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Publication numberUS3712086 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 23, 1973
Filing dateOct 26, 1971
Priority dateOct 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3712086 A, US 3712086A, US-A-3712086, US3712086 A, US3712086A
InventorsForg J, Payet G
Original AssigneeMc Graw Edison Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for producing a durable press in garments containing cellulose or cellulosic derivatives
US 3712086 A
Abstract
A novel apparatus for treating fabric articles containing cellulosic material to impart thereto a durable press comprises a treating chamber having means for providing therein formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide gases, and steam according to the weight of the cellulosic material in the fabric articles being treated, and for then cutting off the steam and supplying dry heat to raise the temperature in the chamber to at least 250 DEG F. Further, the chamber has suitable blowers and air ducts to enable the chamber to be flushed with fresh air and/or steam to rid the garments of residual odors.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

U ited States' atet Payet et al. 1 Jan. 23, 1973 [54] APPARATUS FOR PRUDUCING A 3,166,923 11965 Zacks ..68/5 C DURABLE PRESS IN GARMENTS 3,310,363 3 1967 Russell et 31.. 68/5 E X 3,513,669 5/1970 Nirenberg ..68/5 C CONTAINING CELLULOSE 0R 3,560,166 2/1971 Walles ..68/5 D x CELLULOSIC DERIVATIVES "mamas? sang; 'IYPEy't,Cincinnati, Ohio; I

John H. Forg, Cincinnati, Ohio McGraw-Edison Coqffilgin,

Filed: Oct. 26, 1971 Appl. No.: 192,285

Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 846,884, Aug; 1, 1969, Pat. No. 3,660,013.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS H [/1957 Sprague et al. ..68/5 D X Primary ExaminerWilliam I. Price Assistant Examiner-Philip R. Coe Attorney-George H. Fritzinger [57] ABSTRACT A novel apparatus for treating fabric articles containing cellulosic material to impart thereto a durable press comprises a treating chamber having means for .providing therein formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide gases, and steam according to the weight of the cellulosic material in the fabric articles being treated, and for then cutting off the steam and supplying dry heat Ito raise the temperature in the chamber to at least 250F. Further, the chamber has suitable blowers and air ducts to enable the chamber to be flushed with fresh air and/or steam to rid the garments of residual l odors.

10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAN 23 I975 SHEET 2 OF 5 INVENTORS GEORGE L. PAYET JOHN FORG AGENT PATENTEDJAH23 I975 3.712.086

SHEET 4 OF 5 FIG. 8

240 FIG. 9 220 LL t? D O I I- 6-MOISTURE 7T AM) EI- AND T w INJE TION I Q LU PUI6O- 5940 I0) 0.5 I 8 I20 2 2 Ioo V AIR wAs CABINET HEAT N I I P O 2 4 6 BIO I2I4l6l82022 CYCLE TIME-MIN.

260 240 m molsTuRusTEAm) ILL AND 50 Do 2OO INJECTION I- E 5 I :2 Em 46/ 1 U I60 2 35 I40 IL 5 FIG. IO o I20 2 J 2- I- -A 4 CABINET HEAT ON -TIME DELAY INVENTORS I GEORGE L. PAYET JOHN H. FORG rw sI;I

BY I 024 6 810 I214 l6 CYCLE TIME MIN. AGENT drapes, etc., as well as those of non-woven or felted material such as disposables i.e., garments made of paper or paper-like material. The term fabric articles is herein used to comprehend all the items of this general category.

Cellulose fabrics comprise long polymers having attached (OH) radicals which can be reacted with crosslinking molecules between the polymers. These crosslinks permit some slippage between the polymers under stress, but return the polymers to their initial relationships when outside stresses are removed. By introducing such linkages into a cellulose fabric a durable press is obtained. Formaldehyde is well known to produce such linkages when diffused through the cellulose fabrics in the presence of an acidic catalyst, heat and moisture. An example of such a catalyst is sulphurous acid which can be produced in the apparatus from sulphur dioxide and moisture. It is known on a laboratory scale that cotton will crosslink in the presence of steam, formaldehyde vapor and sulphur dioxide gas but it is not known that this method can be carried out dependably and economically on a commercial scale.

