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Publication numberUS3844097 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1974
Filing dateNov 29, 1971
Priority dateAug 26, 1971
Also published asCA998811A, CA998811A1, DE2215172A1, DE2215172B2
Publication numberUS 3844097 A, US 3844097A, US-A-3844097, US3844097 A, US3844097A
InventorsA Bobkowicz, E Bobkowicz
Original AssigneeE Bobkowicz, Bobkowicz Andrew J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Composite spinning
US 3844097 A
Abstract
There is provided an apparatus for the manufacture of composite spun yarn in which a polymer substrate is supplied through a die and nozzle arrangement in the form of a tubulus, spray or bubble downwardly towards the nip of a pair of rotatable consolidating rollers positioned face to face. Fibrous material is also supplied onto said rollers by means of suitable aerodynamic licker-in or drafting devices. The polymer substrate and the fibrous material are then transformed in contact with each other into spun yarn by an arrangement including a twisting spindle, and the so obtained yarn is continuously wound on a suitable winding device. All these elements may be constructed very tightly and closely to one another and form a compact and fully integrated unit.
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[451 Oct. 29, 1974 United States Patent [191 Bobkowicz et al.

3,548,581 12/1970 Bobkowicz et al. 57/35 X COMPOSITE SPINNING [76] Inventors: Emilian Bobkowicz; Andrew John Bobkowicz, b th f 1435 S Primary Examiner-John Petrakes Al d S R 310 Montreal, Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Stevens, Davis, Miller & Quebec, Canada Mosher Nov. 29, 1971 [22] Filed:

[ ABSTRACT There is provided an apparatus for the manufacture of composite spun yarn in which a polymer substrate is supplied through a die and nozzle arrangement in the 21 Appl. No.: 202,860

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data I Aug 26, 1971 Canada................................ 121459 form of a tubulus, spray or bubble downwardly towards the nip of a pair of rotatable consolidating roll ------------------57/157 TS 264/103 425/66 lers positioned face to face. Fibrous material is also 51 Int.

supplied onto said rollers by means of suitable aerodyg namic licker-in or drafting devices. The polymer sub- 34 157 strate and the fibrous material are then transformed in [58] Field of Search......

5 58- 5895; 103 contact with each other into spun yarn by an arrangement including a twisting spindle, and the so obtained References Cited yarn is continuously wound on a suitable winding de- UNTTED STATES PATENTS vice. All these elements may be constructed very t C a 0.. m 0 C a m a 0 r f as m H a h m t o m m D a 0 m c m d l m .m ea C St .m a 5 Cm 3 M.[ n yu mu n Ua k xu 4H5/ 6 9m 7 8 575 m m 2,289,568 7/1942 Bloch............... 2,743,572 5/1956 l-liensch.

3,445,993 5/1969 3,494,118 2/1970 Bobkowicz et al.

COMPOSITE SPINNING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to improvements in the spinning of yarns. More particularly it relates to improvements in yarn spinning apparatus which comprises means for supplying a polymer substrate from a die and nozzle arrangement downwardly towards the nip of a pair of rotatable rollers positioned face to face, means for rotating these rollers against each other, means for continuously supplying fibrous materials onto these rollers and means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material in contact with one another into spun yarn.

2. Description of the Prior Art Applicants have already described in a number of their patents and patent applications various methods and apparatuses wherein extrusion of polymer substrate takes place.

For example, applicants Canadian Pat. No. 723,426 of Dec. 14, 1965 discloses and claims a method of continuously making textured filament yarn, which comprises extruding a soft layer of resin, such as a film or a curtain of parallel filaments, through an extrusion head, stretching this layer of resin in the longitudinal direction, contacting the soft layer of resin with a generally fibrous material, pressing them together with cooling to form a composite tape, subdividing this composite tape longitudinally into a plurality of ribbons of desired width, and individually transforming these ribbons into yarn by means of a twisting operation.

Applicants Canadian Pat. No. 747,177 of Nov. 29, 1966 relates to a method of making composite bulk yarn by extruding at least one curtain of thermoplastic resin filaments downwardly from an extruder die and towards the nip of a pair to take-up rolls, stretching these filaments by driving the rolls at a higher speed than the filament extrusion speed to cause orientation of the resin molecules, feeding towards this nip of takeup rolls a web of fibrous material, compressing the curtain of filaments, while their surfaces are still in tacky condition, with this web of fibrous material through the action of the take-up rolls, cooling to form a consolidated composite web, and subdividing this web longitudinally into a plurality of tapes of desired width which may be transformed into yarn by twisting or preforming into a round shape. This Canadian Patent also describes an apparatus for carrying out the method in question and comprising, in combination, an extruder die adapted to extrude at least one curtain of thermoplastic filaments, a pair of take-up pressure rolls below this die adapted to take-up these filaments at the nip point thereof, driving means for driving these rolls at a vhigher speed than the filament extrusion speed to cause stretching and orientation of the filaments, means for feeding sideways at least one fibrous web towards the nip of the pressure rolls, these rolls compressing the curtain of filaments and the fibrous web to form a composite web, cooling means for cooling this composite web, and means for longitudinally subdividing the obtained consolidated composite web into a plurality of tapes of desired width which can then be transformed into yarn by means of preforming or twisting devices.

Applicants Canadian Pat. No. 787,607 of June 18, 1968 deals with an electrostatic parallelization of staple fibers particularly in a combination having an extruder adapted to extrude a film or filament curtain of thermoplastic material towards the nip of a pair of drums on the surface of which the staple fibers are supplied in a properly parallelized condition.

