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Publication numberUS3785179 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1974
Filing dateOct 18, 1971
Priority dateOct 18, 1971
Also published asDE2248299A1
Publication numberUS 3785179 A, US 3785179A, US-A-3785179, US3785179 A, US3785179A
InventorsDavis T, West T
Original AssigneeDawes Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for application of dyes and/or chemicals to fabrics, webs, strands of yarn, or other material
US 3785179 A
Abstract
The present invention relates to apparatus and a method for space or solid dyeing yarn ends, fabrics and other materials. It comprises means for guiding the material along a predetermined path, at preferably a high continuous rate in tensioned or tensionless manner. A plurality of spraying stations are disposed along the path at spaced apart positions and are provided for transverse movement above and across the yarn ends or fabric to spray dye solutions or other chemicals into the material, with penetration being achieved due to dispersion and atomization of the dye solution emerging from the spray nozzles. The nozzles may be oriented at various angles to produce narrow or wide application. The parameters are set so that the kinetic energy of the dye solution is sufficient to penetrate the material. Steam chest (steam venturies in the case of yarn ends) are used to fix or stabilize the colors, rebulk or even enhance bulking, and wash away excess chemicals. Conventional application of background color by nip rolls or other means of conventional application, drying and other steps are incorporated in the process to achieve the overall object of space of solid dyed textile material which exhibits its original or greater bulk in a process which is repeatable.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Davis et al.

[111 3,785,179 [451 Jan. 15, 1974 [75] Inventors: Thomas E. Davis; Thomas B. West,

both of Burlington, NC.

[73] Assignee: Dawes Enterprises, Incorporated, Gastonia, NC.

221 Filed: Oct. 18, 1971 21 Appl. No.: 189,821

Primary ExaminerWilliam I. Price Alt0rney-Wilfred C. Caldwell [57] ABSTRACT The present invention relates to apparatus and a method for space or solid dyeing yarn ends, fabrics and other materials. It comprises means for guiding the material along a predetermined path, at preferably a high continuous rate in tensioned or tensionless manner. A plurality of spraying stations are disposed along the path at spaced apart positions and are provided for transverse movement above and across the yarn ends or fabric to spray dye solutions or other chemicals into the material, with penetration being achieved due to dispersion and atomization of the dye solution emerging from the spray nozzles. The nozzles may be oriented at various angles to produce narrow or wide application. The parameters are set so that the kinetic energy of the dye solution is sufficient to penetrate the material. Steam chest (steam venturies in the case of yarn ends) are used to fix or stabilize the col ors, rebulk or even enhance bulking, and wash away excess chemicals. Conventional application of background color by nip rolls or other means of conventional application, drying and other steps are incorporated in the process to achieve the overall object of space of solid dyed textile material which exhibits its original or greater bulk in a process which is repeatable.

22 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATHHEU 3.785.179

SHEET 3 [IF 8 l i i .i

GAS FIRED HEAT EXCHANGERT;

PAIENIEUJAN 1 5 mm SHEET 4 BF 8 PAIENTEDJAH I 5 m4 3.785.179

SHEEI 7 UP 8 FGB 5o2 215 r j 523 v 2:7? [33 C \50! 525 527 SPRAY CYLINDER No! SPRAY CYLINDER N02 HOv AC 461 QLOAD DYE CHEMEAL APPARATUS FOR APPLICATION OF DYES AND/OR CHEMICALS TO FABRICS, WEBS, STRANDS OF YARN, OR OTHER MATERIAL A novel multi-colored patterning effect may be imparted to a textile material which accepts dyes and/or chemicals, such as fabric or yarn ends by, preferably:

1. Guiding the material along a predetermined path,

2. pre-coating the material with a base color in a conventional nip applicator roll assembly, or other conventional means,

3. drying the so-coated material with near infrared heat, or other conventional means, and

4. applying dyestuffs and/or chemicals by means of a plurality of atomizing spray nozzles traversing in planes above the plane of the material and normal to the direction of movement of the textile mate rial.

Several different spray applications may be successively made over the pre-coated material in a substantially predetermined, controlled manner. Varying the relative velocity between the material and the traversing spray nozzles provides one effective method for changing the color patterns.

Different patterns are also facilitated by the fact that the spray nozzles can be rotated about the material, about their own axes, yielding wide or narrow patterns on the material. This *application" with the traversing spray nozzles, creates or yields a shade or hue on the pre-coated material that is a function of the amount of dye and/or chemical applied and the colors and types of dyes and/or chemicals used in both the pre-coating application and the spraying application.

After the multiple spraying is completed, the material is pre-dryed, and then steamed to assist in setting, or fixing the color and removing excess dyes and chemicals. For yarn ends, steam venturies are employed to impart inertia thereto resulting in regain, or even enhancing of bulking of the yarn ends. The venturi tubes have their exit ends submerged in or immediately above a water bath, preferably cold, to stabilize the color in the yarn ends which color was driven into the fiber by the steam. The water both also washes off excess colors or chemicals on the surface of the yarn, it brightens and deepens the color and hue and assists in recovery of the bulk. The material is then pre-heated in a near infra-red oven or by other conventional means prior to final air drying in a forced air convective oven. After satisfactory drying, the yarn or fabric material is wound on tubes or cones or put on the beams.

Applications contemplated herein include conventional dyes and chemicals. Dyes such as disperse, di'

rect, acid, premetallized, basic, pigments, fiber reactive, metal chelating etc., on such textile materials as yarns, tows, rovings and fabric webs whether woven or non-woven, made from spun fibers, films, ribbons or filaments spun from polyester, polyamide, acetate, triacetate, acyrlic, modacrylic, polyolefin, rayon, polyvinyls etc., whether these fibers are spun from 100% homopolymers, random or block copolymers and polymer blands thereof; and such natural fibers as cotton, wool, silk, jute, hemp, etc. And such chemicals commonly used to assist or resist the treatment of the above mentioned dyes and/or chemicals on the above mentioned textile materials.

Dyestuffs emerge from the spray nozzle at, in the preferred embodiments, at various angles, in a plane perpendicular to the normal plane of the material, being dispersed and atomized prior to impinging on the material.

Although the dyes are pumped under presure, through the nozzle, and the exit velocity from the nozzle is relatively high (due to the wide discharge angle and small orifice), the dyes and/or chemical solution impinging on the material have reduced momentum as the mass (or particle size) is small. Due to atomization, (i.e., kinetic energy is a function of mass x velocity squared), the impinging dyes do, however, have sufficient energy to assist in penetrating, the fibrous or receptive material and equally coat the individual fiber. In the case of dyeing a multiplicity of individual strands of yarn, arranged in a side by side :fashion, and moving axially through the machine, the spray nozzle is oriented above the material and traverses the width (usually all of the width) of the material. in a predetermined, controlled fashion. The width of the application on the textile material is a function of:

l. the nozzle height above the material, 2. material speed or velocity, 3. traversing nozzle speed 2) and 3) considered together are relative speed), and g 4. the angle of the plane of nozzle discharge relative to the longitudinal axis of the individual strands of yarn or the like, and I 5. the nozzle configuration and orifice size.

