|Publication number||US3642554 A|
|Publication date||15 Feb 1972|
|Filing date||16 Feb 1970|
|Priority date||16 Feb 1970|
|Publication number||US 3642554 A, US 3642554A, US-A-3642554, US3642554 A, US3642554A|
|Inventors||Hensley Billy R|
|Original Assignee||Certain Teed Prod Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (40), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Hensley  CLOSED MAT FORMING SYSTEM Billy R. Hensley, KansasCity, Mo.
Certain-Toad Products Corporation, Ardmore, Pa.
 Filed: Feb. 16, 1970  Appl.No.: 11,703
Primary Examiner-Benjamin A. Borchelt Assistant Examiner-H. J. Tudor Attorney-Scofield, Kokjer, Scofield & Lowe  ABSTRACT Method and apparatus to form, dust free, an organic fiber pad,
[ Feb. 15,1972
typically using short staple fiber and dry powder binder. Methods and apparatus for forming an organic (or glass, or mixture of organic and glass).fiber pad wherein all binder, fiber and additives, if any, are handled closed cycle except for the dust collector discharge to atmosphere with all blowby, edge trim and dust, from the picker to the oven, including dust fly, floor drop and binder from the dust collector bags fed back into the closed cycle system. Method and means for feeding fiber into the process piping at a constant rate that can be varied, including blend line feeders which feed a feed apron, suitable blend segments, a picker which assures fine opening of the fibers with fine blends of coarse reclaim, a fiber feeder which operates as a surge area for the blend line, tumbling, lifting, combing and doffing the fiber into a fiber column, and a fiber feeder column which stacks the fiber and feeds it into the process piping at a constant rate that can be varied. A binder feed system and dust condenser recycle system of fiber and binder which cooperates with the fiber column. A first forming section to open and blend the input for a second forming section, as well as present the second forming section with a uniform feed at a constant feed rate. A second forming section which opens the fiber and finish forms the mat under very stable conditions with no process changes required. An air recycle system which handles bleed streams of airborne fiber and binder from the first and second forming sections and also edge trim from the slitter section in recycle to the fiber condenser and from there into the fiber feed system. An air recycle system handling binder input and recycle of binder and fiber from the dust collector system into the first forming section air system.
19 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures fillflers 2045/01/09 Hand/mg Fan Column Feeder Condenser Pzcken 1 Condenser E008 Daefl'o/lec/vr fileed 200067 5 4 IIA' Fan on Roof Binder Feed .2
SHEET 1 (IF 8 PAIENTEBFEB 15 m PATENTEDFEB 15 I972 SHEET 0F 8 I NVEN TOR PAIENTEBFEB 15 I972 3,642,554
sum 6 OF 8 r'i'rl i (2nd For/7727;)
I N VENTOR 5173/ R. Hens/e] CLOSED MAT FORMING SYSTEM BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The process and apparatus of the instant development relate to the subject matter of the U.S. Fat. to J. O. Brelsford et al. No. 2,467,291, Process for Forming Fleted Fibers Insulating Material," issued Apr. 12, 1949, and the U.S. Pat. to H. O. Sheidley, No. 2,619,151, Method and Apparatus for Manufacturing Fibrous Mats" issued Nov. 25, 1952. Further reference is made to J. F. Stephens U.S. Pat. No. 2,825,289, issued Mar. 4, 1958, Process of Making a Mat or Felted Structure. Also see Stephens U.S. Pat. No. 2,695,855, issued No.30, 1954,Fibrous Mat.
In the older systems exemplified by the above-listed patents, same were open cycle. That is, everything (binder, fiber, and additives, if any) in the piping system, the forming section, or the dust collector boxes had to be pulled and reinserted into the system. Such procedures meant power losses with respect to the air suction and losses in handling of same. Yet further, the binder and fiber were of less quality because of the delays. For example, any binder which gets into the dust collector tends to cure.
My system is closed cycle (i.e., material not air) except for the dust collector discharge to atmosphere. All blow by, edge trim and dust are fed back into the system from the picker to the oven, that is, 90 percent of all materials, including dust fly, floor drop and binder from the dust collector bags. Thus, the binder stays alive in the system. The ultimate desired object,
. namely, that everything which goes into the picker ends up in the mat in the oven, is achieved in my system. The product typically involved here is a nonwoven fiber web, typically utilizing powdered binder. The system could be employed without a powdered binder, which could be applied later, by spraying or the like. In such case, some linters and dust blow by would be saved. Granular foams may additionally be used, or as an alternative to binder or in place of fibers. The present systems, as exemplified in the above patents, will not handle granular foams.
