US 3635054 A
An apparatus for processing fabric web or like materials in a liquid wherein a pair of elongated rolls are generally horizontally mounted parallel to each other for rotation in a liquid holding tank below a selected liquid level. Both of the rolls in the pair are rotated in the same direction by outside drive means. One or more pressure rolls are also rotatably mounted below the liquid level parallel to the pair of rolls and biased into rolling engagement with one of the rolls in the pair. The biased mounting of each pressure roll comprises pivotal mounting and provides means whereby the pressure rolls may arcuately move from the engaged position to a position spaced therefrom in order to facilitate ease of fabric web threading into the apparatus.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Arnidon, Jr.
[4 1 Jan. 18, 1972  APPARATUS FOR WASHING FABRIC WEB  Inventor: Charles H. Amidon, Jr., Warminster, Pa.  Assignee: Gull & Western Systems Company, New
 Filed: Aug. 31, 1970 ] Appl. No.: 68,167
 US. Cl. ..68/43, 68/18 C, 68/97,
 Int. Cl. ..B05c 3/152, B050 3/176  Field of Search ..68/43, 97, 99, 126
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,768,057 l0/1956 Friederich ..28/76R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 591,474 l/l934 Germany ..68/43 Primary Examiner-William 1. Price Attorney-Meyer, Tilberry and Body  ABSTRACT An apparatus for processing fabric web or like materials in a liquid wherein a pair of elongated rolls are generally horizontally mounted parallel to each other for rotation in a liquid holding tank below a selected liquid level. Both of the rolls in the pair are rotated in the same direction by outside drive means. One or more pressure rolls are also rotatably mounted below the liquid level parallel to the pair of rolls and biased into rolling engagement with one of the rolls in the pair. The biased mounting of each pressure roll comprises pivotal mounting and provides means whereby the pressure rolls may arcuately move from the engaged position to a position spaced therefrom in order to facilitate ease of fabric web threading into the apparatus.
15 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures PATENTEB m1 9 m2 INVENTOR.
ATTORNEYS CHARLES H. AMIDON, JR.
APPARATUS FOR WASHING FABRIC WEB This application pertains to the art of fabric treatment and more particularly to an apparatus for washing fabric web.
The invention is particularly applicable to solvent processing fabric web and will be described with particular reference thereto: however, it will be appreciated that the invention has broader applications such as for an aqueous washer or other devices where it is desired to completely submerge a moving fabric web or like material in a liquid.
Heretofore, washers for fabric web have consisted primarily of a plurality of peripherally contacting parallel rolls which included spray means to spray or otherwise apply a solvent to the fabric web as it passed through the rolls. Excess solvent was merely received in an overflow pan and then recirculated through the spray means. However, the nips of these rolls were never completely submerged in the solvent. As a consequence, this type of apparatus did not prove successful in that although the solvent effectively wetted the fabric and dissolved the waxes and oils thereon, there was not provided sufficient interchange of solvent to disperse the contaminated solvent and present fresh solvent. Further, there was an absence of working the fabric to improve the fabric handle. Attempts to overcome these problems resulted in apparatus designs which merely included additional rolls and spray means. These types of apparatus presented essentially the same problems as discussed above.
Other, later designs included rolls completely submerged in solvent which did, in fact, increase solvent interchange and fabric working to a certain degree. However, this type of apparatus was found lacking in operative longevity in that when solvent was used, it affected both the rolls and roll journals. Also, it was found that it was extremely difficult to thread this type of apparatus for operative purposes and that during actual operation, the submerged running time for the fabric in the solvent was still insufficient to permit the desired amount of solvent interchange and adequate fabric working. These devices often merely partially washed the web without performing substantial working. The insufficient amount of submerged running time is particularly important when water is used as the processing medium.
