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Publication numberUS3890681 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 24, 1975
Filing dateJul 11, 1974
Priority dateJul 11, 1974
Also published asCA1025190A, CA1025190A1, DE2530872A1, DE2530872B2, DE2530872C3
Publication numberUS 3890681 A, US 3890681A, US-A-3890681, US3890681 A, US3890681A
InventorsEugene Zoltan Fekete, Raymond J Grady
Original AssigneeHuyck Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for needling textiles
US 3890681 A
Abstract
This invention relates to apparatus for performing so-called "needling" operations on textile goods, which apparatus is characterized by the fact that it comprises a needle support member having a multiplicity of felting needles affixed thereto, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said member, and an associated backing member to support the textile material against the forces experienced during the needling operation, which backing member has a surface comprising pressure-tolerant, laterally displaceable, elongated members which are affixed at one end to the surface of the backing member and have their long axes oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing member; said needle support member and said backing member each being so structured as to travel repeatedly along a closed travel path each aggregating 360 DEG of angular change and being so positioned with respect to each other that at least at one point along their paths of travel, portions of said needles reside among said elongated members.
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United States Patent [191 Fekete et al.

[451 June 24, 1975 1 APPARATUS FOR NEEDLING TEXTILES [75] inventors: Eugene Zoltan Fekete, East Greenbush; Raymond J. Grady, Colonie, both of NY.

[73] Assignee: Huyck Corporation, Wake Forest,

[22] Filed: July 11, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 487,668

[52] US. Cl. 28/4 R; 28/72.2 R [51] Int. Cl D04h 18/00 [58] Field of Search 28/4 R, 72.2 R

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,142,728 l/1939 Kienzle 28/4 R 2,920,373 l/l960 Gresham 28/4 R 2,974,393 3/1961 Hollowell 28/4 R 3,208,125 9/1965 Hall et al. 28/4 R 3,372,447 3/1968 Williams ct a1. 28/4 R Primary Examiner-Louis K. Rimrodt Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert F. Hargest; Sanford S. Wadler [5 7] ABSTRACT This invention relates to apparatus for performing socalled needling operations on textile goods, which apparatus is characterized by the fact that it comprises a needle support member having a multiplicity of felting needles affixed thereto, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said member, and an associated backing member to support the textile material against the forces experienced during the needling operation, which backing member has a surface comprising pressure-tolerant, laterally displaceable, elongated members which are affixed at one end to the surface of the backing member and have their long axes oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing member; said needle support member and said backing member each being so structured as to travel repeatedly along a closed travel path each aggregating 360 of angular change and being so positioned with respect to each other that at least at one point along their paths of travel, portions of said needles reside among said elongated members.

14 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR NEEDLING TEXTILES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is well known in the textile arts that it is possible to make a textile product by subjecting a batt of fibers to the repeated plunging action of a multiplicity of socalled felting needles, by which, in this context, is meant known per se, long, thin, rod-like structures, usually round or angular in cross-section, having one or more barbs in them, the preponderance of which face toward the pointed end. In this connection, reference is made to the following U.S. Patents: Foster, U.S. Pat. No. 2,322,573; Kopriva et a1, U.S. Pat. No. 2,326,038; Foster, U.S. Pat. No. 2,327,416; Foster U.S. Pat. No. 2,349,086; Foster, U.S. Pat. No. 2,391,560; Brown, U.S. Pat. No. 2,678,484; Lauterbach, U.S. Pat. No. 2,857,650; Weickert, U.S. Pat. No. 2,882,585; Lauterbach, U.S. Pat. No. 2,958,113; Foster, U.S. Pat. No. 3,224,067; Zocher, U.S. Pat. No. 3,464,097; Foster U.S. Pat. No. 3,479,708; Zocher, U.S. Pat. No. 3,566,663; Foster, U.S. Pat. No. 3,727,276; and McKew et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,230,599. The batt of fibers may be supported on a backing scrim, which typically may be an open-weave mesh fabric made in the traditional manner of textile manufacturing. Such a combination, with the fiber batt facing the needle board of the needling machine, is passed beneath the needle board, to which are affixed a multiplicity of needles. In the most widely used types of such machines, the needle board reciprocates upward and downward by means of driven connecting rods, thereby producing the plunging action which, because of the barbed configuration of the needles, causes interlocking entanglement of the fibers with each other and with the backing scrim, thereby giving the textile product structural and mechanical integrity and an acceptable degree of fiber retention. In this connection, reference is made to the following United States Patents which disclose such machines: Stone, U.S. Pat. No. 2,177,604; Walsh, et al., U.S. Pat. No. Re. 21,890; Marshall, U.S. Pat. No. 2,959,509; Chase, U.S. Pat. No. 1,742,133; and Chase U.S. Pat. No. 1,745,739.

