US 3760458 A
A method and means for the production of fibrous strand mats by collecting multi-filament strands in mat-like form, flooding the mat with a liquid to overcome forces holding filaments together in a strand, retaining the mat in the flooded condition for a predetermined interval, and removing excess liquid from the collection after the filaments are dispersed.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 1 1111 3,760,458 Pitt 1451 Sept. 25, 1973 METHOD AND MEANS FOR STRAND  References Cited FILAMENT DISPERSAL UNITED STATES PATENTS [7 Inventorr Richard E- Pitt, ark Ohio 3,060,50l 10/1962 Beal l8/8 3 376 609 4/1968 Kalwaites.....  Assignee: Owens-Corning Flberglas Corporation, Toledo Ohio 3,393,985 7/1968 Langlms et al. 65/9 Filedl 1971 Primary ExaminerDorsey Newton NOIZ Attorney-Myron E. Related US. Application Data  Continuation of Ser. No. 869,951, Oct. 27, 1969,  ABSTRACT abandoned, which is a continuation ofSer. No. A method and means for the production of fibrous March abflndonedstrand mats by collecting multi-filament strands in matlike form, flooding the mat with a liquid to overcome  US. Cl. 19/66 T, 19/155 forces holding filaments together in a strand, retaining  Int. Cl Bold 11/02 the mat in the floodedcondition for a predetermined Field of Search 1 interval, and removing excess liquid from the collection after the filaments are dispersed.
13 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 METHOD AND MEANS FOR STRAND FILAMENT DISPERSAL This is a continuation of my co-pending application Ser. No. 869,951, filed Oct. 27, 1969 now abandoned, which was a continuation of my then co-pending application Ser. No. 531,992, filed Mar. 4, 1966, and now abandoned.
Because of the increased general use of fibrous glass mat products, need has arisen for more exacting characteristics and properties for specific applications. Fibrous glass mats have been put to use for such purposes as acoustical, electrical, and thermal insulation as well as for reinforcing and filtering purposes, each such application requiring certain characteristics of strenghth,
porosity and integrity.
One method by which glas fibers for mats can be produced is to mechanically attenuate a plurality of glass streams flowing from a feeder or bushing. Attenuation of the streams may be effected by pulling rolls or wheels which draw the streams into fine fibers or filaments as they solidify by reason of exposure to the atmosphere. The solidified filaments are drawn over a size applicator and are then gathered into strand form whereupon the pulling wheels supply the strand for the purpose desired.
Another method of manufacturing glass fibers involves flowing the glass from feeders as described above and directing a jet of gas thereagainst at high speed to attenuate the streams into fine fibers by disrupting them into varied lengths which collect as a pulpy mass. I
Sheet and mat products have been manufactured in the past of both types of glass fibers but strand mats have presented a greater difficulty in manufacture because of their limited ability to form an integral mass. More specifically, the strand has little tendency to intermingle withitself so as to promote formation of an integral mass such as in a mat product. Heretofore, it has been necessary to add agents such as extra quantities of binder material or additional glass fibers of shorter length in order to promote mat integrity. These additions, however, involved additional process steps and correspondingly added'quipment complexity and cost.
In an effort to form a more integral mass, glass fiber strands have been impinged or bounced off a deflecting surface to provide a fluffy or fuzzy property. That is, an integral glass strand is moved at a relatively high speed and directed against a hard surface so that it impinges such surface with a driving force, the product produced being a strand of fuzzy or fluffed character which tends to take on a curl resulting in a generally helical form or swirl. The greater the speed of impingement, the greater the fuzziness created. The fuzziness results from filaments within the strand being dispersed or separated from the main core along at least a portion of their lengths while the remainder are retained in integrated form. While this method did give a better degree of fine porosity desired for use in acousticaLelectrical and thermal insulation, the abrading or mechanical handling of the glass strand when deflecting the strand from a surface at a high speed is undesirable since it tends to reduce the mechanical strength of the strand or the filaments. Further, this method makes it difficult to uniformly deposit the strand and filaments with great accuracy over a predetermined area. Uniformity of deposition of strands upon a collecting surface is a problem which also effects integrity of the mat.
