US 3921308 A
A means and method for treating yarn in preparation for subsequent dyeing wherein the outlet and inlet of a tumbler dryer is connected to an external system having a blower for recirculating air and vapor through the dryer, steam inducing means, heater, condenser and valve means capable of being manipulated while the yarn is continuously tumbled, to relax the yarn fibers at ambient temperature, gradually and uniformally raising the temperature of the yarn by heating and the introduction of live steam to heat-set the fibers, then gradually and uniformly reduce the temperature while condensing the live steam and removing a selected percentage of moisture, and finally further cooling the yarn to ambient temperature including the introduction of ambient air.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ Nov. 25, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 Freze METHODS FOR TREATING YARN Primary ExaminerHarvey C. Hornsby BUNDLES Assistant Examiner-Philip R. Coe
Benjamin H. Freze, Anaheim, Calif.
Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Lyon & Lyon  ABSTRACT A means and method for treating yarn in preparation for subsequent dyeing wherein the outlet and inlet of a -C0ok Br0s., Incorporated, Calif.
 Filed: Nov. 23,
tumbler dryer is connected to an external system hav- [211 Appl' 418253 ing a blower for recirculating air and vapor through the dryer, steam inducing means, heater, condenser and valve means capable of being manipulated while the yarn is continuously tumbled, to relax the yarn fibers at ambient temperature. gradually and uniformally raising the temperature of the yarn by heating and the introduction of live steam to heat-set the fibers, then gradually and uniformly reduce the temperature  Field of Search............... 34/37, I3, 26, 27, 28,
34/77; 68/5 C, 18 C; 8/1493, DIG. I6, 155
 I R feren Ci while condensing the live steam and removing a selected percentage Of moisture,
and finally further cooling the yarn to ambient temperature including the 8/I49.3
34/37 introduction of ambient air.
mm m ma hn UU BL 02 37 99 11 20 4 26 69 89 1 3 8 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Sheet 1 0f 2 3,921,308
So Patant Nov. 25, 1975 m m mq k U..S., Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet2of2 3,921,308
METHODS FOR TREATING YARN BUNDLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The treatment of yarn fibers such as used in weaving textiles including knitted textiles and carpets has posed the problem of uniform bulking and heat setting of skeined of tufted yarn; that is, often the yarn of a batch does not stretch or shrink uniformly or be uniformly enlarged cross-section (given a false body) so that the batch is uniform for subsequent drying operations. A typical process involves bulking the yarn in a first machine such as a tumbler-which opens the yarn to prepare it for better heat acceptance during heat setting. The yarn is then transferred to an autoclave for steam treatment under pressure to heat-set the yarn. After which, the yarn is removed while still hot for drying and cooling usually in a tumbler.
The waiting time, particularly between the bulking tumbler and the autoclave results in loss of bulk. Also, because the yarn is dumped into carts and the underlying yarn is partially compressed by the yarn on top, the bulk condition is not uniform. The transfer of the heated autoclaved yarn to carts for delivery to a cooling tumbler causes further deterioration and lack of conformity.
It is a well known fact that, for example, if a garment is to be woven of a single color of yarn, great care is taken to be sure to select sufficient yarn from a given batch to form the garment. The problem is increased if the quantity needed is increased such as in the weaving of carpets. As a result variations in the color content appear as streaks in the product.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to a method of treating yarn and is summarized in the following objects:
First, to provide a method for treating yarn which eliminates costly autoclaves as well as separate machines for initial and final handling of the material and the attendant problem of maintaining uniformity of treatment.
Second, to provide a method for treating yarn which utilizes to advantage the type of tumbler drum origi nally intended for the drying of laundry, such as the tumbler drum shown in US. Pat. No. 3,601,903 including the unique tumbling action, and incorporates an externally connected system so arranged as to accomplish in one operation all of the steps required to produce a completely treated yarn product; more particularly bulking, heat-setting and drying is accomplished in the same machine without interruption.
