rate of flow through the nozzle apertures.

While at first glance the intricacies of coloration and sharp delineation between colored and uncolored areas might be thought to be a function only of the number of nozzles, the sizes of their apertures and the flow-rate of the dyestuif, more careful consideration will show that the conventional systems described above are suitable only for the relatively coarse coloration and patterning of flexible and dye-retentive Webs. This coarseness is due at least in part to the fact that the cutoff of flow through the nozzles by closing the valves supplying same is capable of only a limited sharpness in defining the amount of spray contacting the web. Valves for this purpose are, moreover, provided with relatively massive valve members whose movement necessitates the overcoming of considerable inertia and, therefore, the use of relatively large, powerful and somewhat sluggish control devices (e.g. solenoids,

pneumatic pistons, and mechanical lever arrangements). In summary, therefore, it must be observed that the difficulties involved in the use of conventional systems for the pattern dyeing of textile fabrics and other continuous webs, wherein a plurality of nozzles are supplied through on-off valves from a reservoir for the dyestuff, are primarily a consequence of the inability of valves of this type and their control systems to respond rapidly to changes in the desired pattern as determined by the programming unit; these problems are multiplied when the dyeing must be carried out upon rapidly moving webs in order to be economical. Thus, the conventional systems, in order to produce a precise delineation or demarcation between dyed and undyed regions and, therefore, fine definition of color, require that the speed of the fabric hand be relatively slow.

It is, consequently, the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved method of and apparatus for the pattern dyeing of textile fabrics and other continuous Webs at relatively high speed but with good definition between the colored and uncolored regions.

A more specific object of this invention is to provide an apparatus of the character described enabling highspeed and low-inertia control of the elements regulating the dye jets.

A further object of this invention is to provide a method of pattern dyeing textile fabrics and other webs which permits fine patterns to be repeatedly and reproducibly generated, and which results in a saving in dyestufi while precluding blotching and running of the dye on the web.

These objects and others which will become apparent hereinafter are attained, in accordance with the present invention, by a method for the pattern dyeing of a continuously moving dye-retentive web along a transport or processing path, which includes the steps of circulating a dyestuif along a closed path, at least a portion of which lies proximal to the web, and selectively diverting a portion of the dyestutf and projecting this portion in finely divided form out of the transport path against the web while the remainder of the dyestuif continues on its circulation path.

According to a more specific feature of this invention, the method involves the use of either of two different principles for effecting transfer of the dyestuff from its closed circulating flow to the fabric. In the first of these techniques, the dye-stuff is directed generally transversely to the fabric web during the course of circulation and by the circulating means, but is selectively interceptable by deflecting means capable of redirecting the projecting stream along the circulating path. In the second technique, the dyestutf is conveyed along a path which can extend generally parallel to the web or, in more precise terms, along the web for a portion of its travel or generally in the direction of travel, while the deflecting means selectively diverts a portion of the dyestuif out of its circulating path and projects it in finely divided form against the web. In both cases, however, it will be understood that the dyestuff is continuously circulated While only a portion thereof is projected against the web and is retained thereby. An important advantage of the present invention is that the continuous circulation of the dyestuff imports to the sprayed material a velocity enabling it to come into contact with the fabric while the control means is only required to selectively deflect either the return stream out of the projected stream of the projected stream out of the return flow to effect pattern dyeing. In the usual manner the control means can be provided With programming means coupled with the web-displacement means for establishing the pattern to be applied to the web.

A more specific feature of this invention resides in the provision of pneumatic means for deflecting the continuously circulating dyestufl in the manner discussed above. The pneumatic means can include a multiplicity of pneumatic jets directed at respective spray streams f the dyestuff projecting transversely and in the direction of the web so as to deflect the projected streams along a return path. Alternatively, the pneumatic jets can be directed against the web and can serve to project finely divided particles of the dyestuft' from a freely-falling curtain thereof out of the circulating path and into contact with the dyestuif.

In another suitable arrangement, according to this improvement, the deflecting means comprises an intercepting element selectively positionable in front of an outlet through which the dyestuff is discharged for alternatively diverting it along a transport path and permitting it to stream into contact with the web. Even when pneumatic jets are provided as the deflecting means, fixed interceptors positioned adjacent an outlet opening toward the webs preferably cooperated therewith to divert the deflected stream of dyestufl along its transport path. The pneumatic jets themselves may be controlled by valve members for the selective blocking and unblocking of the apertures of the jets or, according to a highly desirable arrangement, by the selective diversion of a high-velocity stream of air into and out of alignment with such aperture. In all cases, however, the valve means do not directly block or unblock the passage from which the flow of dyestutf emanates. The intercepting means can, moreover, be part of a movable shield (e.g. formed as a continuous belt) whereby the sprayed particles can pass through the gaps in the shield formed by the interceptor means. The shield can, consequent- 1y, form the template according to which the pattern is produced.

According to still another specific feature of this invention, the deflecting means includes means for subjecting the projected stream to a force field (e.g. electrostatic or electromagnetic) acting transversely to its direction of flow and serving to divert it selectively along the closed transport path.

The force field may also be formed by one or more pneumatic jets directed transversely to the dyestuif stream projected toward the web. The term pneumatic is used herein to distinguish the deflecting fluid, which can be any convenient gas, from the liquid circulated through the treating station in the proximity of the web. Thus pneumatic fluids suitable for use with the present invention can include ambient air, bottled gases or air fractions at desired. The force field referred to above preferably cooperates with intercepting means in the form of a stationary shield disposed adjacent an outlet opening in the direction of the web and designed to intercept the dyestuff spray when the latter is diverted from this outlet.