My instant system utilizes air fiow lines to handle everything, including blowby, edge trim, dust fly, floor drop and binder through the dust collector bags. There are no teeth involved in the feed rolls utilized in my system, as are present in garnetting and carding. My system-further will take short fibers.
The materials resultant from my process, that is, typically the nonwoven fiber web with powdered binder, when cured, are used typically for the same uses as cotton batting, typically various auto products. The gram weights of the finished product are typically from grams per sq. ft. to 160 grams per sq. ft. Typical thicknesses would be from 54; to 1 inch.
In my system, one can finish the web as is desired, that is, dry it if it is a wet binder, put it into the oven or give it time to set the resin.
The older systems tended to leave short fibers in the tooth sections of garnet-type rolls with clothing, that is, where there was feeding of fiber and binder from clothed rolls to clothed roll. In my system, one always goes from feed rolls to a single clothed roll. My system succeeds where garnetting failed to handle short fibers and granular materials. Furthermore, in my system, linters and granular materials such as reclaimed foams, rubbers, styrofoam, etc., which are cheap, may be used, to a limited degree, are preferably mixed with the longer fibers in order to be able to handle them, and are good fill for a nonwoven mat.
The basic purpose of the operation of my system is to make raw web, utilizing fiber and dry resin, or fiber alone, or fiber and granular materials together, or fiber, binder and granular materials, all three together.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side, somewhat schematic view of a system and apparatus lineup and array adapted to make the organic fiber pad desired as a product of the instant invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan, somewhat schematic view of the apparatus and system of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a detail of the first forming section seen in the center of FIGS. 1 and 2 and is to be read in conjunction with the yet further enlarged portion of the first forming section seen in FIG. 10.
FIG. 4 is an'enlarged detail of the second forming section seen slightly to the left of center inboth FIGS. 1 and 2 and is to be read in conjunction with the yet further enlarged and more detailed view of the same apparatus in FIG I 1.
FIG. 5 is a front view of the fiber column which is to the right of the first forming section in the center of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 6 is a view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 5 in the direction of the arrows.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of one of the edge trim deflectors which are stationed on the section of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2 entitled Edge Trim and Slitters, in the left end portion thereof in those views.
FIG. 8 is a view taken from the bottom of FIG. 7 looking upwardly in the view.
FIG. 9 is a side, sectional view of the edge trim collection hopper seen to the left in FIGS. 1 and 2 under the title Edge Trim and Slitters."
FIG. 10 is an enlarged detail of the first forming section seen centrally of FIGS. 1 and 2 and is to be compared with FIG. 3.
FIG. 11 is an enlarged detail of the second forming section seen to the left of center of FIGS. 1 and 2 and is to be compared with FIG. 4.
FIG. 12 is an end view of the dust condenser (to feed back the dust into the system) seen to the right in FIGS. 1 and 2 and is a view looking from right to left in the views of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 13 is a view of the dust condenser system of FIG. 12 taken from the upper portion of FIG. 2 looking down or, in- FIG. 1, looking toward the observer out of the drawing.
FIG. 14 is a view of the fiber column and fiber feeder to the right of center in FIGS. 1 and 2 and taken from the upper portion of FIG. 2 looking down and out of FIG. 1 in the view looking toward the observer.
FIG. 15 is a schematic block flow diagram of the entire process with material flow shown in solid lines and airflow in dotted lines.
The purpose of the instant system and the apparatus making up the line is to form, dust free, an organic fiber pad using short staple fiber and dry powder binder. (Short staple fiber is considered less than 3 inches long, 3 inches maximum not being unreasonable.) It is expected to form lightweight padding products at a uniform volumetric rate, for one given width.
BLEND LINE FEEDERS The blend line feeder 30 (FIG. 15 only) is positioned to the I 31 (FIG. 15). Feed rate, comb setting and feeder size are taken into account. Largest blend segments are placed in the largest blend line feeders and the combs are adjusted so that the fiber feeds in bits and small pieces, not in large unopened drops.
An antistatic spray (schematically indicated at 33, 33a and 33b in FIG. 15) is applied before picking in order to uniformly wet the blend down to the last fiber. A wet fiber is a conductor of electricity and will not build a static charge; when the fiber touches another conductor, the charge is drained away. The dry fiber is an insulator and will build a static charge making it like a small magnet and this charge will not drain away when it touches a conductor, because the fiber is an insulator. Dry weather tends to make the fibers dryer and wet weather conditions tend to make the fibers wetter, and this accounts for the change in static conditions. Preferably, the line should run antistatic spray at all times. (Static can be the instigator of many seemingly unrelated problems. Area buildups, wall plugs, stripper bar plugs, burn-ins, feed roll carryover, pipe plugs, fiber distribution (both forming operations), nozzle plugs, etc., can all be partly or completely traced to static attraction between the fibers and the binder and usually metal surfaces.) Plastic or nonconductive surfaces can attract the fiber or binder or both, depending on the charge generated (i.e., the difference in potential between the two objects).
