US 3579403 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. H. s'mbo P MAKING COMPOSITE THER May 18, 1971 3,579,403 FILAMENT TIC PRODUCT APPARATUS OR FI MOPLAS Filed Dec. 16, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. J HN H. STPOUP ATTOEA/E v J. H. STROOP APPARATUS FOR MAKING COMPOSITE FILAMENT OR FIBER THERMOPLASTIC PRODUCTS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 .Filed Dec. 16, 1966 I NVE NTOR. kfo m f7, 57XOOP ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,579,403 APPARATUS FOR MAKING COMPOSITE FILA- MENT OR FIBER THERMOPLASTIC PRODUCTS John Henry Stroop, New York, N.Y., assignor to Total Packaging, Inc., New York, N.Y. Filed Dec. 16, 1966, Ser. No. 602,348 Int. Cl. B6511 51/16 U.S. Cl. 156-433 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Paper is ordinarily produced by a Fourdrinier process and apparatus, and textile fabrics are produced by spinning and weaving. This invention has many of the advantages of each and utilizes a plurality of multi-product spinner nozzles. A plate on which the spinner nozzles are mounted is reciprocated so that filaments discharged from the plurality of spinner nozzles are overlaid and produce a thermoplastic fabric. The filaments are composed of more than one material and are called composite filaments.
A modification provides a box containing a plurality of cut fibers which are advanced by a carding loom picker. One of the substances described in the first alternative as discharged from the spinner nozzles is in this alternative sprayed onto a moving sheet which then proceeds through calendering and desired embossing, perforating and printing rolls.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention is an outgrowth of my curtain-molding application Ser. No. 514,595, filed Dec. 17, 1965, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,423,902, for Production and Filling of Plastic Containers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the production of textiles, paper products, and thermoformable fibrous plastic sheeting which is primarily intended for the manufacture of packaging units.
One object of the invention is to provide a novel method useful in making textile fabrics which have some of the characteristics of a paper product and some of the characteristics of a woven sheet product but are produced neither by a Fourdrinier process nor by a weaving process as is ordinarly understood.
Another object is to produce a composite filament of fiber of two parts which perform different functions in the final product.
Another object is to produce a textile fabric without weaving from component filaments or fibers.
Another object is to produce a fiber paper without the use of a Fourdrinier machine or process, from component filaments or fibers, as a thermoplastic sheet.
, Another object is to produce a component fibrous plastic sheet suitable for thermoforming various containers and other objects and devices in the consumer field.
Another object is to produce textile fabrics from a single-step process eliminating the traditional spinning and weaving step.
Another object is to produce paper products in a single step without the traditional use of the Fourdrinier process.
Another object is to produce a thermoplastic sheet reinforced by widely distributed short fibers thereby adding strength and increasing its possible uses.
Hitherto the making of fabrics has involved tWo essential stepsthe spinning of the yarns or filaments and the weaving in a loom of these yarns or filaments. In this present invention the filaments are so constructed of a composite substance that they can be made to immediately bond together into a fabric as the filaments are bonded 3,579,403 Patented May 18, 1971 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a sectional view taken on the line 1-1 of FIG. 2 and shows a spinner-loom plate showing a row of spinner nozzles adapted to extrude a composite filament onto a fabric conveyor.
FIG. 2 is a partial sectional plan view taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and showing a staggered arrangement of spinner nozzles in the spinner-loom plate. The plate carrying the spinners is reciprocated by an adjustable means in order to permit modification of the pattern formed on a fabric base or conveyor.
FIG. 3 shows in enlarged detail a single spinner head having a spinner nozzle adapted to produce a compound filament 'with one substance in the center of the filament and another substance surrounding the first.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3 and illustrates the composite filament on a greatly enlarged scale.
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show modified forms which the filaments may take as they are extruded from the plurality of spinner nozzles in the reciprocating plate by varying the reciprocation of the plate and/or by changing the speed of the fabric conveyor, or both.
FIG. 8 shows schematically a carding-loom process for producing paper or plastic sheet material using composite fibers in its construction. In this process random cut fibers are fed by a carding process directly into an atomized spray of an unlike substance. These are deposited on a conveyor where they may pass through various processing elements such as calendering, embossing, perforating and printing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, a nozzle 10 mounted in a plate 11 has a central cylindrical opening 12 extending throughout its length and a substantially conical extension 13 which projects downwardly from the plate 11 and preferably terminates at the mouth of an outer nozzle formed in plate 14 having a frusto-conical opening constituting a wider mouth inlet passage 15 and a narrow outlet passage 16. One thermoplastic substance is indicated at 20 and flows downwardly through the central opening 12, and a second thermoplastic substance 21, preferably somewhat softer and having a lowertemperature melting point than the material 20, enters the wide mouth 15 and progresses downwardly through the narrow opening 16 thereby forming a coating or jacket of material 21 around the central fiber formed of the substance 20.
FIG. 3 is shown on a very enlarged scale in order to clearly indicate the relation of parts, but these parts may be extremely small as actually employed so that the central column constitutes a fiber of substance 20* and a jacket or outer coating 22 surrounds the inner fiber, thereby producing a compound fiber at the exit.
FIG. 4 shows the finished fiber in cross section on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3, on a greatly enlarged scale.
By special reference now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a plate 25 has a large number of nozzles which are indicated by circles 26 in the plate 25, and one row of such noz zles is shown in cross section in FIG. 1, which is taken on the line 1-1 of FIG. 2. The substance 20, preferably of relatively high-melting-point thermoplastic material, is contained between top plate 30 and the plate 25 in which the nozzles 26 are mounted.