According to yet another feature of this invention, electrostatic spray means is provided between the deflecting means and the web for electrostatically charging the dyestutf particles and attracting them toward a plate forming an electrode along the remote side of the web. In general, a multiplicity of parallel force fields will be applied transversely to the projected liquid in at least one row extending perpendicular to the direction of displacement of the web. Thus, a row of pneumatic jets may be provided, this row extending athwart the web and having individually controlled air flow rates programmed in accordance with the desired pattern. Similarly, a multiplicity of electromagnetic devices may be provided in an array athwart the web, with the individual devices energizable independently by the programmer. In all cases, however, the force fields can be applied continuously so as to divert the dyestufl along its closed circulating path with deviation therefrom against the web being accomplished by deenergizing or terminating the force fields.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic elevational view illustrating the principles of the present invention according to one of the primary techniques described above;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, diagrammatically showing the other of these primary techniques;

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view through a treatment station of an apparatus for the pattern dyeing of fabric webs, in accordance with this invention, operating generally in accordance with the system of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the device of FIG. 3 taken along the line IV-IV thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 3 of an embodiment utilizing movable shield means in accordance with the present invention, this shield means being interceptingly disposable in the path of a liquid dyestutf projected at a fabric web;

FIG. 6 is another view similar to FIG. 3 showing another system for circulating and displacing the liquid dyestuif in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary bottom view of the impeller utilized in the system of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a vertical cross-sectional view through a treating station wherein the shield means constitutes a template for establishing the pattern of coloration to be reproduced on the web;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view through a treating station operating in accordance with the principles of FIG. 2 but utilizing a pneumatic-force field or gradient;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line XX of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a vertical cross-sectional view illustrating diagrammatically how the continuous shield-like template of FIG. 8 can be used in a system operating in accordance with the principles of FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is a vertical cross-sectiona1 view illustrating the use of multiple variable pneumatic force fields in a system of the general type shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 13 is a vertical cross-sectional view diagrammatically showing how electromagnetic fields can be utilized in accordance with the present invention in the pattern dyeing of a continuous web using the technique of FIG. 2;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line XIVXIV of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 3 showing the use of electrostatic means for the deposition of the particles of dyestuffs upon the web;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view illustrating another practical system for carrying out the method disgrammatically shown in FIG. 2; and

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line XVIIXVII of FIG. 16.

Throughout the specific description similarly functioning elements of the fabric-treating system will be described with the use of similar reference numerals distinguished by suffix letters a, b, etc., when the elements are structurally distinct. Identical elements, both in terms of function and structure, will have identical reference numerals throughout the description.

In FIG. 1, we show a fabric web 1 which is displaced in the direction of arrow X by suitable transport means diagrammatically represented by a pair of rollers 50, 51. The web 1 can be drawn from a suitable supply roll and, after passing the dyeing or treating station, can enter a drying stage and/or suitable washing, rinsing and dye setting stages for subsequent fabric treatment before being wound again upon a takeup roll. The drive means 50, 51 are sychronized with the programming means 52 which may be of any conventional type and which controls the deflecting means represented generally at 4. The programming means may, for example, include a perforated band bearing the desired color pattern and through which the feelers of respective switch means can pass to electrically energize respective control elements of the deflecting means 4. The details of the co-operation between the programming mechanism and the elements controlled thereby will become more clear subsequently when specific pattern dyeing systems are described. It should be noted, however, that the programming means coupled with the web-displacing means may also be constituted by photoelectrically scanned pattern-establishing tapes, cams, timing devices and similar programming controls, e.g. of the Jacquard type).

According to the principles of one aspect of the present invention, a liquid dyestuff or other treating material is displaced from a reservoir by a circulating pump 6 in a closed path represented by the arrow Y and the reference numeral 53, at least a portion of the path lying in proximity to the web 1. In this system, this portion of the closed circulating path of the liquid dyestufl is formed by a freely cascading curtain 3 of the dyestufl discharged from one or more apertures 2 and collected by an interceptor on the side of the curtain 3 opposite the outlet 2. In the instant embodiment, the interceptor 10 is constituted as a trough communicating with the reservoir 5. As previously described, this aspect of the present invention requires that the closed circulating path of the liquid dyestufl include a portion or segment wherein the dyestutf is displaced generally parallel to the web '1. while deflecting means is selectively operable to divert a portion of the dyestuff out of this path and projecting it against the web. Thus the deflecting means 4 provided at the side of the liquid curtain 3 remote from the web 1 is adapted to apply a deflecting-force gradient generally transversely to the curtain of liquid and project at least some of this liquid against the web from the curtain 3 and pattern dye the web 1. The force field or gradient is indicated by the arrow 4' which can represent a row of pneumatic jets individually controlled to intercept the dyestuff curtain at spaced locations athwart the web and carry the dyestuff into contact with the web. Alternatively or additionally, the force field can be constituted by electrostatic or electromagnetic means as will be apparent hereinafter. When pneumatic jets are employed, the air flow at the respective gap can be controlled by blocking and unblocking valves at the jet nozzles or apertures, by selectively aligning and disaligning high-velocity air streams with the respective apertures, and by other techniques as will become apparent hereinafter. The principle of the invention, as illustrated in FIG. 1, will thus be readily apparent. As the liquid dyestuff is continuously circulated by the pump 6 to and from the curtain 3, a portion of the dyestufl can be selectively diverted by the deflecting means 4 and projected into contact with selected areas of the web 1 as determined by the programming means 52. If the deflecting means is rendered inoperative, the curtain 3 is not deflected and no coloration is imparted to the web.