Third, to provide a method of steam treatment of yarn in which the treatment may be accomplished in a minimum of time with minimum loss of steam to atmosphere thereby reducing wear on the yarn caused by tumbling as well as minimizing the amount of live steam and heat in order to effect proper treatment.
Fourth, to provide a method of treating yarn wherein, on completion of treatment, the yarn is virtually at ambient condition, thus eliminating the need for storage in open bins to regain ambient condition as is conventional practice.
Fifth. to provide a method of heating and steaming yarn, which while retaining the advantages of a closed system and operates in part above atmospheric pressure, the increased pressure required is nominal which 2 greatly simplifies the construction of the apparatus and exempts the apparatus from pressure vessel codes such as required for autoclaves.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES FIG. 1 is an essentially diagrammatical front view of the means for treating yarn showing the paths of movement of the air.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the tumbler unit at a reduced scale taken from 2-2 of FIG. 1 and indicating various typical positions thereof.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the inflatable seal means taken through 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary diagrammatical view showing the system arranged for recirculating heated air, and live steam.
FIG. 5 is a similar fragmentary diagrammatical view showing the system arranged for the recirculating of cooled air.
FIG. 6 is a similar diagrammatical view showing the system arranged for drawing in ambient air at ambient temperature.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary diagrammatical plan view of the cooling chamber and a bypassing duct.
The means and method for treating yarn comprising the present invention is preferably arranged to utilize the tumbler structure disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,601,903 and reference is made thereto concerning the details of construction. The tumbler structure includes a tumbler housing or enclosure 1 having a tumbler drum 2 mounted on supporting and driving rollers 3 or separately driven by means not shown. Each end of the tumbler housing is provided with an access door 4, disposed coaxially with the center of rotation of the tumbler drum.
One side of the tumbler housing is provided with a heated air inlet 5 and a cooled air inlet 6 which communicates with an arcuate delivery duct 7 extending over the tumbler drum 2. Below the tumbler drum there is provided a bellows 8, which forms a discharge duct. As more fully described in the above-mentioned patent, air flows from the delivery duct 7 into the end portions of the tumbler drum, then travels to the central portion thereof for discharge through the bellows 8.
The tumbler housing 1 is mounted on a base structure 9 and is supported in such a manner that it may be tilted, as suggested in FIG. 2. The base structure is provided with a chamber 10 communicating with the bellows 8 and provided with a lint screen 11. The chamber 10 communicates laterally with a cooling chamber 12 which communicates with an outlet 13, situated in the side wall of the base structure 9 corresponding to the side wall of the housing having the inlets 5 and 6, and joined to an outlet duct 14.
The cooling chamber 12 is provided, with a condensing coil 15 and condensate sump 17. A condensate line 18 is connected to the sump 17 for receiving water which is raised by a pump 19 to a collecting vessel 20. A control valve, not shown, which may be adapted for manual or for remote control, is provided to turn on. adjust flow of coolant or be shut-off.
The outlet 13 communicates through the duct 14 with an air receiving duct 21 in which is mounted to a blower 22, having a motor 23. The blower is so arranged as to produce a negative or subatmospheric pressure at its intake and a positive pressure or ambient pressure at its outlet. The blower 22 and duct 21 discharges into a stack 24.
A heated air entrance duct 25 branches from the discharge stack 24 and communicates with the heated air inlet 5. The duct 25 is provided with a heating coil 26. A suitable valve, not shown, controls the rate of flow of a heating fluid. such as steam, through the heating coil as well as connects or disconnects the coil from the supply of heating fluid. A cooled air entrance duct 27 communicates between the discharge stack 24 and the cooled air inlet 6. At their junctures with the discharge stack 24, the ducts 25 and 27 are provided respectively with inlet gates 28 and 29, which move into the discharge stack so as to deflect air discharged from the blower 22 into the ducts 25 and 27. Suitable manual or remote controlled lever arms or other drive means, not shown. are provided for operating the gates.