The plate 25 is mounted in any suitable fashion to be reciprocated as indicated in FIG. 2 and may, for example, be coupled by a link 32 which is pivotally connected to plate 25 at 33 and is adjustably attached to a rocker arm 34 which has a slot 35. The rocker arm is mounted in a bearing 38 and may be actuated by a motor and cam or other suitable means, not shown.
A spider-like web of thermoplastic fabric is deposited on conveyor or plastic sheet 40 and continuously fed in an upward direction, as shown in FIG. 2, as it is advanced under the nozzles 26. The transverse motion of the plate 25 produces a pattern of overlapping and interlocking fibers as they are discharged from nozzles 26, by reason of the reciprocating movement of the plate 25.
The pattern shown in FIG. 2 is considered to be a very desirable one, but it may be varied in several different ways, as follows: (1) the location of the plurality of nozzles on the reciprocating plate 25 may be changed; (2) the amount and frequency of the reciprocation of plate 25 may be changed, as already explained; and (3) the speed at which the conveyor 40 is advanced may be changed. For example, patterns such as shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are illustrative of a great number of different patterns which may be produced as desired.
Having special reference to FIG. 8, a box or hopper 50 contains a large quantity of comparatively short lengths of fibers which are intermingled indiscriminately, as shown at 51 in FIG. 8. Near the bottom of the hopper 50 a series of carding pickers 52 are mounted to rotate on shafts 53. Spacers 55, which cover a large percentage of the surface of the pickers 52, are arranged as shown in FIG. 8 and expose an arc of each picker surface.
Each picker has teeth 60 mounted on its outer cylindrical surface. These have the usual function of gathering in at the top the short fibers from mass 51, which are then delivered downwardly, as the picker rotates, into discharge streams of thermoplastic substance from nozzles 61. Each nozzle is located at the bottom of one of the spacers 55 and are set to discharge a spray of thermoplastic material at an angle onto a continuously moving web 65.
An endless belt 70 of any suitable material is mounted to move over and around one of a pair of rollers 71 and over one of a pair of rollers 72, as indicated by the arrows 73. The web 65 of thermoplastic material is mounted upon and is moved forward by the endless belt 70. The nozzles 61 spray thermoplastic material, in which short lengths of thermoplastic fiber are intermingled, directly onto the surface of the thermoplastic web 65, and the web is carried forward, as already explained, and is passed through the pair of rollers 71 and thence through the pair of rollers 72, and finally through a pair of rollers 75 and a pair of rollers 76.
The rollers 71, 72, 75 and 76 are intended to be illustrative of a series which may include finishing rollers such as calendering, embossing, perforating and printing.
OPERATION The foregoing description is largely self-explanatory, from the standpoint of operation, but in the spinner plate each individual nozzle, as shown in FIG. 3, the substance 20 is subjected to air or other gas pressure to force it through the nozzle 10, and similarly pressure may be exerted on the substance 21 to force it through the nozzle 16. As an alternative arrangement, heat may be employed to warm the thermoplastic materials 20 and 21 so that they have a low viscosity and will flow through the orifices of the nozzle by gravity.
For example, the conveyor 40 of FIG. 2 and the plate 25, including the numerous nozzles 36, may all be contained in a tunnel, not shown, which is warmed sufficiently to thin the substances and make them readily adhere in the desired patterns. The desired fabric patterns may also be bonded together with pressure as well as heat, as is indicated by calendering rollers 71 in FIG. 8. It will also be understood that a chemical substance may constitute the coating 21 and act to bind the fabric patterns together, as a spiders web is bound together, as they come from the spinner nozzles.
In the carding fabrication of FIG. 8 the composite fibers may be deposited on the conveyor in a very thin layer and finished by calendering, printing, embossing and perforating to produce low-cost fabrics, or the composite fiber may be deposited to a considerable depth to form a composite fiber plastic sheet for manufacture of all sorts of thermoformed products in many fields such as packaging, upholstering, etc.
1. A movable material-advancing conveyor, a plurality of nozzles for spraying molten thermoplastic material, means for feeding fibers into the molten thermoplastic spray so as to entrain and mix the fibers in the thermoplastic material thereby to impact the composition on the moving conveyor.
2. A movable conveyor, means for advancing a product relative to said movable conveyor, a container adapted for receiving and dispensing a mixture of cut fibers of varying length, a series of carding pickers mounted in the bottom of said container, and spray nozzles disposed between and below the carding pickers in proximity thereto in a manner for discharging a thermoplastic substance at an angle relative to said conveyor and at a position thereon, whereby the conveyor is adapted to receive the cut fibers and thermoplastic substance as an airborne impactcreated admixture thereof.
3. The structure of claim 2, further comprising a pair of rollers cooperatively disposed in a manner to receive the conveyor and a product carried thereby.
4. The structure of claim 2, further comprising a plurality of pairs of juxtaposed rollers.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,411,660 11/1946 Manning 156-433X 3,019,147 1/1962 Nalle, Jr. 156l67X 3,030,245 4/1962 Greiner et a1 156-166X 3,266,966 8/1966 Patchell 156-167 3,331,903 7/1967 Sigeta Mine 156-167X 3,449,187 6/ 1969 Bobkowicz 156-l67X SAMUEL W. ENGLE, Primary Examiner T. H. WEBB, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 156166, 167