The depth of shade depends mechanically upon the items listed above, however; it is also dependent upon the concentration of sprayed dyes and/or chemicals impinging on a given section of textile material. Further, it is dependent upon the affinity of "the dyestuffs and/or chemicals for the particular fiber type being dyed.

The dyestuff and/or chemical, in liquid form, may be sprayed cold or hot (e.g., less than 212F) and may be mixed with certain assist agents: and non-foaming chemicals as the particular colors and patterns dictate. Selection of dyes and/or chemicals is very important. Its desirable to produce by one dyestuff application, a light and dark area by overlapping the sprays. This can be accomplished in a single pass.

For example, the unshaded portion of nylon yarn (as will be further explained in the detailed description of FIG. 4) was padded with a solution containing nylomine yellow GS, thickener and acetic acid yielding a yellow base shade. The treated nylon yarn was predryed and subsequently sprayed in the first traversing spray zone with a solution of nylomine blue GS, thickener and acetic acid which yielded a green shade as represented by Zone A. The yarn passed under the second traversing spray zone where a solution of nylomine red 2BS, thickener and acetic acid was applied yielding an orange shade represented by Zone B, but excluding the overlapped zone between A and B. The overlapped zone between A and B yielded a brown shade. The space dyed nylon yarn was pre-dried prior to entering the steam venturi. The steam venturi fixed the dyes and removed excess dyes and chemicals. The yarn progressed in the water quenching bath where bulk was recovered and a brightening and deepening of the shades occured. The yarn was traveling at 10 yards/minute with a traversing speed of the spray nozzles of 5 feet per second..The dye solutions were applied at room temperature. The steam temperature of 212F was used to fix the colors.

The unique cooperation of the components in the arrangements taught herein provides certain unusual advantages. For example, one feature of the invention resides in the provision of tensionless handling of the material as it passes through the apparatus. A single prime mover (e.g., DC motor) drives the material at spaced positions along the path via positive infinite variable transmissions, sprocket and chain, coupled to insure that the entrance speed is always equal to or slightly greater than'the exit speed as between adjacent driving locations.

This tensionless driving feature provides in particular:

l. The avoidance of fiber elongation,

2. the avoidance of loss of bulk due to progressive elongation,

3. the avoidance of weakening or separation of the individual fibers, also 4. it assists in the completion of the process in a single pass through the apparatus; additionally,

5. it introduces the material, and especially the yarn ends, to the steaming section for optimal processing.

The second feature resides in the steaming step, best described with respect to yarn ends applied to the steam venturies and thence to the wash.

The steaming feature provides, among other advantages for:

l. Propelling the yarn ends by high pressure steam striking the peripheries thereof,

2. excellent heat transfer by the direct delivery of penetrating heat from the steam of proper quality to the yarn ends,

3. fixing or stabilizing of the colors,

4. washing away of excess applied substances, and

5. rebulking or even enhancing of the bulking.

Another feature resides in the comprehension by the apparatus and process of an infinite number of available patterns. Also, the invention features the ability ot reproduce any of the patterns. These advantages are primarily due to the vast programmable control afforded over the color applications by an electropneumatic controller unit.

Briefly, this unit provides both digital and analog control to achieve, via the multiple number of spray heads supervised, the enormous number of predetermined patterns. The analog signals set the speeds of each traversing spray head relative to the receptive material speed, and the digital signals determine length of stroke, color application and other parameters of the overall pattern. The controller memory may comprise a paper of magnetic tape or the like.

The kinetics of the spray nozzles for introducing the various substances to the material are set to ensure penetration, thereby affording the desirable advantages of fast colors in a great many hues or shades due to overlapping, color hiatus, and even bleeding.

Finally, the foregoing process enables faster patterning, in continuous manner to provide reliable duplicating at reduced cost.

In addition, assists, resists, re-dyeing, printing and the like are not necessary, but rather multi-colors are laid down in one step without loss of bulk.

With the foregoing in mind the invention will be better understood from a reading of the following detailed description thereof when taken in the light of the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1A is a block diagram of another embodiment of the present invention showing also schematically the tensionless driving arrangement;

FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation of a slightly different embodiment of the invention but showing suitable apparatus through the steaming and washing operation;

FIG. 3 represents a continuation of the apparatus of FIG. 2 through the near infra-red drying step and the air convection drying step;

FIG. 4 is a view in side elevation of a single yarn end to show typical dyeing operations;

FIG. 5 is a view in perspective of a single spray station;

FIG. 6 is a view in cross-section of the spray station of FIG. 5 taken along the arrows marked in FIG. 6 thereof;

FIG. 7 is a view in perspective of a suitable electric controller for use with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an electrical pneumatic schematic to illustrate the reciprocating action of three spray stations;

FIG. 9 is a pneumatic schematic showing of a typical diverter valve;

FIG. 10 is a schematic chart helpful in describing a method for predetermining by calculation a typical pattern taking into account the velocity of the spray cylinders relative to the velocity of the material moving through the apparatus;

FIG. 11 is an electrical circuit diagram for operation of the electro mechanical components to control the spray heads from the controller;

FIG. 12 is a view in perspective showing the useful components of a typical controller;

FIG. 13 is a view in perspective of a chart for the controller of FIG. 12 as showing its method of fabrication;

FIG. 14 is a view partly in cross-section and partly in side elevation taken through the controller of FIG. 12 to show the operation of a micro-switch from a chart;

FIG. 15 is a plan view ofa portion ofa chart unrolled or in flat condition to show the analog contouring to be traced out in controlling the spray head;

FIG. 16 is a view in perspective of a plurality of venturies passing yarn ends therethrough; and

FIG. 17 shows two steam venturies in cross-section with yarn ends passing through the same.

For the sake of brevity, the process and apparatus functions will be described using yarn as a material in the process, although the fabric web or other material, as listed herein, can be substituted with modifications to the take-up, steaming and let-off unit, Dry or wet heat, or a combination of both, can replace the steaming venturi section in the event a web material is used. Thus in FIGS. 1 and 2 block diagrams are shown to illustrate the versatility of the machine make-up. For example, yarn is delivered to the remainder of the machine from a beam or creel or ball warp shown generally at 21 in block diagram. This apparatus may comprise conventionally available units with the number of yarn ends being processed determining the size of the apparatus creel and let-off or take-up units at the delivery end of the machine, such a winding or take-up unit being illustrated at block 23.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a two hundred end machine is desirable and thus will be described by way of example. A single end of yarn, up to any useful number of ends may be incorporated using the principles of the described dyeing apparatus.