An object of the invention is to provide a novel apparatus for carrying out the novel method of our invention in an effective and efficient manner to produce a durable press having improved properties.

Another object is to provide an apparatus for imparting a durable press to cellulose fabrics on a commercial scale within a sufficiently short time cycle and with lower concentrations offormaldehyde gas and sulphur dioxide gas. v

Anotherobject is to provide an improved apparatus "which is adapted for treating individual batches of cellulose or cellulosic-blend clothing under controlled conditions to assure a consistently good durable press.

Another objectis to provide an improved apparatus for imparting, a durable press to cellulosic fabrics, which has a sufficiently low installation cost and short time cycle to render the apparatus practical for commercial use by yard goods stores, garment manufacturers, retail stores and cleaning and dyeing shops.

These and other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description andthe appended claims.

In the description of our invention reference is had to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a front vertical section on line l-l of FIG. 3 showing a treating chamber for carrying out the present invention according to one embodiment thereof;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal section on the line 2-2 of FIG.

FIG. 2a is a fractional sectional view to enlarged scale also onthe line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a horizontal sectional view through the blower box on line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fractional sectional view on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an exploded diagrammatic view showing an arrangement of heating channels on the back sides of the internal walls of the treating chamber;

FIG. 7 is a fractional sectional view on the line 7-7 of FIG. 3 showing the interconnecting passageways between successive heating channels;

FIG. 8 is a graph showing a typical temperature v. time cycle curve in the treating process by the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 7;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic view showing a front elevation with the front door removed of a treating box according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a graph showing a typical temperature 1 time cycle of the treating process according to the second embodiment of our invention;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of two treating boxes in sequential arrangement with a conveyor running therethrough; and

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of this sequential box arrangement.

The embodiment of our invention shown in FIGS. 1 to 7 comprises a treating box 10 for receiving batches of prepressed cotton or cotton-blend clothing 1 l and of providing the same with a durable press by the novel treating method of our invention. This is a rectangular box which may for example be similar in outward size and shape to a large upright refrigerator. The box is double-walled and insulated between the walls but has .steam heating channels applied against the outer sides of the inner walls for heating the inner treating chamber. The inner walls are preferable made of aluminum and comprise left and right vertical sidewalls l2 and 13 (FIG. 1), a back wall 14 (FIG. 2), a horizontal bottom wall 15 and a slanting top wall 16 which is inclined downwardly from front-to-back as shown in FIG. 3 to avoid dripping of any possible condensation onto the garments being treated. The inner walls are welded airtight at their seams into a unitary upright construction open at the front except for a short wall section 17 depending from the top wall 16. (FIG. 3). The remaining front opening is closed by a door-I8 hinged at its left side as indicated at 19. The door ove'rlaps the side edges of the inner walls and is sealed airtight thereagainst when closed by an intervening sealing strip 20.

Applied against the outer side of each inner wall of the box and door 18 is a series of side-by-side semicylindrical channel members '21. These channel members are welded along their edges to each other and to the inner walls of the box except at their end portions. At the end portions alternate pairs of adjacent edges of the channel members are cut away at 22 from the wall of the box and welded only to each other to provide interconnecting passageways between the channel members at the ends thereof. (FIGS. 6 and 7). In this way a continuous duct is formed proceeding zigzag along each inner wall of the box with the inner wall constituting one side of each duct.