Applicants Canadian Pat. No. 833,444 of Feb. 3, 1970 refers to the manufacture of fibertapes which can then be transformed into yarn. Again a preferred arrangement consists of extruding a layer of polymer substrate through an extrusion die, contacting this layer on at least one side thereof with a layer of loosely held staple fibers while the polymer substrate is still in a tacky condition, introducing these layers in contact with each other between a pair of rotating pressure rolls having continuous circumferential grooves and positioned face to face so that each male member of the grooved surface of one roll fits into the corresponding female member of the other roll to form at the nip point of said rolls cavities of adjustable size and shape wherein the resulting composite material is automatically subdivided into a plurality of fibertapes with simultaneous consolidation thereof within these cavities. According to this method the fibertapes are actually individually formed within the cavities in question without necessity of any additional separation into narrow tapes.

This particular patent also describes an apparatus for producing fibertapes generally comprising:

a) a pair of rotatable grooved pressure rolls provided with continuous circumferential grooves with sharp edges and positioned face to face so that each member of the grooved surface of one roll fits into the corresponding female member of the other roll to form at the nip point of said rolls cavities which are adjustable in depth;

(b) means for adjusting the depth of these cavities;

c) extruder means for extruding a layer of resin in the form of a film or of a curtain of parallel strands towards the nip of said grooved pressure rolls;

(d) means for simultaneously supplying a layer of loosely held staple fibers towards the nip of said grooved pressure rolls on at least one side of the extruded layer of resin;

e) means for rotating the grooved pressure rolls so as to pick up, separate and consolidate the polymer layer with the staple fibers within said grooves in the form of separated fibertapes.

Applicants Canadian Pat. No. 833,443 also of Feb. 3, 1970 has for its object a method and an apparatus for ringless spinning of fiber-polymer yarns. The preferred embodiment again comprises the extrusion of a curtain of thermoplastic polymer strands downwardly from an extruder die and toward the nip of a pair of circumferentially grooved consolidating rolls positioned side by side so that male members of the grooved surface of 5 at least one side of the polymer curtain and into the nip of these rolls a plurality of staple fiber webs, one into each consolidating groove of the roll and the strands are laminated and consolidated with these webs by pressure within the grooves of the rolls and cooling to form a plurality of laminated staple fiber thermoplastic polymer composite fibrous tapes. Each of these composite fibrous tapes is then passed through a fiber restrictive heating zone and subjected therein to a thermal treatment, which renders the polymer plastic without reaching the melting point thereof, and to a twisting torque by a false twist spindle within this restrictive heating zone to cause interfiber and molecular slippage which results in a yarn with a retained twist. The formed spun yarn is cooled to coagulate the polymer while the yarn is in this twisted condition and then linearly and continuously wound up on a collecting roll. The corresponding apparatus, for carrying out this method, is also described and claimed in this patent.

Applicants Canadian Pat. No. 847,099 of July 21, 1970 relates to an open-end spinning method and apparatus for producing multicomponent yarn. Here the stock-in staple fiber containing raw material supply is continuously introduced into cavities formed at the nip of a pair of rotating perforated drums with continuous circumferential grooves on their surface, these drums being so positioned face to face that each groove of one drum faces the corresponding groove of the other drum ,thus continuously forming the cavities into which the fibrous stock-in raw material supply is fed while being held in the corresponding grooves by suction from inside of the drums to form in each said cavity a continuous open-end fibrous strand which, upon release of the suction, is converted in each cavity by twisting from below by a false twist spindle into spun yarn, with retained positive twist, which can be wound on a linear wind-up arrangement. The stock-in staple fiber containing raw material supply may contain some polymer material which is extruded from an extruder die into the nip of the perforated rotating drums while the fibrous material is fed sideways onto the surface of at least one of these drums and then combined within the cavities with the extruded polymer strands. The apparatus for performing such a method comprises a pair of rotatable drums with continuous circumferential grooves on their surface which are so positioned face to face that each groove of one drum faces the corresponding groove of the other drum thus forming a plurality of predetermined cavities. It also comprises means for rotating these drums against each other, means for extruding a polymer substrate in plastic condition into the cavities between the drums (optional), means for continuously feeding fibrous material into said cavities to form the composite stock-in raw material supply at the nip point of said drums, means for releasing the stock-in supply in the cavities to form a fluid open-end fibrous strand, means for imparting to this open-end strand a twisting torque to form spun yarn and wind-up means for collecting this yarn.

Finally, applicants Canadian Pat. No. 880,988 discloses the possibility of manufacturing composite fibrid yarns by extruding at least one soft strand of an extrudable polymer substrate from an extrusion head and towards the nip of a pair of lamination and consolidation rolls, continuously supplying on at least one side of this pair of lamination and consolidation rolls an integrated mat of fibrids into a subdividing, licker-in means where they are separated anf fibrillated into individual substantially parallelized fibrid entities in the form of filamentous units having an average length of one-eighth to one-half inch, forwarding these fibrid units into the nip of the lamination and consolidation rolls where they are brought into contact with the soft strands of the polymer substrate, and laminating and consolidating these fibrid units with the strand of polymer substrate to form the desired composite fibrid-polymer yarn.

All this technology has several things in common, namely it employs extrusion of resinous or plastic material in film or filament form and combination thereof with fibrous material in the form of staple fibers, fibrids and the like, between a pair of pick-up or compression rolls of various designs.