The present invention contemplates a new and improved apparatus which overcomes all the above referred problems and others generally associated with prior apparatus, and provides a new apparatus which increases working of treated fabric webs, increases apparatus life, decreases maintenance time previously associated with washers and increases the ease of threading the web so that machine downtime between threading of consecutive fabric web spools is reduced.
ln accordance with the present invention, an apparatus is provided which includes a solvent tank which defines a processing fluid chamber for holding processing fluid to a selected level. A pair of spaced apart elongated rolls are rotatably mounted within the chamber below the selected liquid level. Each roll has a rotatable axis generally parallel to the other roll axis and horizontally disposed within the chamber. These rolls are rotationally driven about their axes by outside drive means. One or more pressure rolls are rotatably mounted below the selected level and include a rotatable axis generally parallel with the pair of rolls. Each pressure roll includes means which bias it towards one of the pair of rolls in rolling engagement therewith and means which permit each pressure roll to be moved to an upper threading position. The rolling engagement between each pressure roll and its associated roll of the driven pair of rolls provides means for causing the fabric web to move through the apparatus.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, baffle means are provided between the plurality of rolls in order to establish liquid passages to direct liquid within the chamber during apparatus operation.
The principal object of the invention is the provision of an apparatus for washing fabric web which produces more efficient liquid processing for fabric web or like materials.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of an apparatus for washing fabric web which maintains a web or like material in completely submerged condition in processing liquid for an extended time period.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of an apparatus for washing fabric web which facilitates ease of apparatus threading in order to reduce apparatus downtime.
Still another object of the present invention is the provision of an apparatus for washing fabric web in which processing liquid is caused to flow countercurrent to the travel of the web in order to increase the effectiveness of the processing treatment.
The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangements of parts, a preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in the specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of the apparatus with the front side of the solvent tank removed for purposed of illustration; and,
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of FIG. 1 taken along lines 2-2.
Referring now to the drawings wherein the figures are for the purpose of illustrating the preferred embodiment of the invention only, and not for purposes of limiting same, FlG. 1 shows the open width washer of this invention comprised of solvent tank A, roll assembly B, pressure roll assemblies C, roll assembly drive means D and solvent tank lid E.
Solvent tank A is a boxlike configuration constructed from stainless steel having a generally rectangular bottom wall 10, oppositely disposed end walls 12, 14 and oppositely disposed sidewalls I6, 18 extending upwardly therefrom. Stainless steel is recommended for construction of the solvent tank because of its resistance to corrosion when in contact with generally used liquid processing solvents.
Roll assembly B is comprised of two cylindrical stainless steel rolls 20, 22. These rolls are identically mounted relative to solvent tank A and reference will be made to mounting roll 20, the mounting for roll 22 being identical thereto. Roll 20 is received on elongated cylindrical shaft 24 which itself is journaled in nylon bearings 26, 28. Bearings 26, 28 are mounted to solvent tank sidewalls 16, 18 respectively by any convenient means (not shown). It is to be noted that the bearings are not integral with the sidewalls but are only afl'rxed thereto. This type of construction prevents solvent leakage outside the tank which had heretofore been a problem with prior apparatus. This mounting is such that shaft 24 is generally parallel to bottom wall 10 and end walls 12, 14, whereby the periphery of cylindrical roll 20 is adjacent to and spaced from end wall 12 and bottom wall 10. Roll 22 on shaft 30 is mounted coextensive with roll 20. Roll drive sprockets 32, 34 are affixed to shafts 24, 30 respectively by any convenient means such as interfitting keys and keyways. Roller chain 36 endlessly connects sprockets 32, 34 so that rolls 20, 22 will rotate in unison in the same direction. Shaft 24 also includes second drive sprocket 38 which may also be keyed thereto. Drive chain 40 extends continuously between sprocket 38 and roll assembly drive means D. Drive means D may be comprised of the type of drive mechanism generally associated with this type of equipment such as, for example, an electrically driven motor and gear reducer shown schematically only in the drawings. Extending generally between rolls 20, 22 is solvent flow guide 44. Guide 44 may be constructed from any corrosion resistant material and is permanently mounted between rolls to further include recess area 46 between roll 22 and end portion 48 of the guide.
