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NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04


Nonlinear Dynamics of High-Speed Transport for Staple Yarns

Leader: Bhuvenesh C. Goswami, Expertise—Textile Processes
Team Eric Austin/Clemson/ Engineering
Members: Darren Dawson/Clemson/ Engineering
Barrie Fraser/U. Sydney/ Mathematics
Graduate Srinivasa Raghavan Ramaswami, James Gibert, Vilas Kumar Chitrakaran
Students: Pavani Akula, Bhushan Thakar, Amolprasad Kulkarni

The primary objective of this project is to develop and validate computer models of high-
speed textile systems that transports nonuniform yarns. The present study focuses on staple
yarns and considers the various yarn structures made on different systems (e.g., ring, open-
end, and vortex spinning technologies). Successful completion of this project will provide
accurate, experimentally verified computer models for high-speed yarn transport systems.
The computer models will enable textile engineers to use computer-aided design to optimize
the quality and productivity of high-speed yarn transport systems.

Over-end winding is fundamental to many operations in the textile industry. It is important
to understand the path of yarn as it slides across the package between the point where it de-
viates from its original winding angle and the point where it leaves the package. Staple yarns
are inherently uneven and hairy, and these are among the affect the sliding motion of the
yarn on the package. As a starting point, we followed methods proposed by researchers under
a previous NTC contract for determining a coefficient of friction between the sliding yarn
and the package. While our results are qualitatively good, these, along with improved image
processing, have raised questions about certain assumptions contained in the mathematical

1 Introduction
Unwinding yarn from a package is one of the fundamental processes in converting the yarns
into fabrics or in sewing. Germination of modern technologies promises high-speed produc-
tion and better quality. Over-end unwinding of yarns from large packages such as cones and
cheeses is most common since it supports high-speed withdrawal of the material. Fluctua-
tions in the yarn tension during unwinding is one inherent factor that leads to an increase in
yarn breakage rate at higher speeds, eventually resulting in poor productivity and quality.
It becomes imperative to study the dynamics of yarns during unwinding for better under-
standing and controlling the process of unwinding to achieve a better quality product with
higher productivity.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

1.1 Background on Unwinding
1.1.1 Early History

The study of unwinding of yarns has been the subject of many researchers for more than
five decades. Early researchers studied the balloon mechanics and the dynamics involved in
the spinning of yarns in ring and cap spinning [1]. Mack[2] explained the effect of air drag in
the spinning balloons, but he considered that effect to be small. Later, Hannah[1] conducted
a detailed study of the theory on the spinning balloons and showed the mathematical cal-
culations that predicted the shape and tension of the balloon in normal cap spinning. She
considered the centrifugal force due to rotation and the air drag but ignored the weight of
the yarn during calculations.
Padfield first developed the theory of unwinding balloons from cylindrical packages in
1958[3]. She found that balloons unwinding from cylindrical packages vary in size and shape
and are different from the balloons in spinning, since the point at which the yarn leaves
the package moves up and down the length of the package. She developed the fundamental
equations of motion of an element in the yarn path from the eyelet to the lift-off point
(defined as region 1) and from the lift-off point to the unwinding point (region 2).
In 1957, Booth[4] studied the effect of yarn sliding over the package surface during un-
winding. He showed that the variation in the sliding length and the shape of the curve during
sliding would cause tension variations during unwinding. Given the tension of winding and
the speed of the thread, he also showed that there is a limiting value of the angle at which
the thread leaves the spool.
Padfield[5] explained in 1955 that the coefficient of friction is likely to depend on the
structure of the package surface, i.e., on the way the layers of yarn are built up. Even though
she was aware that the kinetic coefficient of friction would be more suitable in this case, she
discussed only the static coefficient of friction. She concluded that there is no systematic
shift in static coefficient of friction with decreasing package radius. She also observed that,
except for very small effective loads, the coefficient of friction decreases slowly with load.

1.1.2 Recent History

In 1992, Fraser, Ghosh, and Batra[6] used a regular perturbation expansion to provide a the-
oretical framework for Padfield’s ideas and removed the time dependence from the equations
of motion. They were also successful in integrating the solution for the yarn slipping on the
package and the yarn in the balloon. They concluded that the tension in the yarn lying on
the package increases from the residual tension in the yarn left in the package towards the
unwind point and that the yarn slides on the package until the tension and tangent angle are
right for it to fly off the surface. The paper did not address the problem of what happens
when the lift-off point falls off the end of the package as the unwind point moves towards the
guide eye at the end of the package. Later Fraser[7] also studied the effect of yarn elasticity
on balloon radius and yarn tension. He made numerous calculations with different values for
air drag and elasticity and concluded that the yarn tension and balloon radius reduce when
yarn elasticity is taken into account. However, this effect is only pronounced for elastomeric