As an antistatic agent, one may use a commercial fabric softener, such as employed in home Iaundries, diluted with water to create a volumetric ratio of 50 parts water to l part softener, A particularly satisfactory antistatic agent can be made using a fabric softener manufactured by Staley and sold under the trademark STA-PUF." A solution of 1 gallon of STA- PUF and 50 gallons of water, sprayed at a rate between %and %gallons per hour, achieves the desired results.
THE PICKER The picker (schematically seen at 34) is standard throughout and not per se novel. The picker drum which is stripped in standard manner by a stripper bar (not shown) is groove wound to insure heavy abuse will not remove the drum clothing, and the feed rolls are heavy steel cylinders with milled grooves to hold the fiber while the picker teeth open it. The picking action takes place between a gauged bottom feed roll and the picker drum wire. Picking at a rate of 1,000 lbs. per hour to l,500 lbs. per hour gives satisfactory opening with fine blends. The poundage rate should be greatly reduced with coarse reclaim.
The picker condenser 35 follows the picker and consists of the condenser 35, drive therefor (not seen) and slat conveyor 36. The purpose of this piece of equipment is twofold: (l) to remove the air delivered from the picker 34 and separate the fiber therefrom out and (2) to transfer the fiber from the picker to the fiber feeder. The dust condenser 37 (schematically indicated) above the slat conveyor 36 also drops the edge-trim med feedback onto the conveyor to be fed back into the process. This conveyor 36 runs continuously and loads and unloads with the picker feed stop and start.
FIBER FEEDER The fiber feeder (schematically designated 38, also particularly see FIG. 14) is a standard garnet fiber feed altered slightly to fit with the process. It consists ofa level control 39, feed apron 40, spiked lifting apron 41, comb roll 42, doffer roll 43, clutch and drive. It accepts the fiber as it comes from the picker and picker condenser and feeds the fiber column generally designated 44 which feeds the process. This volume acts as a surge area or storage area for the blend line and the fiber is tumbled, lifted, combed and doffed into the fiber column from this feeder.
A level control 39 in the backwall of this fiber feeder is contacted by the tumbled fiber and when this happens, the bland line stops. As the tumbled fiber is reduced in volume, it leaves the level control 39 and the blend line starts. Thus, the fiber feeder 38 volume is held constant between the point where it depresses the level control and releases the level control. This level being held constant is very important with respect to the process uniformity and feed rate over both short and long periods oftime.
The feed apron 40 is driven from the spiked lifting apron 41 in the direction to suit feeding. The forward motion of the feed apron 40 and the lifting action of the spiked lifting apron 41 tend to tumble the fiber. The spiked lifting apron 41 lifts the fibers as it is impaled on the spikes in their upward motion. The material is carried by the comb roll 42, some in excess being combed off, and to the doffer 43 area where it is doffed into the fiber feed column 44. The action of the spiked lifting apron 41 to lift the fiber from the pack and the combing action ofthe comb roll 42 help in the fiber opening. The more severe the action in this area, the more opening that is obtained.
The comb roll 42 prevents excessive material bundles from traveling around the spiked lifting apron 41 by beating or combing it back. The closer the comb roll is to the spiked lifting apron, the more it removes by leveling. When the fiber is short, as it is in most blends, the comb roll 42 can be back rather a great distance as the air alone created by the roll action will empty the spiked lifting apron 41.
The doffer roll 43 turns with the spiked lifting apron at one revolution for the advancement of each spike. The brush on the doffer roll comes between the spikes on the spiked lifting apron and the relative velocity between the two causes the material to be lifted from the apron. As the material leaves the spiked lifting apron 41 and doffer roll 43, it falls freely into the fiber column 44.
The fiber feeder drive is a constant-speed motor coupled to the comb roll 42 and doffer roll 43 directly. The spiked lifting apron 4] and feed apron 40 have an electric clutch, a speed reducer and variable speed sheave between them and the drive. The clutch starts and stops with the fiber column level control and this starts and stops the spiked lifting apron 41 as well as the feed apron 40. I carry a rather low level in the feeder 38 in respect to the level that most feeders are operated whereby all speed adjustments are made to the top.
FIBER FEEDER COLUMN The fiber feeder column box 44 (see FIGS. 5 and 6) contains the support members and walls (45-48, inclusive) to accept the fiber from the fiber feeder. Windows 49 are furnished front and back to see the column and watch it feed. Any unusual condition causing the process fibers to stop feeding or flowing can be observed here. The process should not be operated unless the glass is covered with fiber.