Steam for heating the inner chamber is led via a valve V and a pipe 23 through the back wail 14 near the top of the box and midway the sides thereof. The pipe extends to a point near the front door 18 and then curves upwardly through the top wall 16 to which it is secured airtight by a fitting 24 (FIG. 3). This horizontal portion of the pipe is free of condensation because of its heated condition and serves as a rack on which hangers for the clothing being treated may be attached. The extension of the pipe 23 through the top wall is at a junction between two ducts 21 (FIG. 6) so that the steam will divide between the two ducts on the top wall 16 as indicated by the arrows 25. By way of example, the steam ducts on the several walls may be connected as follows: At the end of the last duct at the right side of the top wall 16 the steam is led via a nipple 26, connecting tube 27 and nipple 28 .to the first duct at the top of the side wall 13; at the end of the last duct at the bottom of the side wall 13 the steam is led by a nipple 29, connecting tube 30 and nipple 31 to the first duct at the top of the back wall 14; and at the end of the last duct at the bottom of the back wall 14 the steam is led back to the source via a nipple 32, tube 33 and intervening trap 34. Similarly, at the end of the last duct at the left side of the top wall 16 the steam is led via a nipple 35, flexible tube 36 and nipple 37 to the top duct on the door 18; at the end of the last duct at the bottom of the door 18, the steam is lead via a nipple 38, flexible tube 39 and nipple 40 to the first duct at the top of the left side wall 12; and at the last duct at the bottom of the side wall 12 the steam is led back to the source via a nipple 41, tube 42 and intervening trap 43. The bottom wall similarly could be steam heated if desired.

Applied against the outer side of the ducts 21 are layers 44 of asbestos paper, and applied against the asbestos paper are layers 45 about one and one-half inch thick of fiber glass having its aluminum side facing outwardly for the purpose of providing a smooth unimpeded surface for air flow. Spaced about one and onehalf inches from the fiber glass are the respective walls of an outer steel shell 46. This shell has a flanged front edge 47 in a vertical plane which closes the space between the shell and inner walls at the front of the box along the sides and bottom thereof. Also, there is a horizontal flanged edge 48 between the lower portion of the top wall section 17 and the confronting portion of the shell. The door 18 underlies the horizontal flanged edge 48 and is sealed against the vertical flanged edges 47 at the bottom and sides of the door and against a lower strip of the wall 17 below the flanged edge 48 at the top of thedoor.

Just beyond the sides, top and bottom of the door 18 there are small slots or openings 49 in the flanged edge 48, and at the top of the door there is a series of openings 50 in the horizontal flanged edge 48. These openings allow air to be drawn inwardly past the side edges of the door 18 responsive to an exhaust blower 51 connected by a pipe 52 at the back of the box to the space between the inner walls and shell 46. This suction blower draws away gases which may leak from the box past the seal of the door to prevent these gases from escaping into the room in which the treating box is located. The chance of any gas leakage is kept however at a minimum by a latch 53 diagrammatically indicated in FIG. 2, which holds the door closed with pressure against the seal when the latch is locked.

Centrally located on the bottom wall 15 of the treating box is a formaldehyde reactor comprising a shallow rectangular case 54 having an inset top wall 55 forming a tray for receiving a quantity of solid paraformaldehyde. This case 54 contains electric heating coils 56 connected by an outgoing cable 57 leading through an opening 58 in the bottom wall 15 to a voltage supply. The case 54 is secured by bolts 60 to the bottom wall 15. The space between the electric heating coils and the bottom wall 15 is filled with a fiber glass insulation 61. This reactor is adapted to heat the solid paraformaldehyde in the tray 55 and vaporize the same during a treating operation.

Extending through a side wall of the box 10 at a level above the tray 55 is a pipe 62 connected to a source 64 of sulphur dioxide (S0 through a solenoid valve 65. Also, in each side wall 12 and 13 at a level above the tray 55 is a pipe 66 terminating flush with the inside surface of the side wall. These pipes are connected to a source 67 of steam through a solenoid valve 68. A drain pipe 69 and valve 70 leading from the bottom wall of the chamber permits any water condensation to be drained after each press cycle.