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

Historically, it has been difficult to measure some of the parameters that are required for
validating the mathematical model. In particular, the ratio between rotational and linear
velocities that arises due to the nonzero winding angle of the package and the coefficient of
friction between the yarn and the package in the sliding region. Recently, Wu[8] developed
an algorithm to determine this coefficient of friction the help of an experimental apparatus
that can capture the tension, rotation rate, and package image simultaneously. Kong et al.
[9] developed models that could predict the yarn tension and the motion in the unwinding
balloon and on the package surface. The models depend on the package diameter, wind-on
angle, coefficient of friction, transport speed, air drag, and material properties of the yarn.
These authors also studied the effect of coefficient of friction on the sliding motion of the
yarn on the package surface. He determined that a higher coefficient of friction shortens
length of yarn that slides on the package.
Wu et al. [10] reported that the coefficient of friction was found to increase for textured and
filament yarns when the speed of withdrawal was increased from 500 to 1000 meters/minute.
They also found that the coefficient of friction for textured yarns is significantly higher than
the fully drawn flat yarns. They developed a friction-measuring instrument based on an
Instron Tensile Tester that provided quantitative agreements with the in-situ measurement
at low tensions. The coefficients of friction reported from the Instron-based device were
higher than those obtained from the unwinding analyzer setup due to the higher stick-slip
force or to the low speed of the crosshead speed of the Instron tensile tester.
Recently Clark et al. [11] argued that the effects of bending and twisting stiffness are
confined to a small boundary layer in the neighborhood of the unwind point, and thus they
contend that it is valid to model most of the yarn path as a simple string. They also
concluded that the motion of the unwind point on the package is asymmetrical with respect
to its direction of unwinding motion on the package surface.

2 Activities During the Past Year
2.1 Unwinding Test Stand
There was a substantial effort during this past year to reassemble the unwinding analyzer
(shown in Figure 1) and rewrite all the software needed to acquire and postprocess the image
data. Several improvements were made to the setup, and there are several still to be made.
At this stage we are focusing on the path of the yarn on the package, and this has proven
to be a more difficult task for the staple yarns than for the yarns tested previously [10].
There were many issues with the software needed to acquire and process the images with
the high-speed camera, and these were more challenging than the mechanical issues.
The original motivation[8] for incorporating an image capturing subsystem in the test rig
was to automatically detect the path as well as the unwind and lift-off angles of the unwinding
yarn on the package. Capturing snapshots of yarn unwinding from a package at speeds of
1000 meters per minute or more requires a camera with a fast shutter speed. Our system
uses the DALSA CAD6-256W high-speed digital camera capable of frame rates of up to 955
Hz. However such high frame rates come with a compromise on image quality. The 260×260

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

Package Infrared Evenness Hairiness Container
Sensor Sensor Sensor


Figure 1: Unwinding test stand.

pixel resolution that the CAD6 provided was found to be inadequate to reliably detect the
unwinding yarn over the similarly colored background of the package. One solution was to
restrict the field of view (FOV) of the camera so that it was looking only at a section of
the package instead of the whole length of the package. While this helped in viewing the
package in finer detail, we had to accept a very low yield of useful images from the large
set of captured images due to the fact that in many cases the unwinding/lift-off points fell
outside the FOV of the camera at the instant of image capture, and hence were not visible in
the image. We are currently investigating better methods for triggering the camera so that
the camera fires only when the path of the unwinding yarn falls in its field of view. (The
current setup triggers the camera at the instant the tension in the yarn crosses a threshold
All control, image acquisition, and processing operations are implemented on a single
PC to reduce system complexity and costs. However this also places a large computational
load on the PC. We are unable to make full use of the high frame rate of the camera due
to the fact that it totally overwhelms the resources of the PC. Also, image processing is a
highly processor intensive task when all processing operations are implemented in software.
Higher frame rates are possible if the computational load on the main processor is reduced
by programming the framegrabber hardware (RoadRunner 24M) to take care of certain low
level processing operations such as pixel data re-ordering and thresholding. Therefore we
are also working on developing better device drivers for the framegrabber board in order to
make full use of its hardware capabilities.
The system is currently implemented using QMotor 3.0, which is a complete environment
for implementing control strategies and developed by Controls and Robotics group at Clem-
son University. The system provides data logging and plotting capabilities besides online
parameter tuning. Although the current user interface is functional, we would like to work
to integrate data acquisition, display and processing into a graphical user interface (GUI)

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

that is more intuitive and productive to the end-user of the system.