The greige yarn enters the machine through guides shown as thread guides 25 to control the width of yarn web into a padder pre-coat applicator 27. The padder 27 is driven through the variable speed drive unit (shown as block 29 in FIG. 1A) by chain vee-belt or other conventional means such as 31, known throughout the textile industry. This entering padder roll 27 can apply a base coat or a pretreatment chemical on the yarn, as required by the fiber being processed.

This is accomplished by standard or conventional apparatus, i.e., the pad box with a circulating dye system and level and temperature controls for the chemicals and/or dye bath. The yarn is partially or wholly dryed as required in the first near infra-red oven block 33 (FIG. 1) and the color is partially or wholly fixed in this block, and the yarn proceeds into the first spray nozzle labeled first transverse color spray 35. A first color and/or chemical is applied by the first transverse color spray 35.

It is important to note that the unique patterning effects may be established by selection of nozzle discharge planes relative to the transverse plane and speed of the nozzles compared to the speed of the yarn. By pre-programmed control, all of these variables can be controlled, recorded and repeated at will.

In FIG. 1 the material passes from the first transverse color spray 35 directly into a second transverse color spray 37 where a second color may be applied with its variables under control as previously explained in connection with the first color spray. Thereafter, any number of color spray stations may be provided to intercept the path of the yarn up to the end number transverse color spray shown at 39.

From the last color spray station 39 the yarn enters another pre-drying or pre-fixation drying station 41 which is also a near infra-red oven. From the prefixation drying station 41 the yarn is passed through a venturi steam chamber 43 (if a fabric web is used rather than individual ends, a conventional steam chest shown at 45 in FIG. 1A, may be substituted for the venturies steam fixation chamber 43).

Returning to FIG. 1, yarn is entrained in the steam venturies which is assisting, we believe, in fixing the color very rapidly (less than 2 seconds as an example rather than conventionally 2 to 3 minutes) thereby enabling much higher speeds to be obtained from the present apparatus. The steam and subsequent cool waterbath, shown at 45 assists, we believe, in stabilizing the color in the fabric or material or yarn or other materials mentioned.

Following the water bath 45 the yarn ends enter a hot air convection dryer 47 before proceeding to the two hundred or so cones in windingor take-up 23.

FIG. 1A is provided to show a slightly different combination of apparatus to effect the basic principles of the method disclosed herein. For example, the creel and thread guide 51 may be substituted for the beam or creel or ball warp 21 of FIG. 1 as well as thread guide 25 of FIG. 1. In addition, a squeeze roll stand 53 may be added between the creel and thread guide 51 and padder 27. The pre-dry infra-red oven 33' remains the same as does the first color spray 35'. However, a padder or roll stand 55 is employed between the first and second color spray (not shown). Thereafter up to any number of transverse color sprays may be employed prior to reaching the steam chest 46. This steam chest is provided to handle fabric webs and its width must of course accommodate the web to be run therethrough and steamed. The washing may be accomplished in unit 57. Following the washing station, which may duplicate water bath and washer 47, a further squeeze roll stand 59 is provided for any after treatment chemical if desired. This roll stand is driven from variable speed unit 61 by way of chain or vee-belt 70. Next the drying station 63 is of the convection hot air drying type which supplies dry material to the winding or take-up unit 65 of conventional type.

In order to achieve the tensionless handling of the material, it may be noted that a single DC motor 71 may be provided to supply the entire drive for the apparatus, other than the winding or take-up unit 65, which may be driven from another DC motor 71. However, both motors are synchronized through a control SCR panel 75.

The drive from main DC motor 71 is over vee-belt or chain 73 to the exit end of dryer 63 and thence via belt or chain 75 to a variable speed unit 77. From this unit 77, a belt or chain drive extends, as drive connection 79, to the entrance end of dryer 63 so that the entrance and exit speed may be adjusted for tensionless drive. From the entrance end of dryer 63, chain or belt 81 drives squeeze roll stand 59 from which in turn the drive is extended over chain or belt 70 to the variable speed unit 61. From this unit chain or belt 81 extends to drive the padder or roll stand 55 and thence via belt or chain 83 to the variable speed unit 29. It has been described how belt or chain 31 drives padder 27; and this drive is merely extended over belt or chain 85 to the squeeze roll stand 53.

By utilizing the foregoing drive and control, the yarn or material being processed can be maintained in a substantially tension-free state.

In FIG. 2, the creel and creel guide described are omitted from this drawing, as are the thread yarn ends because of the scale of the drawing. However, all unconventional apparatus is shown in the subsequent detail drawings. The path of the yarn ends is into a pretreatment padder shown generally at 91, comprising an upper pressure roll 93 adapted to be forced downwardly by the lever 95 and weight 97 against a lower applicator roll 97, driven for pick-up in a source 99 of chemical dyestuff or other substance, by way of belt or chain 101 from a variable speed drive unit 103. The storage bin a trough 99 collects the material not applied to the yarn, for reuse. From unit 91 the yarn ends proceed to a second padder 104, or the like, where the yarn may be squeezed, drawn or where chemicals from a further bin 105 may be applied thereto by rotation of lower roll 107 against pressure oriented upper roll 109 due to weight 111. The drive of lower roll 107 is synchronized or controlled relative to the drive of roll 97 through the unit 103 and by virtue of the connection over driving belt or chain 113 to a further variable speed drive unit 115.

Preferably, unit 91 applies the background or pretreatment dye chemical or. other substance and the second unit adjacent thereto applies, assists or other materials entering in the process of the pattern dyeing as carried out by the subsequent spray stations. The yarn is next introduced into the first near infra-red oven 117 where it is dryed or partially dryed before being carried to the spray nozzle stations. A squeeze draw or after treatment padder 121 moves the yarn relative to the padder 104 by virtue of drive over chain or vee-belt 123 from the common variable speed drive 115 via its lower roll 125. This carries the yarn ends or fabric through the first spray station generally shown 127.

Details of the novel spray stations are shown in FIGS. and 6 wherein each spray station may comprise identical equipment connected for individual actuation from the electrical controller later to be discussed. A pneumatic, hydraulic or mechanically operated reciprocating cylinder 131, which actuates a piston rod 133, the stroke of which is designed to accommodate the more than the width of the material being processed to permit control over the stroke to selectively limit it even and less than the width. This cylinder 13] is mounted on brackets 135 and 145 in turn carried by the frame 137 of the apparatus. A fixed nozzle plate 139 is moved by the piston rod 133 and caused to reciprocate along the guides or guide rods 141, 143 between bracket 135 and bracket 145.