In the walls of the box near the upper part thereof are portholes 71 and 72. These portholes are lined by walls 71a and 72a extending inwardly from the outer shell through the inner side walls of the box. Overlying these portholes are respective spiders 73 and 74 secured as by bolts to the inner walls 12 and 13. Mounted on the central hubs of these spiders are air cylinders 75 and 76 having armatures extending inwardly through the portholes and carrying respective dampers 77 and 78 at their inner ends. The damper 77 comprises a circular metal plate 77a as of stainless steel, a disk 77b as of silicone sponge applied to the metal plate and a disk 77c of solid silicon rubber applied to the sponge disk (FIG. 2a). Similarly, the damper 78 comprises the corresponding parts 78a, 78b and 78c. The dampers stand normally open (FIG. 2) and are closed and opened by air pressure to the air cylinders (FIG. 1). In the walls of the portholes are openings 71b and 72b through which air is drawn inwardly responsive to the suction blower 51 so that any gas leakage past the dampers 77 and 78 when the dampers are closed may not escape into the atmosphere.

ln the back wall of the box near the bottom thereof is a rectangular opening covered by a damper box 79 (FIGS. 1, 3, 4 and 5) having a rim flange 76 bolted to the outer shell. This damper box has a porthole 80 in its back wall near one end thereof coupled by a duct 81 to a suction blower 82. This blower has an outlet duct coupled by a stack 83 to the outside. The back'half of the damper box is divided from the front half by a partition wall 84 having a porthole 85 therein at the other end of the damper box. This porthole is closed by a damper 86 (such as the dampers 77 and 78) secured to the armature 87 of an air cylinder 88 bolted to the back wall of the box (FIG. 4). Operation of the air cylinders 75, 76 and 88 in an inward direction open these dampers (FIG. 1) to enable the blower 82 to draw the gases from the treating chamber and to circulate air therethrough. To permit any rising pressure in the treating box to be relieved when the pressure reaches a predetermined level, as when steam and sulphur dioxide are injected into the box, a blow-off valve 89 is provided in the damper box '79. This valve comprises a tube 90 extending through the partition wall 84 and 7 having a turned-up end portion at the outer side of the wall 84 closed by a weighted cap 91 resting on the end of the tube. The cap has an internal silicone rubber gasket 92 to provide a good seal so long as the pressure is below the blow-off level.

The present method is carried out by placing the garments in the closed chamber and then injecting formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide gases and steam. During the injection of thesegases the chamber is not heated other than by the heat of the steam. The initial temperature of the chamber may be at room temperature, say 70 to 80F, or the chamber may be preheated but not in excess of 150F. The steam is then cut off and the chamber allowed to cool to saturate the treating atmosphere and cause a greater condensation of steam through the fabrics being treated. When the box is initially at room temperature the steam is injected until the internal temperature reaches approximately 120F, whereupon the steam is cut off and the chamber allowed to cool typically from 10 to 25F. lf the chamber is in a preheated condition i.e., above room temperature not in excess of 150F the temperature may be allowed to cool after the steam is cut off by more than the temperature rise due to the steam before the auxiliary heating is applied. By proper timing of the auxiliary heating, depending upon the type of auxiliary heating apparatus, the internal temperature is raised following the temperature drop just noted to a temperature of 250F to complete the crosslinking operation. Thereupon, the chamber is allowed to cool and outside air is circulated through the chamber for several minutes to rid the garments of residual odors. Also, if necessary, steam may thereafter be circulated through the chamber for several minutes and then again outside air for several minutes to rid the garments wholly of any residual odors.

