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Publication numberUS3689349 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 5, 1972
Filing dateOct 23, 1970
Priority dateOct 23, 1970
Publication numberUS 3689349 A, US 3689349A, US-A-3689349, US3689349 A, US3689349A
InventorsBurger William H
Original AssigneeKimberly Clark Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for crosslaying fiber webs
US 3689349 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1972 w. H. BURGER 3,689,349

APPARATUS FOR CROSSLAYING FIBER was !lled Oct. 23, 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet I.

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P 5, 1972 w. H. BURGER 3,689,349

APPARATUS FOR CROSSLAYING FIBER WEBS Filed 00! 23, 1970 4 Sheets-Sneet 2 p 5, 1972 w. H. BURGER 3,689,349

APPARATUS FOR CROSSLAYING FIBER WEBS 7 Filed Oct. 25, 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 I """UHIIMIH" i i P 5, 1972 w. H. BURGER 3,689,349

APPARATUS FOR CROSSLAYING FIBER WEBS Filed Oct. 23, 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent Patented Sept. 5, 1972 3,689,349 APPARATUS FOR CROSSLAYING FIBER WEBS William H. Burger, Neenah, Wis., assignor to Kimberly- Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis. Filed Oct. 23, 1970, Ser. No. 83,282 Int. Cl. B65h 17/00 U.S. Cl. 156-439 22 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method and apparatus for producing a substantially seamless cross laid material by depositing side-by-side segments of a web of staple length fibers between the plies of a two ply sheet material. The sheet and cross laid materials are fed into and out of the cross layer at a predetermined constant machining speed. Within the cross layer, the sheet material is trained through a carriage beneath an. intermittently operated fiber draw frame. The carriage is cyclically reciprocated in timed synchronism with the operation of the draw frame and includes a lost motion mechanism which is synchronously counter reciprocated to alternately and cyclically lengthen and shorten the effective lengths of multiple reaches of sheet material and cross laid material at the input and output sides of the carriage, respectively, so that during the forward stroke of the carriage the sheet cross laid materials are stationary relative to the carriage, whereas on the return stroke they are advanced relative to the carriage a distance substantially equal to both the length of material fed into and out of the cross layer during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation and the width of the fiber web provided by the draw frame. Provision is made within the carriage for separating the plies of sheet material at the input side of the draw frame and for recombining them with the cross laid web imprisoned therebetween at the output side of the draw frame, so that the potentially disturbing and distorting effects of windage and the like are minimized.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to cross layers and more particularly to a method and apparatus for manufacturing multi-ply, perpendicularly cross laid, nonwoven fabrics.

There has been substantial activity in recent years in connection with the development of fabrics for single use disposable articles, such as clothing, bed and table linens, Wash cloths, towels and the like. One of the most important and commercially practicable results has been the advent of cross laid, nonwoven cellulosic fabrics, such as the tissue-fiber laminates disclosed and claimed in Sokolowski et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,484,330, since such fabrics have sufificient lengthwise and crosswise strength for the intended usages, together with a hand, appearance, softness, flexibility, and conformability generally corresponding to the more traditional cloth fabrics.

Various methods and apparatus have been proposed for the manufacture of such fabrics and some, such as the one disclosed and claimed in Burger U.S. Pat. No. 3,492,185, have generally satisfied the main commercial criterion of maintaining the manufacturing costs at a level consistent with single used disposability. However, to accomplish that, certain compromises have been made, especially in respect to the appearance of the fabric. Specifically, the fabric has been formed by laying segments from one web generally side-by-side and crosswise, either on the bias or perpendicularly, relative to another web, but seams or areas of overlap which can general-1y be seen and felt on close inspection of the fabric have been left between the adjacent cross laid segments.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for high speed manufacture of substantially seamless cross laid products. A more detailed related object is to provide a method and apparatus for high speed manufacture of cross laid, multi-ply, nonwoven fabrics. An even more specific related object is to provide a method and apparatus for manufacturing substantially seam-less tissue-fiber laminates on a commercial scale.