In the system of FIG. 2, however, the fabric web 1, transported by the rollers 50, 5 1 as previously described, does not run parallel to a curtain of the liquid dyestuff travelling along its circulating path. At the treating station of the system of FIG. (2, the pump 6a circulates the liquid dyestuff from a reservoir 5a, along the path Ya to the nozzle-like discharge apertures 2a which usually direct jets 3a of the liquid dyestuif against the web 1 in a direction perpendicular thereto. In this case, the deflecting means 4a acts transversely to the stream of liquid dyestufl 3a emanating from the outlet 2a in the direction of arrow 4a to divert it into an interceptor 10a when coloration of the web 1 is not required. The deflecting means 411 is again operated by a programmer 52a in step with the displacement of the web 1. Moreover, the deflecting means 4a acts to insure that the liquid dyestuff will be diverted upon its circulating path unless the deflecting means is so operated as to permit an undeflected stream to impinge upon the web. Again the deflecting means 4a may represent any advantageous system for applying a force field or deflecting-force gradient in the direction of arrow 4a (e.g. individually controlled pneumatic jets, electromagnetic fields or electrostatic fields), or mechanical shield means displaceable generally in the direction of arrow 4a to deflect the projected flow of dyestuff normal to the web 1. A suitable shield means may be formed by one or more fingers disposed above or below the stream 3a of dyestuff directed at the web 1 and individually or jointly displaceable by suitable control means to divert all or part of the dyestuff toward the fixedly positioned interceptor means 10a. Alternatively or additionally, the interceptor means 10a can be wholly or partly movable to constitute the shield by being displaced into the path 311 of the liquid projected normal to the gap 1. These alternatives will also be described in greater detail with reference to specific embodiments. It should also be noted that the reservoir 5, 5a and the pump 6, 6a of each embodiment, while shown to be remote from the nozzles or outlet apertures 2, 2a, need not be so in practice since the pump may be disposed at and/or from the outlet 2 or 2a.

In FIG. 3 we show a system functioning similarly to that of FIG. 1 and wherein the web 1b of a textile fabric or the like is displaced past a housing 55 forming the treating station in the direction of arrow Xb. The housing 55 is formed with a reservoir or collecting chamber 5b from which the liquid dyestuff is drawn by a pump 6b via line 13. Another line '13 carries recirculated dyestutf under pressure to a pressure chamber 7 from which the dyestuff is ejected at apertures 2b formed by nozzles 8 converging in thedirection of the outlet apertures. As is evident from FIG. 4, at least one row of such apertures extends athwart the band 1b for discharging the dyestuff in finely divided jets in the direction (arrow 3b) of the web 1b. The remainder of the dyestuff is withdrawn along the circulating path (arrow 3b) via the drains 11. Each of the outlet apertures 2b of the nozzles 8 cooperates with a respective, downwardly concave, trough-shaped tongue 9' normally disposed in the path 3b of the dyestuff discharged by the nozzles 8 to deflect the dyestulf toward a fixed interceptor 10b and thence through the outlet 11. The tongues 9 are anchored at corresponding extremities to a common support 56 and bear, under their inherent resiliency, downwardly against the beveled abutment 57 of the housing 55, whence the downwardly turned portion 9' of each tongue extends downwardly in front of the respective aperture to b. Each of the tongues 9 is linked to the programming system via, for example, respective armatures 58 of electrically operated solenoids 59 adapted to elevate the tongues in the direction of arrow M (FIG. 6). The solenoids and armatures 58, 59 are staggered from one tongue 9 to the next so as to permit each of the tongues to be individually controlled by a programming system represented by, for instance, the continuous band 52b driven in step with the web 112 as diagrammatically represented by the line 60. The band 52b is provided with magnetic strips 52b adapted to be sensed by magnetic heads 52b" whose number corresponds, for example, to the number of tongues available. The output of the magnetic heads 52b is communicated via respective amplifiers 59 to the corresponding electromagnetic device 59 (FIG. 3) for drawing the tongues in the direction of arrow M in accordance with any desired program as predetermined by the pattern of magnetization of tape 52b. The latter is, however, merely representative of any desirable programming system and can be replaced by a magnetic drum, a perforated tab, timers, punch cards or the like with suitable modification of the sensing transducers.

The apertures 2b of the nozzles 8 are aligned with an elongated outlet 14 opening in the direction of the web 1b and bounded by the fixed interceptor 101). When the streams 3b are diverted out of alignment with the outlet slot 14, they are intercepted by the shield 1012 as previously indicated. A pair of forwardly converging lips 15 extending along the outlet slot 14 define the boundaries of the spray of finely divided dyestuff impinging upon the web. Accumulated dyestuff can flow between spacedapart sections of the lip and can be collected for return to the reservoir b by means not shown. A cover flange 16 overlies the free extremities of the tongues 9 to prevent upwardly spattering particles of dyestutf from emerging from the treating station.