In order to permit tilting of the tumbler housing 1 and also to provide a source of ambient air, the ducts 25 and 27 are provided with a common inflatable seal 30, as shown in FIG. 3. The seal includes an inlet margin 31 bordering the corresponding inlets and 6 and a confronting flange 32 carried by the ducts and 27. The flange 32 carries an inflatable seal tube 33 which, when inflated, engages the margin 31. A supply line 34 supplies fluid under pressure to the seal tube 33, when it is desired to connect the ducts 25 and 27 to the respective inlets 5 and 6. When the seal tubes 33 are deflated, space is provided between the duct 25 and entrance 5 and between duct 27 and entrance 6 for the entrance of ambient air into the delivery duct 7. Also, under this condition the tube 33 clears the tumbler housing so that the housing may be tilted.
Disposed in the circulating system extending between the outlet bellows 8 and delivery duct 7 is a steam nozzle or nozzles 35. While the steam nozzle may be located at any of several positions in the circulating system it is preferred to locate in the duct 14 ahead of the blower 22 so that the steam is thoroughly mixed with the air before entry into the tumbler drum 2. A throttle valve 36 is provided at the discharge end of the blower.
The method of treating yarn as accomplished by the tumbler drum and the external circulating system is as follows:
Yarn as prepared for treatment is formed in conventional skeins or otherwise prepared in bundles which remain intact during tumbling.
To initiate the treatment, the yarn is loaded automatically into an open end of a tilted drum from slings, conveyors or the like or manually from carts. This involves approximately 2 minutes.
The yarn is then tumbled in the drum while recirculating air at ambient temperature without heat or live steam to relax the fibers; that is, with damper 29 closed as well as the air inlet 30, optimally, for about 2 minutes.
Tumbling continues, while the air is circulated and live steam is introduced through the steam nozzle 35 and the heating coil 26 is activated; while the seal is closed. The gate 28 is positioned to close the vent stack and direct flow past the heating coil, as indicated in FIG. 4. The throttle valve 36 is adjusted to regulate the total rate of air flow. Thus, recirculation is essentially 100%. This condition is maintained until the yarn reaches a uniform temperature between 180 and 200 F. and held at this temperature until the fibers are given an open body; that is, what is known in the art of yarn treatment as a false body. An optimum period is about six minutes. The temperature may be controlled in several ways, for example by throttling the steam,
4 circulating some water through the cooling coil or coils or throttling air flow.
Tumbling continues with the system recirculating essentially while the yarn is further heated and live steamed to approximately 15% moisture content as the temperature is gradually and uniformly increased to as high as 270 F. or higher depending on the physical properties of the yarn, then very accurately held at this temperature (:1F.) to heat-set the fiber. An optimum time period is about 8 minutes.
While tumbling continues the temperature as well as moisture content is gradually and uniformly lowered by condensing the live steam using the water cooled coil, until the fibers are at a desirable part'dry condition, very close to ambient moisture. An optimum time period is about eight minutes. During this cycle the steam nozzle 55 is off. However, the heating coil 26 is on or throttled and the recirculated air is heated to increase its ability to absorb moisture from the fibers for condensation on passing the cooling coils.
Tumbling is continued after partly drying and the yarn is rapidly cooled to a comfortable handling temperature by recirculation of cooled air. During this period, the damper 29 is in its open position and the damper 28 is in its closed position as shown in FIG. 5. Subsequently the vent stack 24 is opened by closing the gate 29. The inflatable seal 30, which has previously remained closed, is opened for intake of ambient air and the cooling coils are deactivated. An optimum period for this cycle is about 3 minutes.
During the treating process to the final cooling step, the tumbler drum is maintained slightly higher than atmospheric pressure. This is aided by the fact that the yarn bundles or skeins at the bottom of the tumbler tend to restrict flow of air into the outlet 8, the passageways from the blower 22 to the tumbler 4 are open, and ambient air inlet 30, as well as the stack vent are closed. Also the heat generated by the steam from the nozzle 35 and heater 26 tends to raise the pressure.