Another object of this invention is to provide a method and apparatus for manufacturing multi-ply cross laid products of the above mentioned types wherein the stresses developed in the sheet material that is fed into and the cross laid material that is fed out of the cross layer are minimized. A more detailed related object is to provide a method and apparatus wherein sheet material is fed into and cross laid material is fed out of the cross layer at a constant and predetermined speed and yet wherein successive portions of the sheet material are stopped for a crosswise fiber laydown. A specific related object is to provide a method and apparatus of the foregoing type in which successive portions of the sheet material are alternately stopped and advanced in timed synchronism with a cyclical reciprocation of a carriage beneath an intermittently operated fiber draw frame.

A further object of the instant invention is to provide a method and apparatus for manufacturing multi-ply cross laid fabrics, such as tissue-fiber laminates, in which the cross laid fibers are drawn into a web immediately prior to being laid down and wherein such web is imprisoned between upper and lower plies of a sheet material immediately after being laid down so that the disorientation and distortion of it due to windage and the like is minimized.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus with which even relatively unskilled personnel can manufacture substantially seamless, high quality, cross laid fabrics on a commercial scale.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent when the following detailed description is read in conjunction with the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a cross layer constructed in accordance with the present invention which illustrates the cyclical reciprocation of the carriage between its lefthand solid line position and its right-hand phantom line position;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the cross layer of FIG. 1 and illustrates a drive mechanism for synchronously counter reciprocating the carriage and the lost motion rollers carried thereby;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section taken along the line 33 in FIG. 2 to show the cross laying draw frame and its orientation relative to the carriage;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view to illustrate in stop action form that the cross laid fabric is substantially seamless;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view which illustrates the manner in which the sheet material and the fabric are trained over the rollers and turning bars of the carriage Within the cross layer shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT While the invention will be described hereinafter in detail in connection with a single illustrated embodiment, it is to be understood that the intent is not to limit it to that embodiment. To the contrary, the intent is to cover all modifications, alternatives, and equivalents as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

Turning now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the cross layer here shown comprises a suitably anchored frame 11 on which a feed roll 12 and a take-up roll 13 are rotatably journalled on respective sets of brackets 14, 15 and 16, 17. A web 18 of elongated sheet material, which for the illustrated embodiment is preferably a two ply material, such as creped wadding or tissue, is guided from the feed roll 12 into the cross layer by a frame supported roller 19. The cross laid fabric 21 is guided from the cross layer on to the take-up roll 13 by another frame supported roller 22. The take-up roll 13 is driven at a substantially constant surface speed, viz, at a predetermined machining rate, by a motor diagrammatically indicated at 23.

Within the cross layer, the web 18 is trained, as described hereinbelow, through and over a carriage indicated generally at 25. The carriage 25 is mounted on forward and rearward Wheels 26 and 27 and powered by a drive mechanism indicated generally 28 for periodic reciprocation along guide rails 31 and 32 between its solid and phantom line positions beneath a fiber draw frame 33.

The draw frame 33 is mounted on the frame 11 transversely of the carriage 25 and its width is substantially equal to the length of the reach of the web 18- across the top of the carriage. Means such as carriage operated limited switches or the like (not shown) are provided to switch the draw frame 33 on and off in timed synchronism with the reciprocation of the carriage 25 so that the draw frame 33 is intermittently operated to cross lay successive reaches or segments of the web 18. Specifically, as here shown, during the forward stroke of the carriage 25, i.e., as it moves from its left-hand solid line position to its right-hand phantom line position, the web 18 and cross laid material are stationary relative to the carriage 25 and the draw frame 33 is switched on to cross lay that segment of the web 18 that is at the time extended across the top of the carriage 25. During the return stroke of the carriage 25, the draw frame 33 is switched olf and the web 18 is advanced a distance substantially equal to the length of sheet material 18 and cross laid material 21 that are fed into and out of the cross layer during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation. While in operation, the draw frame 33 deposits on that segment of the web 18 that is at the time positioned across the top of the carriage 25 a web 34 of staple length fibers which are generally uniformly oriented perpendicularly relative to the machining direction of the sheet material 18, and the width of the web 34 substantially equals the length of sheet material 18 and cross material 21 that are fed into and out of the cross layer during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation. Thus, it will be seen that the resultant cross laid fabric 21 is substantially seamless, since there is little, if any, overlapping of or gaps between the successively cross laid segments.

