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MAY 2005 395

Production of a Polyester Core-Spun Yarn with Spandex Using a
Multi-section Drawing Frame and a Ring Spinning Frame
C. W. LOU
Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Material Science/General Education Center, Chungtai Institute
of Health Sciences and Technology, Taichung 406, Taiwan, Republic of China

C. W. CHANG, J. H. LIN1 AND C. H. LEI
Laboratory of Fiber Application and Manufacturing, Institute of Textile Engineering,
Feng Chia University, Taichung 407, Taiwan, Republic of China

W. H. HSING
Department of Textile Engineering, Chinese Culture University, Taipei 111, Taiwan, Republic of China

ABSTRACT
Owing to growing demand for figure hugging and comfortable clothes made with
stretchable fibers, spandex fibers are being used in underwear, diapers, hosiery, lei-
surewear, sportswear, jeans, and so on. In the present study a polyester core-spun yarn
containing spandex fibers was made using a self-designed, multi-section drawing frame
and a ring spinning frame. The mechanical properties of the core-spun elastic yarns were
examined in various processing conditions. The analytical results show that when the main
drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was either 2.2 or 2.7, the maximum breaking tenacity
and elongation of the core-spun elastic yarns exceeded those in any other of the main
drawing ratio conditions.

Demand for elastic fibers is still growing. Consump- recovery from 100% stretching (about 95%). Spandex
tion of elastic fibers reached 137,000 tons in Asia in fibers are resistant to hydrolysis (Lycra威 had power
2001. Bayer in Germany was the first to develop poly- retention of 100% after boiling for 1 hour in water at
urethane elastic fibers. US scientists began to develop the pH 3 to 11). In addition the spandex fibers have good
commercial applications of polyurethane from the 1940s. resistance to ultraviolet radiation, oxygen, heat, and
Soft and flexible elastomer or hard and abrasion-resistant oil [5]. Babaarslan described a method of producing a
materials can be fabricated with polyurethane. Spandex polyester/viscose core-spun yarn using spandex fibers.
fibers are long-chain polymer fibers containing at least The spandex fibers (Lycra威) were covered with poly-
85% segmented polyurethane [2]. Spandex fibers have ester staple fibers of 38 mm and 1.3 dtex and viscose
been developed and produced by numerous companies, staple fibers of 38 mm and 2.4 dtex using a modified
for example Spanzelle威, Vyrene威, Lycra威, Glospan威, ring spinning frame with a positive feed roller system
etc. and a V-groove guide. The mechanical properties of
the yarn and its uniformity were examined. The core-
Various previous studies have reported the physical
spun yarns had lower tenacity than polyester/viscose
and chemical properties of spandex fibers. An elastic
staple yarns, but they had higher elongation [1]. Pre-
fiber has been characterized by high breaking elonga-
viously, several investigators have studied core-yarns
tion (exceeding 100% and generally 500 to 800%), a
containing a nylon or polyester filament [3, 4, 6, 7].
low modulus of elasticity (approximately 1/1000 that
Nowadays, the textile industry is producing various
of a conventional “hard” fiber, such as nylon, cotton, core-spun yarns with spandex fibers of 22 to 156 dtex.
and so on), and both a high degree and a high rate of The spandex fibers covered with staple fibers can be
used for daily commodities and industrial products.
This work made a polyester core-spun yarn from span-
1
To whom correspondence should be addressed: e-mail: dex fibers using a self-designed, multi-section drawing
jhlin@fcu.edu.tw frame and a ring spinning frame. To keep their elas-

Textile Res. J. 75(5), 395– 401 (2005) DOI: 10.1177/0040517505054188 © 2005 Sage Publications www.sagepublications.com
396 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL

ticity, the spandex fibers were stretched using the
multi-section drawing frame before being sent to the
front roller on the ring spinning frame. Polymer chains
in the spandex fibers were cold-drawn at room tem-
perature and extended along the fiber axis. The draw-
ing process was stable. The core-spun elastic yarn was
soft, stretchable and could be applied for numerous
apparel and non-apparel uses.