Textile products made in accordance with these needling techniques have been found particularly useful in the field of papermakers felts where large numbers of fibers must be incorporated into the felt in order to provide the degree of loft, resiliency, and structural integrity that is required to render them useful in the environment of the papermaking machine. However, the production of needled textile products made by the previously known techniques has been relatively slow and, in addition, the mechanical problems involved in the construction and operation of the associated machinery have been substantial, primarily because of the reciprocal motion and the great weight and inertia attendant to making the apparatus sufficiently strong and rigid to withstand the high forces experienced in the needling operation.

The basis for the premise that reciprocating motion is necessary is that the needles themselves necessarily are very thin, although they must possess sufficient mechanical strength to tolerate the stresses and strains to which they are exposed by virtue of the existence of the barbs and the pressures imparted to the needle shaft during impingement of the needle point and barbs on the fibers and other portions of the textile product being made. In view of this, and the fact that as the textile product is produced it becomes progressively more dense, until the advent of the present invention we believed that it was necessary to cause the needles to enter and be removed from the textile fabric substantially along a linear path; that is, one not involving any significant amount of laterial pressure on the needles, or of angular displacement and flexing of them, between the time the needle point begins to enter the fab ric and the time that it leaves the fabric, since the effect would be to cause the constituent material of the needles to fatique through work hardening resulting from such flexing, and ultimately break. Flexing and the angular displacement of the needles would additionally produce undesired tearing and hole-enlarging effects on the associated fabric.

This problem is intensified by the fact that, as noted above, the thrust pressures that must be exerted by the needle in order to provide the desired effects of the needling operation are substantially initially and become progressively greater as the textile product densifies, and this makes it necessary for the textile product to be backed against displacement to ensure that the needles will penetrate the textile product to a predetermined depth. Traditionally, this was achieved by means of a backing plate; that is, a sheet of material, such as heavy gauge steel, having perforations therein corresponding to the position, size, and distribution pattern of the needles on the needle board, whereby the barbs of the needles could be caused to plunge completely through the textile product being fabricated and through the holes in the backing plate. The very nature of such a backing plate meant that the needles must enter it in exactly the same places and configuration each time in order to avoid needle breakage from impingement on the unperforated portions of the backing plate, and it also meant that the potential needle density was limited inherently because of the necessity of preserving sufficient land area between the perforations in the backing plate to give the plate enough strength to withstand the forces of needling.

Some attempt has been made to replace such backing plates with other structures, such as belts having kneeaction plastic filaments projecting therefrom; (in this connection, reference is made to Hollowell, U.S. Pat. No. 2,974,393), but in the textile art, such structures have not to date found wide-spread application primarily because, as the Hollowell reference illustrates, such filament belts were associated with reciprocating needle boards and were merely substitutions for the backing plate. Although they may have permitted greater needle densities than could be achieved with a backing plate, they are inherently suited only to the needling of relatively thin fiber batts because of the limited ability of the knee-action filaments to support the fabric against high needling pressures, and they still are substantially restricted to the low production speeds of traditional needle looms because of having reciprocating needle boards, presumably because of all the problems of subjecting the needles to lateral pressures and flexing still being present.

There have been attempts made to process sheet-like goods through the nip formed by associated roll devices wherein protrusions from at least one of the rolls perform work on the material being processed. in this connection, reference is made to the following patents: Harmon et al., U.S. Pat. No. 3,012,290; Harrigan, U.S. Pat. No. 232,962; Gresham U.S. Pat. No. 2,920,373;

Krolik, Jr., US. Pat. No. 3,137,611; Harwood, US. Pat. No. 3,038,215; Mueller US Pat. No. 2,847,086; Oace, US. Pat. No. 3,014,263; and British Patent Specification No. 20,645. There have also been similar machines which utilize belt-like structures other than opposing rolls, for substantially the same purposes; (in this connection reference is made to US. Pat. Nos. 3,025,585, Griswold; and U.S. Pat. No. 2,762,433, Russell). However, none of the aforesaid known refer ences of either type were dealing with needles of the type contemplated by the present invention. Rather, these references deal with devices which were for the purpose of punching perforations in sheet-like material, or embossing it, or performing other such tasks, with penetrating structures that were not long and thin and therefore did not have the kind of mechanical stress problems which are inherent to the needles used in needling as it is known in the textile arts.