The column level control 50, located at the top section of the fiber column, is used as a limit to the fiber column height. When the fiber height reaches the level control and actuates the switch 51, the electric clutch is disengaged to stop the fiber from feeding.
The feed roll sets 52 and 53 located beneath the fiber column are variable in speed but should run at a constant speed when in operation. Two sets of feed rolls are used with one set 52 used to precompress the fiber before entering the second set 53. The second set are closer together than the first set, but not in contact. The rolls not being in contact require a fiber load for sealing and this is the reason that the fiber column level should be maintained above the glass 49 level for operation.
The feed roll drive is a direct current motor with a tachometer feedback which makes it run very accurately and makes the reset speed very accurate. The drive motor runs continuously while the process is in operation and its speed setting controls the flow through the whole process. A product speed should be established at this point and should stay constant throughout the running of this same product specification. A change in this speed setting will increase or decrease the fiber opening throughout the rest of the process, and for this reason will revise the product quality. (More fiber is less opening).
BINDER FEED The binder feed auger (see FIG. 2) feeds the binder into the system at the same location that the fiber enters (from the bottom of the fiber column) in order to achieve the best blend between binder and fiber that is possible to achieve. The feeder is an auger delivery system with a direct current motor drive with a tachometer feedback to assure speed repeatability and accuracy. The feed auger 54, feed body 55 and drive are standard equipment.
MATERIAL TRANSFER The material transfer fan 56 transfers the material (fiber and binder) from the fiber column feed rolls 53 and the binder feeder 55 and 54 to the first forming section The fan has a scale pointer to indicate the fan settings so the best transfer relationship can be held. A pipe 57 delivers binder and air THE FIRST FORMING SECTION The first forming section 62 (see FIGS. 3 and starts with the material condenser box 63 and ends at the seal roll 64 (FIG. 1) on the outlet of the forming belt 65. The purpose of this section is to open and blend the input for the second forming section as well as present the second forming section with a uniform feed at a constant feed rate. To accomplish this operation, I have assembled a condenser box 63, feed rolls 66, mat former 67, stripper bar 68, reciprocating deflectors 69 (wigwags), forming box 70, forming belt 65, chain cleaner and conveyor drive. Attached to the forming box are two outlets 71 and bleed air 72.
The condenser box 63 above the first forming is a simple slowdown-speedup section in the airflow line from the material handling fan 56. The material enters this box at a rather high velocity and, due to the size of the box above the feed rolls 66, the air slows down and this slowdown causes the heavy fibers and patches to drop through channel 63a into the mat former feed rolls. The bypass at the top allows the air to bypass the mat former and pass via channel 63b into the forming section 70 at the stripper bar 68 exit 73.
The feed rolls 66 are driven at a constant speed by a gear head motor that also drives the wigwags 69. The feed rolls 66 are geared together and spring loaded so they will feed the material into the mat former 67. The feed rolls 66 are designed so that the first feed roll 66 that meets the mat former 67 in its rotational travel has clearance in excess, the second feed roll 66 that the mat former 67 meets in its rotational travel has little clearance and there is where the work or opening of the fiber is done. This feed roll is gauged into the mat former. The feed rolls 66 are heavy-walled steel with hard chrome-plated milled grooves to hold the material while the mat former 67 teeth tear. Seals 74, made from leather, stop blowby from passing from the mat former lickerin 67 to the condenser box 63a and these seals 74 must be maintained in contact with the feed rolls 66 or they will cause the condenser box 63a to stop feeding.
The stripper bar 68 is a single piece of plexiglass clamped into position at the bottom of the mat former lickerin 67. The stripper bar 68 is gauged into the mat former lickerin 67 while it is running. The reciprocating deflectors 69 are used to direct or deflect the fiber to the forming chain 65. The forming box 70 is made to contain the forming operation and help direct the airflow to the forming chain 65. The sides 70a and 70b are made adjustable to build mat edges better. A chain cleaner brush and vacuum are located on the output end of the forming chain to both brush and vacuum the chain to clean it. The conveyor drive has adjustable speed that will run at a constant speed during operation.
THE SECOND FORMING SECTION The second forming section 75 (and see FIGS. 4 and 11) consists of a set of feed rolls 76 and 77, mat former 78, stripper bar 79, forming box 80, top condenser drum 81, bottom condenser drum 82 and roller mounted supporting frames. The purpose of this section is to open the fiber and finish form the mat. This forming is done under very stable conditions with no process changes required with the exceptionof speed changes on the condensing drums 81 and 82. Tied into this section is a circulating fan on the bottom drum and bleed air on the top drum.