Materials and Methods

This investigation used spandex fibers (a semi-dull
fiber) of 44 dtex as the core, and polyester roving of 1
hank (1.7 dtex polyester staple fibers) as the covering
material. The maximum breaking tenacity of the spandex
and polyester staple fibers was 1.29 and 6.44 g/dtex,
respectively. The breaking elongation of the polyester
staple fiber was 32.7%. Finally, the elongation of the
spandex fibers was 630.0%.
The core-spun elastic yarn was made using the self-
FIGURE 1. Profile of the ring spinning frame and the drawing frame:
designed, multi-section drawing frame and the ring spin- (A) bobbin creel, (B) spandex fibers, (C) the front roller on the drawing
ning frame (Figure 1). The drawing frame contained five frame, (D) creel, (E) roving (polyester fibers), (F) roving rod, (G) a
pairs of rollers. The spandex fibers were stretched using holder of pressure arm, (H) trumpet cup, (I) guide rod, (J) the back
roller on the ring spinning frame, (K) the middle roller on the ring
the multi-section drawing frame before being sent to the spinning frame, (L) the front roller on the ring spinning frame, (M)
front roller on the ring spinning frame. The drawn span- stabilizer, (N) guide, (O) traveller ring, (P) traveller, (Q) spindle, (R)
dex fibers were stable at the center of the spinning core-spun elastic yarns.
triangular space and could be covered with the polyester
staple fibers completely. The core stretching was per-
formed to maintain the elasticity of the core-spun elastic yarns in various processing conditions varied slightly.
yarn because of retraction of the core when yarn stress The variation between the maximum and minimum lin-
was reduced. The polyester staple fibers were first ear density was ⫾5%.
drafted from the back roller through the middle roller, The speed of the front roller on the ring spinning
and then were drafted from the middle roller through the frame and the drawing frame was measured using a
front roller on the ring spinning frame. The spandex digital optical tachometer (Prova RM-1000). More-
fibers were covered and twisted with the polyester staple over, the tension of the spandex fibers in the process
fibers at the spinning triangular space to form the core- was measured using a digital tension meter (Shimpo;
limit 500 gf). Furthermore, the tensile testing of the
spun elastic yarn. This yarn then was taken-up on a ring
core-spun elastic yarns was measured using the Ten-
bobbin by a spindle.
sile Tester (Textechno Statimat M). All the tests were
The pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was 1.2,
applied to each sample 20 times. The eccentricity of
2.0. The spandex fibers were pre-drawn using the multi-
the spandex fibers in the core-spun elastic yarn was
section drawing frame. Each section on the drawing
examined via a metallurgical microscope. The yarn
frame had a length of 30 cm. The main drawing zone for
was first embedded in a resin matrix. Second, the resin
the spandex fibers was between the front roller on the
matrix with the yarn was sliced, and then the slices
drawing frame and the ring spinning frame. Table I lists
were polished using a polisher. Finally, the position of
the main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers, and the
the spandex fibers in the yarn cross-section was ob-
front roller speed on the ring spinning frame and the
served.
drawing frame. The yarn had a twisting count of 20
turns/inch. Table II lists the linear density of the core-
spun elastic yarns. In the spinning process, the variation
Results and Discussion
of the twisting count for the yarns resulted in the differ- In Figure 2, when the pre-drawing ratio of the spandex
ence in unit weights. Therefore, the linear density of the fibers was 1.2 and the front roller speed on the ring
MAY 2005 397

TABLE I. The main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers.

Main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers

1.2 1.7 2.2 2.7 3.2

I The front roller speed on the ring spinning 128.0 128.0 128.0 128.0 128.0
frame (rpm)
The front roller speed on the drawing
frame (rpm) 106.7 75.3 58.2 47.4 40.0
II The front roller speed on the ring spinning 153.6 153.6 153.6 153.6 153.6
frame (rpm)
The front roller speed on the drawing
frame (rpm) 128.0 90.4 69.8 56.9 48.0
III The front roller speed on the ring spinning 179.2 179.2 179.2 179.2 179.2
frame (rpm)
The front roller speed on the drawing
frame (rpm) 149.3 105.4 81.5 66.4 56.0

TABLE II. Linear density of the core-spun elastic yarns.