2.2 Formulation and Solution of the Equations of Motion
Rewriting the software gave us a chance to reexamine the role the image taken of the yarn
path plays in determining the coefficient of friction from the math model. Our view of the
equations for the yarn path on the package starts with Fraser[6] and ends with Wu[8]. Our
goal was to implement Wu’s approach to determine the coefficient of friction for staple yarns.
Wu’s formulation of the quasi-steady equation of motion,
d dr dr
(1 − p) − 2λk × + λ2 k × (k × r) = f, (1)
ds ds ds
and all other details can be found in references [8] and [10]. Wu expressed a scalar version
of Equation 1 as

(1 − p) xss = λ2 x − 2λys + ps xs + η (λy + xs ) + xq (2)
(1 − p) yss = λ2 y − 2λxs + ps ys − η (λx − ys ) + yq (3)
(1 − p) zss = ps zs + ηzs , (4)

where ( )s indicates differentiation with respect to nondimensional arc length s. Wu cast
these as six state equations and used a Runge-Kutta algorithm to integrate them from the
lift-off point to the unwind point. The six initial conditions were determined from an image
taken of the package, and the “correct” path was determined by changing the coefficient of
friction iteratively until both the sliding height, h, and the angle φu matched what was seen
on the image (see Figure 2).

sliding height

unwind point

liftoff point

Figure 2: Path of the yarn between the lift-off and unwind points.

On the surface of the package, the equation (nondimensionalized to the package radius)
x + y 2 = 1 acts like a constraint. Thus, Equations 2 and 3 are not independent, and

combining them leads us back to Fraser’s formulation in 1992[6]. Fraser’s formulation yields
a first integral in the tension, p(s), and Wu followed Fraser (who followed Booth[4]) in solving
for the tension along the yarn path on the package in closed form. This last step is only
possible if the assumption of a zero wind-on angle is enforced.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

Similar to Wu, we determine the yarn path by integrating the following equations of
motion along the path between the lift-off and unwind points.

d −µq (1 − θs ) /2 (θs + 1) d
(θs ) = (θ) = θs (5)
ds 1−p ds

d ps θs + µq (1 − θs ) /2 d
(zs ) = (z) = zs (6)
ds 1−p ds
(p) = −µq (1 − θs ) /2, (7)
η=√ and q = 2λθs − λ2 − (1 − p) θs2 . (8)
λ2 − 2λθs + 1
Fraser et al. [6] suggested the state equations be solved by a shooting method, where here
only the coefficient of friction (COF) can be changed to improve the accuracy of the “shot.”
Thus, the image is only needed to provide the initial conditions for the state equations at
L and target values to match at point U. We chose different values than either Kong[12] or
Wu[8], and the work on this subject will be finished during this contract year. We followed
the methodology outlined by Wu[8, 10] for determining a coefficient of friction, and this is
shown schematically in Figure 3. The camera and a strobe light are triggered in Step 1

x Unwind Point

x Lift Point
Step 4
compare paths chosen
by the used and predicted state equations
by the mathematics
EOM integrated iteratively
Camera to find coefficient of friction
that matches the chosen
conditions at unwind point
Step 2 Step 3
Step 1 h
z = f1(h,z)
PC z
q = f2(h,z)
determines initial values
Frame grabber
user chooses yarn path for state equations
plus unwind and liftoff points

Figure 3: Flow of data from the yarn spool to the coefficient of friction.

(see Figure 3) to capture the image. At speeds of about 600 meters/min, the image will be
blurred if a strobe is not used. The user chooses points on the path of the yarn in Step 2,
including his/her best estimate of the unwind and lift-off points. Transformations that take
into account the distance to the spool from the camera are used to create both initial values
at the lift-off point (L) and “target” values at the unwind point (U) in Step 3. Finally, the
equations of motion are integrated from L to U in Step 4 assuming some value for the COF.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

If the COF is correct, the path predicted by the mathematics will correspond exactly with
what was captured on the image. This is very unlikely using the first guess for the COF,
so Wu[8] outlines a bisection scheme that converges to a COF that best matches the sliding
height, h, and the unwind angle, φu , both shown in Figure 2. Figure 4 shows how the final

sliding height h

curvefit from image
Unwind Point
predicted by math

Lift-off Point

Figure 4: Measured versus predicted path between the lift-off and unwind points.

“converged” predictions of the yarn path compare with an example curve fit from the image.
The × markers represent points actually chosen by the user. Both paths start out identical
at L due to the initial conditions, and both share the same sliding height, h, and lift-off
angle, φL . However, close inspection shows that the two paths are not coincident near the
unwind point. Nonetheless, the integration scheme has done its job correctly.
The wind angle φ is a useful measure of yarn orientation, but it is our suspicion that the
angle φu is a poor choice for a quasi-boundary condition. The mathematics that transforms
image to physical coordinates shows that we must compute the slopes of the yarn path near
both the lift-off and unwind points. Kong[12] found these derivatives in physical coordinates
by choosing two closely spaced points near both U and L. Wu[8] did curve fits in physical
coordinates at each end using about five points each near U and L. Our approach was to
curve-fit all the points chosen by the user in image coordinates. Typically, either a quadratic
or cubic curve was fit through the points. While a higher order curve would come closer
to more of the points, it would not produce a physical yarn path and the slopes of the line
would vary greatly over even a short distance.