The feed rolls 76 and 77 are heavy-walled steel tube with milled, hard chrome-plated flutes. The bottom feed roll 77 rotates on a fixed axis and the top feed roll has a limited amount of float. The bottom roll 77 is gauged into the mat former 78 and the top roll 76 has clearance that is maintained while the bottom roll 77 is gauged. A leather seal 83 is beneath the feed rolls. The drive for these rolls 76 and 77 originates from the first forming conveyor drive and starts with the conveyor as well as keeping time with the conveyor speed changes.
The mat former 78 is an I l-inch diameter, groove-wound, clothed roll (lickerin wire) that turns about 2,200 revolutions The forming box 80 is a detachable box that can be removed for replacement and is connected between the mat former 78 and condenser drums 8i and 82 to act as a duct or channel to contain the air, binder and fiber as it moves from the mat former 78 and flows to the condenser drums 81 and 82. It is designed to increase the air velocity until the mixture is close to the drums 81 and 82 and then it diverges to slow down the materials and allow the air to go through the condenser drums 81 and 82, leaving the binder and fiber to form a webb. The top condenser drum 81 can move up with supporting arms though an opening of about 6 inches, but under normal operation this is set within l-inch opening.
The condenser air on the top drum is taken via channels 86, 87, and 88 to the bleed air system and a manometer is located on the machine side to observe this vacuum static as it is applied at the exit end.
Inside the condenser drum 81 is a vacuum header 89 and a box 90 which meets the drum in order to form a vacuum seal. This header and box must be clean in order to form a good pad.
The bottom condenser drum 82 has a fixed center of rotation adjustable up and down. The condenser air on the bottom drum 82 is taken to the second forming section fan 91 (see FIG. 15) by line 92 drawing from the center of drum 82 and reinjected through duct 93 below the mat former 78. There is a manometer on this vacuum inlet just as there is on the top drum 81, but this vacuum can be adjusted to balance the vacuum on the drums or give more or less vacuum. The recirculation airflow velocity must be sufficient to carry all of the fly and binder into the airstream. Inside drum 82 is a vacuum header 94 and a box 95 which meets the drum in order to form a vacuum seal.
The second forming section forming fan is located beneath the forming box 80, draws its air from the bottom condenser drum 82 and discharges its flow beneath the mat former through a restriction called the forming nozzle 93a. A blast gate allows the airflow to be adjusted and this adjustment can be noted on the manometer located at the bottom condenser drum 82. The purpose of this fan 91 is to supply the circulation air that carries the fiber and binder to the condenser drums 81 and 82. The location of the fan exit and forming suction entrance is such that the air delivered sweeps the bottom of the forming box clean.
SLITTER SECTION The slitter section 96 has two conveyors 97 and 98, a turret head 99 for mounting the slitter blades 100 and 101 and a DC drive for both the slitter and second forming section. We preferably form one width due to the stability we want the process to have. This requires a method for width changes at the oven. The forming operation (62 and 75), being of a constant width, requires a slitter section 96 before curing in oven section 102 so that the mat width can be varied. There are only two slitters 100 and 101 due to the fact that a rough width trim is all that is contemplated at that position and any other trimming must be done at the finish section. The main reason for trimmers is to get recycle before oven.
The forming section conveyor 97 transfers the finished formed web to the slitters 100 and 101 and the transfer conveyor 98 following the slitters transfers the finished width material to the oven 102.
RECYCLE OF EDGE TRIM Following the slitting 96, it is required to take off the excess fiber and binder before the oven section 102 as an economic must. The method for removing and reworking edge trim has been established to pick off the edge trim, no matter its width, and feed it back to the start of the process. The equipment (FIGS. 1,2, 7, 8, and 9) is two counterrotating rolls 103 (only one seen in FIGS. 7 and 81 working above the slitter transfer conveyor 98 and the roll 103 action with the conveyor 98 travel will move the loose edge trim 104 at the slit line 105 and deposit it into a hopper 106 that feeds it back into the bleed air duct. The bleed air comes from the first and second forming sections 62 and 75. The bleed air that originates (lines 72 and 88) at the second and first forming sections is the method of transport for the edge trim or scrap pack feedback, via line 109 to the dust collector.
The two counterrotating rolls 103 located above the slitter conveyor 98 are turned at a constant speed as they work in opposition to the conveyor 98 travel. The conveyor 98 forces the trimmed edge 104 into the roll and the rolls rotation forces the material to both part from the main pack 110 and move to the edge of the conveyor. The motor-driven rolls are hung from pivot pins 111 that are worm gear 112 driven, both left and right, so as to make one adjustment suffice for both sides of the web. As the edge trim 104 widens, the roll is turned toward the narrowing web body 110 or the slit 105 by simply turning the hand knob provided. As the edge trim narrows, opposite change is required.