Occasionally, attempts have been made to modify textile process machinery to render it more simple structurally and faster than the known per se reciprocating needle looms. Such attempts are illustrated by Kalwaites, US. Pat. No. 3,081,501 and Hollowell, US. Pat. No. 2,974,393; but these references also still resort to reciprocating needle board motion as the means for propelling needles into the textile material. Other prior art devices which are more nearly like roll devices so made for the purpose of speeding up the needling process have either not been concerned with the long, thin, and relatively delicate needles contemplated by the present invention, or have tolerated the generation of objectionable relatively wide apertures in materials that are not of a dense nature (in this connection, reference is made to Kalwaites, US. Pat. Nos. 3,325,868 and 3,255,496).

It is believed that needling machines having opposing rolls, one with the needles mounted thereon and the other with a backing surface such as the perforated plate similar to the type previously used as backing plates in reciprocating needle looms, have not been found to be satisfactory because of the practical mechanical problems which would be encountered in such devices. First, there would be the very difficult problem of perfect registration", or causing each needle to align with a hole exactly in every pass; otherwise, needle breakage would be experienced. Next, if one visualizes the necessity for the needle shafts to pivot angularly about a fictitious point approximately halfway along the axis of each hole as each needle first intercepts, then penetrates, and lastly withdraws from its associated hole as the two pass through arcuate paths through the nip region of the rolls, it will be appreciated that the holes will have to be increasingly larger as the roll diameters decrease, as the depth of needle penetration increases, and as the thickness of the backing plate increases, and this enlargement reduces the possibility for effective backing and therefore increased needle density.

One reference (British Patent Specification No. 450,775) discloses an apparatus which is an attempt to increase the speed of needling by use ofa series of needle boards traveling on an endless belt and opposed by an inclined plane backing plate. The drawbacks of this structure in terms of the lateral stress moments which it places on the needles are apparent from an examination of the apparatus as disclosed since, of course, the entry-withdrawal sequence of the needles effected by the cooperation between the inclined plane bed plate and the endless belt of needles is clearly of such a nature as to cause the relative motion of the needles, due to the raising of the textile product being needled up the incline of the backing plate to the crown and then down it, to be as if the needles were being pivoted through an are about a fictitious point which moves along their respective shafts. This, apparently, makes such a machine impractical in the long run, as evidenced by the fact that the apparatus has not found wide-spread use in the industry. Furthermore, because of the ribbed configuration of the backing plate substitute which apparently is necessitated by the substantially linear progress of the needles in this arrangement, it is not possible to have a very high needle density which, of course, would help improve the efficiency of needling.

Recognizing the drawbacks of all of the foregoing structures and visualizing the advantages which would result if it were possible to produce a pure roller-type structure, various persons skilled in the art have made attempts from time to time to produce structures that would at once perform needling of the high quality level desired, while, at the same time, simplifying the machinery, speeding up the process time, and avoiding the deleterious effects on the needles themselves. In this connection, reference is made to Hall et al., US. Pat. No. 3,208,125; and Williams et al., US. Pat. No. 3,372,447. It will be noticed that all of these references, however, require the use of internal camming structures which either cause the associated needles to plunge in and out of the roll face, or cause them to be made to cant mechanically, so as to avoid the angular displacement problems noted above, as well as the lateral bending moments imparted by the angular displacement that takes place as the needles first enter and then are withdrawn from the textile material being processed through the course of the material passing through an arc of some dimension. Clearly, such devices are very intricate and expensive, and are subject to extreme and rapid wear, and so are not suited to use on high-speed textile processing machinery.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved apparatus and method for needling textile materials with a greater number of penetrations per unit time occuring without intolerable adverse effects on the needles or the quality of the textile products so produced.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The objects of this invention may be achieved through any of its embodiments in which there is utilized an apparatus for needling textile goods comprising a needle support member having a multiplicity of felting needles affixed thereto, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said member, and an associated backing member to support the textile material against the forces experienced during the needling operation, which backing member has a surface comprising pressure-tolerant, laterally displaceable, elongated members which are affixed at one end to the surface of the backing member and have their long axes oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing member; said needle support member and said backing member each being so structured as to travel repeatedly through a closed path of travel, and being so positioned with respect to each other that at least at one point along their paths of travel said needles reside among said elongated members.