Typically, the staple length fibers 35 from which the web 34 is formed, i.e., the slivers, are guided into the draw frame 33 from a plurality of storage drums 36 by a frame supported back rest roller 37. As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, the draw frame 33 may suitably comprise a comb 38 for further increasing the uniformity of the orientation of the stable length fibers or slivers 35 and a series of roller sets 39 for progressively drawing them into the web 34.

In accordance with a primary feature of the present invention, to minimize the stresses developed in the web 18 and the cross laid fabric 21, the web feed and take-up speeds (which are sometimes collectively referred to herein as the machining rate or speed) are substantially equal and constant. Thus, when the cross layer is in operation and operating at the machining speed, there is very little tensional loading of either the web 18 or fabric 21, even though the web feed and fabric takeup rolls 11 and 12 generally have substantial inertia and momentum. The cyclical stop and advance motion that is necessary for accurate cross laying of web 18 in the manner generally described hereinabove is imparted only to those portions of the web 18 and fabric 21 that are at the time within the carriage 25.

To carry out this feature of the invention, included within the carriage 25 there is a lost motion mechanism 41 for affecting the transitions between the constant web feed and fabric take-up rates and the intermittent motion of the portions of the web 18 and fabric 21 within the carriage 25. The web 18 and the fabric 21 are fed into and out of the carriage 25 through the lost motion mechanism 41, which is synchronously counter reciprocated relative to the carriage 25. Within the lost motion mechanism 41, the web 18 and fabric 21 make respective multiple reaches of effective lengths that are alternately and cyclically lengthened and shortened as the lost motion mechanism 41 is reciprocated. The frequency for the synchronized reciprocations of the carriage 25 and lost motion mechanism 41 and the speeds of such reciprocations are selected so that during the forward stroke of the carriage 25 the portions of the web 18' and fabric 21 within the carriage 25 are stationary relative thereto thereby ensuring accurate cross laying of a segment of the web 18 by the draw frame 33. During the return stroke of the carriage 25, the portions of the web 18 and fabric 21 therein are advanced by a distance A (FIG. 4) that is substantially equal to the length of the previously cross laid segment and to the amount of web 18 fabric 21 that are fed into and out of the cross layer at the predetermined machining rate during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3 and 5, in the particular embodiment here shown, the lost motion mechanism 41 comprises one pair of rollers 42 and 43, which extend laterally of the carriage 25 and which are mounted for reciprocation relative thereto, and another pair of rollers 44 and 45, which also extend laterally of the carriage 25 but which are stationary relative thereto. Typically, the first set of rollers 42 and 43 are journalled at their ends on reciprocating blocks 46 and 47, and the second set of rollers 44 and 45 are respectively journalled at their ends on the rearward and forward carriage corner posts 51, 52 and 53, 54. The web 18 is trained under the frame supported guide roller 19, around the reciprocating roller 42, to the carriage mounted roller 44. The fabric 21 is trained from the carriage mounted roller 45, around the reciprocating roller 43, to the frame supported guide roller 22. Accordingly, there are respective double reaches of the web 18 and the fabric 21 at the input and output sides of the carriage 25 which vary in effective length in dependence on the positions of the carriage 25 relative to the frame 11 and of the reciprocating rollers 42 and 43 relative to the carriage 25. As here illustrated, the relative heights of the rollers 19, 42 and 44, on the one hand, and of the rollers 22, 43 and 45, on the other, are selected so that the double reaches of web 18 and fabric 21 are each substantially parallel double reaches. Thus, to obtain the cyclical stop and advance motion for the portions of the web 18 and fabric 21 that are within the carriage 25 while still feeding the web into and the fabric out of the cross layer at the predetermined constant machining speed, the carriage 25 is reciprocated at twice the machining speed and the rollers 42 and 43 are counter reciprocated at one-half the machining speed.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that during the forward stroke of the carriage 25, a length of web equal to /2 A is fed into the cross layer and the carriage 25 is advanced to the right by a distance A. However, due to the synchronized counter reciprocation of the lost motion mechanism 41, the rollers 42 and 43 are advanced to the right by a distance of only A A, so that the distance between the rollers 42 and 44 is decreased by A A while the distance between the rollers 43 and 44 is increased by A A. Thus, considering the motion of the web 18 and fabric 21 relative to the carriage 25 in component form, there are contributions of /2 A for the amount of web 18 that is fed into the cross layer at the machining speed, plus /2 A for the decreased distance between the rollers 42 and 44, minus A for the increased distance between the web feed roll 12 and the carriage 25; or a net result of no motion at all. At the same time, the components of the fabric motion seen by the take-up roll 13 are A for the decreased distance between the carriage 25 and the take-up roll 13, minus /2 A for the increased distance between the rollers 43 and 45; or a net motion of /2 A, which is the motion that should be seen at the predetermined machining speed during each half cycle of carriage reciprocation.