The edge trim 104 leaves the conveyor 98 and falls by gravity into hoppers 106 located on both sides. At the bottom of these hoppers 106 are two, turning, rubber-covered rolls with one being stationary and one being movable, but spring loaded to return. A vacuum in the pipe 108 below these rolls effected by seals 115 helps draw the material into the bite where it passes into an under-the-floor duct.
A center hopper 116 (FIG. is designed for a scrap pack feedback which is done by releasing the transfer conveyor 98 air cylinder takeup and allowing the conveyor to retrack and dump the pack into the hopper 116. This unit also has the drive system for the edge trim feedback as well as the scrap pack feedback. The feed roll principle is the same as the edge trim. This unit is needed only for short term feedback when it seems expeditious not to feed the pack into the oven.
The rubber rolls 113 and 114 must be maintained to seal the vacuum in the bleed air system, as this is an important phase or part of the process that must be looked after.
THE FIBER CONDENSER SYSTEM The fiber condenser 37 (FIGS. 1, 2, 12 and 13) used is the same as the existing conventional plant fiber condensers with the exception that the top seal roll has been removed and replaced with a leather seal and a rubber seal roll has been placed on the bottom to give a bottom discharge. The air that is fed into this unit is from the bleed air system, line 109, called the edge-trim fan, and the picker condenser drum 35 via line 118 (FIG. 1). The purpose of this unit is to filter the dust and fibers from the bleed air system (lines 109 and 118) and deposit it on the conveyor 36 that feeds the fiber feeder 38. In this manner, the fiber and binder not used or blown by in the process starts over, and that which goes through this system is captured in the dust collector and also returned.
The edge-trim fan 119 generates the suction air required to bleed or keep the first forming and second forming sections 62 and 75 under negative air pressure. The first forming section bleed air 72 is taken under the forming box and the second forming section air is taken from the top condenser drum via line 88. This air, with other leakages, passes down the bleed air duct 107, beneath the floor level in line 108, and beneath the edge trim takeoff and scrap pack feedback and is used to carry the edge trim and scrap pack as well as the dust generated by the bleed of the system. This bleed air passes from the edge-trim fan 119 via line 120 to the condenser drum 121 in box 122.
The condenser drum 121 passes the air and fine dust from the bleed air via line 123 while condensing the fiber thereon. The drum 121 rotates past (and turns) a spring-loaded rubber seal roll 121a and discharges the fiber onto the picker condenser conveyor 36 via drop chute 124 (FIG. 1) to start the process over. As the condenser drum 121 continues to travel, it passes a doffer blade 125 which removes the more tightly held (in the drum holes) fiber.
The dust collector 128 is installed in an attempt to achieve maximum efficiency from the process binder and fiber. We expect to clean continuously as we operate and feed back the cleanings or droppings as we form mat to provide a closed cycle. To achieve the dust collection and cleaning, there is provided a fan 126 to draw the air from the dust condenser via line 123. Cleanings and droppings are fed back into the system from the dust collector 128 via line 129, air lock 130 and line 131. This feed is into the bottom of the fiber column with line 71.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the structure.
It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope ofthe claims.
As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings'is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
1. A device for distributing mixed fiber and binder, fed to said device by an airflow system, comprising:
a condenser box having a pair of vertical, side-by-side chutes for heavies and lights of fiber and binder,
an overhead, air input feed line interconnecting the upper ends of said chutes in parallel, said line first feeding in the flow direction said chute for heavies,
a pair of feed rollers at the bottom of the heavy chute to feed heavy fiber and binder from the heavy chute downwardly,
a lickerin mat former roll below said feed rolls cooperating with a stripper bar in turn below said former roll, whereby to discharge fiber and binder in opening and blending the input to the chutes downwardly,
the lower end of the lights chute discharging to said lickerin mat former roll.
2. A device as in claim 1 including a forming box below said licker-in and stripping bar with the lower end thereof comprising a forming chain.
3. A device as in claim 2 including wigwags below the said licker-in and stripping bar in the forming box above the forming chain.
4. A self-contained fiber preparing and mat forming device with air recycle comprising:
a fiber column with an airflow pickup channel at the bottom thereof,
a first mat former licker-in section feed by airflow from the bottom of the fiber column and discharging to a forming chain,
a second mat former licker-in section drawing semiformed mat from the first mat former licker-in section forming chain and forming mat between two condenser drums,
a slitter section receiving formed mat from the second forming section and cutting edge trim therefrom,
a main airflow line running adjacent the first mat former and second former, slitter section and fiber column,
a first airline from the forming chain to the main airline,
a second airline from one condenser drum in the second mat forming section to the main airline,
a pickup hopper from the slitter section leading to the main airline for edge trim recycle,
a dust condenser, said main airline leading to the dust condenser,
and fan means connecting to the main airline for circulation of fiber, binder, dust, edge trim and the like powering the airflow through the main airline.