DESCRIPTION or DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic drawing of one embodiment of the present invention,

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional drawing of backing material useful in the practice of a further embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a graphic representation of the embodiment of the present invention depicted in FIG. 2 in use, and

FIG. 3a is a graphic representation of prior art apparatus.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring first to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a textile needling machine embodying the present invention, comprising a needle support member 12 and an associ ated backing member 14. In this particular embodiment, members 12 and 14 are depicted as rolls. There is also illustrated a carrier roll 16 the purposes of which are hereinafter described, although it will be clear that the use'of such a carrier roll with the present invention is-optional. The needle roll 12 comprises a roll body 18 of typical, known per se, cylindrical form, to the surface of which is affixed, by known techniques, such as gluing with adhesives, or mechanical affixation, or welding, brazing, or the like, a multiplicity of needles 20 of any of a wide variety of constructions and designs which are known per se in the textile needling art. The associated backing roll 14 comprises a roll body 22, to the surface of which is affixed a multiplicity of elongated members 32 which have one of their ends affixed to the backing roll body 22 and which are characterized by being able substantially to retain their shape and orientation under the forces delivered to them in their axial direction (which characteristic is referred to herein as pressure-tolerant), and yet are laterally displaceable; that is susceptible to being moved from side to side around their fixed ends acting as pivots. So called card wire, well known in the textile arts, is suitable for this use and possesses the foregoing structural features. It comprises a card wire structure 29 of the type illustrated in FIG. 2 comprising a sheet-like member 30 made from textile goods, rubber, heavy plastic material, and the like, from one surface of which project a multiplicity of cut wire members 32 made from material such as bronze, steel, plastics, synthetic materials, or the like, typically of a diameter of about 0.08 cm, and in length about 2.5 cm, the outermost ends of which occupy a plane substantially parallel to the surface of the supporting back member 30. The elongated members 32 of such a structure are free to bend or pivot about points 34; that is, the point at which each emerges from the upper plane of the backing member 30, so that as portions of a needle 20 penetrate among the members 32, such portions may move relative to the elongated members 32, and the elongated members are free to deflect sidewards to give such penetrating portions of the needle freedom to so pass unobstructed. At the same time, the cut wire members 32 are sufficiently rigid to support the pressures imparted by such things as a fabric being processed without substantially losing their shape or orientation, not only against the normal tensions and operationsl forces herein contemplated, but also against the forces applied as the fabric moves through the point of closure between the needle roll 12 and the backing roll 14 wherein the needles 20 on the needle roll 12 are caused to be plunged through and extracted from the fabric being processed. In accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that portion of the needle which is in contact with the felt, the backing material, and the felt travel at the same linear velocity, measured along what has been designated in FIG. 3 as the X axis, at least at the point where the needle roll and backing material are closest.

