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Publication numberUS3377232 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date9 Apr 1968
Filing date8 Sep 1964
Priority date24 Sep 1963
Also published asDE1560662A1, DE1560662B2, DE1560662C3
Publication numberUS 3377232 A, US 3377232A, US-A-3377232, US3377232 A, US3377232A
InventorsGilchrist Paterson William, Walter Meacock Graham
Original AssigneeBritish Nylon Spinners Ltd
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Nonwoven fabrics and the method of manufacture thereof
US 3377232 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A nonwoven fabric is made by forming an open, nonwoven web of staple fibres or continuous filaments, electrostatically projecting potentially crimpable flock fibres into the web and developing the crimp in the flock fibres to entangle them with the web fibres. Either the flock fibres or web fibres or both may be heterofilaments having a potentially adhesive component which is bonded to the neighboring fibres at the cross-over points.

DISCLOSURE This invention relates to nonwoven fabrics and, in particular, to nonwoven fabrics comprising an open web the fibres in which are bonded together by short length textile fibres, the fibres being projected into the web by the action of an electrostatic field.

Many processes for binding the fibres in a web together to yield a non-woven fabric having a degree of strength are known to the art. Thus fibres in webs may be bonded together by applying an adhesive to the whole or selected parts of the web, by needle punching or, where the web contain potentially adhesive fibres, by causing the potentially adhesive fibres to become tacky and bond themselves to other fibres in the web at points of contact.

We have now found that particularly attractive and novel fabrics can be obtained by electrostatically projecting short length staple fibres, generally known as flock, into an open web of fibres and then causing the flock fibres to crimp and bond the web together.

According to one aspect of the present invention therefore there is provided a nonwoven fabric comprising a web the fibres in which are bonded together by crimped flock, the fibres of the flock having an uncrimped length no greater than 4 inch.

The most desirable results from the standpoint of tensile strength in the resulting fabric are obtained when the fibres of the flock have a crimp frequency not less than 20 crimps per inch.

In the specification the term bonded includes bonding by fibre entanglement, bonding by fusion and bonding by chemical adhesion brought about by rendering one component of the fabric tacky by the addition of some substance, e.g., a solvent, which can subsequently be removed to cause that compenent to revert to the nontacky state, but does not include bonding which is the result of the deliberate addition of an adhesive to the web.

The fabrics of this invention can be manufactured by projecting flock, com-prising potentially crimpable fibres, which may contain a potentially adhesive component into an open fibrous web, by the action of electrostatic forces. The web may be composed of staple length fibres or of continuous filament components and may also contain a significant proportion of a potentially adhesive component. The fibres in the web are then bonded together by causing the flock to crimp and thus become entangled with the web fibres to give a nonwoven fabric of some strength. The fabric may be further strengthened by causing the po- 3,377,232 Patented Apr. 9, 1968 tentially adhesive component of the flock to become tacky and bond the fibres in the web and flock together at their crossover points.

The flock employed may be composed of heterofilament fibres in which one component of the heterofilament is potentialy adhesive, in which case particularly good bonding of the flock onto the web is obtained.

The web may also be composed of heterofilaments, in staple fibre form if required, in which one component is potentially adhesive.

Suitable heterofilaments for flock or web fibres may be in the form where the components exist in a side-by-side or sheath and core relationship, in the latter instance of course the potentially adhesive component will be the sheath components.

Accordingly, from another aspect the present invention provides a process for the manufacture of fabrics wherein flock composed of potentially crimpable fibres is projected into fibrous web by the action of electrostatic forces and the structure obtained treated to cause the flock fibres to crimp and thereby bond together fibres inthe fibrous web, by entanglement of the fibres of the flock with fibres of the web.

When the flock fibres contain a potentially adhesive component, it may be rendered tacky, thereby further strengthening the fabric, in the same treatment by which the flock fibres are crimped or in a subsequent treatment.