in addition to the problem of integrity, other difficulties are experienced with strands in that of themselves they lack the ability to give the degree of fine porosity desired for uses such as acoustical, electrical and thermal insulation. That is, continuous strands by themselves usually fail to provide the multitude of small interstices desired in such insulation materials. Further, in fine mat or thin mat applications where the mat i used as a reinforcing material for such products as roofing materials made from mats impregnated with as phalt, etc., the small interstices are necessary to hold the molten or plastic filler or impregnator and keep it from running on through the mat when the mat is being combined with the filler to make the final product. Also, in this regard, mats made in the past wholly of strand, because of their unusually large interstices, are somewhat rough and fail to provide the fine finish and appearance desired when the glass mats are put to use as reinforcement material in resin laminate structures, particularly when the laminate includes semitransparent portions.
It is particularly desirable to incorporate continuous glass strands in mat products, however, because the mechanically attenuated fibers of which such strands are composed have much greater strength than the blown fibers. Such additional strength incorporated into fibrous mats lends greatly to permitting their use in many installations in which they could not otherwise be used. Both burst and tear strengths of such mats can be made extremely high by reason of the high strength of the fibers or filaments embodied in the strands.
In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel and economical method and means for manufacture of glass strand mats having a high degree of integrity and strength.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new type of glass strand mat having a high degree of integrity and strength and a controllable degree of porosity.
A further object of the invention is to provide an efficient method and means for dispensing filaments from a strand bundle to promote integrity in accumulations of the strand bundles.
Still another object of this invention is to produce a novel strand product capable of providing a large number of interstices and a fine finish in accumulations thereof.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a more efficient method and means than existed heretofore for manufacturing mat products of materials in strand or yarn form.
An additional object of this invention is to provide method and means for the dispersal of filaments after they are gathered in strand form for the use in end products as desired.
It has been found that strands formed from a number of filaments in a bundle may be reopened or have the filaments dispersed by the impingement of a fluid stream upon the strand. While the fluid stream may be a gaseous fluid, it most advantageously is shown in most of the preferred embodiments herein as a liquid fluid to accomplish the dispersal of the filaments as desired. There is shown, however, a method and means for dispersing filaments of a strand by the use of gaseous stream impingement. There is also shown the method and means for the dispersal of strands by the use of liquid streams thereon. To obtain an even greater dispersal, a liquid stream may be impinged upon strands and the liquid retained around the strands in a flooded condition to provide a soaking" or a weakening of bonding forces for a predetermined interval, after which interval a second impingement of a liquid stream upon the strands while still in a flooded condition will effect an even further dispersal of the filaments from the strand.
The strength properties of the strand which have been dispersed or reopened in this manner are not affected, as compared to mechanical impingement of the strand on a hard deflecting surface. Better dispersal can be obtained than by any other known method. The dispersed or fuzzed characteristic of the filaments provides an attribute which promotes mass integrity when the strand is in mat form. The dispersion of filaments promotes an intermingling and clinging of the strand portions which overlap and cross, or otherwise contact each other, so as to produce a gathering of filaments and strand into a cohesive mass. In addition, the intermingling and clinging causes the formation of a multitude of very small interstices desired in many products and also provides a fine outer finish which is often desired when such a product is used as reinforcement in resin laminate and other structures.
An important feature of this method of filament dispersion is that it does not disturb the distribution or uniformity of distribution or the original orientation of the strand in its particular position in the mat. The strand can be distributed quite accurately by newer methods and dispersion or reopening effected without disturbing the uniformity of distribution thus achieving the finest finish, the smallest interstices and the best integrity of any mat product known to date. This particularly important factor is necessary for the production of the very thin or fine mats which are difiicult to regulate in uniformity in a unit area and in weight per unit area.