In a more precise procedure for carrying out the above method by the treating apparatus abovedescribed, consistently good results are obtained starting with the treating chamber at or about room temperature and with the reactor heater for the paraformaldehyde in a preheated condition but not to full vaporizing temperature. The garments to be treated are then placed on coat hangers attached to the pipe 23,

the desired quantity of paraformaldehyde is placed on the tray 55, the reactor heater is turned up to full temperature, and the door 18 and all dampers are closed. Low pressure steam of approximately 4 psi. is then admitted via the pipe 66 and sulphur dioxide gas is admitted via the pipe 62 for a period of approximately two minutes during which time the paraformaldehyde is being vaporized. During this period the steam, sulphur dioxide and formaldehyde gases permeate through the fabrics and the temperature in the chamber rises because of the steam typically to about l20F. This is shown by the first portion A, of the curve of FIG. 8. The time for carrying out this operation is typically about two minutes. At the end of this period the steam valve V is opened to start heating the chamber. However, since the steam ducts 21 are outside the chamber walls, there is a delay in heat transmission into the chamber causing the internal temperature to fall about 25 in the next two minutes as shown by the second portion A of the curve of FIG. 8 before the temperature begins to rise from the auxiliary heating. This temperature drop is a very important step in the present invention because it causes the treating atmosphere to become saturated with a resultant greater condensation of steam through the fabrics being treated. This greater condensation reduces the required concentrations of formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide and shortens the treating cycle. At the end of the two minute temperature drop the heat from the steam ducts 25 causes the internal temperature to being to rise. This rise continues for a period of about ten minutes as shown by the portion A of the curve of FIG. 8 before the temperature reaches 250F to complete the cross linkage operation. The time required to bring the temperature to 250F is important only from an economy standpoint since the completion of the linkage reaction depends only on the temperature reaching the 250F value. Accordingly, a time is selected taking into account the usual steam sources, thermal mass of the box, etc., which enables the box temperatures to be increased to 250F or thereabout in a period comensurate with practical requirements and with maximum economy. When the temperature reaches 250F the steam valve V is turned off preferably by automatic control from the thermostat T in'the chamber and the garments are purged by air and optionally also by steam to remove the residual odors.

The amounts of formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide for each treating operation depend by the present invention on the volume of the treating chamber. For example, the volume of the treating chamber may be approximately 35 cubic feet. In terms of percentage by volume at atmospheric pressure the sulphur dioxide range is typically from 0.1 to 2 percent, and the formaldehyde range is from 2 to 10 percent. This volume range of formaldehyde is obtained by placing paraformaldehyde on the tray 55 in an amount from 26.25 grams (2 percent) to 131.1 grams (10 percent). However, for maximum results, the sulphur dioxide is provided at a volume percentage of 1.02 percent and the formaldehyde at 6.19 percent. This volume percentage of formaldehyde is obtained by placing grams of paraformaldehyde on the tray 55. The maximum points in these ranges should not be exceeded because more than 2 percent sulphur dioxide will cause undue degradation of the fabric, and concentrations of formaldehyde above the range noted provides an explosive hazard.

The amount of moisture required for each treating operation is dependent primarily on the weight of the cellulose in each batch of garments being treated. lf the clothing being treated is all cellulose the total weight of the batch is considered in determining the amount of moisture required. However, if the clothing is a blend of a given percentage of cellulose with another fiber, then only that percentage of the overall weight is considered in determining the amount of moisture required. It is desired that the moisture content of the clothing should reach from 10 to 20 percent on a weight basis during a treating operation, but preferably the moisture content is to be held between 15 to l7 percent. A variable injection of steam into the treating chamber is achieved by controlling the time interval the steam valve 68 is held open during each treating operation. For this reason the solenoid valve 68 is controlled by a timer 94. This timer has a time setting knob 95 registering with a scale 96, and has a start button 97 for starting a treating operation and a start button 102 for starting a purge operation, as later described. The timer is connected to a power supply via a connector cable 98 and is connected to the solenoid valve 68 by a connector cable 99. Upon placing a batch of clothing in the treating chamber and then closing the door 18 the operator will press the start button 97 to start the flow of steam into the treating chamber for an interval depending upon the setting of the knob 95. The scale 96 may be calibrated in terms of the weight of cotton cloth in the batch being treated so that the operator after weighing a batch can readily set the knob for the right steam injection.