SUMMARY OF THE lNVENTlON It will be noticed, however, that although the applicants have intensively described and claimed various aspects of this technology during or after polymer-fiber combining step, there has been little said up to now regarding the actual extrusion technology and the formation as well as introduction of the fibrous material into the nip of the rollers. These aspects haVe, however, been under intensive study and experimentation by the applicants and there have been found many interesting and unobvious results relative thereto, which form part of the present application.

Although extrusion in the form of a film or of a straight curtain of filaments is generally satisfactory, there are definite advantages to use other extrusion techniques and devices which will project the polymer substrate from a nozzle towards the nip of the rotatable rollers in the form of a tubulus, spray or bubble of desired type.

The tubular or coating technique will offer great advantages in the manufacture of medium and coarse count yarns, wherein any type of low price short staple fibers which do not render well or at all to the economic conversion into acceptable spun yarns by the present ring spinning methods can be used with an amorphous polymer bonding agent and also preferably with a crystalline continuous polymer carrier to produce composite yarn of adequate quality and characteristics. To impart necessary strength in such short staple fiber yarns and to ensure high output speeds, the matrix will usually contain an inner carrier in the form of a filament or strand and the polymer bonding substrate will be extruded around this filament or strand in the form of a tube, coating the same and providing it with an adhesive surface onto which the short staple fibers will adhere and with which they will combine and consolidate providing desirable fibrous outer texture.

To achieve this object, a special die and nozzle arrangement may be provided enabling to feed into and through each die orifice a continuous crystalline polymer carrier of desired shape and characteristics, which while passing through the die may be adequately heat conditioned, without melting, and then at the extrusion point covered or coated with specially extruded polymer substrate to achieve optimum bonding action, and then superimposed with staple fibers at the nip point of lamination rollers of desired type while the polymer coating is still tacky, whereafter the combined material is transformed into spun yarn by imparting to it a predetermined twist.

Assuming that the polymer bonding agent will comprise 25 percent, the carrier another 25 percent and the staple fibers 50 percent of the content of the composite yarn, the total combined polymer output capacity of an extruder will double in such a case as compared to that using 50 percent of polymer bonding agent and 50 percent of staple fibers. The total yarn output capacity will be increased proportionately and the savings due to increased output capacity and speeds will offset many times the slightly higher cost of the 25 percent content of oriented carrier in the polymer strand which can be easily produced on a separate conventional and relatively inexpensive multiple end filament extrusion drawing and wind-up line at linear output speeds exceeding 5,000 feet per minute, all in one continuous operation.

Because of this, the coating technology is bound to become one of the most efficient and economic way of producing the lowest cost spun yarns which will be suitable for many large volume end use markets. This type of yarn production line will also be easy to operate at maximum efficiency and at lowest direct labour cost per pound of putput, as compared to any other system.

It should also be noted that in the conventional film or filament curtain extrusion techniques that have been used and described in applicants former patents, mentioned above, care had to be exercised to avoid great diffirence between the extrusion speed of the polymer and the surface speed of the lamination rolls that would result in a substantial drawing ratio of the extrudate before the latter is contacted with the staple fibers at the nip point of the lamination rolls. Especially at high production speeds, such difference could create pulsation in the polymer substrate that could even result in ends down and sometimes even in the breakage of the strands. At output speeds of about 500 feet per minute these pulsations seldom occur and the resulting yarn is of acceptable quality. However, at higher speeds the pulsation problem may become quite important.

The novel spray extrusion technique will entirely eliminate this problem and provide further important advantages not achievable up to now.

This spray extrusion technique consists in providing a die and nozzle arrangement capable of projecting molten polymer in the form of a fine continuous polymeric spray-like stream which, when deposited at the nip point of the lamination rolls onto the fibrous material, will enable to transform the latter with the help of pressure and twisting torque into composite spun yarn of excellent quality. This is achieved by providing in each die a micro spray nozzle through the middle of which compressed air of high velocity is injected.

This inherently continuous method will eliminate completely the pulsation problem and ends down because of polymer breakage and provide a very even distribution of the polymer substrate inside the yarn. Furthermore this will considerably increase the interfiber contact with the bonding agent which will result in more even, stronger as well as softer yarns and reduce formation of polymer accumulation in the form of lumps or the like.

A major advantage of this technique is the substantial reliability, continuity and efficiency of performance which enables output speeds of well over one thousand feet per minute.

The spray technique makes it technologically feasible to reduce the polymer content in the yarn to 25 tex or even less in consequence of which it becomes possible to manufacture on a 50:50 blend basis' yarns within a range of 100 to 50 tex and possibly even finer yarns with lesser polymer content and at increased speeds with optimum efficiency of the machine capacity in spite of the finer count of the yarns produced.

The spray technique also opens up other alternatives in that instead of a molten polymer a solvent or solution of any polymeric material such as, for instance, a sizing agent, can be introduced as a spray into the nip point as mentioned above to form a yarn wherein curing may take place while passing through heated yarn consolidation means right after twist imparting or in the yarn package during storage under desirable conditions to induce the process of curing of the imparted polymeric material. When using any suitable sizing agent or a solution containing for example, any polymeric adhesive material, the resulting yarn will be in most cases not require any additional sizing operations before weaving since it will be possible to remove the sizing or bonding agent during the fabric finishing operation. The resulting fabric will have a desirable or preferred hand, which will depend upon the properties of the staple fibers and sizing agent used.

This particular technique will be particularly preferable and applicable in the manufacture of long staple fiber carded yarns of finer than tex count, which in appearance, performance and use will favorably compare with equivalent 100 percent carded yarns of the conventional ring spinning type. Furthermore, the cost of the novel yarn will be substantially lesser.