Pressure roll assemblies C include cylindrical pressure rolls 50, 52, 54, and 56. Each of these rolls contains a solvent resistant peripheral covering 58 comprised of for example, Viton, which increases the useful life of the rolls. Rolls 50, 52, 54 and 56 are mounted in identical fashion such that the description will be limited to the mounting of roll 56, it being understood that the others are mounted identical thereto. Roll 56 is received on and afi'ixed to mounting shaft 60 which in turn is joumaled for rotation in nylon block bearings 62, 64. Pillow blocks 66, 68 conveniently mounted on sidewalls 16, 18, maintain pivot shaft 70 in position midway between pressure rolls 54, 56 and coextensive therewith. Pivot shaft bushings 72, 74 are connected to support arms 76, 78 respectively. Arms 76, 78 are affixed to baffle plate member 80 which in turn receives and supports nylon block bearings 62, 64 and roll 56. Pressure roll 54 is similarly supported and connected to pivot shaft 70 by shaft 81, nylon block bearings 82, 84; baffle plate member 86; support arms 88 and 90; and, pivot shaft bushings 92, 94. A recess area generally designated 96 is formed between end portion 98 of baffle plate member 80 and the peripheral surface 58 of roll 56.
Pressure rolls 50, 52 are pivotally received on mounting shaft 96, the mounting of pressure roll 50 being identical with that of pressure roll 56 and the mounting of pressure roll 52 being identical with that of pressure roll 54. A recess area generally designated 99, identical to recess area 98, is therefore included immediately adjacent roll 50. It should be noted here that the relative positions of recess areas 46, 96 and 99 alternate between the ends of each row of rolls. As may be seen in FIG. 1, pressure rolls 50, 52, 54, and 56 may be swung arcuately upward about pivot mounting shafts 70, 96 respectively to a position out of contact with rolls 20, 22 and each other as shown by the phantom lines. The means for accomplishing this movement do not form a part of the invention herein and are not shown, it being understood that any conventional means may be used. Elongated cylindrical idler roll 110, received on mounting shaft 112, is conveniently journaled for rotation to sidewalls 16, 18 of solvent tank A. Roll 110 is positioned such that shaft 112 is generally vertically above and spaced from pivot mounting shafts 70, 96.
Solvent tank lid E includes entrance area 120 whereby the fabric web or like material enters the washer apparatus and exit area 122 where the processed material leaves the ap paratus. The lid provides means whereby the solvent is retained inside the tank to eliminate safety hazards created by the solvent fumes and further eliminates solvent loss caused by evaporation and spillage. If chlorinated solvents are used, a cold trap (not shown) may be used in place of lid E. The cold trap is comprised of water-cooled coils surrounding the top opening and the refrigerating effect of the cold trap condenses the solvent vapor to prevent a relatively stable vapor line. This prevents loss of vapor to the atmosphere and ingress of air to the tank to contaminate the solvent vapor. Mixing baffle 124 extends generally downward towards bottom wall of sol vent tank A from material entrance opening 120 and aids in the mixing action of the solvent bath by forcing contaminated solvent to flow under the baffle upwardly towards skimmer overflow 126.
In operation, tank A is initially empty of processing solvent. Pressure rolls 54, 56 are swung arcuately upward about pivot shaft 70 and pressure rolls 50, 52 are similarly swung arcuately upward about pivot shaft 96. The fabric web to be processed is generally designated 130 and is unrolled from spool 132, located external to tank A. The web is threaded around and beneath the peripheral surface of roll and then around and over the top of the peripheral surface of roll 22. At this point, pressure roll 52 is lowered about its arcuate path such that web 130 is held in position between the nip framed between the solvent resistant covering 58 on roll 52 and the peripheral surface of roll 22. The fabric web is then laid across the top of 20 and pressure roll 50 is lowered about pivot shaft 96 so that the web is positioned between rolls 20, 50.