The front roller speed on the ring spinning frame

128.0 rpm 153.6 rpm 179.2 rpm

Pre-drawing ratio Pre-drawing ratio Pre-drawing ratio

Main drawing ratio 1.2 2.0 1.2 2.0 1.2 2.0

Actual linear density
of yarns (tex) 1.2 31.0 29.9 31.6 31.2 31.6 30.8
1.7 30.8 30.0 31.2 30.7 30.7 30.7
2.2 30.2 30.4 30.6 31.0 30.8 31.6
2.7 30.4 30.0 31.3 30.2 30.6 31.0
3.2 31.1 30.1 31.0 31.0 30.5 31.4

FIGURE 2. The maximum breaking tenacity of the
core-spun elastic yarns in various front roller speeds
and the main drawing ratios of the spandex fibers
(pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers ⫽ 1.2).

spinning frame was 179.2 rpm, the maximum breaking speed conditions. Cohesion of the core-spun elastic yarn
tenacity of the core-spun elastic yarns exceeded that in increased yarn axial tenacity. When the yarns reached
any other front roller speed conditions. When the front their maximum breaking tenacity, the coefficient of vari-
roller speed on the ring spinning frame was high, the ation was less than 12%.
spandex fibers were covered completely with the poly- When the pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was
ester staple fibers. In this condition, the number of poly- 2.0, the maximum breaking tenacity of the core-spun
ester staple fibers exceeded that in any other front roller elastic yarns decreased with increasing front roller speed
398 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL

FIGURE 3. The maximum breaking tenacity of the
core-spun elastic yarns in various front roller speeds
and the main drawing ratios of the spandex fibers
(pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers ⫽ 2.0).

on the ring spinning frame (Figure 3). One possible tenacity. The twisting count of the spandex fibers in
reason for this phenomenon is that the twist of the the yarn exceeded a critical value when the main
core-spun elastic yarn exceeded a critical value when the drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was more than 2.7.
front roller speed on the ring spinning frame was 179.2 Figures 4 and 5 reveal that when the front roller
rpm and the pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was speed on the ring spinning frame was 128.0 rpm, the
2.0. maximum breaking elongation of the core-spun elastic
In Figures 2 and 3, when the main drawing ratio of yarns exceeded that in any other front roller speed
the spandex fibers was either 2.2 or 2.7, the maximum conditions. This phenomenon occurred because the
breaking tenacity of the core-spun elastic yarns ex- spandex fibers were covered completely with the poly-
ceeded that in any other of the main drawing ratio ester staple fibers when the front roller speed on the
conditions. This phenomenon occurred because the ring spinning frame was high. In this condition, the
cohesion of the core-spun elastic yarns increased, and
number of polyester staple fibers exceeded that in any
the drawn spandex fibers were easily completely cov-
of the other front roller speed conditions. When the
ered with the polyester staple fibers when under high
front roller speed on the ring spinning frame was 128.0
tension. Owing to rapid spindle rotation on the ring
rpm, the eccentricity of the spandex fibers in the yarns
spinning frame, the spandex fibers were slightly
twisted during the spinning process. The twisting was higher than that of the spandex fibers in any other
count of the spandex fibers in the yarn increased with front roller speed conditions (Figure 6). High eccen-
the increasing main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers tricity means that the spandex fibers were not at the
(Table III). This phenomenon explains why the core- center of the yarn. The high eccentricity of the span-
spun elastic yarns had high tenacity values when the dex fibers in the yarns increased the yarn elongation.
main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was either 2.2 High front roller speed on the ring spinning frame was
or 2.7. The maximum breaking tenacity of the core- associated with high gripping force per unit of grip-
spun elastic yarns reduced when the main drawing ping area. In this condition, the spandex fibers were
ratio of the spandex fibers exceeded 2.7. High elastic stretched under high tension, decreasing the stretch-
fatigue of the spandex fibers decreased yarn axial able range of the yarns. The coefficient of variation
was below 10% when the yarns reached their maxi-
mum breaking elongation.
TABLE III. Twisting count of the spandex fibers in the core-spun In Figures 4 and 5, when the main drawing ratio of the
elastic yarn (pre-drawing ratio ⫽ 1.2, the front roller speed on the ring
spinning frame ⫽ 179.2 rpm). spandex fibers was either 2.2 or 2.7, the maximum break-
ing elongation of the core-spun elastic yarns exceeded
Main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers that in any of the other of the main drawing ratio con-
1.2 1.7 2.2 2.7 3.2 ditions. The spandex fibers and the polyester staple fibers
were subjected to loading simultaneously when the core-
Twisting count of the
spandex fibers in spun elastic yarns were stretched. Because the spandex
the yarn (turns/ fibers were tightly bound with the polyester staple fibers,
inch) 38 44 50 57 63
they were difficult to extend when their main drawing
MAY 2005 399