It should also be noted that depending on the die and nozzle arrangement it is possible to achieve various type of sprays such as, atomized spray, fibrillated spray or continuous filament type spray, depending on the operation and the desired final product.

A further extrusion technique is the so called blow or bubble type of extrusion which is achieved by extruding small polymer tubes and by injecting compressed air through the die into each tube so as to form a sort of a bubble upon extrusion of the polymer material. This bubble, while entering the nip of the lamination rolls which have usually a higher surface speed than the extrusion speed of the bubble, issubjected to continuous drawing and blowing up. All this takes place within the short distance between the nozzle outlet and the nip point of the lamination rolls carrying on their surface or within a circumferential groove in their surface the staple fibers against which the blown up bubble exerts pressure to cause adequate engagement and bonding of the polymer material with the staple fibers. Bonding is completed between the pressure rolls and thereafter spun yarn can be produced with the aid of a twisting torque. Such yarn will be stronger and superior in other desirable properties due to some biaxial stretching of the polymer and especially due to the greater area of interbonding and interfiber engagement that is created between the fibers and the polymer substrate applied in this way.

It is also possible to introduce into such bubble, together with the compressed air, small amounts of short staple fibers, glass fibers, pulp, metallic whiskers or powder or even foam, which may have various properties or colors. Such additives would result in special purpose types of yarns which may have various decorative effects.

Basically, therefore, the present invention has for its object an apparatus for the manufacture of composite spun yarn comprising means for supplying a polymer substrate downwardly into the nip of a pair of rotatable rollers positioned face to face, means for rotating these rollers against each other, means for continuously supplying fibrous material onto one or both of these rollers, and means for transformingthe polymer substrate and the fibrous material in contact with each other into spun yarn, this apparatus being characterized in that said means for supplying the polymer substrate comprise at least one die and nozzle arrangement adapted to project the polymer substrate into the lamination zone of said rotatable rollers in the form of a tubulus, spray or bubble.

This die and nozzle arrangement may include a tube within the die which, in its upper portion comprises means for receiving compressed air while at its lower end the outer wall of the tube is provided with a plurality of longitudinal grooves which form with the surrounding wall of the die a plurality of orifices of a predetermined shape and size through which the polymer substrate is extruded in the form of a generally tubular curtain of filaments. Moreover, the outer wall of such tube may form with the surrounding wall of the die a serrated profile having a plurality of adjoining orifices of a predetermined shape and size through which the polymer substrate is extruded under pressure in the form of a curtain of filaments. Furthermore, the lower end of the tube may form with the surrounding wall of the die a small circular gap through which the polymer substrate will be extruded in the form of a continuous polymer tube that can be blown up into a bubble by injection of the compressed air through the middle. To provide focusing type control to the polymer extrudate impinging air may be supplied onto the outside portion of said extrudate, either with or without air in the middle depending on the operating conditions desired.

It should also be noted that the tube within the die may be rotatable and there may be provided means for rotating such tube about its longitudinal or vertical axis and a further smaller tube may be provided within this rotatable tube through which a strand or filament of predetermined shape and material can pass.

The die and nozzle arrangement may also be adpated to spray the polymer substrate dissolved in a suitable solvent, whereby means will be provided for supplying the polymer substrate solution to such die and nozzle arrangement and for spraying it towards the nip of the pair of rotatable consolidating rollers. These means for supplying the polymer solution may include a first tube mounted within the nozzle through which the polymer substrate dissolved in a solvent is introduced from a reservoir, and a second tube provided around the first tube in such a way as to form holes in the nozzle and means to impart suction through these holes so as to effect aerodynamic attraction of some of the fibers from the nip of the rotatable rollers thereby aiding in helical rearrangement of these fibers in an improved parallel arrangement during their twisting into yarns while allowing interfiber slippage to prevent build-up of counter-torque forces. In addition to these means for supplying the polymer substrate solution, there may be provided means for spraying through the nozzle a liquid comprizing sizing agents, elastomers, fire retardants, bonding agents, foaming agents, thermoset plastics, softening or stiffening agents or mixtures thereof, intended to provide the resulting yarn with predetermined properties.

The means for supplying the polymer substrate within the apparatus according to the present invention may comprise an extrusion device such as a separate small extruder for each pair of rollers or a main extruder and a plurality of sub-extruders having the above described die and nozzle arrangements, and means will be provided for feeding the polymer from the main extruder to the above mentioned sub-extruders, from which the polymer will be extruded towards the nip of the rotatable pick-up rollers underneath each subextruder. Furthermore, the die of each extrusion device may be provided with a small polymer extrusion pumping screw for maintaining constant extrusion pressure and preventing pressure drops.

The die and nozzle arrangement of each extrusion device may be such as to produce atomized spray of the polymer substrate, fibrillated spray or a continuous filament spray type depending on the various conditions, such as the polymer used, type and velocity of extrusion to meet the desired properties of the final product, namely spun yarn.

Furthermore, the apparatus according to the present invention includes, within the inventive concept, means for continuously supplying fibrous material through a licker-in arrangement adapted to convert a predetermined material into a continuous stream of substantially separated fibers and deposit the latter onto the surface of at least one of the rotatable rollers. The surface of these rollers is, at least in one of the rollers, perforated and suction means are provided within said perforated rollers to maintain the fibers aerodynamically on the surface of said rollers while they are conveyed thereon towards the nip of the rollers where they are combined with the polymer substrate. In addition to the suction means inside the perforated rollers there may be provided outside blowing means to aid maintaining these fibers on the surface of the rollers and control their proper conveying towards the nip point of the rollers. Also, the perforated rollers may have a surface with at least one slightly indented line of perforation through which suction is applied from the fiber deposition point on the rollers to the nip point between the two rollers where the circumferential indentation forms a continuous cavity through which the polymer substrate in tacky condition and the fibrous material are adapted to pass under slight pressure and wherein they are permitted to combine and consolidate without preventing interfiber and intermolecular slippage needed to retain twist imparted from below during transformation thereof to spun yarn.