During the return stroke of the carriage 25, on the other hand, the carriage moves to the left by a distance A and the lost motion mechanism 41 counter reciprocates so that the rollers 42 and 43 move to the left a distance of only A. Accordingly, the distance between the rollers 42 and 44 is increased by A A and the distance between the rollers 43 and 45 is decreased by A; A. Considering the components of the web and fabric motion seen by the carriage under these circumstances, there is a contri-' bution of /2 A for the amount of web fed into the carriage at the machining speed, plus A for the decreased distance between the Web feed roll 12 and the carriage 25, minus /2 A for the increased distance between the rollers 42 and 44; or a resultant advance of the web and fabric relative to the carriage 25 a distance A. Under the same circumstances, the components of the fabric motion seen by the take-up roll 13 are contributions of A for the advance of the web and fabric relative to the carriage 25, plus /2 A for the decreased distance between the rollers 43 and '45, minus A for the increased distance between the carriage 25 and the take-up roll 13; or a net advance of /i A, which again is the advance that should be seen at the predetermined machining rate.

As will be appreciated, the carriage 25 and the reciprocating rollers 42 and 43 may be powered in a variety of different ways. It is to be understood, therefore, that the drive mechanism 28 illustrated in FIGS. 13 is strictly exemplary.

With that in mind, it will be seen that to reciprocate the relatively large mass of the carriage 25 relative to the frame 11, the drive mechanism 28 comprises identical chain drives 58 and 59 which are coupled to the opposite sides of the carriage 25 by respective connecting rods 64 and 65, and driven through respective belt and pulley arrangements 61 and 62 by a motor 63. Taking the chain drive 58 as being exemplary, it comprises an endless chain 66 which is trained about a pair of sprocket wheels 67 and 68 which are aligned parallel to the axis of reciprocation of the carriage 25 and spaced apart a distance substantially equal to the carriage stroke length A. As shown here, the sprocket wheel 67 is fixed on a shaft 69 which is journalled on the frame 11 and driven by the motor 63 through the belt and pulley drive 61. The sprocket wheel 68, on the other hand, is spaced forwardly of the sprocket Wheel 67 and journalled on a stationary upright or post 71. The connecting rod 64 is pivotally connected at 72 and 73 between the chain 66 and the carriage 25, so that the rotational motion of the chain drive 58 is converted to cyclical reciprocation of the carriage 25. Of course, the rate of carriage reciprocation may be readily set at twice the machining speed by selection of the ratios of the chain drives 58 and 59, the ratios of the belt and pulley drives 61 and 62, and the speed of the motor 63.