Preferably, a pair of nozzle holders 147 and 149 carry effective spray nozzles 151 and 153 along with extra nozzles 155 and 157 which are adapted to be interchanged readily with either effective nozzle in the event of malfunction.

Flexible feeder tubes 161 and 163 are provided for delivering dyes and/or chemicals to the nozzles from reservoir 165 (FIG. 2). Circulating pump 167 receives the first spray color from reservoir 165 via pipe 169 and drives it upwardly over conduit 171 and the respective feeder hoses 161 and 163 to nozzles 151 and 153. A standard or upright support 173 holds the feeder conduits above the spray nozzles and maintains a tension and enables the reciprocating motion by virtue of spring 175. This arrangement prevents hose entanglement while enabling the necessary transverse movement to spray all two hundred yarn ends or the fabric when dictated.

The spray station 127 is equipped with suitable recovery pans, or troughs, such as 177 and 179 (FIG. 6) which return the unused color fluid via their depending hoses 181 and 183 to the reservoir 165 (FIG. 2). The reservoir 165 is equipped with suitable heating or cooling means in accordance with conventional techniques and a by-pass loop and agitation system 185 (FIG. 2) which uses pump out or gravity feed to drain 187. Valve 191 is provided for controlling shut-off of recirculation, whereas valves 193 and 197 are provided for throttling and shut-off functions. However, the important valves to the electric controller are the pneumatically operated valves 201 and 203 in the respective supply lines of feeder hoses 161 and 163. These valves are electro-pneumatic types suitable for complete and remote automatic operation.

Orientation of the nozzle discharge plane relative to the transverse path followed by the nozzle may be achieved through the manual adjustment of these commercially available nozzles. Thus, nozzles 151 and 153 may be turned selectively i.e., individually or in common, to orientate their discharge sprays completely in the direction of the transverse path i.e., parallel to guide rods 141 and 143 or even at right angles thereto, such that the latter position causes a very narrow application of the color to the yarn ends, whereas the former orientation causes a very wide application of the color to the yarn ends. Of course, any angle therebetween may be selected, but it has been found that orientation of the nozzles at included angles of to in a plane perpendicular to the normal plane of the material, when taken along with the many other variables, is adequate to produce the great number of unique patterning effects capable of being achieved by the apparatus of the present invention.

Thus, selection of the nozzle discharge plane, relative to the transverse plane, and selection of the traversing speed of the nozzles, relative to the speed of the yarn, and selection of one or both of the nozzles to discharge simultaneously or in staggered or overlapping relation enables this great number of unique patterning effects to be achieved. By pre-programmed control, these variables are pre-determined, recorded and repeated at will as previously mentioned. For example, the diverter valves 201 and 203 (FIG. 2) are electro-magnetically actuated by the electric controller to open or close the fluid flow to the respective hoses 161 and 163 for discharge by their respective nozzles 151 and 153.

Both the speed of the movement of piston rod 133 (FIG. 5) and its stroke are under control of pneumatic actuation of cylinder 131, as is best seen in FIG. 8, wherein the electro-pneumatic programmer 211, as controlled by the particular chart 213 then in use, establishes these variables by way of pneumatic relay No. 1, shown at 215, and its solenoid valve 1, shown at 217, controlling the cylinder 131 (FIGS. 5 and 8). This cylinder is designated spray cylinder No. 1 because it operates the speed and position control of both nozzles 151 and 153 of spray station No. l.

Returning now to FIG. 2, the material progresses from the first spray station 127 into padder roll assembly 120, which is optionally used, or not used by raising upper roll 121 and eliminating a nip at this point. This padder applicator or padder squeeze roll 120 is driven by chains, vee-belt or timing belts 221 through a variable speed drive unit 223 so as to control yarn tension between the padder unit 120 and the subsequent padder unit 220, also driven from variable speed drive 223 over belt connection or the like 225.

From padder roll 120, the yarn passes through thread guides (not shown) to subsequent spray stations, shown at 230 and 240. These stations are identical to spray station 127 and accordingly full details are not included in the drawing. However, it should be noted that station 240 may not be employed or additional stations may be employed, as desired, and each station preferably carries two nozzles with diverter valves for operation of these nozzles as selected.

After yarn progresses through the last spray station, it moves into the further padder or applicator or nip squeeze roll stand 220 which performs the previously described compensation of tension in cooperation with the other driving components such as the succeeding padder or squeeze roll stand 230 (FIG. 3).

The padder or applicator 230 (FIG. 3) may be utilized to apply an after treatment chemical, if desired, or merely as a tension control unit, or it may contribute multiple functions, also including squeezing. Padder stand 220 transmits drive via belt 225 and is driven from variable speed drive 231 (FIG. 2) over belt 233. The drive to variable speed drive 231 (FIG. 3) is via connection or belt 235 from padder 230, directly driven by a belt 237 from main DC driving motor 239, (eg of2 hp).

Returning to FIG. 2, from applicator roll 220 the yarn is passed through a venturi steam chamber, shown generally at 241. As has been previously pointed out, if a fabric web is used rather than individual yarn ends, a conventional steam chest of appropriatewidth replaces the steam venturies to provide steaming at this position in the apparatus.

Yarn is entrained in the steam venturies, which are assisting, we believe, in fixing the color very rapidly (less than 2 seconds as an example rather than conventionally 2 to 3 minutes). The steam and subsequent cool water bath shown at 243, we believe, assists in stabilizing the color in the fabric or yarn or other material contemplated herein.

The steam venturi chest 241 is best pictured and understood from a consideration of FIGS. 16 and 17. The steam venturi chest 241 is provided with flared outlet tubes 253 of pre-determined length. The length depends upon the dwell time in the tubes necessary for fixation of the particular fiber being processed i.e., length in inches is equal to (yarn speed in inches/- second) (desired dwell time in seconds). An example is presented infra.

These outlet tubes 253 are preferably flared, as at 255 in FIG. 17, and sweated into the bottom channel member 257 of the steam chest 241. The chest is closed by an upper plate 259, properly bolted and gasketted through a multiplicity of entrance threaded fittings 261.

The individual yarn ends, such as shown at 263, may be seen entering the threaded fittings 261. A single large steam inlet opening 263 is provided in communiation with the chamber 266 (FIG. 17). Steam pressure of PSI, for example, is useful for most applications.