It should be noted that instead of perforated rollers with suction devices therein, only blowing means may be used to maintain the fibers aerodynamically on the surface of the rollers or a combination of such blowing means with suction means either in one or in both rollers.

The means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material into yarn include torque imparting means below the rotatable rollers. These torque imparting means may be of any desired type, but preferably they comprise a housing with a cavity, a small air turbine member within the cavity, the outer and upper collar section of this turbine member containing a plurality of blades, means being provided for blowing air at high velocity through a plurality of holes into the housing to rotate the turbine member, means for providing a low pressure center air cushion for this V- shaped turbine member whereby friction is substantially decreased and proper centering of the turbine member facilitated. The turbine member has a V- shaped off-center yarn inlet with air pressure from without to ensure in the off-center V groove a positive torque to the material passing therethrough. Furthermore, the air blowing ring of this turbine member may be exchangeable permitting the spindle to operate both in the S direction and in the Z direction by rotating the air supply outer ring through a small angle.

In addition, the apparatus according to the present invention will comprise a yarn winding arrangement for continuously winding the produced yarn thereon and means for transferring the yarn semi-automatically or automatically from a full bobbin to an empty bobbin without stopping the machine. This winding arrangement may be of a two sided type which is particularly compact.

The means for transforming the polymer substrate in combination with the fibrous material into spun yarn may be of various type such as those already described in applicants previous patents. For example, these means may include a heater with accurate temperature control means and a fiber restrictive zone through which a composite strand or tape of said polymer substrate and said fibrous material is adapted to pass and in which it can be heated until the polymer becomes plastic without reaching its melting point, and a torque imparting device following this heater for twisting such strand or tape within the fiber restrictive zone while the polymer is in plastic condition, and means for cooling the obtained strand or tape in twisted condition provided between the heater and the twisting device. For such arrangement, the polymer must, of course, be thermoplastic.

The rotatable rollers may also have circumferential grooves and be positioned side by side so that the male members of the grooved surface of one roller enter and press into female members of the other roller. In contrast, these rollers can have continuous circumferential grooves and be so positioned face to face that each groove of one roller faces the corresponding groove of the other roller thus forming a plurality of predetermined cavities at the nip pointof these rollers wherein a fluid open-end fibrous strand can be formed.

Finally, the apparatus of the present invention is basically embodied in a very compact and fully integrated universal unit or plate wherein all elements are constructed very tightly and closely to one another and wherein a plurality of such units or plates may be easily assembled in a commercial size textile machine for producing spun yarn at high speeds and with a great deal of efficiency.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of this apparatus will now be described with reference to the appended drawings in which:

FIGS. 1A 1C show a front view of one integrated universal unit or plate according to this invention showing some details in cut out or sectional manner;

FIG. 2 is a more detailed, although somewhat schematic illustration of a nozzle and die arrangement according to the present invention;

FIGS. 3A 3D illustrate four different designs of the nozzle according to this invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates four extrusion types or techniques produced by the nozzle and die arrangements according to this invention;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As shown in FIG. 1A, a preferred basic universal and integrated unit or plate according to the present invention comprises a die 10 with nozzle 11 from which the polymer substrate 12 is projected in a predetermined manner into the nip of a pair of rotatable rollers 13 and 14. A pair of licker-in devices 15 and 16 are provided to disintegrate fibertapes or webs A and B introduced into said licker-in devices as shown by the broken arrows at each side, into loose fibrous material. The fibertapes or webs are fed by a fluted wheel 17 and pressure member 18 into the sharp teeth 19 of the licker-in roll 20. The fibers are combed out and moved through channel 21 onto roller 14. Roller 14 is provided with an internal suction device 22 which produces a desired regular suction shown by arrows 23 to hold the fibers coming out of the channel 21 on the periphery of said roller 14. The hold and control of the fibrous stream on roller 14, while the fibers are introduced into the nip of rollers 13 and 14 can be further improved by using air pressure shown by arrows 24, imparted by a pressurizing device 25. In addition in order to help remove the fibers from the surface of the rollers 13 and 14 at the nip point thereof, where the yarn is to be formed or the fibers are to be combined with the polymer substrate, a small source of air pressure 26 may be provided within said rollers. It should, of course, be understood that a same or similar arrangement as described for licker-in device 16 is also provided in the case of licker-in device 15 for introduction of the staple fibers from the other side of the apparatus whenever this is needed or desired.

Member 27 may be a heater with a fiber restrictive zone and a proper temperature control or it may be a cooling and consolidating element or generally a yarn forming member of a predetermined type. The construction of this member 27 will depend a great deal on the surface construction of the rollers 13 and 14 and will generally be complementary to such construction so as to produce yarn of desired properties and characteristics.