The invention thus features a method for dispersing filaments of a strand comprising the steps of impinging the strand with a liquid to overcome forces holding the filaments together in the strand and removing the excess liquid after the filaments are dispersed. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the method includes the steps of flooding the strand or the mat with the dispersing liquid. This flooding step is advantageously accomplished by conveying the strand or mat through a flooded area, which flooded area is provided by impinging the mat from above with a liquid stream while retaining the liquid around the mat as it moves forward. Advantageously, the flooded liquid area around the mat moves with the mat at substantially the same rate so that the orientation and uniformity of distribution of the strands is not disrupted. Further dispersion may be obtained by adding an impulse of liquid having a relatively different velocity than the mat and the accompanying flooding stream to further disperse the filaments. This additional impulse of liquid is advantageously provided after the strands and mat have a predetermined interval of soaking or dispersal in the and places or leaves the filaments in the desired position due to the vertical flow at the holes and through the small interstices. The method may be further expanded to include impinging a filament dispersing fluid stream against the strands as they are being deposited upon a collecting surface or the conveying surface in mat form. This pre-impingement may be either a gaseous or liquid fluid. The method may also advantageously include a step of applying a lubricant to the filaments when being formed into strands to provide interfiber mobility to aid subsequent filament dispersion steps. In brief, the method of dispersing the filaments of a strand comprises the steps of applying a nonabrading force to the strand to weaken the bonding forces holding the filaments in a strand configuration and removing the force after predetermined dispersal is obtained.
Novel apparatus for accomplishing the above inventive methods is disclosed and described in detail for preferred embodiments herein.
Although the principles of the present invention are described as applied in the use of glass strands, the invention is not limited thereto in view of the fact that it has aspects readily applicable to use with strands, yarns and other forms of different materials. For example, the described method of effecting filament dispersion or strand reopening can be used for filament dispersion of yarns or slivers as well, or may be used for strand reopening or filament dispersion of strands, yarns or slivers of materials such as cellulose acetate, artificial silk, cotton, wool and nylon.
Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become readily apparent when the following description is taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation of apparatus embodying a portion of the teachings of this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevation in section illustrating apparatus for further dispersing filaments of strands;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional side view of liquid distribution apparatus suitable for use in this invention; and
FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the liquid distribution apparatus illustrated in FIG. 4.
Referring to the drawings in more detail, the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 includes molten glasss feeding bushings 21 and 22 depending from conventional glass melting tanks which are not illustrated. The conveyor 61 includes the foraminous collecting surface elements constituting the web of the conveyor, a conveyor drive rod or means for moving the elements 61a, a drive motor 610, and a sprocket-chain arrangement generally indicated at 61b connecting the motor 610 to drive roll 61a. Continuous filaments 23 are drawn from the minute streams of molten glass issuing from orifices of the bushing. It will be considered that a bushing with 400 orifices is here utilized and the filaments are drawn to an average diameter of fifty-five hundred thousandths of an inch.
Size or a lubricant may be applied to the filaments as the latter pass over the traveling belts or aprons of the conventional size applicators 25. The size may be merely water to reduce friction between the filaments as they are subsequently joined in strand form. A more complex size may be desired to promote inter-fiber mobility of the filaments when combined as strands in order to aid subsequent filament dispersion steps.
The filaments from each bushing after receiving a sizing if des'ired, are grouped together to form a set or group of, in this instance, 14 strands individually segregated asthey travel within 14 grooves over the respective gathering shoe 27 to the second gathering or aligning shoes 31.
From the shoes 31 the two set of spaced strands 29 and 30 are led around the two idler wheels 33 and, respectively, travel around the pull wheels 35 and 36. The wheels are similarly constructed but are relatively reversed in position and are on opposite sides of the center line of the receiving conveyor 61. The wheels and the forming stations above them are meant to be representative of a number of forming stations as required to build the thickness or to provide the properties desired for the mat being formed.
