US 3783479 A
A method of preparing a nonwoven fabric from a plurality of randomly disposed and interlaced sections of yarn or the like comprising mechanically entangling fibers from a first section of yarn within a second section of yarn below the first section of yarn. If a backing material is used, fibers from yarn are entangled within the backing to secure the backing to the nonwoven fabric. At least a portion of the sections of yarn is disposed angularly with respect to the remaining sections of yarn.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent 11 1 1111 3,783,479 Terry Jan. 8, 1974  METHOD OF PREPARING A NONWOVEN 3,242,033 3/1966 Dildilian et a1. 161/72 FABRIC FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Inventor; Claude Terry, Rockmart, 739,652 8/1966 Canada 28/722  Assignee: Southern Mills, Inc., Atlanta, Ga. OTHER PUBLICATIONS Filed: g- 7, 1970 Canadian Textile Journal, Needle Felting-The Mod- 21 A L N I 67 595 cm Concept of an Ancient Material, by ER D1d1er, 1 pp pages 53-55 (1958).
 U.S.Cl 28/72.2 R, 161/72, 161/80, Primary Examiner George E Lesmes I t Cl 52/23 76; Assistant Examiner-Lorraine T. Kendell I] o A J S, Th m & A k  Field of Search 161/72, 80, 151, may one o as S w 72.2 R; 156/72, 148  ABSTRACT A method of preparing a nonwoven fabric from a plu-  References Cited rality of randomly disposed and interlaced sections of UNITED STATES PATENTS yarn or the like comprising mechanically entangling 2,908,064 10/1959 Lauterbach et a1 28 722 R fibers from a first Section of within a second 2,910,763 11 1959 Lauterbach 28 722 R P 0f bfflow first of If a back 3,059,311 10/1962 Hochberg 28/72.2 R mg material 18 used, fibers from y are entangled 3,192,598 7/1965 Stevenson et a1..... 28/722 R within the backing to secure the backing to the non- 3,086,276 4/1963 Bartz et a1. 161/58 woven fabric. At least a portion 01 the sections of yarn 3,623,935 11/1971 Allman 161/57 i disposed angularly with respect to the remaining 3,493,462 2 1970 Bunting, Jr. et a1... 161/169 Sections ofyam 3,214,819 11/1965 Guerin 28/722 F 6 3,208,125 9/1965 Hall et a1. l6l/81 X 4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 1 1 1 /3 A3 I i PATENIEDJAN- 8mm I 3383.479
- ME! ME 2 CLAUDE TE/ZQV gm, I
firrapA/zrs 1 METHOD OF PREPARING A NONWOVEN FABRIC CROSS'REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuationin-part of my copending application Ser. No. 660,893 filed Aug. 11, 1967 and now abandoned and entitled Nonwoven Fabric" which was in turn a continuation-in-part of my then copending application Ser. No. 586,461 filed Oct. 13, l966 and now abandoned and entitled Nonwoven. Fabric.
DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a method of preparing a nonwoven fabric from sections of randomly disposed yarn or the like. More particularly, the present invention concerns a method whereby sections of yarn or the like are needle-punched into entangled engagement with other sections of yarn or backing to produce a nonwoven material suitable for use as a floorcarpet, wall covering, inexpensive support material or similar uses.
Nonwoven needle-punched fabrics produced by the needling or felting method are well-known to those skilled in the art. In the prior art, these nonwoven needle-punched fabrics have generally been produced by feeding a web of discrete randomly arranged fibers or substantially parallel strands to a needle loom which mechanically interlocks the discrete fibers or the substantially parallel strands in the web to one another to form a body that is frequently also mechanically inter locked or chemically bonded to a base or backing material. It is characteristic of prior art nonwoven needlepunched fabrics that the body of the fabric be comprised substantially entirely of discrete fibers, filaments or other fiber-like substances or of substantially parallel strands of twisted or entangled fibers.