The timer 94 is also connected by a cable 100 to the sulphur dioxide control valve 65 to energize this valve for an interval independent of the setting of the knob 95 each time the start button 97 is pressed. However, this time interval of energization of the valve 65 may be adjusted to the desired setting for any given size of treating chamber by an adjusting screw 101 preferably as by a tool such as a wrench or screw driver.

The purging of the garments to rid them of residual odors is carried out by first replacing the gases in the treating chamber with room air as by opening the dampers 77 and 78 at the sides of the treating chamber, opening the damper 86 of the damper box 79 and starting the exhaust blower 82. After the exhaust blower 82 has run from 3 to minutes to replace the gases in the treating chamber with outside room air, the garments may be removed. However, if further purging is required the dampers are closed to seal the treating chamber and the steam purge button 102 on the timer 94 is pressed to open the steam valve 68 without however opening the valve 65 controlling the sulphur dioxide gas. The timer 94 is adapted to hold the steam valve 68 open for a period of from 2 to 5 minutes when the purge button 102 is pressed. After the treating chamber is again exhausted from two to five minutes as abovedeseribed, the batch of clothing may be removed. Still further, the cycle of adding steam and of then exhausting the treating chamber may be repeated.

Durability of crosslinks to acidic washing is superior to that found in conventional resinous type durable press. This is shown in Table I by the crease recovery for acid souring vapor phase treated samples and conventional resinated samples of the same type where the Symbol (W+F) means the recovery along the warp plus the recovery along the fill, it being understood that complete recovery in each direction would be 180.

TABLE I CREASE RECOVERY AFTER ACID SOURING WITH SULPHURIC ACID Conventional Durable Press Vapor Phase (W+F) (W+F) Original 304.0 315.0 Soaring min. pH 5.0 280.3 306.0 at I75F Soaring 30 min. pH 3.0 276.7 305.7 at I75F Softness of hand is much greater than in conventional resin type durable press as there is no surface resin to give the fabric a harsh" handle.

Retention of hand on successive washing As there is no surface resin which is subsequently washed off, vapor phase treated fabrics retain their handle after numerous washings, whereas conventional resin type durable press becomes softer and softer after nominal washings.

Superior Abrasion Resistance of vapor phase samples is due primarily to the softer hand, as the fabrics have not been embrittled with resins as in the case of resin type durable press. As an example, two like fabrics were compared, one containing conventional resin type durable press, the other the vapor phase treatment. These samples are shown in Table II.

TABLE II ABRASION LOSS OF FIBER WEIGHT IN ACCELERATOR AT 3,000 RPM FOR 3 MINUTES Orig. Final Fiber Fiber Sample No. Weight(g) Weight( g) Retained Lost 6l9P Conventional 3.8791 3.1699 l -3 Durable Press 6l 8? Vapor Phase 3.9893 3.4217 85.8 l4.2

Durable Press Both good wet and dry wrinkle recovery is evidenced in vapor phase durable press fabrics as shown in the following Table III.

TABLE III WET AND DRY CREASE RECOVERY dry crease recovery wet crease recovery Sample No. W. F. (W+F) W. F. (W+F) 6l8P (Vapor Phase) l55.0 l60.0 3l5.0 l52.0 l56.3 308.3 6I9P (Durable Press) I50.0 I543 304.3 I32.3 I410 275.3

Stain release is superior in vapor phase treated samples with respect to oily materials. Literature has shown that oily materials adhere to the resinous type crosslinking which are not present in vapor phase crosslinked samples. A 65/35 polyester cotton blend fabric, one piece durable press treated with resins in the textile mill was compared to the same fabric vapor phase treated. These samples were stained and washed, and are compared in the following Table IV.