The foregoing is further illustrated in FIG. 3 where there is shown a graphic illustration of a single needle so positioned relative to the felt 33 and an associated card wire structure 29, the needle and card wire structure moving from left to right such that at a given posi tion A, the needle 20 begins to enter felt being needle. Position C is the position at which the portion of the needle 20 embedded in felt 33, the backing material 29 and the felt 33 will be traveling at the same linear velocity along the X axis. The needling sequence continues to position E where the needle 20 is withdrawn completely from the felt 33. Throughout the needling sequence the cut wire members 32 substantially retain their shape and orientation under the axially oriented or vertical forces imparted during the needling process. In addition, elongated members 32 are susceptible to being moved from side to side around their fixed ends 34 acting as pivots. For example, at position A, the needle tip 35 has begun to penetrate the region occupied by the felt 33. As the combination continues to move from left to right as shown in FIG. 3, penetration of the needle 20 through the felt 33 is substantially complete by the time the combination has reached position B at which position the elongated wire member 32 may be caused to bend as a result of the impingement upon wire member 32 by needle 20. The force imparted upon the needle by the felt will cause the needle 20 to deflect. At position B the angular displacement of the needle 20 relative to the plane of the felt 33 is in a direction opposite that of the direction of movement of felt 33. The magnitude of the deflecting force on the needle 20 is a function of roll diameter and depth of needle penetration. For example, the force and therefore needle deflection can be reduced by increasing the diameter of the needle roll or the associated backing roll or both rolls. As the sequence continues the end of the needle 20 which extends through felt 33 may impinge upon the bend other elongated wire members 32 and will begin to straighten out such that at position C it will return to its normal orientation. Similarly, the previously deflected wire members 32 will spring back to their normal orientation. As the needling sequence continues past position C to position D, the needle 20 begins to withdraw from the felt 33, the bending or an gular displacement of the needle 20 relative to the plane of the felt 33 now being in the same direction as that in which felt 33 is moving. In addition, the end of needle 20 which extends through felt 33 may impinge upon and bend other elongated wire members 32 and will again begin to straighten out such that at position E it will have sprung back to its normal orientation. Similarly, the previously deflected wire members 32 will spring back to their normal orientation.

At this point, it should be noted that in order to overcome the problems referred to above attendant to using a perforated-type prior art backing plate, the elongated members 32 of the card wire underlying the felt 33 must be free to move laterally to accommodate the sweep of the needle tip region. The significance of this is illustrated in FIG. 3a where it may be seen that if a perforated backing plate where used as in prior art devices, it would be necessary to have the angular displacement of the needles take place about a pivot point 43 that is substantially in the mid-plane 45 of the backing plate 47, since otherwise, the perforated portion 48 of the backing plate 47 would have to be substantially larger, with a consequent reduction in the ability of the backing plate to withstand the pressure forces imparted during the needling sequence. Not only does this cause an undesired decrease in the effectiveness of the backing member, but also it will be clear that it tends to increase the lateral force moments impartd to the needle and that it further tends to increase the size of the needle holes introduced in the felt 33. Furthermore, it will be noted that in the prior arrangement depicted in FIG. 3A, of necessity, the dimensions of the flared opening 50 imparted by the angular displacement of the needle in the felt are significantly greater in terms of volumne displacement than are those in the case of the present invention wherein there is no problem regarding registration of needle tips and apertures in a backing plate. In effect, it may be said that the backing member 29 of the present invention provides a system of holes which, unlike those in a backing plate, move to accommodate the angular sweep of the needle tips. I It will be obvious that although not necessary the card wire member can be made to pass through an arcuate path to address the on-coming needles as, for example, by being placed around the circumference of a roll. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 wherein the elongated members 32 are affixed to a backing roll 14, the needle roll 12 and backing roll 14 are so positioned with respect to each other that at least a portion of the needles 20 on the needle roll 12 occupy the general region also occupied by the elongated members 32 on the surface of the backing roll 14. To permit variations in needling depth, one or both of the roll axes are movable so that the rolls may be positioned closer together or farther apart. Obviously, positioning the rolls closer together will also have the effect of increasing the needling zone, or distance over which needles are inserted into the fabric at any given point in time. Thus, for example, fibers 44 are laid onto the outer surface of a papermakers felt 42 which has been rendered into the form of an endless belt, by a fiber-laying device 46 of any of a multitude of well-known designs such as a carder, batt former, layer combination, or a blown fiber source, and is positioned about the backing roll 14 and, in the case illustrated in FIG. 1, about a carrier roll 16. The backing or the carrier roll, or the needle roll, or even an associated slack takeup roll, or any combination of them, may be driven to cause the rolls to revolve and, therefore, the fabric 42 to move. As illustrated, the fabric 42 will be carried through the nip formed between the backing roll 14 and the needle roll 12 such that the needles 20 on the needle roll 12 will be caused to progressively plunge into and through and be extracted from the papermarkers felt 42. In this manner, it is possible to subject the felt to a substantial number of needling passes in a very short length of time, because experiments have demonstrated that the felt may be run through the needling nip at speeds in excess of about 300 meters per minute.