Motors 37 and 38, respectively, drive pull wheels 35 and 36. The strandscarried by pull wheel 35 are released therefrom by the successive projection of fingers of an oscillating spoke wheel through slots in the peripheral surface of the pull wheel 35. Similarly, fingers of another spoked wheel serve this purpose in connection with the pull wheel 36. The strands are kinetically projected in tangential paths from the pull wheel. That is, the rotation of the pull wheels 35, 36 at high speeds imparts a kinetic energy to each segment of the strand as it is pushed off the wheel. Since the strand segments are all pushed off tangentially in the same direction in this apparatus, the strand segments and thus the entire strand acquires a linear velocity which is utilized in some methods of uniformly distributing the strands.
The rear side of each pull wheel is covered by an independently mounted, oscillatable back plate on which the associated spoked wheel is carried.Back plate 42 of the assembly including pull wheel 36 may be arcuately oscillated through arm 43. The entire assembly may be positioned on the platform 50 to support the pull wheels 35 and 36 and the equipment associated therewith. Platform 50 may be suspended by angle iron hangers 51. The'arm 43 maybe arcuately turned to a position to determine the tangential push-off of the strand from the pull wheel 36. If, as in this instance, it is desired that the tangential push-off causes thestrands to be carried perpendicularly downwardly with their linear velocity, then the arm 43 may be secured to hanger 51 by a link 52 to retain the strand push-off at the position desired. The pull wheels just described are particularly suited for use in this invention since they allow the uniform distribution of a plurality of finer strands, rather than a larger coarse strand. A finer strand lends itself more readily to reopening techniques described herein.
The group of strands 58 thrown down by the pull wheel 35, which has its push-off point also anchored by a link 52 connected to hanger 51, and the group of strands 59 thrown down by the pull wheel 36 are accumulated, after distribution, in mat form 60 upon the collecting surface, in this case traveling conveyor 61, which may be of a foraminous, perforated or mesh construction.
After the sets of strands 58 and 59 have had imparted thereto kinetic energy and thus provided with a predetermined linear velocity, aerodynamic diversion means, in this instance fluid nozzle means 100, 101 and 102,
102 for the sets or groups 58 and 59, respectively, distribute the strands across the width of the collecting surface.
in addition to aerodynamic diversion with sufficient linear velocity to accurately deposit and distribute one or a plurality of strands it has been discovered that another important function may be provided by the fluid nozzles by the proper control, placement and use thereof. That is, the aerodynamic diverting means can be used to also disperse the filaments. A jet or fluid stream may be used to flatten the strand from a generally cylindrical cross-section to a substantially flat or ribbon cross-section configuration. This flattening, while not effecting the linear velocity of the strand required for accurate deposition, is effective to weaken the bond holding the filaments in the cylindrical strand form. Thus, fluid stream impingement at the time of distribution aids subsequent dispersal treatments and the filaments are more easily dispersable under the influence of the liquid dispersing agent or binder because the bonding forces holding the filaments in the normally cylindrical strand configuration have been weakened. If the proper size or lubricant is applied to the filaments as they are being attenuated and combined into a strand, which size does not have strong bonding ability, then sufficient filament dispersal may possibly be effected by the jet or fluid stream or streams from the aerodynamic diverting means impinging upon the strand for use in certain products without further operations. However, since most applications require a greater dispersal than that effected by the aerodynamic diverting means, subsequent filament dispersal steps may be employed as described hereinafter.
Referring to FIG. 2, a fluid supply line 16 is shown connected to opposing nozzle means 100, 101 via control valves 17 and 18. The control valves 17 and 18 may be regulated manually or, as shown, an automatic control means 19 may be used to effect electrical regulation of the valves to deliver a fluid stream from the nozzles 101), 101 to most effectively impinge the strands and disperse the filaments to thedegree desired. In addition, the control valves 17 and 18 and the control means 13 may be utilized to modulate the flow of fluid from the nozzles 100, 101-to effect a sweeping distribution of the strands across the collecting surface below. Nozzles 102, 103 may be similarly controlled.