To synchronously counter-reciprocate the smaller mass of the rollers 42 and 43 relative to the carriage 25, the illustrated drive mechanism 28 further includes another pair of chain drives 76 and 77, each of which respectively comprises an endless chain 78 and 79 which is trained about a pair of sprocket wheels 80, 81 and 82, 83 which, in turn, are aligned parallel to the axis of reciprocation of the carriage 25. The chain drive 76 is powered by the motor 63, and power is transferred from it to the chain drive 77 by a sprocket wheel 84. To this end, the sprocket wheel is fixed to the driven shaft 69 outboard of the sprocket wheel 67. The sprocket wheel 81, in turn, is journalled on a stationary post 85 which is spaced forwardly of the driven shaft 69 by a distance suflicient to ensure that the power transferring sprocket wheel 84 remains in mesh With the chain 78 throughout the entire stroke of the carriage 25. The sprocket Wheels 82 and 84 are fixed on a shaft 86 which is journalled on a bracket 87 that extends forwardly from a rearward corner post 62 of the carriage, while the sprocket Wheel 83 is journalled on a bracket 88 that extends rearwardly from a forward carriage corner post 54. The distance between the sprocket wheels 82 and 83 is selected to equal one half the carriage stroke length A, and a connecting rod 89 is pivotally connected at 91 and 92 between the chain 79 and the mounting block 47 to convert the rotary motion of the chain drive 77 to reciprocation of the rollers 42 and 43. The ratios of the chain drives 76 and 77 and the pitch of the sprocket wheel 84 are selected so that the rollers 42 and 43 are synchronously counter-reciprocatcd relative to the carriage 25 and one half the machining speed.

In accordance with one of the more detailed aspects of the instant invention, relatively compact provision is made within the carriage 25 for separating and recombining the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 of the web 18 before and after the cross laying operation of the draw frame 33. As a result, the web 34 that is laid down by the draw frame 33 is relatively quickly imprisoned between the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 and, therefore, only briefly exposed to the potential disorienting and distorting effects of windage and the like.

To carry out this aspect of the invention, as best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, there are respective pairs of frictionally engaged rollers 101, 102 and 103, 104 at the input and output sides of the draw frame 33 for separating and recombining the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 of the web 18. As here shown, the rollers 101, 102 and 103, 104 extend longitudinally of the carriage 25 and are journalled on the carriage corner posts 52, 54 and 51, 53 respectively. For directing the web 18 from the roller 44 to the separating rollers 101, 102 and the fabric 21 from the recombining rollers 103, 104 to the roller 45 there are respective diagonally extending turning bars or man drels 105 and 106 which are supported by the carriage corner posts 51 and 54.

The effects of this arrangement can be best understood by considering the paths followed by the web '18 and the fabric 21 through the carriage 2-5. As has been previously noted, the incoming web 18 is trained around the rollers 42 and 44 of the lost motion mechanism 41. From the roller 44, the web 18 is guided around the turning bar 105 to enter between the separating rollers 101 and 102. The upper ply 95 then passes around the roller 101, across a lower level of the carriage 25, around a guide roller 107 which is journalled on the carriage corner post 51 and 53, upwardly behind the rollers 103 and 104, and over the roller 103. The lower ply 96, on the other hand, passes around the roller 102 and across the top of the carriage 25 beneath the draw frame 33. Immediately after the draw frame 33 has deposited the web 34 on the lower ply 96, the lower ply 96 and the cross laid web 34 pass with the upper ply 95 between the recombining rollers 103 and 104, so that the cross laid web 34 is im prisoned between the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 The einerging fabric 21 is then guided around the turning bar 106 and trained about the rollers 45 and 43 of the lost motion mechanism 41.

Of course, it will be understood that further operations (not shown) might be performed on the fabric 21 to per manently bond the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 with the web 34 imprisoned therebetween. For example, as noted in the aforementioned Sokolowski et al. patent,

there may be adhesive patterns on the upper and lower plies 95 and 96 and a heated platen or the like for activating the adhesive to provide a permanent bond.

CONCLUSION From the foregoing it will now be seen that the present invention provides a method and apparatus which even relatively unskilled personnel can employ for manufacturing substantially seamless cross laid Products. It will be understood that the method and apparatus of the instant invention can be used to advantage for high speed manufacture of superior quality, cross laid, non-woven fabrics which are particularly well suited for single use, disposable articles.