In contrast to the prior art, a nonwoven fabric embodying the invention disclosed herein is produced by the mechanical interlocking. of some of the fibers in each of a plurality of randomly disposed strands such as pieces of yarn, thread, or other similar material with: other strands or with a backing material. In addition, random positioning of strands results in the strands being disposed in a plurality of directions and interlaced so as to provide a nonwoven fabric with substantial strength and durability.
It is an object of the present invention therefore to provide a method? of preparing a nonwoven fabric of unique appearance and acceptable physical properties. This and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description and the accompany ing drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a schematic presentation of apparatus suitable for use in practicing the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of a nonwoven fabric as disclosed herein as it is being needle-punched by a plurality of needles in the apparatus shown in FIG.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of a nonwoven fabric as disclosed herein;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a second nonwoven fabric as disclosed herein.
With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 and according to the present invention, a nonwoven fabric is produced using a conventional feeder or hopper 14 to feed a plurality of sections of yarn 12onto a backing material 13 as the backing material 13 is withdrawn from a roll 15 and supported by a stand 16. The sections of yarn 12 are randomly disposed with respect to each other and form a web 17 which passes with the backing material 13 across the stand 16 toward a conventional needle felting machine or needle loom 18 in response to the action of the feed apron 19 of the needle loom 18.
The sectionsof yarn l2should be of a length between 1 inch and 12 inches for suitable results to be obtained. Preferably, the sections should be of a length between about 6 inches and 8 inches.
A portion of the sections of yarn will be disposed in a direction parallel to the direction of movement of the web 17. Another portion of the sections of yarn will be disposed in directionsvarying from the direction of movement of the web and some sections of yarn will intertwine with other sections of yarn. A majority of the sections of yarn will lie within horizontal planes parallel to feed apron 19 but some sections, as they intertwine with other sections of yarn, will lie at least partially within planes which are other than parallel to feed apron 19; i
The sections of yarn 12 should be deposited on the backing material 13 to a. maximum depth of one-half inch so that adequate entangling may be achieved.
The motion of the feed apron 19 as it moves the web 17 and backing material 13 is coordinated with a reciprocating motion of the needle carrier or needle beam 20 of the needle loom 18 so that successive lengths of web 17 and backing material 13 pass between the bed plate 21 and the stripper plate 22 where the plurality of needles 23 carried by the needle beam 20 penetrate the web 17 and backing material 13 to cause mechanical interlocking between the fibers 24in a piece of yarn 12 and the fibers 24 in another piece of yarn l2 and between the fibers 24 in a piece of yarn l2 and the backing material 13. It will also be understood that after the plurality of pieces of yarn 12 and the backing material 13 are mechanically interlocked, the backing material 13- and the body 25 which is formed from the web 17 pass as the nonwoven fabric 10 from the needle loom 18 to a receiving roller 26.
During the needling operation, the randomly disposed and intertwined sections of yarn forming web 17 receive between about 500 and 1,500 penetrations per square inch of web by needles 23'. During penetration by a needle a minority of all the fibers in one section of yarn is displaced downwardly from that section of yarn into the body of another section of yarn and into backing material 13.
The mechanical interlocking of only a portion of the fibers 24' in a section of yarn 12 into other sections of yarn and into backing material 13 is achieved in needle loom 18 as shown in FIG. 2 by selecting the size of the barbs 30on each of the plurality of needles 23 so that each barb 30 is not large enough to engage the entire diameter of a section of yarn 12 but is at least large enoughto engage anddisplace anindividualfiber. Preferably the needles are of a gauge between about 36 gauge and 16 gauge.
The denier of the yarn employed in the present method may be selected from arelativelywide range of deniers since only portions of the fibers within each section of yarn is displaced into entangled engagement with other yarn and the backing material.
[t is preferred in the needling of web 17 that fibers from the uppermost layer of sections of yarn be displaced into entangled engagement with the backing material 13. If backing material 13 is deleted and only sections of yarn are needled, then it is preferred that fibers from the uppermost layer of sections of yarn be displaced downwardly into entangled engagement within the body of sections of yarn in the lowermost layer of sections of yarn. Consequently, it should be understood that in one preferred embodiment of the present invention individual fibers or portions of fibers extend into engagement with other fibers in other sections of yarn and also into engagement with the backing material or the lowermost sections of yarn if no backing material is employed. It should also be understood that fibers of sections of yarn are displaced downwardly in a substantially vertical path from the upper sections of yarn into engagement with lower sections of yarn and lower backing material.