TABLE IV STAIN REMOVAL ON RESIN DURABLE PRESS VS VAPOR PHASE DURABLE PRESS No. Chocolate Salad Sample No. Treatment Washes Catsup Syrup Dressing 374 Vapor Phase 3 4 4 5 376 Vapor Phase 3 4 4 4+ 37 7 Vapor Phase 3 4 4 5 3 79 Resin- Durable Press 3 4+ 4 4- 380 Resin Durable Press 3 4 4 4- Ratings for soil removal are as follows: l No change 2 Slight change 3 One half stain 4 Stain not quite gone 5 Stain completely removed Alteration capabilities are very simplified where vapor phase treatments are employed, as garments may be altered prior to rendering the fabric durable press. In conventional resin type durable press, the alterations must be made after the garment is rendered durable press. Creases are then durable and cannot be changed as alterations require.

In the alternative embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, the same form of temperature time relationship during the treating process is obtained to effect the same durable press with the use of lesser concentrations of treating agents than has been heretofore obtainable and again the period of each treating operation is substantially reduced. In this embodiment, the steam ducts 21 and insulation 45 are removed from between the internal chamber walls 12 14 and 16 and the outer shell 46, and instead the inside walls 12 14 and 16 are covered with a one inch thick insulation 108 of expanded silica known as Careytemp, and a series of finned steam-operated heater units 109 are mounted on the inside walls against the insulation 108. These internal heating units 109 may comprise three vertically spaced units on the back wall 14 and three intervening units on each side wall 12 and 13. No heating units are placed against the top and bottom walls 15 and 16 or against the door 18.

Since the heating units 109 are inside the chamber to heat the internal atmosphere directly they are capable of heating the treating chamber with relatively little time delay. Accordingly, in carrying out the treating process starting with the chamber at room temperature, the formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide gases and the steam are provided in the chamber for about 2 minutes causing the internal temperature to rise again to about l20F from the heat of the steam, as shown by the portion A, of the curve of FIG. 10. Next, the steam injection is cut off and the chamber is allowed to cool for about two minutes without any auxiliary heating applied. This causes the temperature to fall as shown by the portion A of the curve of FIG. 10. This fall may typically be from l0 to 15. The steam is then turned on the heating units 109 causing the internal temperature to begin to rise immediately as shown by the portion A of the curve of FIG. 10. Further, since the heating units 109 are directly in the chamber the internal temperature rises to about 250F to complete the crosslinkage reaction in only about 6 minutes. Thereupon, as before, this steam is cut off from the heating units 109 and the chamber is allowed to cool. Also, the fabrics may then be purged with room air and/or steam to rid them of residual odors as may be required.

In order to expedite the treating of fabric articles by the present method on a production basis two treating boxes 10 may be placed in sequential arrangement as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. The back walls of these boxes are removed, and the boxes are set back-to-back with a pair of sliding doors 103 therebetween and with the front doors 18 at the front and back of the sequential arrangement. The exhausts 51-52 and 79-83, and the steam inlet pipes 23, which were on the back walls,

are now appropriately mounted on the right and left walls as indicated. The horizontal portion of the pipe 23 which served as a rack for holding the work being treated is now offset suitably and'in its place at a level just above the doors 18 is a conveyor belt or chain 104. This conveyor chain is trained around guide rollers in a complete circuit. The rectilinear portion 104A of the conveyor chain ahead of the first box comprises a loading station on which a series of hangers 106 are attached bearing garments or other fabric articles to be treated, and the rectilinear portion 104B following the second box comprises an unloading station where the hangers are removed. The first box may be used for treating the garments with the steam, formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide, the same as described, and the second box may be used for purging the garments with room air and/or steam to rid the garments of residual odors also in the manner as described. Upon opening the doors 18 and 103 the conveyor chain may be advanced as by a motor 107 through steps to shift the work loads from the loading station to the first box, and concurrently from one box to the next and from the second box to the unloading station.

The embodiments of our invention herein particularly shown and described are intended to be illustrative and not necessarily limitative of our invention since the same are subject to changes and modifications without departure from the scope of our invention, which we endeavor to express according to the following claims.