The fabric web is then threaded around and over the top of roll 50 where pressure roll 54 is lowered into position, in the same fashion as rolls 50, 52, so that the web is maintained in position between the contacting peripheral surfaces of solvent resistant coverings 58 of pressure rolls 50, 54. Next, the web is positioned and held in place between pressure rolls rolls 52, 56, identical to manner herein before discussed as between rolls 50, 54, to complete the actual serpentine threaded configuration. Finally, fabric web 130 is threaded around surface 58 of roll 56 and idler roll to be affixed to a fabric takeup spool 134. As will be readily understood by those skilled in the art, this serpentine configuration permits maximum submersion time for the web within the process solvent.
Solvent tank lid E is then placed in position over the open end of solvent tank A so that fabric 130 enters area and exits from area 122. Chlorinated solvent is then introduced into the tank through intake pipe 136 having a plurality of openings 138 contained therein. A sufficient volume of solvent is introduced to a selected level into the tank so as to at least submerge the nips formed between rolls 20, 50; 50, 54; 22, 52; and 52, 56 when they are in their lowered positions. Recirculation means (not shown) which may comprise for example a fluid pump are provided to recirculate the solvent throughout the tank. At startup, drive means D begins to turn counterclockwise in the view of FIG. 1, such that rolls 20, 22 are thereby driven counterclockwise through the interaction of drive chain 40, drive sprocket 38, sprockets 32, 34 and roller chain 36. Since pressure roll 50 is in rolling peripheral contact with roll 20, roll 50 is frictionally driven clockwise and further, since pressure roll 54 is in peripheral contact with roll 50, roll 54 will be frictionally driven counterclockwise. Likewise, pressure roll 52 is frictionally driven clockwise due to its contact with roll 22 and roll 56 is driven counterclockwise because of its contact with roll 52. The overall result of this action is to pull fabric from spool 132 and pass it through the serpentine configuration between the nips of the rolls. Takeup spool 134 is designed to function in a known manner to receive the processed fabric web 130 without placing undue pressure on the fabric so as to cause tearing or mutilation. This is easily accomplished in a known manner by, for example, including an adjustable friction clutch of a known type which will slip when the tension force on the fabric reaches a predetermined level.
The advantage of having the submerged roll nips pull the web through the apparatus instead of having the web supply and takeup spools perform that function, as was done with prior apparatus, is threefold. First, tension on the web itself is greatly reduced to eliminate damage which can be done thereby. Secondly, since the nips of the rolls in the subject inventive apparatus are in forced relationship with the web, they perform a kneading action to mechanically work the fabric to improve the softness or quality of handle". Prior apparatus included no working or only nominal working during washing so that in order to receive proper working, the web had to be subjected to two separate operations. Finally, contaminated solvent is more readily replaced by fresh solvent.
During solvent processing, the recirculation means recirculates the solvent so that a solvent flow in the direction indicated by arrows a is established. A portion of the flow is directed through recess area 96, then counterflow to fabric web 130 through recess area 99, and finally, counterflow to the fabric web through recess area 46 to again be recirculated. The rolls themselves also aid in directing the solvent flow in the desired fashion through recess areas 96, 99 and 46, respectively. Condensing apparatus (not shown and which do not fonn a part of this invention) of a known type may be installed in the vicinity of exit area 122 so that excess solvent may be condensed from the fabric as it passes from tank A and returned to the tank for reuse. When all the fabric material contained on spool 132 has been processed through the open width washer, a leader material is affixed to the end of the fabric and passed into the washer to keep it threaded while the next batch of fabric to be processed is located on the spool. In the event of fabric breakage or apparatus breakdown the solvent may be temporarily drained from the solvent tank so that when operation is again desired, the ease of threading factor again becomes important.
Alternatively, fabric web leaving the washer could exit through conventional nip rolls or when the invention is used as a solvent scouring machine, the fabric could progress through a closed channel above the solvent level and into a solvent recovery chamber where the solvent is flashed off by heat.