The spinning or twisting of the yarn is done by a spindle 28 shown in FIGS. 13 and 1C which, in this case, is an air driven turbine type spindle 33 capable of operating at particularly high speeds. Compressed air enters through ports 31 and 29, moves inside the spindle ro tating the same and imparting a positive torque to the yarn passing therethrough, and leaves through channel 30 to create an air pressure chamber as an air bearing. The composite material is introduced into the spindle through a side channel 32 and enters and leaves it through port 30 and, after passing through tensioning rolls 34a and 34b and the winding device 35, it is wound on a bobbin 36 into a package 37. When this bobbin is full, the winding can be transferred onto an alternative bobbin 38, without stopping.

FIG. 2 schematically illustrates an embodiment of the die nozzle arrangement according to this invention.

Liquid polymer is introduced into a space 54 surrounding nozzle 52 placed inside die 53 and air is injected into the middle space 55 of said nozzle 52. A reinforcing strand may likewise be passed through space 55. Both the die and the nozzle may be somewhat tapered at the exit'end and the nozzle piece 52 may be made rotatable around its vertical axis. Channel 56 may be provided for proper distribution of the polymer in the space 54.

FIGS. 3A 3D show particularly advantageous nozzle arrangements in accordance with the present invention. In FIG. 3A the polymer substrate exits through orifices 39 made in the cylindrical member 40 which, if desired, may be rotated. In FIG. 3B the polymer substrate exits through orifices 41 forming a sort of tubulus. Member 42 in which these orifices are made may also be rotated if desired. In the tubular opening in the middle of such nozzle a reinforcing or additional strand 43 having desired properties may be passed. In FIG. 3C a serrated profile 44 is provided between tubular members 45 and 47. Tubular member 45 may be rotatable while tubular member 47 is stationary, or vice versa. In the middle an additional fibrous strand 46 may again be passed. Finally, in FIG. 3D a small circular gap 48 is provided between tubular element 49 and 50 one of which may be rotatable element 50 for example). In the middle an additional strand 51 may be passed.

FIG. 4 illustrates schematically the various types of extrusion produced by the nozzles such as shown in FIGS. 3A 3D. Thus, the bubble at N1 will normally be produced by a design such as shown in FIG. 3D by applying polymer E and compressed air F into the nozzle. The atomized spray type shown at N2 will usually be produced by nozzle designs such as shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. The fibrillated spray type of N3 will normally be produced by nozzle designs such as shown in FIG. 3C. And the continuous filament spray tube shown at N4 will normally be produced by a nozzle design such as shown in FIG. 3A. It should, of course, be understood that by varying the designs of the orifices, by rotating members 40, 42, 45 and 50 and by applying various types of polymers and air pressures, most versatile types of polymer extrusions can be achieved.

In FIGS. and 6G a textile machine is illustrated based on the multiple unit or plate construction in accordance with this invention. The machine as shown comprises 12 plates or units such as illustrated in FIG. 1, positioned in pairs, back to back, as shown particularly in the middle of FIG. 6G. A main extruder 57 is provided from which the polymer substrate flows through pipes 58 into individual sub-extruders having die and nozzle arrangements 10 and 11 and forming part of each plate or unit 60. In addition to the extruded polymer substrate and the fibers introduced into the nip of rollers 13 and 14 there may also be introduced a reinforcing or ready strand, monofilament, multifilament or tape 59 through the middle of each die and nozzle arrangement. Such strands or filaments may easily be drawn from take-off spool 61 provided above the die and nozzle arrangement in the apparatus. A package 37 is produced in each individual plate or unit. The whole machine is compact and extremely managable; it is positioned on a central base 62 and has most of its controls 63 right in its middle.

In FIGS. 6A 6F there are also illustrated six different constructions of die and nozzle arrangements showing inside views and partly sectional views. FIG. 6A

shows a carrier filament coating type of die wherein carrier filament 59 is coated by a tubular extrusion of polymer substrate which enters via channel 64 and flows in channel 65 surrounding the nozzle 66. Compressed air may be injected into the middle of the nozzle 66 through inlet 67. Both the die and the nozzle are pointed towards the nip of the rollers in this construction.

The construction in FIG. 6B is particularly suitable for extruding a bubble or balloon from the nozzle. Here, although the die in general is convergent towards the rollers 13 and 14, the inside end portion 69 of the nozzle is somewhat divergent to produce the bubble or balloon 68. Both inside and/or outside air application with respect to the polymer extrudate are illustrated.

FIG. 6C illustrates an air vortex arrangement particularly suitable for open-end systems. Here the polymer in liquid, melt, suspension or solution form may be introduced through the middle tube 70 while air is withdrawn through the side tube 71.

FIG. 6D illustrates the use of a spinning pump 72 in combination with the die-nozzle arrangement to provide uniformity of polymer output at the die point. Such pumps may be located just above the plate 60 and can be of the screw type, as illustrated, or of the double gear type which is also perfectly applicable to the above mentioned nozzle-die arrangements.

FIG. 6E shows the type of die and nozzle arrangement which will usually produce a fibrillated spray and which has a serrated profile of the nozzle and the construction in FIG. 6F would produce a shower like atomized polymer spray projecting atomized particles of liquid polymer onto the fiber surfaces on the two lamination rollers l3, 14. The preferred construction here is such that after the nozzle proper there is provided an additional channel 73 wherein the shower falls towards the rollers 13 and 14. The tubular member 74 is here preferably rotated.

Depending upon the type of extrusion nozzle used the apparatus of this invention can, with proper air and polymer pressure applied, extrude at high velocity a polymer spray comprising a continuous strand or net of substantially crystalline separate or interconnected fine staple fibers which when fed directly into said fiber collecting suction rolls can be converted by subsequent twist into a continuous fibrous spun yarn of adequate tenacity without the addition of any other fibrous materials as described previously.