In FIG. 5, we show another treating station whose housing 55c is disposed adjacent the web which is displaced in the direction Xc by suitable transport means whose functions are similar to those of transport rollers 50, 51. The system of FIG. 5 is generally similar to that of FIGS. 3 and 4 except that the tongues designed to deflect the streams 3c of the dyestuif projected from the nozzles 80 at their outlet apertures 20 are constituted by an interceptor 100 whose fingers and tongues are respectively aligned with the apertures '20 but are insertable into the stream 30 from below to selectively deflect all or a portion 30' of this stream into a reservoir or collector 50. From this reservoir =50, a pump 60 which draws the liquid dyestuff and forces it into the pressure chamber 7c whence it is displaced through the nozzles 80. An opening 61 is provided in the housing 550 in communication =with the reservoir So to enable the addition of dyestufi to replace that which is caried away by the web 10. In each of the embodiments described, similar means can be provided to add dyestuif to the circulating system. A level control 62 (e.g. a conventional float valve) can be provided for this purpose.

As mentioned above, the interceptor or shield means 100 adapted to be positioned in the stream 3c emanating from the nozzles 80 may be a comb-like array of fingers or a single strip of metal curved in the direction of the outlets 2c and mounted upon upstanding ends 17 of double-arm levers 18 fulcrumed at 18' to the housing 55c. The levers 18 are normaly held against an abutment 57c by a compression spring 570' received within an opening 550' in the housing. Thus, just as the inherent resiliency of the tongue 9 of FIG. 3 held these tongues in the path of the dyestulf emanating from the aperture 2b against the shield 57, the springs 57c urge each of the levers 18 and the respective fingers 100 into position in front of the respective opening 20 to deflect the dyestuif into the reservoir 5c. Thus, a row of apertures 20 are supplied by fluid from pressure chamber 70 and discharge respective streams 3c in alignment with outlet slot 14c and the lips 150 whose function has been previously described. When a single shield means is used for all of the apertures, independent and individual control of the sprays cannot be eflected. It is, therefore, preferable to provide each of the apertures 20 with a respective lever 18 and a corresponding finger 100. The other extremity of each lever 18 is pivotally connected to a respective armature 580 whose solenoid 590 can be energized by a programming means. Energization of the solenoid coils 59c draws the respective lever 18 in the direction of arrow M0 and withdraws the respective finger 10c below the outlet 20 and permits the discharged dyestutf to pass through the slot 140 into contact with the web 10. The programming device of FIGS. 3 and 4 is equally suitable in this case although it is also possible to employ a band 520 having strips of varying optical intensity spaced apart transversely to the direction of displacement of the strip 520. These strips can thus be interposed between an elongated light source 52c extending transversely of the tape 52c and a plurality of photoelectric cells 520" responsive to the transmitted illumination in accordance with the opacity of the respective strips. The photoelectric cells work into respective amplifiers 59c to energize the respective solenoids 59c and shift the corresponding levers 18. Again any one of the programming devices specifically described herein or conventionally used for pattern control will be suitable.

The dyeing station of FIGS. 6 and 7 comprises a housing 55d provided with a reservoir 5d for the liquid dyestutf which is maintained at a constant level 63 by a level-responsive device 62d (eg a float valve) capable of regulating the flow of dyestulf into the reservoir 5d via an inlet 13d and a pump 64. This embodiment is designed to insure a substantially continuous distribution of the finely divided particles over the entire width of the web 1d displaced in the direction of arrow Xd by suitable transport means (eg rollers '50, 51) not further described. The housing 55d is provided with a plate 55d formed with an outlet slot 14d extending parallel to the web 1d and flanked by a pair of forwardly converging lips 15d designed to define the spray stream. The housing 55d comprises a pump housing 21 whose bottom portion 21 forms an inlet to the pumping chamber 21" via throughgoing slots 22 extending oblique to the axis A of a grooved or fluted impeller 20 whose shaft 20' is journaled in the pump housing 21. A tangential outlet 23 is provided over the entire width of the web 111 and the slot 14d and serves to discharge the dyestutf from the pump chamber in a curtain of fine particles extending generally in the direction of arrow 3d. In this case, the fragmentation of the liquid stream into fine particles is effected not by spray nozzles but by the rapidly rotating impeller whose grooves and flutes are relatively shallow (exaggerated in FIG. 6) so that the effluent from the pump is a sheet of relatively fine particles. The level 63 of the liquid dyestufi in reservoir 5d is selected so that at least a portion of the impeller is always immersed in the dyestufi.

It is possible, however, to design the pump in such manner that it draws liquid inwardly from the reservoir (e.g. as with the pumps 6 and 6a).

The deflecting means of this embodiment includes a multiplicity of tongues 9d (see FIGS. 3 and 4) fixed at one end to a common support 56d and having downwardly turned portions bearing with their inherent resilience against the abutment 57d whereby the finely divided particles of the dyestufi are normally deflected by the tongues 9d in the direction of arrow 3d, i.e. into contact with a fixedly positioned interceptor 10a. The flange 16d prevents spattering of the dyestuff as previously indicated.

Solenoid coils 59d have their armatures 58d connected to the respective tongues 9d for selectively elevating them and permitting the streams 3d of the dyestutf to pass through slot 14d and between the lips 15d and impeller upon the web 11d to color the latter in accordance with the predetermined pattern. The programmer may include a perforated strip or band 52d displaced in step with the web 1d over a plurality of contacts 52d each connected with a respective solenoid 59d in series with an energizing source. A wiper brush 52d" completes the circuit with the solenoid which is interrupted where the tab 52d is devoid of perforations. Thus the pattern of perforations in the tape 52d establishes the dye pattern upon the web. Again the number of wipers 52d" and contacts 52d can correspond to the number of tongues 9d or be less than this number so that each of the sensing units and rows of perforations operates a number of solenoids concurrently. Moreover, each solenoid may have its armature connected to a plurality of mechanically connected and jointly movable tongues.