The fittings 261 are drilled to a bore to suit the yarn diameter and the lower outside extremity 254 is tapered to a fine edge to fit with close tolerance (shown exaggerated for clarity) within the neck of the flared outlet tubes 253, as best seen from FIG. 17. This close tolerance provides a very small annular flow area for steam, as indicated by the arrows, such as 265 (FIG. 17).Consequently the structure provides a high steam velocity impinging on the periphery of each yarn end 263. The steam chest acts as a plenum, due to the large cross-sectional area relative to the venturi areas, (e.g. 10 to 1) thereby yielding virtually a constant steam flow to each yarn end. Steam is provided at several points along the steam chest (byinlets like 263) to maintain a constant temperature for all fiber ends, FIG. 16 representing only a portion of the steam chest which extends transversely of the apparatus of FIG. 2 to receive all two hundred yarn ends for example-a distance of some 25 it inches only, due to the staggered rows or arrayed thread guide paths for yarn ends, as may be appreciated from FIG. 16. t

The yarn enters the inlet of the fittings 261 and is carried through the outlet tubes 253 by the asperating eductor force. At the same time, we believe the color is stabilized or fixed in the swelled fiber by the kinetic energy and the high temperature of the steam.

Any excess color and/or chemicals present on the yarn, prior to being entrained by the steam, are subsequently washed off due to the high kinetic energy of the steam.

The following equation is used in determining the tube lengths:

Where L equals tube length V Yarn speed in inches per second T Dwell time Assuming a machine speed of 30 yards per minute for the yarn ends traveling therethrough (and presently up to 50 yarns per minute are being attempted), then V equals 30 yards per minute which is equivalent to 1,080 inches per 60 seconds which reduces to 18 inches per second. If it is desired that the yarn remain in the steam venturi discharge tube stream for a period of 1 second, then the length of the discharge tubes 253 of FIG. 17 must be 18 inches. The foregoing is presented by way of example only and, depending upon the material and amount of steaming desired, different lengths of outlet tube will be used.

The yarn progresses from the outlet tubes 253, the remote ends of which are submerged in the cold water bath 243 (e.g. for nylon yarn and others) but not necessarily cold for some materials, depending upon the fiber being processed, and continues upward through a cascade washer 271 (FIG. 3). Rods or rollers (not shown) in the water bath 243 serve to guide the ends therethrough. The cascade washer provides further washing, using either hot or cold water.

It is believed that the cold water of bath 243 shocks the yarn and in a manner locks in and further assists in stabilizing the color into the fibrous material.

An infra-red dryer unit 251 (FIG. 3) may be utilized at this location along the path or can be mounted following the extractor nip roll or squeeze stand 230, ad depicted, because it is preferable to mount the dryer after the squeeze rolls, as the squeeze rolls 230 not only assist in controlling the tension but also usually squeeze out excessive water entrained from the cold water bath prior to drain.

The extractor or squeeze roll applicator stand 230 is driven by the main variable speed DC drive motor 239, as already explained. Its nip rolls extract as previously mentioned, a percentage of water and deliver yarn tension-free through a final subsequent convective hot air dryer 253. This dryer includes .a. gas fired heat exchanger 255, fan 257 and vent 259 for the heating com partment 261, such that the latter may attain temperatures between 200 and 300F. After sufficient drying, (the compartment may be 10 feet in length, for example) the yarn progresses individually onto a winder or take-up unit (not shown in FIG. 3) in the manner of FIGS. 1 and 1A.

Looking now at FIG. 4, a typical yarn end 301 is shown moving in the direction of the arrow 303, through the apparatus of FIG. 2. Preferably, the applica'tor station 92 of FIG. 2 applies a pre-coat of dye to the entire length of strand 301, as it moves through this nip roll padder box assembly. This dye completely covers the greige yarn or fabric web to render the garment, carpet yarn or fabric a distinct background shade. For this example the pre-coat dye may be yellow. This background hue or color is dryed in oven 117, and then passed to the first spray station 127, wherein the fluid from this spray station may cover length 8,. If for example, the background hue is yellow the first spray station may cover the region S, with a green color. Next, the

ously, this is only an example to show one operation of the machine, and stripping in narrow and Wide applications will be further considered in respect to the electric controller hereinafter described in detail.

Next the control of the apparatus of the present invention will be described which enables the very substantial reproduction of patterns for space dyed yarn, because it is imperative to have the capability of repeating the pattern, at least for the duration of the market for the particular pattern found to be acceptable to a purchaser. The parameters that dictate this pattern are variables that can be controlled, and it is desirable to set each of these variables in order to optimize the pattern, from both the technical and the economic viewpoint.

There are two distinctly different methods for predetermining a pattern, the first is by mathematical calculation necessary to prepare a chart capable of both analog and digital memory information. The derivation and use of the mathematics will be described. The other approach is empirical in which a composite chart is cut at random, and the machine run under control of this chart, and the chart thereafter modified to improve the patterning effects observed.

First, the mathematical approach will be discussed and particularly with reference to FIG. which illustrates the site for application of the dyes and chemicals to the web or plurality of moving yarn ends, generally represented by the rectangle 351, moving in the downward direction relative to the No. l spray station 127, the No. 2 spray station 230 and the No. 3 spray station 240. The distance between different colors and the separate length of each color can easily be controlled and repeated as desired. The two most important variables in establishing the color spacing, along the continuous length of each yarn end can best be illustrated by referring to the various designations on FIG. 10. The direction of travel of the material is shown by the arrow labelled V,,. The three separate spray stations are placed along the path of the yarn, separated by a distance of X and X these distances being equal. The dotted line between the vertical positions labelled by point Y and point Y represents a point trace of the path of a spray nozzle projective onto the yarn ends from the time the spray nozzle was at side Y to the time it reached side Y3.

It should further be understood that the color, as so applied to the yarn, is not in actuality the width of the point trace but is of a width and determined also by the configuration of the spray nozzle discharge.

It can be seen, that during the time the first spray station 127 is applying color to the yarn, as depicted by the dotted line, and before it has reached side Y it may be desirable to energize spray station 230, and, thus apply color onto the yarn which would be at a finite distance from the first color and the second at spray station No. 1. In a similar fashion, spray station No. 3 may also be energized as desired, spraying a third color a finite distance from the color trace gilted by spray station No. 2.

Each spray station independently may be stopped at any point along its path and retracted to its normal position in order to create a more novel pattern; however, for the first purpose of illustration, spray station No. l is depicted pneumatically as having reached point or side Y When the spray station is retracted, and travels from point Y; to point Y it can be seen that x would be greater than x x, may be determined by utilizing a general equation derived from the following:

EQUATION l V S/T EQUATION 2 x, V T EQUATION 3 T, T (Y1Y3)/V Now substituting Equation 3 into Equation 2 yield EQUATION 4 x V,,[T (Y Y )/V Or further simplifying The following is a defination of terms used in the derivation of the above equations:

V equals the velocity of cylinder 131 in feet per second.