Referring to FIG. 3, there is illustrated apparatus for performing subsequent filament dispersal steps in the novel method disclosed herein. At a first liquid impingement station a liquid 74 is distributed evenly across the strand mat 60 by weir means 71. A supply line 72 supplies liquid to the weir means 71. Valve means 73 may be utilized to control the flow of the liquid to the weir '71 and thus the amount of liquid impinging the strands in the mat 60. The liquid 74 collects on a liquid retaining means 76 in a flooded condition as noted at to inundate the mat 60 either at the impingement point, or at earlier or later points as desired. An end plate '77 may be utilized to prevent the flood area 75 from flowing to the left and off of the back of the liquid retaining plate 76. If the liquid retaining plate 75 is slightly tilted and if the conveyor 61 and mat 60 speed is sufficiently fast, the end plate 77 may not be required. Side plates '78, however, are required to prevent a flow transverse to the direction of travel of the mat and the stream formed by the flooded area 75. This insures that the natural stream formed by the flooded area 75 will proceed to the right side of the retaining plate 76 and pour over into catch basin 90. A sufficient flow is advantageously provided by regulating valve 73 so that the flooded area 75 will become a stream moving at substantially the same rate and in the same direction as the mat 60. This prevents any forward or reverse disruption of uniformly distributed or oriented strands in the mat 60.
The most effective dispersal of the filaments of the strands within the mat 60 may be effected by using a second liquid impingement station 80. The second liquid impingement station 80 is spaced from the first station 70 at a distance, depending upon the speed of the conveyor 61, adapted to provide a predetermined soaking or bond weakening interval. The second impingement station comprises a weir 81 supplied via supply line 82, which supply is controlled by valve 83. The control valve 83 in combination with the construction of the forward lip 85 of the weir 81 combine to provide a predetermined forward velocity of the impinging stream 84 with respect to the mat 60 and the flood stream 75. It is desirable to provide the impinging stream 84 with a slightly higher velocity than that of the flood stream 75 and the mat 60, for most effective dispersal.
Referring to FIG. 4, it will be noted that the lip of the weir 85 may be inclined, for example, 15 from the horizontal, so that in combination with the fluid control by the supply valve 83 the impinging stream 84 may be provided with a velocity in the direction indicated by the arrow 84a. The weir means 81 is situated sufficiently close to the surface of the flood stream 75 and the mat 60 so that gravity will have little effect upon the direction of travel of stream 84. As will be noted, the direction of travel and speed of the stream 84 may be illustrated in vectorial form by vectors 84b and 84c. It will be noted that the horizontal vector 84b is substantially greater than the downward vertical vector 840, thus insuring that the stream 84 will properly impinge the mat 60 and flooded area 75 to most effectively disperse the filaments from the strands within mat 60.
After dispersement, the excess liquid may be removed from the mat by two means. First, the liquid is allowed to drain through the foraminous conveyor 61 into the catch basin 90 and is noted by streams-91, which include both flow-through from the mat 60 and a portion of the flood stream 75. By allowing the excess liquid to drain vertically, the liquid will proceed toward holes or interstices still left in the mat 60 thus carrying dispersed filaments in such hole-seeking flow. This further disperses the filaments and insures even smaller interstices and more uniformity in the mat 60. The liquid material 91 from the catch basin 90 may be removed via conduit 92 and pump 93. The conduit 92 and pump 93 may, if desired, be connected to recirculate the liquid into supply conduits 72, 82. In a second liquid removal step, a suction chamber 110 having a suction opening 1 l 1 connected to a suitable air exhaust system (not shown) may be situated beneath the foraminous conveyor 61. As will be noted by the direction of the arrows showing the vertically downward air flow, the filaments are held in their dispersed position while further excess liquid is removed from the mat.