Furthermore, because the diameters of the elongated members 32 of the card wire structure 29 are small, and since, in terms of needling practice, these diameters are analogous to the land areas between the perforated holes on the backing plate of a standard reciprocating needle machine, it is possible to have a much more dense concentration of needles on the surface of the needle roll than can be achieved on a standard needle board. For example, the practical maximum density of needles on a needle board as used in the industry is about 8,303/sg. meter, whereas experimental machines embodying the present invention have been used having a needle density of 13,830/sq. meter and it is thought that this density might even be increased. Thus, through the practice of the present invention, it is possible to perform a high-speed needling operation from which the quality of needling and the product produced thereby is very high and is clearly acceptable to meet the standards of such difficult and demanding products as papermakers felts.

It will be apparent that even though various backing roll needle roll diameter combinations may be operative in the practice of the present invention, it is desirable although not required for both rolls to have large diameters; e.g., on the order of cm or more, since, obviously, the greater the diameter of one or both of these rolls, the less relative movement there is between a given needle point residing in the region of the card wire members 32, and this further reduces the working of the needles through the elimination of lateral moments of force even through it should be understood that the degree of working is smaller diameters is within acceptable limits since there will not be an untoward amount of needle fatigue, bending, or breaking. Accordingly, backing roll needle roll combinations having smaller diameters may also be used. For example, backing roll needle roll combinations of as small as 30 cm and 120 cm, respectively, have been shown to be operative in the practice of the present invention. It also may be desirable for the diameter of the backing roll to be equal to the diameter of the needle roll.

EXAMPLE A machine was constructed having a needle roll 122 cm in diameter, to the surface of which were fitted felting needles which were equilaterally triangular in crosssection, having barbs at the corners of the triangles, to a needle density of 15 needles per 10 sq. cm of roll face. The needles were mounted perpendicular to the roll face. Associated wire rolls were fabricated in two different diameters; one 30 cm, and one 122 cm. On both of these wire rolls the roll face was covered with card wire, the heights of the wire filaments of which were approximately 2.5 cm in length. In this piece of equipment, only the card wire roll was driven by an outside source. The depth of needle penetration was adjusted as desired by changing the center-to-center distance between the rolls.

The felt was positioned about the card wire roll and over a third idler roll which was movable to facilitate taking up slack in the felt. Several felt samples were needled on this machine, using both the 122 cm and the 30 cm wire roll.

It was observed that the rotary motion of this ma chine allowed relatively high speed needling as compared to a standard reciprocating needle loom. ln standard needling procedures used in the manufacture of papermakers felts it is typical to apply 12.8 g/sq. cm of fibers, and to perform work on felts of this type on a regularly reciprocating needle loom would require 44.5 minutes. It was found that the machine made in accor dance with the present invention, having approximately the same number of penetrations per inch as in the aforesaid standard reciprocating needle loom, could be operated at approximately 274.5 m/min., which completely needled the felt in approximately 7.5 minutes. Thus, at a speed of 274.5 m/min. the needling productivity is approximately six times greater.

No particular problems were apparent at 274.5 m/min., from which it is clear that the running speed could be increased significantly. In fact, on this same machine, another run was made at 457.2 m/min.

It was noted that the product of the present invention appeared to have several different characteristics over those produced on standard reciprocating needle looms. For example, one difference was in the apparent size of the holes left in the felt by penetration of the individual needles. Although the needle holes in the felt produced on the machine of the present invention appear slightly larger than those left by reciprocating needle looms, apparently due to the changing angular path followed by the needles during penetration, it was also noticed that the apparent bulk density of the felts produced on the machine made in accordance with the present invention was somewhat less than that produced by a reciprocating needle loom. Without intending to be bound by any theory, it appears that as needles are being pulled out of the felt, they are still under a slight degree of lateral pressure so that the point of the needle may tend to scrape the upper layer as it clears theupper felt surface. Obviously, the degree to which this occurs will be a function of the diameters of the rolls used.

As noted above, both 122 cm and 30 cm wire rolls were used. It was noticed that as the diameter decreased for a given running speed, needle bending and breakage began to occur so that when the 30 cm diameter roll was used, at a relatively high speed, the needling had to be terminated in order to avoid serious damage to the needle roll.