In order to improve the penetration of the flock into the web, the flock may be forced further into the web by mechanical means, for-example, by rolling, preferably whilst still subject to the action of the electrostatic forces. Any of the flock fibres which have not penetrated sufficiently into the web may then be removed by a vacuum extractor before the fabric is further treated.

To give added strength to the fabric, flock may be projected into both faces of the web before treating the fabric to crimp the fibres in the flock.

The invention will now be more fully described, in the following examples, which examples are by way of illustration only and are in no way intended to be limitative.

EXAMPLE 1 A carded open web of 1% inch staple fibres of polyhexamethylene adipamide having a weight of 4 ounces per square yard is laid on the earthed working top of a conventional flocking unit and below a flock container, comprising a sieve and a brush, which is charged by a high tension source at 110 kv. The unit is also provided with a roller and vacuum extractor. Flock for this experiment consists of 3 mm. staple fibres cut from heterofilaments composed of 66 nylon and 66/6 (/20) nylon copolymer components existing in a side-by-side relationship.

The flock, is fed to the sieve, distributed uniformly by the brushes, allowed to fall into the electric field maintained between the charged container and the earthed working top, and projected into the staple fibre web. The web is then rolled using an insulated roller whilst under the influence of the electric field, to press the fibres further into the web. Flock which has not penetrated into the web is removed by the vacuum extractor. Examination of the web at this stage shows that the flock fibres in the web are oriented within the web in a direction substantially perpendicular to the plane of the web.

The web is immersed in boiling water for 3 minutes to cause the flock fibres to crimp and entangle themselves into the web. The crimped flock possesses a crimp frequency of approximately 25 per inch. At this stage the fabric has some strength owing to the mechanical bonding effect of the crimped flock in the web, but on handling tends to shed flock. To bond the flock firmly in the web,

EXAMPLE 2 The process of Example 1 was repeated to give fabrics containing various percentages of flock. The percentage fiock in the fabric and'the tenacity of the fabric are given in Table 1.

TABLE 1 Denier of Fabric Tenacity of Fabric, g./d.

Percentage Flock in Fabric:

Fabrics containing more than about 45% of flock tend to have a harsh handle and relatively poor drape.

The heterofilament flock may be crimped by means other than immersion in boiling water, thus it may be subjected to a steam treatment, or dry heated, or to a chemical treatment. If superheated steam is used and the potentially adhesive component of the heterofilament has a sufficiently low melting, then the crimping and bonding steps can be carried out simultaneously.

Variations in the handle and surface effect of flocked web and can be obtained by applying other processes, e.g. needle punching to the flocked web before the bonding operation. v

The invention is not limited to the use of webs or flock based only on polyamides; any suitable materials may be employed provided that effective bonding between the flock and the web can be attained, i.e. the potentially adhesive component where employed should be compatible with the other components of the fabric.

What we claim is:

1'. A nonwoven fabric in the form of an open, nonwoven, fibrous web having crimped flock fibres embedded within the body of the fibrous web, said flock fibres having an uncrimped length no greater than inch and being substantially shorter than the web fibrescomposingsaid Web, said flock fibres being entangled with the web fibres by virtue of the crimp in said flock fibres, said crimped flock fibres extending generally at right angles to the plane of said web and being substantially completely embedded in said Web, thereby bonding the web fibres in place and imparting strength to said fabric.

2. A nonwoven fabric as in claim 1 wherein the web fibres are heterofilaments having at least one potentially adhesive component bonded to the flock fibres at the cross-over points between fibres.

3. A process for enhancing the strength of nonwoven fabrics comprising: substantially completelyembedding potentially crirnpable fiock fibres into a preformed, nonwoven web by projecting the flock-fibres into said web by the action of electrostatic forces and subsequently entangling the flock fibres with the web fibres by developing crimp in the flock fibres, thereby bonding the Web fibres in the nonwoven fabric and enhancing the strength of the nonwoven fabric.

4. A process as in claim 3 wherein the flock fibres are projected into the web in a direction generally perpendicular to the plane of the web.