Furthermore the die design with a hollow tube inside leading to the extrusion nozzle adapted to extrude the polymer in tubular form will enable the feeding through said tube of a substantially oriented continuous polymer strand which may consist a flat tape, mono or multifilaments which, with the aid of simultaneously injected compressed air, will be prevented from melting inside the die but which will cause adequate heating to aid better lamination of the' surrounding tubular polymer extrudate leaving the die nozzle and the superimposed at the nip point of the lamination rolls staple fibers, and consolidate the composite material either in the form of a continuous flat fibrous tape or twisted yarn when subsequently subjected to a twisting torque, all of substantial inbuilt tenacity, which will enable the use of low cost short staple fibers.

Turning now to the air spindle 28 shown in crosssection as well as in top view in FIGS. 18 and 1C, it has a unique feature that the material can be introduced sidewise through slot 32 while the inner turbine type spinning unit 33 is in operation, which eliminates the usually complex threading through the center in conventional false twist device spindles. The air supply ring mounted around the turbine may have air inlets either left or right angled, which enables the imparting of a right or left twist.

It should, of course, be understood that the invention is not limited to the specifically described and illustrated embodiments but that many modifications could be' done without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, the nozzles need not always be of round shape but may be oval or otherwise constructed. The orifices in the nozzle may be of various shapes and dimensions. They type of bubble or spray may be adjusted by many ways evident to those skilled in the art. The final machine may be made of any desired number of plates 60 which may be arranged in any convenient manner. The spindles may be of various types and need not be turbine spindles. The yarn winding and transfer arrangements may also be varied quite extensively. The invention should therefore be limited only by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for the manufacture of composite spun yarn comprising a pair of rotatable rollers in face to face relation thereby providing a nip therebetween and comprising means for supplying a polymer substrate downwardly into the nip of the pair of rotatable rollers, means for rotating said rollers against each other, means for continuously supplying fibrous material at least onto one of said rollers, and means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material in contact with each other into spun yarn, characterized in that said means for supplying the polymer substrate comprise at least one die and nozzle arrangement adapted to project the polymer substrate'towards the nip of said rotatable rollers in the form of a tubulus, spray or bubble.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which said die and nozzle arrangement includes a tube within the die, which in its upper portion comprises means for receiving compressed air and at its lower end the outer wall of this tube is provided with a plurality of longitudinal grooves which form with the surrounding wall of the die a plurality of orifices of a predetermined shape and size through which the polymer substrate is adapted to be extruded in the form of a generally tubular curtain of filaments.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said tube within the die is rotatable and means are provided for rotating said tube about its longitudinal axis.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin through which a strand of predetermined material is adapted to pass, and means for introducing said strand into said smaller tube and forwarding it therethrough.

5. Apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin and means are provided to inject compressed air into said smaller tube as well as from the outside onto the extruded polymer.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which said die and nozzle arrangement includes a tube within the die, which in its upper portion comprises means for receiving compressed air and at its lower end the outer wall of this tube forms with the surrounding wall of the die a serrated profile having a plurality of adjacent orifices of a predetermined shape and size through which the polymer substrate is adapted to be extruded under pressure in the form of a curtain of filaments, and means for injecting said compressed air so that it is blasted at the extruded polymer forcing it to disintegrate into a spray of polymeric particles retaining adequate tacky properties for bonding the superimposed fibrous material at the nip point of the rollers.

7. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said tube within the die is rotatable and means are provided for rotating said tube about its longitudinal axis.

8. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin through which a strand of predetermined material is adapted to pass, and means for introducing said strand into said smaller tube and forwarding it therethrough.

9. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin and means are provided to inject compressed air into said smaller tube as well as from the outside onto the extruded polymer.

10. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which said die and nozzle arrangement includes a tube within the die, which in its upper portion comprises means for receiving compressed air and at its lower end this tube forms with the surrounding wall of the die a small circular gap through which the polymer substrate is adapted to be extruded in the form of a continuous polymer tube, and means for injecting said compressed air so that it flows into the center of said polymer tube transforming the latter under air pressure into a tacky bubble which extends downwardly into the nip of said rollers where it engages and combines with the fibrous material.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said tube within the die is rotatable and means are provided for rotating said tube about its longitudinal axis.

12. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin through which a strand of predetermined material is adapted to pass, and means for introducing said strand into said smaller tube and forwarding it therethrough.

13. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said tube within the die comprises another smaller tube therewithin and means are provided to inject compressed air into said smaller tube as well as from the outside onto the extruded polymer.

14. Apparatus according to claim 1, in which said at least one die and nozzle arrangement is adapted to spray the polymer substrate dissolved in a solvent, and means are provided for supplying said polymer substrate so dissolved to said die and nozzle arrangement and for spraying it towards the nip of said pair of rollers.

15. Apparatus according to claim 14, wherein said means for supplying the polymer substrate dissolved in a solvent include a first tube mounted within the nozzle to which the polymer substrate so dissolved is introduced and the second tube is provided around the first tube in such a way as to form holes in the nozzle and means are provided to impart suction through said holes so as to effect aerodynamic attraction of some of the fibers from the nip point of the rotatable rollers, thereby aiding in helical rearrangement of said fibers during their twisting into yarn while allowing interfiber slippage to prevent build-up of counter torque forces.

16. Apparatus according to claim 14, wherein in said means for supplying the polymer substrate there are provided means for spraying through said nozzle a liquid comprising sizing agents, elastomers, fire retarding agents, bonding agents, forming agents, thermoset plastics, blowing agents, softening or stiffening agents or mixtures thereof, intended .to provide the resulting yarns with predetermined properties.

17. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a plurality of roller pairs is provided and said means for supplying the polymer substrate comprise a main extruder with a plurality of sub-extruders or separate extruders for each pair of rollers, said sub-extruders or separate extruders being each provided with said die and nozzle arrangement.

18. Apparatus according to claim 17, wherein the die of each sub-extruder or separate extruder is provided with a small polymer extrusion pumping screw for maintaining constant extrusion pressure and overcoming pressure drops.

19. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the die and nozzle arrangement is such as to produce atomized spray of the polymer substrate.

20. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the die and the nozzle arrangement is such as to produce fibrillated spray of the polymer substrate.

21. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the die and nozzle arrangement is such as to produce a continuous filamentous spray type of the polymer substrate.

22. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein at least one of said rollers is perforated and in which the means for continuously supplying fibrous material include licker-in arrangements adapted to convert a predetermined material into a continuous stream of substantially separated fibers and deposit the latter onto the surface of at least one of said rollers which is perforated, and suction means are provided within at least one of said perforated rollers to maintain said fibers aerodynamically on the surface of said at least one perforated roller while they are conveyed thereon towards the nip of said rollers where they are combined with the polymer substrate.

23. Apparatus according to claim 22 wherein in addition to said suction means inside said at least one perforated roller, outside blowing means are provided to help maintain said fibers on the surface of said rollers and control their proper conveying towards the nip point of said rollers.

24. Apparatus according to claim 22, wherein said at least one perforated roller has a surface with at least one slightly indented circumferential line of perforation through which suction is applied from the fiber deposition point on said rollers to the nip point between said rollers where said circumferential indentation forms a continuous cavity through which the polymer substrate in tacky condition and the fibrous material are adapted to pass under slight pressure and wherein they are permitted to combine and consolidate without preventing inter-fiber and inter-molecular slippage needed to retain twist imparted from below during transformation thereof into spun yarn.

25. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the means for continuously supplying fibrous material include licker-in arrangements adapted to convert a predetermined material into a continuous stream of substantially separated fibers and deposit the latter onto the surface of said rollers and air blowing means are provided to maintain said fibers aerodynamically on the surface of said rollers while they are conveyed thereon towards the nip of said rollers where they are combined with polymer substrate.

26. Apparatus according to claim 25, wherein at least one of said rollers has a perforated surface and is provided therewithin with suction means to aid the aerodynamic effect.

27. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material into yarn include torque imparting means below said rollers.

28. Apparatus according to claim 27, wherein said torque imparting means comprise a spindle having a housing with a cavity, a small air turbine member within said cavity, the outer and upper collar section of said turbine member containing a plurality of blades, means for blowing air at high velocity through a plurality of holes into said housing to rotate said turbine member, means for providing a low pressure center air cushion for said turbine member whereby friction is substantially decreased and proper centering of the turbine member facilitated, said turbine member having a V-shaped off center yarn inlet slot to enable the threading of the yarn through a slot in the spindle housing while the turbine member is revolving to continuously impart a positive torque to the material passing by the off center slotted turbine member.

29. Apparatus according to claim 28, wherein the air blowing means comprise an exchangeable air supply outer ring permitting the spindle to operate in the S direction or in the 2 direction.

30. Apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising atwo sided yarn winding arrangement comprising a pair of bobbin elements for continuously winding the produced yarn thereon and means for transferring said yarn from a full bobbin on one side to an empty bobbin on the other side without stopping the operation.

31. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material into spun yarn include a cooler arrangement and a material restrictive condensing zone through which the combined strand is adapted to pass and in which it can be cooled to cause the polymer to coagulate while in twisted condition.

32. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said rotatable rollers are circumferentially grooved and so positioned side by side that the male members of the grooved surface of one roller enter and press into female members of the other roller.

33. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said rotatable rollers have continuous circumferential grooves on their surface and are so positioned face to face that each groove of one roller faces the corresponding groove of the other roller thus forming a plurality of predetermined cavities at the nip point of said rollers wherein a fluid open-end fibrous strand can be formed.

34. Apparatus for the manufacture of composite spun yarn comprising a pair of rotatable rollers in face to face relation thereby providing a nip therebetween and comprising means for supplying a polymer substrate which include a die and nozzle arrangement adapted to project the polymer substrate in the form of a tubulus, bubble, atomized or fibrous spray or tubular filament curtain downwardly towards the nip of said pair of rotatable rollers means for continuously supplying fibrous material onto said rollers comprising a pair of licker-in devices and aerodynamic fiber control arrangements, means for transforming the polymer substrate and the fibrous material in contact with each other into spun yarn including a high speed twisting spindle and a yarn winding arrangement for continuously winding the obtained spun yarn thereon, characterized in that all said elements are constructed very tightly and closely one to the other and form a compact large size packages on winding means.

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Referenced by
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US3959055 *Oct 21, 1974May 25, 1976The Bobtex Corporation LimitedTextile apparatus and process
US3987612 *Sep 18, 1974Oct 26, 1976Bobkowicz EMethod and apparatus for manufacture of composite yarn products
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Classifications
U.S. Classification57/5, 57/7, 57/409, 57/297, 57/292, 264/103, 425/66, 57/400, 57/401
International ClassificationD02G3/40, D01H1/00, D01H4/00, D02J1/00, D01D5/30
Cooperative ClassificationD02G3/408, D01H4/00
European ClassificationD01H4/00