V,, equals the velocity of the yarn in feet per second.

S equals the stroke of the cylinder.

Y equals the width of the multiplicity of yarn ends.

Y equals the retracted position of spray nozzle attached to the cylinder.

Y equals the initial contact point of sprayed yarn.

Y equals the final contact of sprayed yarn.

Y equals the extended position of spray nozzle attached to the cylinder.

x equals the displacement of yarn at point Y when the cylinder is at Y x equals the displacement of yarn at point Y when the cylinder is at point Y X, equals the distance of spray nozzle No. l to spray nozzle No. 2.

X equals the distance from spray nozzle No. 2 to spray nozzle No. 3.

T equals time for nozzle to travel from Y to Y T, equals time for nozzle to travel from Y to Y In FIG. 7, there is shown a perspective view of a selfcontained electric controller apparatus, generally designated at 401, capable of controlling the various valves, solenoids, and cylinders necessary to operate the subject apparatus from a chart of the type derived herein by using either method. In FIG. 7, the plexy glass window 403 is adapted to be opened to the controller unit per se, (for changing charts) generally pictured in FIG. 12 at 405. It carries the two guide rolls 407 and 409 over which the composite chart 411 is adapted to travel, being driven by movable drive roller 413. It in cludes the several switches 402, buttons 403, and control knobs 406. The electro-pneumatic programmer of FIGS. 7, l2 and 14 is a conventional purchasable item used for various purposes in industry, but the connections thereof to achieve the unique functions of the basic combination hereof will be described in detail.

In FIG. 13 there is depicted, in formation, a chart 411 comprising composite layers of plastic which are flexible enough and thin enough to be cut by a sissors. The outer layer 413 has its upper edge 415 contoured in the manner of analog control of the process programmed. Both the inner layer 417, and the outer layer 413 have apertures coinciding whenever a digital operation is to be carried out i.e. an on-off type operation, as is best shown by the compositely formed aperture 421 in FIG. 14. The apertures, such as 421, occur at heights conforming to the holes, such as 423, in the brass bar 425 of the programmer itself (FIG. 12).

The programmer also incorporates an analog setpoint transmitter that can be programmed to vary a 3-15 PSI set-point signal to effect pneumatic process controlling. This set-point transmitter includes tracer nozzle 427 (FIG. 14), carried by analog tracer head 429, in turn sensing the upper edge 415 of the outer layer 413 of chart 411. The analog tracer head 429 is contained at the rear of brass bar 425, (not seen in FIG. 12) and is therefor opposite the digital on-off aperture seeking arrangement (of holes 423) visable from the face of bar 425 of FIG. 12. FIG. 14 is a schematic, merely to explain the operation of the analogpick-up and the digital operation in one view, each operation really being 180 around the chart or on opposite sides of brass bar 425.

Thus, the chart of FIG. 13 is capable of use through the structure of FIGS. 12, 14, solenoids and cylinders and valves of FIGS. 8 and 9, of controlling all of the necessary variables that directly govern the patterning effect of the yarn. In addition, the control system operates other electrical or pneumatic devices that energize and de-energize the dye chemical pumps, the dye diverter valves, such as 201 and 203 (FIG. 2), the infra red ovens, the main drive chain and any other dyeing apparatus desired. These digital functions (on and off controls) are sequenced in electrical fashion for operation by the timing chart 411.

Velocity of the spray head cylinders, such as cylinder 131 (FIGS. 2 and 8) provide maximum versatility best under variable control, that is control that is maintained in the analog fashion by this programmer through the analog set-point transmitter of FIG. 12. The set-point signal varies from a 3 PSI signal to a PSI signal via a pneumatic nozzle, i.e., 427 in FIG. 14 which is caused to trace the profile 415 of chart 411 by virtue of an internal fixed pressure applied against the tracer nozzle 427, which in turn controls a servo (not shown) in the form of a spring biased piston, displaceable in accordance with the pressure applied thereagainst by the sensing of the tracer nozzle 427 to move or permit movement of the piston relative to the spring versus pressure forces, and hence provide an output pressure signal varying from 3 to 15 PSI. This pressure signal is used to control the extension and retraction of the various cylindersnThus, the velocity of the spray head cylinder is a variable that is controlled in the above mentioned analog fashion by the same programmer.

When the nozzle 427 is at the top most portion of the chart, as depicted in FIG. 15 at 430, a 15 PSI signal output is generated, and when the nozzle is at the bottom of the chart, as depicted at point 431, a 3 PSI signal output is generated. The plastic composite chart4l1 is driven at a predetermined rate perpendicular to the motion of the profile tracer, and therefor, the output is a function of time, as well as, the profile tracer position in a vertical plane.

Internal pressure is supplied to the nozzles 451 (FIG. 14) of the digital sensing mechanism, manifesting themselves as the orifices 423 in FIG. 12, over inlet leads, such as 453, (FIG. 14) and via restricted passages 455, to plenums 457 so that whenever the nozzle exit 451 is blocked by the pressure of the plastic chart, the electrical function switch 461 (FIG. 14 and FIG. 8) is in its normal state (N.O.), however, whenever the pressure is vented via a punched hole, such as 421, the plenum is de-pressurized, and the electrical function switch is closed to complete the circuit to energize a solenoid, a relay, a motor controller or various other logical elements, basically as shown in FIG. 11.

First, however, operation of the spray cylinders will be described in connection with the schematic showing of FIG. 8, which is an electrical-pneumatic showing to illustrate both the analog and digital control outputs that govern the speed and position of the spray nozzle cylinders. The pneumatic transmitter signalling from the programmer is connected to each pneumatic relay for each spray head station. These analog signals from the electro-pneumatic programmer, depicted by the block 211 in FIG. 8, travel over the 3l5 PSI signalling pressure line 501 directly to pneumatic relay No. 1, shown at 215 in FIG. 8, and also by branch lead 503, in communication with lead 505, to pneumatic relay No. 2, shown at 507, and also via lead 503 to pneumatic relay No. 3, shown at 509. These signals bias the pneumatic relays so as to restrict the flow of exhaust air pressure from each of the solenoids, such as 217 shown for solenoid valve No. 1, 511 shown for solenoid valve 2 and 513 shown for solenoid valve No. 3. The magnitude of pressure that is allowed to exhaust is a function of the magnitude of the signal transmitted within the specified range of 3 to 15 PSI, that is delivered from the programmer. This signal is usually continuously changing due to the contoured edge 415 and therefor the rate of exhaustion of air from the solenoids will be continuously changing also. The high pressure air PSI) to these solenoid valves is delivered by common line 502.