In the arrangement of FIG. 8, the web la is displaced in the direction of arrow Xe past a treating station whose housing 55e defines a reservoir 5e having an outlet 13:: whereby the dyestutf can be circulated via a pump 6e to the pressure chamber 7e and the nozzles 8e. The nozzle means 8e can be formed by a single slot-like nozzle extending parallel to the web 1e along substantially the entire width thereof transversely to the direction of web displacement Xe, or formed as a row of individual nozzles extending perpendicularly to this direction. If a row of nozzles is provided, the chamber 7e can constitute a manifold communicating with the individual nozzles via the passages 8e. When a slot-like nozzle is provided, a multiplicity of passages 8e can nevertheless be employed. The nozzle or nozzles 8e is trained at a forwardly directed nozzle-like outlet Me in the wall 55a of housing 552, the outlet 1412 being flanked by the lips 15e to define the stream 3e of dyestuff adapted to impinge upon and projected in the direction of the web 1e.

In this arrangement, the deflecting means interposable in the path of the stream 3e of dyestuff is formed by a continuous endless band 24 having perforate and imperforate portions defining the pattern of color to be applied to the web. The band 24 thus constitutes a template whose irnperforate portions deflect the dyestuff downwardly into the reservoir 52 in the direction of arrow 32'. As in the case of the other mechanical shields (FIGS. 3-7), the band 24 is designed to intercept the spray stream 32 and runs transversely thereto around respective guide rollers 25, cleaning rollers 26 (which eliminate excess dyestuff from the hand), and an adjustable idler 28. The latter can be shifted in the direction of arrow N to compensate for bands 24 of different lengths, the length of the band determining the repetition rate of the dye pattern. A pair of transport rollers 27 bear against the band 24 and are driven in step with the web 1e (e.g. via roller 512). In this case, the programming means includes the deflecting means itself. The shield-like endless template 24 can be of any convenient construction, e.g. of silk screen or other net-like material with the imperforate portions defined by a coating of lacquer rendering the screen impenetrable by the spray. It can also consist of a metallic or synthetic resin foil provided with apertures at the perforated portions for passing the spray or it can be constituted merely by such a foil having cutouts in those regions corresponding to the areas of color of the fabric web.

The system fragmentarily illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, operates with the principle described with reference to FIG. 2, the deflection of the dyestuif stream out of its direction generally transverse to the web along a return path being effected by a force field constituted by a deflecting-force gradient applied generally transversely to the projected stream of liquid (i.e., across its path) so as to deflect the stream. A similar principle applies also to the systems described hereinafter with reference to'FIGS. 13, 14, 16 and 17.

More particularly, the dyeing station of FIG. 9 comprises a housing 55f formed with a pressure chamber 7 into which the dyestuff is forced by means of a pump 6 from a reservoir communicating with the return compartment 12f of the housing. A plurality of nozzles 8 receive liquid dyestuff under pressure from the chamber 7 f and discharge it through apertures 21'' lying in a row (FIG. 10) athwart the web 1 but transversely of its direction of travel X). The apertures 2 and their respective nozzles 81 are trained upon an outlet slot 14 in a wall 55 of the housing, the slot 14 being flanked by a pair of lips 15 as previously described. Each of the nozzles 8 is provided with a respective part 29 in a housing portion 55f overlying the row of apertures 2f, the ports 29 being coplanar with their respective nozzles so as to discharge a pneumatic jet transversely to the stream 3 of the dyestuff directed at the web 1 through the slot 14f. The pneumatic jet of air or another gas establishes a deflecting-force gradient across the stream 3 of dyestufl to produce a force field sufficient to bend the stream into intercepting relationship with a fixed shield 10f which diverts the stream (arrow 3 to the compartment 12 and thence into the reservoir 5 Each of the pneumatic jets emerging from a respective outlet 29 is controlled by a valve member 32 individual to the jet nozzle and operated by a programming means to provide the desired dye pattern. The individually movable valve members or bodies 32 are mounted upon a common diaphragm or membrane 31 which is biased outwardly by the pneumatic pressure within a compartment 30 defined in the housing f. Air is supplied to the chamber 30 by a compressor or blower 30'. It will thus be apparent that the pressure of the air serves to urge the several valve members 32 upwardly (arrow M) against the force of respective control tongues 33 anchored remote from the needle valves 32 at a common support 56 Whereas the programming means of the earlier described devices was required to lift the corresponding mechanical element to effect deflection of the dyestuff streams, in the present case the tongues 33 are designed to restrain the needle valves 32 from movement in the direction of arrow M. For this purpose, staggered rows of solenoids 59f or other control means can be provided for controlling the individual members 33. The armatures 587 can then be coupled to the arms or tongues 33. The programming means can include a motor 52; whose cams 52f each operate a respective solenoid 59 via a respective switch 52f functioning as a cam follower. When the switches 52f are closed by the earns 52 the corresponding solenoid 59] is operated to hold the valve 32 closed. Opening of the switches 52f" by the timing motor 52 will deenergize the solenoid 59 and cause the respective tongues 33 to permit the valve 32 to open and thereby deflect the dyestuff stream. The programming means is again merely representative of one which can be used with any of the aforedescribedsystems except that of FIGS. 8 and 11. It should be noted, however, that it is also satisfactory to connect the tongues 33 to the respective valve members and reverse the action of the solenoids 59) so that they are capable of lifting the tongues or, alternatively to provide the tongues 33 with an inherent resilience or stiffness suflicient to resist upward displacement of the needle valves 32 unless these tongues are lifted. A similar cam-operated control system may nevertheless be employed with, for example, normally closed switches which are opened by the cams. The solenoids of this embodiment can, moreover, be operated by any of the programming tapes described earlier. It is desirable, however, to couple the web-transport means 50 with the motor 52 by, for example, a conventional servo-mechanism.