5. A device as in claim 4 includinga third airline from the forming chain leading to the fiber column airflow pickup channel and a fourth airline from the latter to the first mat forming section,
6. A device as in claim 5 including a binder feeder into the third airline between the forming chain and the fiber column.
7. A fiber feed to a mat forming process comprising:
a housing having input and output ends,
a horizontal feeding apron receiving at the input end and feeding toward the output end thereof,
a lift apron receiving from the discharge end of the feed apron and feeding upwardly toward the output end of the housing, 7
a comb roll adjacent the upper end of the lift apron and over the feed apron combing against the lift,
a doffer roll on the opposite side of the lift apron and doffing against the fall therefrom,
a fiber column comprising a vertically walled shaft receiving the discharge from the lift apron and doffer roll on the other side of the lift apron from the feed apron, and
an airflow pickup channel at the bottom of the fiber column and a pair of substantially horizontal feed rolls thereabove feeding and sealing same.
8. A device as in claim 7 including a binder feed to the input end of the pickup channel.
9, Means for handling mixed fiber and binder or fiber alone whereby to open said fiber and finish form a mat of fiber and powder binder comprising, in combination:
a device for distributing mixed fiber and binder, fed to said device by an airflow system, comprising a condenser box having a pair of vertical, side-by-side chutes for heavies and lights of fiber and binder,
an air input flow line connecting overhead in series line to said chutes, the heavy" chute being first in series in flow direction,
a pair of feed rolls at the bottom of the heavy chute to feed heavy fiber and binder from the heavy chute downwardly,
a licker-in mat former roll below said feed rolls cooperating with a stripper bar in turn below it, whereby to discharge fiber and binder in opening and blending the input to the chutes downwardly,
the lower end of the "lights chute discharging into the licker-in,
a forming box below said lickerin and stripping bar with the lower end thereof comprising a forming chain, whereby the mixed fiber and binder, fed to said described device by an airflow system is laid in a preliminary mat on said forming chain and is moved out of said forming box by said forming chain,
and a device for opening fiber and finish forming a mat of fiber and powder binder comprising:
a pair of feed rolls operative to receive and thereafter feed the preliminary mat lay from said forming chain from one direction to another in a substantially horizontal line,
a licker-in mat former and stripper bar operative to receive and discharge in opening and blending fashion the preliminary mat lay from the feed rolls,
a pair of rotating condenser drums positioned to receive the discharge of fiber and binder from the mat former lickerin off the stripper bar and pass therefrom a may lay,
and a confined channel from the mat former and stripper bar to said condenser drum.
10. A device as in claim 9 including wigwags below said licker-in and stripping bar in the forming box above the forming chain.
11. A device as in claim 9 including an air recycle from one condenser drum to the confined space adjacent the licker-in mat former in the device for opening fiber and finish forming a mat.
12. A fiber column operative to prepare continuously fed fiber for feed to a mat former comprising:
a cylindrical, horizontal airflow pickup channel making up the lower end of the fiber column positioned directly below said vertically walled shaft, the space between the first pair of rollers and the space between said second pair of rollers whereby to be operable to receive the fiber input into the top of the vertically walled shaft,
and means for creating sufficient airflow through said pickup channel whereby to continuously remove from said channel the fiber passed thereto from said second pair of rollers.
13. A device as in claim 12 including a binder feed to the input end of the pickup channel.
14. A device as in claim 12 including the lower pair of rollers air sealed to the upper portion of said channel in their rotation.