Each spray nozzle solenoid valve is electrically energized by separate function switches (see FIG. 11) when a selected punched hole is sensed at the plastic chart, as described.

The normally closed port, as seen at 521 for solenoid valve No. 1 in FIG. 8, of the solenoid 217 is connected to the retract port on the cylinder 131 over pressure lead 523, and the normally open port 525 of the solenoid 217 is connected to the extend port on the same cylinder over line 526, to control piston rod 133 (FIGS. 2 and 8).

When the solenoid is in a de-energized state, air is passing to the extend port to drive the cylinder rod to the right; however, the retract port has a clear path through solenoid 217 into the exhaust port which is connected to the relay 215.

When the solenoid is energized by the appropriate function switch, i.e. 461 (FIG. 8), the solenoid porting is intentionally reversed, and high pressure air is diverted to the retract port with the extend port being open to the exhaust port of the solenoid and transmitter output signal, effective over lead 501, from the programmer, this exhaust air may be allowed to pass freely through the relay No. 1, thereby resulting in a high velocity of the spray nozzle cylinder.

In similar fashions, spray nozzles at stations 2 and 3 are controlled. Each spray nozzle station is equipted with two or more individual nozzles for spraying dyes and chemicals (see nozzles 151 and 153 of FIG. 5). At any given moment, however only two of the nozzles are attached to the same dye chemical pump (see FIG. 9).

FIG. 9 shows a threeway diverter valve assembly that passes the dyes or chemicals from a pump to one or the other aforementioned spray nozzles per station, depending upon the electrical state of the diverter solenoid valves, such as 201 and 203 in FIG. 2.

Each diverter valve, as shown in FIG. 9, is assigned to a separate function switch in the programmer and, as the desired pattern dictates, holes can be punched in the plastic chart, and the diverter valve energized resulting in a threeway valve control directing the dye or chemicals to the diverting path, and consequently to one or the other of the spray nozzles. In FIG. 9, high pressure air is applied over lead 561 to the diverter solenoid 563 which operates over lead 561 to drive the valve cylinder 567 to the left and over lead 569 to drive the valve cylinder 567 to the right. Valve cylinder 567 is connected to linkage 569 which is adapted to operate the pneumatic threeway valve 571. The pneumatic valve 571 of FIG. 9 corresponds to any one of the diverter valves 201, 203 etc. of FIG. 2. Thus, the dye or chemical or the like is applied over inlet tubing 573 (corresponding to common pipe 171 of FIG. 2) to pneumatic threeway valve 571 and is allowed to pass over normal passage 575 or diverted passage 577 (corresponding to hoses 161 and 163 of FIG. 2).

In FIG. 11 there is shown the electrical schematic for wiring the standard programmer to achieve the functions necessary to the present invention. The programmer comes equipped with the function switches No. 1 through No. 15 and it has already been shown how function switch No. 2 has been used as switch 461 in FIG. 8. All of these 15 switches (the programmer may come equipped with 25 switches but it was only necessary to use the 15 designated switches herein) are shown in their upper position, which is the position only attained by a hole in the chart activating the corresponding microswitch to cause it to move to the upper position. In other words, all function switches 1 through 15 are normally in the lower position and only moved to their upper position when, or at that particular time that, a hole in the composite plastic chart 411 uncovers the particular nozzle associated with that function switch.

The circuitory is supplied with 110 volts AC between input terminals 601 and 602, respectively fused for amps at 603 and 605. The neutral side of the line is designated as 607, 608 from terminal 602, and the other side of the line at 609 from terminal 601.

The ON button is shown at 611 for applying power to the starting circuitory, generally appearing in the upper portion of FIG. 11. Switch 611 is one of those button switches 402 appearing in FIG. 7. Closure of the power switch 611 provides voltage to the input side 613 of the 24 volt transformer 615 to convert the 110 AC to 24 volts AC on the secondary side 617. This low voltage supplies the lamps indicated as 619 to indicate that power is ON, 621 showing the cycle has begun (usually the cycle requires approximately 8 /2 minutes to conclude) 623 for reset, 625 for running and 627 for hold.

Next, depression of the CYCLE ON button 631 applies power to the relays CR-l, shown at 633, and CR-2, shown at 635. Energization of relay 633 causes its contacts CR-l to close, thereby powering the upper portion of the circuit of FIG. 11, but its closed contacts CR-l to open (these are normally closed as shown by the slanted line thereacross), thereby relieving the reset momentary circuitory, including reset switch 641, Function Switch No. 1 etc. The other relays operate their contacts in the same manner as above described and contribute only mechanical skill to the invention. However, the Function Switches No. 2 through do enable the various functions of the present invention to be carried out and these will now be described in detail.

When a vent hole from chart 411 passes the second highest aperture 423 (or at least the aperture assigned to control ES-Z) of brass bar 425 of the controller of FIG. 12, Function Switch No. 2 i.e. 461 closes to its upper position to energize its relay CR-4. CR-4 closes its contacts, shown at 645 to the lower left of FIG. 11 to energize solenoid valve N0. 1, heretofore identified at 217 in FIG. 8, to carry out the functions described therein. Function Switch 3 is provided as an addition to Function Switch 2, in that further control may be had over the circuitory, depending upon whether toggle switch 1 is closed or not, because this toggle switch may be operated manually to enable the aperture assigned to Function Switch 3 to pull it in at a different time than Function Switch 2 and maintain the energization of relay CR-4 in spite of the fact that the binary hole assigned to Function Switch 2 has now passed in time, due to movement of the chart.

Similarly, Function Switches 4 and 5 operate in the same manner to control the solenoid valve No. 2, shown at 511 and Function Switches 6 and 7 perform the same functions relative to solenoid valve No. 3 identified heretofore at 513.

Function Switch No. 8 initiates pump motor No. 1, shown at 691 to insure that the pressure is available for spraying the fluid from spray station No. 1. Similarly, Function Switch 9 and Function Switch 10 energize motors 693 and 695 for their respective same purposes. Function Switch 11 provides a holding circuit for FS-S, FS-9, and FS-10, respectively. Function Switch No. 12 energizes diverter valve No. 1, shown at 201 in FIG. 3 and explained in detail at 571 in FIG. 9. Similarly, Function Switches No. 12 and 13 control diverter valves No. 2 and No. 3.

Function Switch 14, energizes relay CR-12 to operate solenoid valve No. 3 shown at 513 (FIGS. 8 and 11). Function Switch 14 operates CR-O relat to energize the DC control starter 701 (FIG. 11) for the main DC motor, the Time Delay-ON, shown at 703 in FIG. 11 for the oven and the Time Delay-OFF shown at 705 for the Drive Delay. FS-15 returns all diverter valves to normal i.e., de-energizes them in the manner of FS-11 for all pumps.