Various empirical measurements were made in the course of utilizing the machine which embodied the present invention, during which it was noted that the maximum load exerted on the rolls at their point of contact with the felt being processed was in the neighborhood of 1.76 kg per linear cm, and that the horsepower requirements were in the neighborhood of 0.0187 norsepower per 30.48 m per minute 2.5 cm of face width.

Based on these experiments, it was estimated that the cost of a loom embodying the present invention would be approximately 60 percent that of a commercially available reciprocating needle loom of the same width.

With respect to the working characteristics of the papermaking felt-type samples produced on machines embodying the present invention, the following table shows the measured vertical flow rate of such felts in liters per minute at various mechanical loadings for various felt thicknesses made both on a reciprocating needle loom and on the machine embodying the present invention.

Mechanical Felt Vertical Loading Thickness Flow Rate KG/CMZ Milimeters Liters/Minutes 17.5 1.45 55.3 Reciprocating 26.3 1.30 44.3 Loom 35.0 1.17 37.1 Sample 43.8 1.09 32.2 52.5 1.00 28.4

17.5 1.42 58.3 Present 26.3 1.24 46.2 lnvention 35.0 1.14 39.4 Sample 43.8 1.09 34.1 52.5 1.00 29.1

It should be obvious from the foregoing discussion that even though the embodiments described above are in terms of structures having two opposing rolls or cylinders, it is also possible to practice the present invention in a wide variety of other configurations in which the surface to which the needles are affixed and the surface to which the backing members are affixed travel repeatedly through closed travel paths which, in the aggregate of their constituent flat and arcuate portions, cause the needles and the members to pass through 360 during each revolution, provided that at some point along their paths of travel, at least a portion of the needles reside among the elongated members of the backing members. Included among them'are a needle roll in combination with an incline-decline plane carrying an endless belt of card wire as a backing member,

or an endless belt of card wire in combination with an endless belt carrying needles, which combination converges at some point along their paths of travel. Obviously, in these embodiments of the invention, the paths of travel may not be the true circles as in the case of the needle roll and the backing roll being revolving cylinders, but instead may be elliptical or other geometrically regular or even irregular closed loops in cross-section. It is also within the contemplation of the present invention to have a multiplicity of needle rolls in tandem arrayed around around a common backing roll, whereby several combinations of needle types and- /or needling depths may be accommodated sequentially on a given fabric in a single set up.

It is to be understood that the embodiments herein illustrated and discussed, and the terms and expressions which have been employed, are by way of illustration and not of limitation and that there is no intention in using any of them to exclude any equivalents of the features shown or described, or portions thereof, since it will be recognized by those skilled in the arts that this invention may be practiced in a wide variety of forms and embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.

We claim:

1. An apparatus for needling textiles comprising a needle support member which is capable of traveling along a closed travel path and has a multiplicity of felting needles affixed thereto, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said member,

and a backing member which is capable of traveling along a closed travel path and has a surface comprising pressure-tolerant, laterally displaceable, elongated fabric support members which are affixed at one end to the surface of said backing member and have their long axes oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing'member;

said closed travel paths each aggregating 360 of angular change and being so positioned with respect to each other that at least at one point along said paths, a portion at least of said needles will reside among said elongated members.

2. The apparatus described in claim 1 wherein said surface of said backing member comprises card wire.

3. The apparatus described in claim 1 in which at least one of said members is a cylinder.

4. The apparatus described in claim 2 in which at least one of said members is a cylinder.

5. The apparatus described in claim 1 in which said needle member and said backing member are cylinders.

6. The apparatus described in claim 5 in which said surface of said backing member comprises card wire.

7. The apparatus described in claim 5 wherein the diameter of said needle-bearing cylinder is at least 122 centimeters and the diameter of said backing cylinder is at least 30 centimeters.

8. The apparatus described in claim 5 wherein the diameter of said needle-bearing cylinder is equal to the diameter of said backing cylinder.

9. The apparatus described in claim 6 wherein the diameter of said needle-bearing cylinder is equal to the diameter of said backing cylinder.

10. A method of needling textiles comprising the steps of moving a fabric through the point of closure between a needle support member having needles affixed thereto the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said support member, and a backing member having pressure tolerant, laterally displaceable elongated fabric support members affixed at one end to the surface thereof, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing member, moving said members along closed travel paths each aggregating 360 of angular change, positioning said members with respect to each other so that at least at one point along said paths, a portion at least of said needles will reside among said members.