The device of FIG. 11 operates in accordance with the principle described with reference to FIG. 1 whereby the liquid dyestuff flows in a freely falling curtain from a supply source 7g through the outlet or outlets 2g generally parallel to the downwardly displaced web 1g (i.e. in the direction Xg). The curtain 3g of liquid dyestuif extends between the outlet apertures 2g and a collector or interceptor 10g forming a trough, in line with and below the aperture 2g, and communicating via a collecting compartment 12g with a reservoir 5g which feeds the pump 6g. The latter returns excess dyestutf to the chamber 7g via a float-valve assembly 62g.

An array of parallel and transversely spaced vertical wires or rods 34 extends from the outlet apertures 2g to the interceptor means 10g to stabilize the liquid curtain 3g. The latter passes in front of a deflecting means generally indicated at 4g and comprising an elongated air chamber 30g supplied with a pneumatic fluid by a. pump 30g. The elongated and narrow outlet 29g of the deflecting means 4g is designed to dispense a sheet of highvelocity air capable of deflecting the liquid curtain toward the web 1g as indicated by the arrow 3g". The region at which such deflection occurs is determined by a flexible endless template band 24g which passes over the deflecting rollers 25g and a shiftable, length-compensating roller 28g. Again, the band 24g (see also FIG. 8) includes perforate and imperforate portions which deflect the flow of air normally trained upon the curtain 3g or prevent it from emerging from theoutlet 29g in front of which the hand passes. Perforated portions of the band thus correspond to regions of the web 1g at which dyestutf is transferred whereas nonperforated portions of the template correspond to areas in which the curtain 3g is undeflected and no color is transferred. The band-transport means 27g can be coupled with the web-transport means 51g as indicated in dot-dash lines.

The system of FIG. 12 is generally similar in operation to that of FIG. 11 and functions under the principle described previously in connection with FIG. 1. The deflecting means is, however, of the type illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. In the system of 'FIG. 12, the web 1h is displaced by the usual transport means 51h in the direction of Xh generally parallel to a curtain 3h of liquid dyestulf stabilized by the transversely spaced parallel vertical wires 34h bridging the outlet 2h of the supply chamber 7h and the collecting and intercepting trough 1011. The gathering compartment 1211, in which excess dyestulf is collected, supplies the reservoir 5h and the pump 6h which feeds the dyestuff to chamber 711 via the float valve 62h. The deflecting means 4h is here formed with a row of ports 29h extending parallel to the web 111 but perpendicularly to the direction Xh of displacement thereof. Each of the ports 29h (see FIG. 9) can be selectively opened and closed by a respective needle-valve. body 32h controlled by the spring fingers or tongues 33h fixed at their corresponding extremities to the common support 56h. The valve bodies 32h are mounted upon a diaphragm 31h forming a compartment 30h to which air is supplied under pressure from a compressor 30h or some similar gas-supply means. The tongues 33h normally hold the valve bodies 32h against displacement in the direction Mh by control means represented by the solenoids 5% whose armatures 55h are adapted to entrain the respective tongues 33h in the actuating direction Mh. As each of the solenoids 59h along the row of ports 29h is energized by the usual programming means, the jet of air trained upon the web 1h intercepts the curtain 3h of liquid dyestuff to deflect the latter onto the web. The programming means can be of any of the previously described types and is here represented as a punch card 52h which is repeatedly passed between the brushes 52k and their countercontacts 52h (only one of which is shown) in circuit with each solenoid 59h. Punch-card programming of this type can also be used with all of the devices previously described and those to be described subsequently with the exception of the embodiments requiring template to determine the pattern. The punch card drive 59h is coupled with the web transport 51h. In the systems of FIGS. 11 and 12, the volume rate of flow of the curtains 3g and 3h can be adjusted by suitable valve means at the discharge apertures 2g and 2h, respectively, to permit adjustment of the angle at which the deflected liquid impinges upon the web 1g or 1h. Similar adjustment can be effected by varying the speed of the pneumatic jets emanating from the outlets 29g and 29h. The rate of coverage of the web by the dyestuff and thus its penetration into the web can be modified by these latter adjustments and, additionally, by varying the speed of the web in the direction Xg or Xh.

An example of the control means for modifying the volume rate of flow of the curtain, is illustrated in FIG. 12 from which it can be seen that a flap 2h at the outlet 2h is swingable to open and close this aperture, manual adjustment by means not illustrated being afforded to swing this flap. When it is desired to produce colored strips on the fabric or otherwise impart coloration to only selected longitudinal 'bands of the web, a plurality of such flaps or valves can be provided; one or more of these valves can, therefore, be closed when no coloration is required in the corresponding regions of the web. Similar results can, of course, be obtained by appropriate setting of the programming means.