I claim as my invention: 1. A cross layer for producing a cross laid material, said cross layer comprising the combination of:

cross laying means for intermittently presenting at a discharge end a predetermined width planar web of substantially uniformly oriented staple length fibers;

carriage means disposed adjacent the discharge end of said cross laying means for reciprocation relative to said cross laying means along a first path that is substantially at right angles to the plane of said web,

lost motion means mounted on said carriage means for movement therewith and for reciprocation relative thereto along a second path that is substantially parallel to said first path, feed means for supplying elongated multi-ply sheet material at a predetermined constant machining speed,

means associated with said carriage means for separating at least two of the plies of said sheet material,

guide means included with said lost motion means and said carriage means for guiding said sheet material therethrough and past said cross laying means,

means associated with said carriage means for recombining said plies of said sheet material with said web of fibers imprisoned therebetween, and

drive means coupled to said lost motion means and said carriage means for cyclically reciprocating said carriage means in timed synchronism with the operation of said cross laying means and for synchronously counter reciprocating said lost motion means, so that during one half cycle of carriage reciprocation the sheet material is stationary relative to the carriage means for accurate cross laying of a segment thereof by said draw frame and during the other half cycle the sheet material is advanced relative to the carriage means by a distance substantially equal to the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the length of the segment of said sheet material that is cross laid by said cross laying means during said one-half cycle of carriage reciprocation substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation, whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 further including takeup means for accepting cross laid material from said carriage means at said machining speed.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said lost motion means includes at right angles to said second path first and second rollers which are mounted for reciprocation with said lost motion means relative to said carriage means and third and fourth rollers which are fixed to said carriage means, said sheet material is trained around said first and third rollers in a substantially parallel double reach and said cross laid material Tm trained around said second and fourth rollers in another substantially parallel double reach, and said carriage means and said lost motion means are respectively reciprocated at substantially twice and one half said machining speed.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless; and further including take-up means for accepting cross laid material from said carriage means at said predetermined machining speed.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said lost motion means includes at right angles to said second path first and second rollers which are mounted for reciprocation with said lost motion means relative to said carriage means and third and fourth rollers which are fixed to said carriage means, said sheet material is trained around said first and third rollers in a substantially parallel double reach and said cross laid material is trained around said second and fourth rollers in another substantially parallel double reach, and said carriage means and said lost motion means are reciprocated with stroke lengths which are respectively substantially equal to the length and one quarter of the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means sub stantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless; and further including a take-up means for accepting cross laid material from said carriage means at said machining speed.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said carriage means is disposed below the discharge end of said cross laying means, and said sheet material makes a substan tially horizontal reach across the top of said carriage means in a direction that is at substantially right angles to said first path, whereby said web of staple length fibers is gravity fed from said cross laying means on to said reach of sheet material during said one half cycle of carriage reciprocation.

10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein sheet material is fed in at an input side of said carriage means and cross laid material is fed out at an output side of said carriage means in directions that are substantially parallel to said first path; and said carriage means further includes between its input side and its top a first turning bar for turning the sheet material from the direction in which it is fed into said carriage means to the direction in which it makes said reach, and between its top and its output side a second turning bar for turning the cross laid material from the direction of said reach to the direction in which it is fed out of said carriage means.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said feed means comprises a roll of sheet material which is rotatably ournalled on one side of a stationary frame for feeding said sheet material toward an input side of said carriage means at said machining speed, and further including another roll which is rotatably journalled on the opposite side of said frame for taking up at said machining speed the cross laid material that is fed from an output side of said carriage means.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein the sheet and cross laid materials are fed into and out of said carriage means in a direction that is substantially parallel to said first path; said lost motion means includes at substantially right angles to said first path first and second rollers which are mounted for reciprocation with said lost motion means relative to said carriage means, and third and fourth rollers which are journalled on said carriage means, such that said sheet material makes a substantially parallel double reach around said first and third rollers and said cross laid material makes another substantially parallel double reach around said second and fourth rollers; said carriage means is disposed beneath the discharge end of said cross laying means, and said sheet material makes a substantially horizontal reach across the top of said carriage means in a direction that is at substantially right angles to said first path, such that said web of staple length fibers is gravity fed from said cross laying means on to said horizontal reach of sheet material; and said carriage means further includes a first turning bar between said third roller and its top for turning said sheet material from the direction in which it is fed into the carriage means to the direction in which it makes said horizontal reach, and a second turning bar between its top and said fourth roller for turning the cross laid material from the direction in which said sheet material makes its horizontal reach to the direction in which the cross laid material is fed out of said carriage means.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the width of the web of fibers fed on to said horizontal reach of sheet material during said one half cycle of carriage reciprocation substantially equals the length of the sheet and cross laid materials fed toward and from said carriage means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

15. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said sheet material is a multi-ply material which is fed toward an input side of said carriage means in a direction that is substantially parallel to said first path, and said cross laid material is fed from an output side of said carriage means in a direction that is also substantially parallel to said first path; and wherein said carriage means further includes a first means between its input side and said cross laying means for separating at least first and second plies of said sheet material, and a second means between said cross laying means and the output side of said carriage means for recombining said first and second plies wtih said web of staple length fibers imprisoned therebetween to form said cross laid material.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said carriage means is disposed with its top below the discharge end of said cross laying means; at least said first ply of said sheet material makes a substantially horizontal reach across the top of said carriage means in a direction that is at substantially right angles to said first path whereby said web of fibers is gravity fed from said cross laying means on to said horizontal reach; and at least said second ply makes a reach across said carriage means at a lower level thereof to be recombined with said first ply and the web thereon by said second means to form said cross laid material; and said carriage means further includes a first turning bar between its input side and its top to change the direction of said sheet material from the direction in which it is fed toward said carriage means to the direction of said horizontal reach, and a second turning bar between its top and its output side for changing the direction of said cross laid material from the direction of said horizontal reach to the direction in which it is fed from said carriage means.

17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein said horizontal reach is made between said first and second means whereby the exposure of said web to any disturbing and distorting effects is minimized.

18. The apparatus of claim 17 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

19. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein said lost motion means includes at substantially right angles to said first path first and second rollers which are mounted for reciprocation with said lost motion means relative to said carriage means and third and fourth rollers which are mounted on and stationary relative to said carriage means, said sheet material is trained around said first and third rollers at the input side of said carriage means in a substantially parallel double reach and said cross laid material is trained around said second and fourth rollers at the output side of said carriage means in another substantially parallel double reach, and said carriage means and said lost motion means are reciprocated with stroke lengths which are respectively substantially equal to the length and one quarter of the length of the sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation.

20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein the width of the web of fibers presented by said cross laying means substantially equals the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of carriage reciprocation whereby the cross laid material produced is substantially seamless.

21. Apparatus for producing a cross laid material, said cross layer comprising the combination of;

cross laying means for intermittently presenting at a. discharge end a predetermined width planar web of substantially uniformly oriented staple length fibers,

carriage means disposed adjacent the discharge end of said cross layer means for reciprocation along a predetermined path that is substantially at right angles to the plane of said web,

feed means for supplying elongated sheet material in a direction substantially parallel to said path and at a predetermined constant machining speed, means included within said carriage means for guiding said sheet material therethrough and for turning said sheet material from the feed direction to a direction that is substantially parallel to the plane of said web.

and drive means coupled to said carriage means for cyclically reciprocating it in timed operation with the operation of said cross laying means at a speed such that said sheet material is substantially stationary relative to said carriage for a predetermined portion of each cycle of carriage reciprocation.

22. The apparatus of claim 21 wherein said cross laying means cross lays a segment of said sheet material during said portion of said cycle of carriage reciprocation and wherein said segment has a width substantially equal to the length of sheet material supplied by said feed means during a complete cycle of reciprocation.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,549,455 12/ 1970 Armstrong l56-440 3,364,094 1/1968 Rosler 156-440 3,108,028 10/1963 Sprunck 156-440 X RALPH S. KENDALL, Primary Examiner C. WESTON, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4946538 *Dec 28, 1988Aug 7, 1990Andrew M. ZsolnayPrecision apparatus for placing filaments
US5182835 *Mar 26, 1991Feb 2, 1993Feltrifico Vaneto S.P.A.Method and plant for making laps for felts
US5833801 *Jan 17, 1997Nov 10, 1998Alfred; Henry I.Apparatus for fabricating a preform
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Classifications
U.S. Classification156/439, 28/101, 19/163, 156/433, 156/440, 156/436
International ClassificationD04H1/74, D04H1/70
Cooperative ClassificationD04H1/74
European ClassificationD04H1/74