Referring to FIG. 5, there is illustrated a front view of the weir apparatus shown in FIG. 4, which apparatus may also be used for the weir at station 70. The wier means 81 of FIG. 5 is connected with a supply conduit 82 which supplies the liquid along the bottom 87 of the weir means 81. A plurality of parallel vanes or baffles 86 have been placed within the weir means 81 to insure that very little side to side flow with respect to the travel of the mat issues from the lip 85 of the weir 81 to disrupt the uniform distribution of the strands. Baffle or vane means 86 are spaced from the bottom so that liquid may be supplied to the entire weir means by a single supply pipe 82. Thus a curtain or sheet of impinging liquid may be supplied at either station 80 or at station to the mat 60 and the strand therein for filament dispersal.
It should be noted that the liquid for dispersement of filaments at stations 70 and may be simply water. It has been noted hereinbefore, of course, that the impinging fluid stream from the nozzles 100, 101, 102 and 103 may be gaseous or liquid. At the stations 70 and 80, however, water may be used. It has been noted that with some lubricants which are used to provide interfiber mobility that the water may be made alkaline to aid dispersal. The addition of a small amount of, for example, ammonium case-inate will change the pH value of the water surrounding the strands from acid to alkaline.
In addition to the use of plain water, or the alkaline water, it is desirable to reopen the strands or to disperse the filaments by using a liquid which is a solution containing the binder that will eventually be used to integrate the mat. That is, a number of aqueous solutions may be utilized which carry a binder which will be deposited upon the filaments and strands and, after heat or other treatment, will bind the filaments and strands together and integrate the mat. Other forms of binders not in aqueous solutions may, of course, also be used if there is sufficient liquidity to provide a flooded area around the mat and the strands therein to produce the dispersing effect from the soaking and/or impinging as described hereinbefore.
There has thus been described and disclosed herein novel method and means for dispersal of filaments from strands and the making of mat products therefrom. Possible modifications and substitutions of elements of the apparatus and method of this invention will occur to those skilled in the art, and such obvious changes are considered within the spirit and scope of this invention.
1. A method for the production of a mat-like collection of filaments wherein the orientation of the filaments is controlled comprising the steps of a. providing multi-filament strands in an unwoven mat-like form on a moving surface,
b. flooding said mat-like collection on said moving surface with a liquid to overcome forces holding filaments together in a strand,
c. creating stre'am flow of said liquid through said flooded area in the same direction with and at substantially the same rate as said mat-like collection is moving through said flooded area to avoid disorientation of said strands from their positions in said mat-like collection on said surface,
(1. retaining said mat-like collection in said flooded condition for an interval until filaments of the strands are dispersed within the general orientation of said strands on said surface, and
e. removing excess liquid from the mat-like collection after said filaments are dispersed to provide a mat-like collection of oriented filaments on said surface.
LA method as defined in claim I in which said excess liquid removal step includes draining said excess liquid through said mat-like collection to cause said dispersed filaments to be carried in a hole-seeking flow of said draining liquid through said mat-like collection to remove voids in said mat-like collection.
3. A method as defined in claim 1 in which said stream flow creating step includes adding liquid across an initial portion of said flooded area to replace the liquid carried out of said flooded area by said mat-like collection.
4. A method for the production of a mat-like collection of individual glass fibers wherein the orientation of the fibers within the collection is controlled, comprising the steps of a. depositing multi-filament strands of glass fibers on a collection surface in a mat-lil e form,
b. flooding said mat-like form on said collection surface with a liquid without disturbing the general orientation of the glass fiber strands in the mat-like form.
c. retaining said mat-like form in said flooded condition for an interval until fibers of the strands are dispersed from each other within the general orientation of the strands in the mat-like form, and
d. removing excess liquid from the mat-like form after said fibers are dispersed by draining said liquid through said mat-like form and said collection surface to cause individual fibers to be carried in a hole-seeking flow of said draining liquid through said mat-like form to remove voids in said mat-like form.