The systems of FIGS. Y13 and 14 operate essentially identically to that of FIGS. 3 and 4 and especially FIGS. 9 and 10, except that the pneumatic force field of this latter system is replaced by electrostatic and/or electromagnetic fields. The housing 551 of this arrangement comprises a pressure chamber 7i into which the dyestuff is forced via a ciriculating pump 6i whose reservoir 5i communicates with the collecting compartment 12i formed by a front wall 55i' of the treating station of this embodiment. The housing surrounding chamber 7i is provided with a multiplicity of nozzles 8i whose discharge apertures 2i lie in a row (FIG. 14) parallel to the web 1i which is displaceable in the direction Xi past the treating station via the rollers 50i. Wall 55i' of the housing is formed with the usual elongated slot 14i parallel to the row of apertures 2i and aligned therewith so that individual streams of liquid dyestuff 3i can be trained on the web 1i and contact the latter in an undefiected condition of these streams. The forwardly converging lips 15i define the boundaries of the sprays of dyestuff passing through the opening 14i. The deflecting means of the instant embodiment comprises bodies 37, 37' of electrically insulating and nonmagnetic material in which a pair of magnetically permeable and electrically conductive T-shaped members 38', 39' are imbedded with their shanks surrounded by electric coils 38 and 39, respectively, at each nozzle 8i. When electrostatic-deflection principles are to be employed, the programming means can include a selector device capable of selectively energizing the respective electrodes 38, 39' flanking each aperture 2i to establish an electromotive or potential gradient transversely to the normal direction 3i of flow from the nozzles 8i, Since the dyestuffs generally used for the tinting and coloring of fabric webs are principally cationic or anionic in character, they are frequently deflectable electrostatically in the atomized state without special efforts to electrically charge the particles. If, however, the particles are not prone to electrostatic deflection, a corona discharge can be effected in front of each nozzle to ionize the gases entrained by the particles and electrically charge the latter. The programmer for electrostatic energization of the electrodes is represented at 52i with the high-voltage direct-current electrostatic source indicated at 52i'. When an electrostatic field is applied across the selected pair of electrodes 38', 39', the corresponding spray of dyestufi is deflected in the direction of arrow 3i whereupon it is intercepted by the fixed shield 10i and diverted to the collecting chamber 12i.

As indicated earlier, the electrodes 38, 39' can also function as cores for the respective electromagnets 38, 39 designed to apply repelling and attracting magnetic fields upon the respective spray to deflect it (arrow 3i) in accordancewith the color programming. In this case, the programmer 52i" can consist of a cam-operated switch arrangement of the type previously described and adapted to apply a direct current to the oppositely poled magnetic coils. In this case, it is necessary to provide a dyestuff whose particles are electromagnetically attractable; suitable electromagnetically deflectable dyestuffs include those having iron-containing pigmentitious materials or lakes. I

The arrangement of FIG. 15 is different from that of FIGS. 3 and 4 only in that the tongues 9 are interposed between the nozzles 8 of the pressure and supply chamber 71' and charging nozzles 40 in wall 37 of the housing 55 The nozzles are designed to electrostatically charge the spray particles trained upon the web 1 behind which is disposed an electrostatic counterelectrode 41 in alignment with the nozzles 40. A high-voltage directcurrent source has its terminal of opposite potential connected respectively to the nozzle-like electrode 40' and the counterelectrode 41. Particles of spray passing through the nozzle 40 receive a charge opposite that of the plate 41 and are thus attracted to the Web 1 passing in the direction X] in front of this plate 41. Since substantially all of the particles emerging from the nozzles 40 in each of the spray streams receive a charge of identical polarity, there is little tendency toward coalescence and the treatment is carried out with a fine spray. The individual tongues 9 are displaceable in the direction of arrow M by, for example, the programming arrangement of FIG. 3 to permit the dyestuff trained on nozzles 40 to pass therethrough. When the solenoids ofthe tongues 9 are unenergized, the spray isdeflected as indicated by arrow 3j' for interception by the inwardly turned shield surface 10f and passed into the collecting chamber 12 for recirculation to chamber 7i by pump 6j via reservoir 5 The principles of FIGS. 13 and 14 can be utilized in the arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17 which disclose a particularly advantageous system according to the present invention. In this case, the deflecting-force gradient is provided by pneumatic jets not unlike those of the system of FIGS. 9 and 10,although the jets here are not controlled by individual needle valves and relatively powerful relays, solenoids orthe like but by relatively small electrical energies. Thus, the web 1k is displaced in the direction of arrow Xk by the transport means 50k and passes in front of a plate 55k of the housing 55k whose pressure chamber 7k supplies the dyestuff to the individual nozzles 8k (FIG. 17). The nozzles 8k. are trained upon an elongated slot 14k flanked by the forwardly converging lips k which define the undeflected-spray path 3k. Defiected spray, as indicated by arrow 13k", is intercepted by the fixedly positioned shield 10k and diverted into the collecting chamber 12k whence it is recirculated by the usual pump and reservoir arrangement to the chamber 7k. The deflected means 4k of this embodiment includes an array of vertical, parallel and transversely spaced resiliently defiectable air tubes 43 anchored at one end in a wall 56k defining a manifold chamber 30k to which air under pressure is supplied via a pump 30k. The tubes 43 pass through a slotted partition 44 whose longitudinal knife edges 44" on opposite sides of the slot through which the tubes 43 pass form fulcra for the latter. Each tube 43 can thus be biased in a counterclockwise sense by a respective adjusting screw 44 about the fulcrum defined by the knife edges until the bottom extremities of the tubes come to rest against the abutment 45. The tubes 43 bear lightly against the abutment 45. in their rest positions in which the ends of the tubes register with respective ports 29k in the base of the respective guide channel 46 which permits each tube 43 to be temporarily and resiliently deflected in the direction of arrow Z. The ports 29k are disposed in respective vertical planes of the tubes 43 and the nozzles 8kso that, in a registering position of each tube and the corresponding port 29k, the respective stream of the dyestutf will be diverted as indicated by arrow 3k along the return circulation path.