The subject apparatus may also be used with water for conventional washing and would be the equivalent of a standard open width washer with rider rolls on each top carrier roll in order to increase liquid exchange. Tests indicated that an increase in washing efficiency of approximately 50 percent, at a cost increase of approximately only 25 percent, is available when rider rolls are used. The subject invention provides these results without the need for the additional rider rolls.
The invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment. Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding this specification. It is my intention to include all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, 1 now claim:
1. An apparatus for processing fabric web or like materials in a liquid, said apparatus comprising:
a tank defining a fluid chamber, said tank having a bottom wall and peripheral sidewalls extending upwardly therefrom and adapted to hold a body of liquid having a selected upper level;
first and second elongated rolls rotatably mounted within said chamber below said selected level, said rolls each having a rotatable axis generally parallel to each other and generally horizontally disposed within said chamber;
means for driving at least said first roll about its axis;
a third roll rotatably mounted below said selected level and above said first roll and having a rotational axis generally parallel with said axis of said first roll;
means for biasing said third roll towards said first roll whereby a variable nip is created between said first and third rolls; and,
means for causing said web to move into said chamber around said first roll, around said second roll, back to said first roll, around said third roll and then out of said chamber whereby said variable nip works said web as it is being processed.
2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a fourth pressure roll rotatably mounted below said selected level and above said second roll and having a rotational axis generally parallel with said axis of said second roll; and
means for biasing said fourth roll towards said second roll whereby a second variable nip is created between said second and fourth rolls.
3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 including fifth and sixth pressure rolls rotatably mounted below said selected level, each of said fifth and sixth rolls having a longitudinal axis generally parallel with said the axis of said first and second rolls;
means for biasing said fifth and sixth rolls towards said third and fourth rolls, respectively; and,
means for causing said web to move from around said third roll back to said fourth roll, around said sixth roll and out of said chamber.
4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 including means for rotatably mounting said rolls, said mounting means including axially spaced bearings and said spaced bearing being located wholly within said chamber.
5. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said pressure rolls are mounted on frames including means for pivotally mounting said frames about axes generally parallel with said roll axes and located between two of said pressure rolls.
6. An apparatus as defined in claim 5 wherein said frames each include flow directing baffies.
7. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 including a baffle extending only partially between said first and second rolls to define a liquid passage means for directing liquid flow longitudinally between said first and second rolls and then vertically with respect to said first and second rolls.
8. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said axes of said first and second rolls are generally fixed within said chamber.
9. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 including means for rotatably mounting said rolls, said mounting means including axially spaced bearings, said spaced bearing being wholly within said chamber.
10. An apparatus for washing a fabric web, said apparatus comprising:
a tank defining a fluid chamber adapted to hold a body of washing liquid having a selected upper level;
first and second rolls rotatable about generally parallel, generally fixed axis extending longitudinally in said chamber;
a third roll rotatable about an axis generally parallel with and above said first roll axis and means for biasing said third roll toward said first roll;
a fourth roll rotatable about an axis generally parallel with and above said second roll axis and means for biasing said fourth roll toward said second roll; and,
means for driving said first and second rolls whereby said web is moved around said first roll, between said second and fourth roll, between said first and third roll and out of said chamber to define generally longitudinal passes of said web.
11. An apparatus as defined in claim 10 including means for circulating liquid in said chamber and baffle means for causing generally longitudinal flow of said circulated liquid along said passes.
12. An apparatus as defined in claim 11 wherein said longitudinal flow is countercurrent to the direction of movement of said web along said passes.
13. An apparatus as defined in claim 10 including baffle means defining liquid passages for each said passes and means for circulating said liquid through said passages as said web is moving through said chamber.
14. An apparatus as defined in claim 13 wherein said circulating means causes liquid fiow generally countercurrent to the movement of said web in each of said passages.
15. An apparatus as defined in claim 13 including frame means for pivotally mounting said third and fourth rolls and at least part of said baffle means being secured onto said frame means.