. We claim:

1. An apparatus for treating fabric articles containing cellulosic material to impart a durable press thereto, comprising a treating chamber for said articles, means for exposing the articles in said chamber to steam, formaldehyde gas and sulphur dioxide gas, means for heating said chamber after the steam is cut off to a temperature of at least 250F, a surrounding wall spaced from the wail of said chamber, and means for circulating air through the interwall space between said chamber and said surrounding wall.

2. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 wherein said heating means is provided in said interwall space in thermal contact with the wall of said chamber.

3. The apparatus set forth in claim 2 including insulating means applied against said heating means and spaced from said outer wall leaving an air space for flow of air from said circulating means.

4. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 wherein said heating means is in direct contact with the treating atmosphere.

5. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 including an air inlet duct for said chamber and a damper for said duct, said outer wall having air holes for permitting a flow of outside air into said interwall space in the vicinity of said air inlet duct, and a suction fan connected to said interwall space for causing any leakage of gas through said duct when said damper is closed to be drawn via said air holes into said interwall space and exhausted.

6. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 including a door for said chamber through which the chamber is loaded and/or unloaded, said outer wall extending to the boundary of said door and being sealed thereat to the wall of said chamber, said outer wall having air holes at said boundary, and a suction fan connected to said interwall space for drawing air inwardly through said air holes to.

exhaust any leakage of gas from around said door.

7. The apparatus set forth in claim 1 wherein the means for exposing the articles in said chamber to steam includes means for injecting said steam into said chamber, and manually settable means for controlling the amount of steam injected in proportion to the weight of the cellulosic material in the fabric articles being treated.

8. An apparatus for treating fabric articles containing cellulosic material to impart a durable press thereto, comprising a treating chamber for said articles, means for exposing the articles in said chamber to steam, formaldehyde gas and sulphur dioxide gas, means for heating said chamber after the steam is cut off to a temperature of at least 250F, and a top wall for said chamber slanting downwardly to cause condensation thereon to drain downwardly and not drip on the fabric articles being treated.

9. An apparatus for treating fabric articles containing cellulosic material to impart a durable press thereto, comprising a treating chamber for said articles, means for exposing the articles in said chamber to steam, formaldehyde gas and sulphur dioxide gas, means for heating said chamber after the steam is cut off to a temperature of at least 250F, a rail in said chamber in which hangers bearing said fabric articles can be attached, and means for heating said rail so that steam is prevented from condensing thereon and dripping onto the fabric articles being treated.

10. The apparatus set forth in claim 9 wherein the means for heating said chamber includes steam jacketed heating means and wherein said rail constitutes a pipe extending across said chamber for leading steam to said heating means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2777750 *Nov 13, 1952Jan 15, 1957Celanese CorpProcess of stabilizing thermoplastic knitted fabric containing cellulose ester yarns with superheated steam
US3166923 *Sep 12, 1963Jan 26, 1965Zacks LtdDry cleaning apparatus
US3310363 *May 24, 1963Mar 21, 1967St Regis Paper CoProcess of reacting cellulose paper of low water content with gaseous formaldehyde
US3513669 *Dec 29, 1967May 26, 1970Dhj Ind IncApparatus for vapor phase treatment of articles
US3560166 *Feb 5, 1968Feb 2, 1971Dow Chemical CoSystem for treatment of substrates by a plurality of fluid reactants
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/5.00C, 68/5.00E
International ClassificationD06B5/00, D06B5/24
Cooperative ClassificationD06B5/24
European ClassificationD06B5/24
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 3, 1988AS03Merger
Owner name: AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY INC.
Effective date: 19861219
Owner name: AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY, INC.
Owner name: AURORA DEVELOPMENT CORP.
Owner name: FLORIDA OHM, INC.
May 3, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY INC.;AURORA DEVELOPMENT CORP.;FLORIDA OHM, INC.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:004864/0128
Effective date: 19861219
Owner name: AMERICAN LAUNDRY MACHINERY, INC.,OHIO