5. Apparatus for the production of a mat-like collection of individual glass fibers wherein the orientation of the fibers within the collection'is controlled, comprising a. an element having a foraminous collection surface,
b. means providing multi-filament strands of glass fibers'in an unwoven mat-like form on said collection surface,
0. means for flooding said mat-like form on said collection surface with a liquid without disturbing the orientation of the glass fiber strands in the mat-like form and for retaining said mat-like form in said flooded condition until fibers of the strands are dispersed from each other within the general orientation of the strands in the mat-like form including means for moving said element having a foraminous collection surface into and out of a flooding area, and
d. means for removing excess liquid from the matlike form after said fibers are dispersed by draining said liquid through said mat-like form and said foraminous collection surface causing individual fibers to be carried in a hole-seeking flow of said draining liquid to remove voids in said mat-like form.
6. A method for the production of fibrous strand mats comprising the steps of a. collecting multifilament strands in an unwoven mat-like form on a surface,
b. flooding said mat-like collection on said surface with a liquid to overcome forces holding filaments together in a strand, said flooding including conveying said mat-like collection on said surface through an area flooded with said liquid,
c. flowing said liquid through said flooded area in the same direction with and at substantially the same rate as said mat-like collection is conveyed through said flooded area to avoid disorientation of said strands from the positions in said mat-like collection,
d. retaining said mat-like collection in said flooded condition for an interval until filaments of the strands are dispersed within the general orientation of said strands on said surface,
. adding an impingement of liquid to said flowing liquid and flooded mat-like collection after said collection has traveled a distance through said flooded area, said liquid impingement being distributed evenly across said advancing mat-like collection and having a relatively different velocity than said mat-like collection and the accompanying flowing liquid to further disperse said filaments, and
. removing excess liquid from the mat-like collection after said filaments are dispersed to hold said filaments in their dispersed positions in the mat-like collection on said surface.
7. A method as defined in claim 6 in which said impingement liquid adding step includes providing said impingement of liquid with a relatively higher velocity than said flooding liquid, the velocity having a greater vector substantially parallel to the direction of flow of said flooding liquid.
8. Apparatus for the production of glass fiber strand mats having filaments of said strands dispersed comprising a. an element having a strand receiving surface,
b. means providing multi-filament glass fiber strands in an unwoven mat-like form on said surface,
c. means for flooding said mat-like form on said surface with a liquid to overcome forces holding filaments together in strand form,
d. means for maintaining said mat-like form in said flooded condition for an interval,
e. means for adding additional liquid to impinge upon said flooded strands to further disperse said filaments, and
f. means for draining excess liquid through said matlike form and said surface after dispersal of said filaments to cause dispersed filaments to be carried in a hole-seeking flow of said liquid draining through said mat-like form to remove voids in said mat-like form.
9. Apparatus for the production of glass fiber strands mats having filaments on said strands dispersed comprising a. an element having a strand receiving surface,
b. means providing multi-filament glass fiber strands inan unwoven mat-like form on said surface,
c. means for flooding said mat-like form on said surface with a liquid to overcome forces holding filaments together in strand form including means for moving said mat-like form and said element through said liquid,
d. means for maintaining said mat-like form in said flooded condition for an interval,
e. means for adding liquid to said flooded mat-like form to create a stream flow ,of said liquid in the same direction and at substantially the same rate of movement as said conveyed mat-like form, and
f. means for draining excess liquid through said matlike form and said surface after dispersal of said filaments to cause dispersed filaments to be carried in a hole-seeking flow of said liquid draining through said mat-like form to remove voids in said mat-like form.
10. Apparatus as defined in claim 9 in which said liquid adding means includes weir means located above said mat-like form to distribute said liquid evenly across said mat-like form as it is conveyed beneath said weir means.
11. Apparatus as defined in claim 9 which further includes means for adding additional liquid to said flooded mat-like form at a spaced distance from said first-mentioned liquid adding means to impinge upon said flooded strands to cause further filament dispersal.
12. Apparatus as defined in claim 11 in which said second-mentioned liquid adding means comprises a weir means positioned to add liquid evenly across said flooded strands as the strands are conveyed past said second-mentioned liquid adding means.
13. Apparatus as defined in claim 12 which further includes means for controlling the velocity and direction of said second-mentioned liquid.
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