With reference to the strength and durability of a nonwoven fabric which is provided by the randomly disposed sections of yarn 12, it will be seen from FIGS. 3 and 4 that the randomly disposed sections of yarn 12 or 12 extend in a plurality of random directions relative to each other and are randomly interlaced so that each section of yarn 12 or 12 is mechanically interlocked by the present process to a plurality of other sections of yarn 12 or 12' extending in a plurality of different directions including directions which place sections of yarn 12 or 12' substantially perpendicular to each other. As a result, the sections of yarn 12 or 12' form a substantially continuous nonwoven structure to provide a strong and durable nonwoven fabric 10 or 10' even in the absence of a backing material 13.
Variations in the nonwoven fabric 10 of the invention may be obtained by blending loose or discrete fibers 31 or other conventionally used materials with a plurality of sections of yarn 12. Regardless of the amount of fibers 31 or other conventionally used material which are interspersed among the sections of yarn 12, the randomly disposed sections of yarn 12 provide a strong and durable nonwoven fabric 10.
It should be understood with respect to the foregoing disclosure that a section of yarn 12 is generally representative of any strand such as a yarn, thread, or other similar structure formed by a plurality of fibers such as natural or synthetic fibers that have been twisted or otherwise formed into a strand from which some of the fibers may be mechanically displaced to become entangled with other fibers or fixedly inserted into a material such as backing material 13. Further, it should be understood that the fibers of a strand may be polymeric in composition such as nylon, rayon, polyester, polyolefin, and the like or natural in composition such as wool, cotton and the like.
Finally, it should be understood that any backing material known to those skilled in the art which alone or with the addition of a conventional bonding agent will provide good mechanical interlocking with a fiber of a section of yarn suitable for use as backing material l3.
Where a bonding agent is used, it may be applied to the nonwoven fabric 10 between the needle loom l8 and the receiving roller 26 or in a subsequent operation in conventional manner.
While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinbefore and as defined in the appended claims.
1. Process for preparing a nonwoven fabric comprising the steps of:
A. Depositing a layer of sections of yarn upon a backing material, said sections having a length of between about 1 inch and 12 inches and formed of a plurality of fibers and being disposed in various random directions with respect to one another;
B. Penetrating the layer of sections of yarn, at a rate of 500 to 1,500 penetrations per square inch, with a plurality of needles of a size between about 36 gauge and 16 gauge and having barbs of a size sufficient to capture and displace at least an individual fiber of a yarn but not large enough to capture and displace all of the fibers in said yarn; and thereby C. Capturing and displacing said individual fibers in sections of yarn into mechanically interlocked entangled engagement with individual fibers of adja cent other sections of yarn and with the backing material.
2. Process of claim 1 wherein said sections of yarn are deposited upon the backing with portions of the sections being substantially perpendicular to other sections of yarn and other portions of yarn being entangled and intertwined with other sections of yarn.
3. Process of claim 2 wherein the sections of yarn are deposited on the backing material to a thickness of about one-half inch.
4. Process for preparing a nonwoven fabric comprising the steps of:
A. Depositing an uppermost layer and a lowermost layer of sections of yarn upon a work support surface, said sections being of a length between about one inch and twelve inches and formed of a plurality of fibers and being disposed in various random non-parallel directions with respect to one another;
B. Penetrating the layers of sections of yarn, at a rate of 500 to 1,500 penetrations per square inch, with a plurality of needles of a size between about 36 gauge and 16 gauge and having barbs of a size sufficient to capture and displace at least an individual fiber of a yarn but not large enough to capture and displace all of the fibers in said yarn; and thereby C. Capturing and displacing said individual fibers in said uppermost layer of sections of yarn downwardly into mechanically interlocked entangled engagement with individual fibers of adjacent sections of yarn in said lowermost layer of sections of yarn.