Each of the tubes '43 is provided with a magnetically attractable (iron) armature 47 which co-operates with a respective electromagnethic system 48 whose two coils are connected in series. In order to permit the ports 29k and the corresponding air tubes 43 to lie close to one another and produce fine color patterns, the armature 47 and electromagnets 48 of adjacent tubes can lie in vertically spaced horizontal planes. Any of the programming means indicated earlier (as diagrammatically represented at 52k) may be used to energize the respective electromagnetic system selectively and in step with the rollers 50k. Selective energization of each electromagnetic device 48 will attract the respective armature 47 in the direction of arrow Z and offset the tube 43 from registry with the corresponding port 29k. The continuing flow of air through the deflected tube 43 is thus no longer effective to divert the corresponding spray stream, which passes through the outlet 14k undeflected and impinges upon the web 1k. When the tube 43 returns to its rest position, it again registers with the respective port 29k so that its high-velocity jet of air from chamber 30k is capable of deflecting the corresponding dyestuff stream. An opening 70 in the housing of the deflecting means 4k permits low-pressure escape of air oven when all of the tubes 43 are deflected. Since the tubes 43 can be made extremely long, their deflection can be carried out with a minimum of force, thereby enabling low-energy electrical sources and circuits to be used. In this case, therefore, powerful and massive switch arrangements are not required since the pneumatic energy is employed as the deflecting means as well as an amplifier for the output of the programming system.

It is evident, therefore, that the deflection of the liquid dyestuff streams can be carried out with substantially less mechanical or electrical force than required for conventional nozzle-closure arrangements. It may be stated, in general, therefore, that the switch elements and programming devices can be made many times smaller for the purpose of the present invention than has heretofore been possible. In addition, the system of the present invention has a greater degree of reliability by virtue of the circulation of the dyestufi which precludes blockage of the discharge opening and nozzles. Since the kinetic energy of the dyestutf is always relatively high as a result of such circulation, the deflection pulses can be quicker and shorter thereby enabling a finer patterning of the web.

It will be evident that the apparatus of the present invention as described and illustrated is subject to modification within the skill and ability of workers in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed. For example, substitution of compatible elements from one embodiment in another system is highly obvious, since all of the programming devices specifically described in connection with FIGS. 3, 5, 6, 9' and 12. can be used interchangeably and with any of the systems shown in FIGS. 13-17. While it is preferred to use vertical, freeflowing curtains of liquid in the systems of FIGS. 1, 11 and 12, for example, it will be apparent that these curtains can also be projected generally parallel to the web if required but at an angle to the vertical. Many other modifications will be evident to those skilled in the art.

We claim:

1. An apparatus for the pattern dyeing of a continuously displaceable web of sheet material, comprising means defining a treating location and for displacing said web continuously past said location; nozzle means for directing a stream of a liquid dyestuif along a path at said web whereby said stream can contact said web and dye same; intercepting means adjacent said path for blocking said stream upon deflection thereof laterally of said path; conduit means for continuously circulating said liquid dyestuff from said intercepting means to said nozzle means; means for applying a deflecting force gradient across said path laterally to deflect said liquid dyestutf to said intercepting means; and control means for selectively actuating said gradient to effect pattern dyeing of said web.,

2. An apparatus for the pattern dyeing of a continuously displaceable web of sheet material, comprising means defining a treating location and for displacing said web continuonusly past said location; nozzle means for directing a stream of a liquid dyestufl? along a path at said web whereby said stream can contact said web and dye same; intercepting means adjacent said path for blocking said stream upon deflection thereof laterally of said path; conduit means for continuously circulating said liquid dyestufl from said intercepting means to said nozzle means; jet means for directing a fluid stream across said path in the direction of said intercepting means for deflecting said stream of liquid dyestuff to said intercepting means; and control means for terminating and commencing the passage of a gas through said jet means.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein said control means includes a resiliently defiectable air-supply tube having one end disposed adjacent said jet means and registerable therewith and an opposite end remote from said jet means and connected with a source of air under pressure, said control means including electromagnetic means for selectively withdrawing said tube from registering with the nozzle means and terminating such registry.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein said control means includes valve means for selectively blocking and unblocking the flow of air through said jet means.

5. The apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein said nozzle means projects the liquid dyestuif toward said web in a plane generally perpendicular thereto and said jet means includes a plurality of nozzles directed perpendicularly to said plane and spaced across the web transversely to the direction of displacement thereof, said control means including programming means coupled with the displacement of said web for selectively regulating the jets issuing from said nozzle.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,841,452 1/1932 Ranger 346-75 5 3,278,940 10/1966 Ascoli 346-75 WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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U.S. Classification68/205.00R, 346/2, 347/82, 239/101, 347/89, 239/8, 347/97, 101/122, 101/172, 239/127, 239/434, 239/4, 346/97, 101/119, 68/183, 347/2, 347/106, 347/1
International ClassificationD06B11/00, B41J2/02, D06C23/00, B05B5/14
Cooperative ClassificationB41J2002/031, D06B11/0059, D06C2700/31, B41J2/02, B05B5/14, D06C23/00
European ClassificationD06C23/00, D06B11/00G2, B05B5/14, B41J2/02