15. Means for preparing a preliminary mat lay of fiber and binder comprising, in combination:
a fiber feed means including a housing having input and output ends, 1
a vertically walled shaft of greater width than thickness operative to receive a continuous feed of combed and doffed fiber at the top thereof,
a first pair of compacting rollers positioned at the bottom of said vertical wall and extending the width of said shaft, with the surfaces of said rollers extending inwardly of the thickness of said shaft substantially an equal distance therebelow,
a second set of compacting rollers rotating on axes parallel to the rotational axes of the first set of rollers and positioned immediately therebelow to receive the discharge therefrom,
said second set of rollers of substantially the same diameter as said first set of rollers yet positioned markedly closer together, whereby the fiber received from the vertically walled shaft is first slightly compressed in said first rollers and fed to said second rollers and thereafter considerably more condensed and compressed in said second pair of rollers and discharged downwardly therefrom and,
a horizontal feeding apron receiving fiber atthe input end and feeding same toward the output end thereof,
a lift apron receiving fiber from the discharge end of the feed apron and feeding fiber upwardly toward the output end of the housing,
a comb roll adjacent the upper end of the lift apron and over the feed apron combing against the lift,
a doffer roll on the opposite side of the lift apron and doffing against the fall therefrom, and
a fiber column comprising, in combination:
a vertically walled shaft of greater width than thickness receiving the discharge from the lift apron and doffer roll on the other side of the lift apron from the feed apron at the top thereof,
a first pair of condensing and compacting rollers at the bottom of said vertically walled shaft,
said first pair of rollers of length at least equal to the width of said shaft with the peripheral surfaces thereof extending inwardly of the bottom of said shaft,
a second pair of condensing and compacting rollers running parallel to said first pair and positioned therebelow of comparable size to said first pair of rollers and having portions thereof centrally positioned of said shaft and the space between said first pair of rollers,
an airflow pickup channel extending the length of said vertical walled shaft of the fiber column at the bottom of said column and below said lower pair of rollers receiving the discharge of fiber from the shaft and two sets of rollers, airflow means driving air through said pickup channel to move said fiber with or without added binder from said channel into a pipe and upwardly to an overhead position, said pipe communicating into a device for distributing mixed fiber and binder, comprising:
a condenser box having a pair of vertical, side-by-side chutes for heavies and lights offiber and binder,
said pipe connecting overhead in series line to said chutes, the heavy chutes being first in series in flow direction,
a pair of feed rolls at the bottom of the heavy chute to feed heavy" fiber and binder from the heavy chute downwardly,
a licker-in mat former roll below said feed rolls cooperating with a stripper bar in turn below it, whereby to discharge fiber and binder in opening and blending of the input to the chutes downwardly,
the lower end of the lights chute discharging into the licker-in,
and a forming box below said licker-in and stripping bar with the lower end thereof comprising a forming chain operative to receive fiber and binder discharged from said licker-in and stripping bar to form a preliminary lay of mat therefrom.
16. Means for recycling portions of a mat lay back into a mat forming system for reuse in the system comprising, in combination:
a conveyor belt in a mat slitting section, operative to carry a formed mat into and out of said slitting section,
at least one edge trim slitter operative to trim off an edge portion ofsaid formed mat,
means for continuously guiding the trimmed edge into a hopper,
means for gathering the trimmed edge in said hopper and feeding same into an airflow pipe,
fan means for driving said trimmed mat edge through said pipe,
and means for collecting and distributing said edge trim into the fiber feed to the mat forming system fed by said pipe.
17. A device as in claim 16 wherein said latter means includes an overhead pipe to a fiber condenser which discharges air therefrom after the major quantity of fiber and binder are separated therefrom.
18. A device as in claim 17 including a dust collector on the air discharge.
19. Means for preparing a preliminary mat lay of fiber and binder comprising, in combination, means for feeding combed and dotted fiber to the upper end ofa fiber column, the latter comprising, in combination:
a vertical walled shaft of greater width than thickness receiving at its upper end the said combed and doffed fiber,
a first pair of condensing and compacting rollers at the bottom of said vertical walled shaft,
said first pair of rollers of length at least equal to the width of said shaft with portions of the peripheral surfaces thereof extending inwardly of the bottom of said shaft,
a second pair of condensing and compacting rollers running parallel to said first pair and positioned therebelow of comparable size to said first pair of rollers and having portions of the peripheral surfaces thereof centrally positioned of said shaft and the space between said first pair of rollers,
an airflow pickup channel extending the length of said vertical walled shaft of the fiber column at the bottom of said column and below said lower pair of rollers receiving the discharge of fiber from the shaft and two sets of rollers,
airflow means driving air through said pickup channel to move said fiber with or without added binder from said channel into a pipe and upwardly to an overhead position,
said pipe communicating into a device for distributing mixed fiber and binder, said device comprising, in combination a condenser box having a pair of vertical, side-by-side chutes for heavies and lights of fibrous binder,
said pipe connecting overhead in series line to said chutes, the heavy chute being first in series in flow direction,
a pair of feed rolls at the bottom of the heavy chute to feed heavy fiber and binder from the heavy chute downwardly,
a licke'r-in mat former roll below said feed rolls cooperating with a stripper bar in turn below it, whereby to discharge fiber and binder in opening and blending of the input to the chutes downwardly,
the lower end of the lights chute discharging into the licker-in and,
a forming box below the said licker-in and stripping bar with the lower end thereof comprising a forming chain operative to receive fiber and binder discharged from said licker-in and stripping bar to form a preliminary lay of mat therefrom.
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