11. A method according to claim 10 wherein at least one of said members is a cylinder rotating 360 about its longitudinal axis.

12. An apparatus for needling textiles comprising a needle support member which is capable of traveling along a closed travel path and has a multiplicity of felting needles affixed thereto, the long axes of which are oriented substantially normal to the surface of said member,

and a backing member which is capable of traveling along a closed travel path and hasa surface comprising pressure-tolerant, laterally displaced, elongated fabric support members which are affixed at one end to the surface of said backing member and having their long axes oriented substantially normal to the surface of said backing member;

said closed travel paths each aggregating 360 of angular change and being so positioned with respect to each other that at least at one point along said paths, a portion at least of said needles will reside among said elongated members, said support member being movable relative to said backing member to control the distance between said needle and backing members and thereby control the depth at which said needles reside among said elongated members.

13. The apparatus'described in claim 12 in which at least one of said members is a cylinder.

14. The apparatus described in claim 13 in which said needle member and said backing member are cylinders.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTIUN atent No- 3,890,681 Dated June 24, 1975 1 Inventor(s) Eugene Zo1tan Fekete et a1 It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

C01. 2, Line 19 Change "substantia11y" to "substantial". C01. 5, Line 65 Change "operat1'0ns1" to "operationa1". C01. 6, Line 16 Change "need1e." to need1ed." C01. 6, Line 47 De1ete 'the". C01. 6, Line 48 Change "the" t0 "and". G C01. 7, Line 18 Add "art after pr1'or".

C01. 12, Line 18 Change "disp1aced" to "disp1aceab1e".

Signed and Scaled this Q twenty-sixth Day Of August 1975 [SEAL] Arrest:

. RUTH c. MASON c. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner oflatents and Trademarks 'ORM PO-105O (10- USCOMM-DC 80376-1 69 lLS, GOVERNMENT PRINTlNG OFFICE: 9. 93 o UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,890,681 Dated June 24, l975 Inventor(s) Eugene Zoltan Fekete et al It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Col 2 Line l9 Change "substantially" to "substantial". Col 5, Line 65 Change "operationsl to "operational". Col 6 Line l6 Change "needle. to "needled. Col 6 Line 47 Delete "the". Col 6 Line 48 Change "the" to "and". Col 7, Line l8 Add "art" after "prior" Col 12, Line l8 Change "displaced" to "displaceable".

Signed and Scaled this twenty-sixth D ay Of A ugust 1 9 75 [SEAL] Arrest:

RUTH c. MASON c. MARSHALL DANN Arresting ()jfl'cer Commissioner ojlarenrs and Trademarks =ORM PO-105O (10-69) uscoMM-Dc 60376-P69 U.S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 869- 930

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4085486 *Apr 19, 1976Apr 25, 1978Rontex America, Inc.Method of producing needled, non-woven tubing
US4138772 *Sep 21, 1977Feb 13, 1979Rontex America Inc.Apparatus for producing needled, non-woven tubing
US4856152 *Jul 8, 1988Aug 15, 1989Textilmaschinenfabrik Dr. Ernst Fehrer AktiengesellschaftApparatus for needling a nonwoven web
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US6877188Jan 30, 2004Apr 12, 2005TRüTZSCHLER GMBH & CO. KGDevice for strengthening a conveyable fiber lap
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US7141142Sep 26, 2003Nov 28, 2006Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Method of making paper using reformable fabrics
US7294238Feb 4, 2005Nov 13, 2007Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Non-woven through air dryer and transfer fabrics for tissue making
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Classifications
U.S. Classification28/107
International ClassificationD04H1/46, D04H18/00
Cooperative ClassificationD04H18/00, D04H18/02
European ClassificationD04H18/02, D04H18/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 14, 1992ASAssignment
Owner name: HUYCK LICENSCO, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, DELA
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Effective date: 19920330
Apr 14, 1992AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: HUYCK CORPORATION, A DE CORP.
Owner name: HUYCK LICENSCO, INC. A DELAWARE CORPORATION 1105 N
Effective date: 19920330
Nov 5, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: HUYCK CORPORATION A CORP. OF NY.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:HUYCK CORPORATION (MERGED INTO) BTR FABRICS (USA) AND CHANGED INTO;REEL/FRAME:003927/0115
Effective date: 19810630