5. A process as in claim 3 wherein the web, with the flock fibres embedded therein, is mechanically compacted prior to developing the crimp in said flock fibres.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1962 Breen l6ll77 4/1967 Perri l56279

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3038236 *3 Nov 195812 Jun 1962Du PontCrimped textile products
US3314845 *23 Jul 196418 Apr 1967Du PontMethod of flocking and subsequently developing latently crimpable fibers and article produced thereby
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4187343 *8 Oct 19765 Feb 1980Toyobo Co., Ltd.Drawing polyester fiber sheet
US5336552 *26 Aug 19929 Aug 1994Kimberly-Clark CorporationNonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and ethylene alkyl acrylate copolymer
US5382400 *21 Aug 199217 Jan 1995Kimberly-Clark CorporationNonwoven multicomponent polymeric fabric and method for making same
US5405682 *26 Aug 199211 Apr 1995Kimberly Clark CorporationNonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and elastomeric thermoplastic material
US5418045 *22 Sep 199423 May 1995Kimberly-Clark CorporationNonwoven multicomponent polymeric fabric
US5425987 *6 Oct 199420 Jun 1995Kimberly-Clark CorporationNonwoven fabric made with multicomponent polymeric strands including a blend of polyolefin and elastomeric thermoplastic material
US5643662 *21 Jan 19941 Jul 1997Kimberly-Clark CorporationHydrophilic, multicomponent polymeric strands and nonwoven fabrics made therewith
US650053816 May 199531 Dec 2002Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Polymeric strands including a propylene polymer composition and nonwoven fabric and articles made therewith
US733869721 Mar 20034 Mar 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Co-molded direct flock and flock transfer and methods of making same
US734476924 Jul 200018 Mar 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacture including the flocked transfer
US73513683 Jul 20031 Apr 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked articles and methods of making same
US736478213 Dec 200029 Apr 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacture including the application of the transfer by thermoplastic polymer film
US73812844 Jun 20033 Jun 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacture including the application of the transfer by thermoplastic polymer film
US739055223 Sep 200324 Jun 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacturing including the flocked transfer
US7393576 *14 Jan 20051 Jul 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Carrier coated with release adhesive bonded to parallel conductively coated, concentric multi-component fibers with a polyester outer surface; other fiber ends are bonded to permanent adhesive; heat resistance; loft retention
US74022224 Jun 200322 Jul 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacture including the flocked transfer
US74106823 Jul 200312 Aug 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked stretchable design or transfer
US74135813 Jul 200319 Aug 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Process for printing and molding a flocked article
US746548530 Nov 200416 Dec 2008High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Process for dimensionalizing flocked articles or wear, wash and abrasion resistant flocked articles
US763237122 Oct 200715 Dec 2009High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked transfer and article of manufacture including the application of the transfer by thermoplastic polymer film
US774958920 Sep 20066 Jul 2010High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked elastomeric articles
US779916427 Jul 200621 Sep 2010High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked articles having noncompatible insert and porous film
US800788928 Apr 200630 Aug 2011High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked multi-colored adhesive article with bright lustered flock and methods for making the same
US816826214 Jun 20101 May 2012High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Flocked elastomeric articles
US82068002 Nov 200726 Jun 2012Louis Brown AbramsFlocked adhesive article having multi-component adhesive film
US835405014 Jan 200815 Jan 2013High Voltage Graphics, Inc.Co-molded direct flock and flock transfer and methods of making same
US847590514 Feb 20082 Jul 2013High Voltage Graphics, IncSublimation dye printed textile
Classifications
U.S. Classification428/90, 28/112, 427/474, 428/362, 428/338, 427/462, 442/359, 28/103
International ClassificationD04H1/4334, D04H1/549, D04H1/06
Cooperative ClassificationD04H1/549, D04H1/4334, D04H1/06
European ClassificationD04H1/4334, D04H1/549, D04H1/06