The Function Switch FS-l is provided to reset the cycle at any time. The MR symbol 701 reverses the motor of the programmer with switch 702 in one position, and the MD symbol is for main drive of the programmer motor with switch 702 in its other position.

In a typical operation the conventional nozzle applies an acid dye in an aqueous solution to yield a suitable viscosity when using 1,300 two ply nylon filament yarn approximately at F temperature for the dye. The nozzles employed are available from Spray Stations, Inc., under the name Vee-Jet 1/4 VV4003, T-3 l 6 stainless steel nozzle.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for patterning elongated material, including dyeing the material using a multiple number of colors comprising:

a. means moving and guiding the material along a predetermined path with the length of the material substantially parallel to the path;

b. means spraying solutions of dye colors onto the material by traversing at least portions of the predetermined path in transverse directions at spaced locations along said path;

c. analog-digital control means variably controlling the speed, position, and portion of the predetermined path traversed by the spraying means independently of the means moving and guiding in substantially repeatable fashion;

d. means fixing the colors;

e. means for washing the material following the fixing of colors; and

f. means drying the so-colored and washed material.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the spraying means comprise nozzle means for imparting sufficient kinetic energy to the sprayed solutions to cause each dye color to penetrate the material without elongating the material.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the fixing means comprise steaming means for the colored material disposed ahead of the washing means and drying means to assist in setting the colors, removing excess dyes and the like and rebulking of the material.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 further comprising means for applying a base color to the material prior to spraying.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 comprising speed regulated driving means connected at a plurality of locations to drive the fabric along said path for relieving tension from the guided material to avoid elongation of the material.

6. Apparatus for space dyeing yarns in a multiple number of colors comprising, in combination:

a. means for guiding and moving yarn ends along a predetermined path;

b. means for spraying solutions of dye colors onto the yarn ends by traversing at least selectible portions of the predetermined path in transverse directions at at least one location along said path;

means operable independently of the guiding and moving means for variably controlling traversing speed and position of the spraying means and color applications in substantially repeatable fashion; and

(1. means washing and drying the so-colored ends.

7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the means for spraying comprise nozzle means imparting sufficient kinetic energy to the spraying to cause each dye color to penetrate the yarn ends.

8. The apparatus of claim 7 comprising means for steaming the colored yarn ends prior to the washing and drying to assist in setting the colors, removing excess dyes and the like and rebulking of the ends.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the steaming means comprises steam venturis for entraining the ends in steam flow to carry the yarn ends into cold water at the washing means thereby furthering the setting of colors and the removal of excess dyes and the like.

10. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the means selectively controlling comprises cyclically operable electro-pneumatic means comprising coded chart means serving as a memory throughout each cycle.

11. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the nozzle means comprises guiding means extending transversely of the path; at least one nozzle; carriage means carrying said nozzle along the guiding means, and cylinder and piston-rod means for reciprocating the carriage means relative to the guiding means.

12. The apparatus of claim 11 comprising a further nozzle mounted on the carriage means spaced from said one nozzle; a source of fluid; and divertervalve means between the source of fluid and the nozzles operable under control of the controlling means to switch spraying of the fluid to either nozzle.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein the diverter valve means comprises diverter solenoid means responsive to said controlling means; valve cylinder means responsive to the diverter solenoid means; and a threeway valve between the fluid supply and the nozzles and responsive to the valve cylinder means.

14. The apparatus of claim 1 1 further comprising solenoid valve means for extending and retracting the rod means; and pneumatic relay means responsive to the means selectively controlling for controlling the solenoid valve means.

15. Apparatus for space dyeing yarns in a multiple number of colors comprising, in combination:

a. means for guiding yarn ends along a predetermined path;

b. means for spraying solutions of dye colors onto the yarn ends by traversing the predetermined path in transverse reciprocating directions at respectively spaced locations along said path, said means for spraying comprising nozzle means imparting sufficient kinetic energy to the spraying to cause each dye color to penetrate the yarn ends;

c. means selectively controlling all traversing speeds and color applications in repeatable fashion;

d. means washing and drying the so-colored ends;

and i e. means for steaming the colored yarn ends prior to the washing and drying to assist in setting the colors, removing excess dyes and the like and rebulking of the ends; said steaming means comprising steam venturis for entraining the ends in steam flow to carry the yarn ends into cold water at the wash ing means thereby furtheringtihe setting of colors and the removal of excess dyes and the like.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 comprising driving means for the yarn ends effective at a plurality of locations along said path for relieving tension from the guided yarn ends. y

17. The apparatus of claim 16 comprising further means for applying a base color to the ends prior to the spraying.

18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the steaming means comprise a plenum and each steam venturi comprises a flared outlet tube extending from the plenum.

19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the length of I each flared outlet tube is calculated by using equation:

L VT

where L equals the tube length, V is the yarn speed in inches per second, and T is the dwell time for steaming.

20. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein the crosssectional area of the steam plenum is approximately 10 times the venturi cross-sectional areas.

21. Apparatus for space dyeing yarns in a multiple number of colors comprising, in combination:

a. means for guiding yarn ends along a predetermined path;

b. means for spraying solutions of dye colors onto the yarn ends by traversing the predetermined path in transverse reciprocating directions at respectively spaced locations along said path;

c. means selectively controlling all traversing speeds and color applications in repeatable fashion, said means selectively controlling comprising cyclically operable electro-pneumatic means comprising coded chart means serving as a memory throughout each cycle; and

(1. means washing and drying the so-colored ends. one nozzle, carriage means carrying said nozzle 22. Apparatus for space dyeing yarns in a multiple along the guiding means, cylinder and piston-rod number of Colors Comprising, in Combinationi means for reciprocating the carriage means relative means for guiding yam ends along a predetermined to the guiding means, solenoid valve means for extending and retracting the rod means, and pneumatic relay means responsive to the means selectively controlling for controlling the solenoid valve b. means for spraying solutions of dye colors onto the yarn ends by traversing the predetermined path in transverse reciprocating directions at respectively spaced locations along said path, said means for means;

Spraying comprising nozzle means imparting suffi 0. means selectively controlling all traversing speeds cient kinetic energy to the spraying to cause each and C010! appllcations in repeatable fashion; and dye color to penetrate the yarn ends, guiding d. means washing and drying the so-colored ends. means extending transversely of the path, at least

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/5.00D, 68/12.14, 68/12.7, 68/205.00R, 68/19.1, 68/12.19
International ClassificationD06B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06B11/0059, D06B11/0023
European ClassificationD06B11/00D2, D06B11/00G2