Positive pressure in the tumbler is desirable, as inward flow of the relatively cool ambient air would reduce the heating effect of the steam and possibly cause stratification which might result in non-uniform treatment.
The durations of the various operations indicated are only approximate, some yarns require proportionally less time, other yarns more.
Reference is directed to FIG. 7. If desired in order to provide full flow, particularly when the cooling coil 15 is not in use, a bypass duct 37 may be provided which is controlled at its entrance end by a gate 38.
Having fully described my invention it is to be understood that I am not to be limited to the details herein set forth, but that my invention is of the full scope of the appended claims.
1. A method of treating yarn bundles utilizing a tumbler structure including an enclosure and a tumbler drum therein for receiving bundles of yarn to be treated; the enclosure having an inlet to the drum and an outlet from the drum; a circulating passage means, including the drum, its inlet and outlet and an external duct connecting the outlet and inlet; an air cooler, heater and steam injector in the circulating passage means; a blower for causing circulation of air through the circulation passage means; and damper and valve means; said method characterized by:
a. depositing a load of yarn bundles in the tumbler;
b. tumbling the yarn bundles while introducing and recirculating heated air and moist steam into the yarn bundles at a temperature to impart to the yarn a false body;
c. continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while continuing introduction and recirculation of heated air and steam at a predetermined higher temperature and at a blower pressure above atmospheric pressure for a predetermined duration to heat-set the yarn;
d. and continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while cooling and extracting a predetermined proportion of water therefrom.
2. A method of treating yarn bundles as defined in claim 1, which is further characterized by:
a. subsequent to cooling the yarn bundles, subjecting the yarn bundles to tumbling while circulating ambient air through the yarn bundles then venting the air.
3. A method of treating yarn bundles, characterized a. tumbling a load of yarn bundles while introducing and recirculating heated air and moist steam into the yarn bundles at a temperature below 212F until the yarn bundles acquire a false body;
b. continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while the yarn bundles are further heated and steamed above 212F until the yarn fibers are heat-set;
c. and continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while cooling and extracting a predetermined proportion of water from the yarn bundles.
4. A method of treating yarn bundles, as defined in claim 3, which is further characterized by:
a. mixing the steam and air for recirculation and dispersion throughout the yarn bundles.
5. A method of treating yarn bundles as defined in claim 3, which is further characterized by:
a. subsequent to cooling the yarn bundles, subjecting the yarn bundles to tumbling while circulating airv at ambient temperature therethrough.
6. A method of treating yarn bundles as defined in claim 3, which is further characterized by:
a. maintaining the pressure in the tumbler above atmospheric pressure during tumbling and heating the yarn.
7. A method of treating yarn bundles utilizing a tumbler structure including an enclosure and a tumbler drum therein for receiving bundles of yarn to be treated; the enclosure having an inlet to the drum and an outlet from the drum; a circulating passage means, including the drum, its inlet and outlet and an external duct connecting the outlet and inlet; an air cooler, heater and steam injector in the circulating passage means; a blower for causing circulation of air through the circulation passage means; and damper and valve means; said method characterized by:
a. depositing a load of yarn bundles in the tumbler;
b. subjecting the yarn bundles to tumbling while recirculating air therethrough' at ambient temperature to relax the fibers;
c. tumbling the yarn bundles while heating and introducing steam into the yarn bundles at a temperature to impart to the yarn a false body;
(1. continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles at a predetermined elevated temperature for a predetermined duration to heat-set the yarn;
e. and continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while cooling and extracting a predetermined proportion of water therefrom.
8. A method of treating yarn bundles, characterized a. subjecting the yarn bundles to tumbling while circulating air at ambient temperature therethrough to effect relaxation of the fibers;
b. tumbling a load of yarn bundles while heating and introducing steam into the yarn bundles until the yarn bundles reach a temperature wherein the yarn fibers acquire a false body;
c. continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while the yarn bundles are further heated and steamed until the yarn fibers are heat-set;
d. and continuing the tumbling of the yarn bundles while cooling and extracting a predetermined proportion of water from the yarn bundles.