FIGURE 4. The maximum breaking elongation of
the core-spun elastic yarns in various front roller
speeds and the main drawing ratios of the spandex
fibers (pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers
⫽ 1.2).

FIGURE 5. The maximum breaking elongation of
the core-spun elastic yarns in various front roller
speeds and the main drawing ratios of the spandex
fibers (pre-drawing ratio of the spandex fibers
⫽ 2.0).

ratio was low. Consequently, the stretchable range of the spinning frame was 179.2 rpm, the maximum breaking
core-spun elastic yarns decreased. The maximum break- tenacity of the core-spun elastic yarns was maximized.
ing elongation of the core-spun elastic yarns decreased However, when the pre-drawing ratio of the spandex
when the main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers ex- fibers was 2.0, the maximum breaking tenacity of the
ceeded 2.7. This phenomenon occurred because some core-spun elastic yarns decreased with increasing front
secondary creep (non-recoverable, time-dependent ex- roller speed on the ring spinning frame. When the main
tension) occurred with a high main drawing ratio of the drawing ratio of the spandex fibers was either 2.2 or 2.7,
spandex fibers. In this situation, the elastic recovery the maximum breaking tenacity of the core-spun elastic
percentage of the yarns decreased, indicating that their yarns was maximized. The maximum breaking tenacity
elastic fatigue was increased. of the yarns was increased by approximately 6-10% with
Figure 7 illustrates the appearances of the spandex the increasing main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers.
fibers and the core-spun elastic yarn. The core-spun
However, when the main drawing ratio of the spandex
elastic yarns were curly and stretchable under non-
fibers exceeded either 2.2 or 2.7, the maximum breaking
tension. Moreover, the yarn surfaces were slightly
tenacity of the yarns was reduced by 6-9% with the
hairy. Applications of the core-spun elastic yarn in-
increase in the main drawing ratio of the spandex fibers.
clude sportswear, jeans, pantyhose, warp-knitted fab-
rics, etc. The maximum breaking elongation of the core-spun
elastic yarns was high when the front roller speed on the
ring spinning frame was 128.0 rpm and the main drawing
Conclusions ratio of the spandex fibers was either 2.2 or 2.7. The
In this study, when the pre-drawing ratio of the span- maximum breaking elongation of the yarns was in-
dex fibers was 1.2 and the front roller speed on the ring creased by 7-9% as the main drawing ratio of the span-
400 TEXTILE RESEARCH JOURNAL

FIGURE 7. Appearances of the spandex fiber and the core-spun elastic
yarn. (a) The spandex fiber of 44 dtex. (b) The core-spun elastic yarn
(pre-drawing ratio ⫽ 1.2, the main drawing ratio ⫽ 2.2, the front roller
speed on the ring spinning frame ⫽ 128.0 rpm).

by about 5-9% as the main drawing ratio of the spandex
fibers increased.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would like to express our appreciation to the
National Science Council of the Republic of China for
FIGURE 6. The position of the spandex fibers in the cross-section of financial support for this research under contract no.
the core-spun elastic yarn (pre-drawing ratio ⫽ 1.2, the main drawing
ratio ⫽ 1.7). (a) The front roller speed on the ring spinning frame NSC 92-2216-E-035-012. We also express sincere
⫽ 128.0 rpm. (b) The front roller speed on the ring spinning frame thanks to HAOJEY for supplying us with the spandex
⫽ 153.6 rpm. (c) The front roller speed on the ring spinning frame fibers.
⫽ 179.2 rpm.

Literature Cited
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MAY 2005 401

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