2.3 Findings to Date
The most substantial findings are soon to be published in the master’s thesis written by
Ramaswami[13]. The author made the following conclusions on the effects of yarn count,
hairiness, and evenness on coefficient of friction at a withdrawal speed of 600 meters/min.

1. Yarn tension at the eyelet increases as the package diameter reduces.
2. Yarn tension, at the eyelet, does not have any significant relationship with the hairiness
or unevenness in the yarns.
3. Yarn tension at the eyelet reduces, as the count gets finer.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

4. Coefficients of friction for staple yarns, measured at 600 meters/minute, are consistently
higher than textured and flat filament yarns.
5. Coefficients of friction between yarn and the package at the intermediate circumference
tends to stay higher.
6. At the intermediate circumference of the package, coefficient of friction has an inverse
relation to the count, i.e., it increases as the count gets finer.
7. Hairiness of the yarns has a pronounced effect, on coefficient of friction, at the core of
the package for hairy yarns.

There were also many lessons learned about performing these experiments with staple

1. is it more difficult to detect the lift-off and unwind points
2. the yarn is so thin that measurement of the angular rotation is difficult using an IR
3. the frame grabber can not keep up with the high-speed camera
4. the high frame rate of the current camera was not worth the resolution we lost
5. the procedure for synchronizing the strobes and camera to the trigger signal needs to
be improved
6. the way we trigger image capture has to be improved

3 Ongoing and Future Activities
Learning from our lessons, we need to address several shortcomings of the existing measure-
ment system as well as integrate the new hairiness and evenness sensors. We need to get
better resolution in the images that we capture, even if that is at the expense of speed. Speed
in this case means frames per second, and it seems that most any PC we could get would
limit the overall speed of image capturing. We do not need a movie; we need very clear
images triggered when the yarn is in view of the camera. Some other ongoing and future
issues are discussed below.

3.1 Better measurement of the angular velocity
Most researchers we have seen during this work follow de Barr’s[14] assumption that the
spinning yarn at a constant rate. Thus, the angular acceleration of the coordinate systems
that rotates with the lift-off point is assumed to be zero. If we could improve the method by
which we determine the angular velocity of the yarn path, we could determine the angular
acceleration by differencing numbers. Figure 1, with might be able to get both the velocity
and its slope (the acceleration) at the time when the image is taken.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

3.2 Solution of the Nonlinear Equations of Motion
There is uncertainty introduced into the problem every time a human being chooses points
from the image with “mouse clicks.” As discussed in Section 2.2, researchers have determined
the target for their shooting method by different methods. We are currently assessing how
errors in choosing points propagate through the equations and show up in the estimate of
the coefficient of friction. We are will also look at whether it is better to choose the COF by
minimizing the error between the image and predicted paths over it’s entire length.

3.3 String vs. Beam Theory
Clark et al. [11] presented an analysis in which they hypothesized that a string model of
the yarn was valid everywhere except in a region very near the unwind point. However, this
does not seem to be born out by images taken during this past year. We would now like
to explore the hypothesis that the degree to which the sting acts like a beam rather that a
string depends on it’s local radius of curvature. This may be the reason why the equations
of motion are singular for forward winding, as observed in this research and reported by
Kong[12]. We are currently reviewing both textiles and mechanics (elastica) literature to try
to gain insights in to this question.

3.4 Modeling of Friction Between Fibers During Yarn Unwinding
Team members now hypthosize that the traditional Amonton’s law for friction is too sim-
plistic to capture the physics of this problem. In response to this, we have begun a literature
survey of more-detailed models for friction. One of the more interesting approaches was due
to Qiu et al. [15], who looked at friction between yarn already on the package. In this NTC-
sponsored work, the authors used theory of the dynamic behavior of polymeric materials[16]
and determined that significant factors twist of the fiber, frequency of loading, gage length,
material properties, and initial orientation of fibres on the package. The model was based
on measuring frictional energy loss of a fiber bundle subjected to dynamic loading. On the
basis of Murayama‘s model[16], parameters representing a bond strength and loss tangent
are introduced. Mogazhy’s approach[17] to frictional behavior of cotton fibers focuses mainly
on number of contacting fibers and the sliding length. The friction profile, which results from
the relationship between frictional force and sliding distance, is used to determine frictional
force to a certain fiber intensity. A mathematical model is developed for the friction force
based on the experimental results. As part of our ongoing work, we would seek to incorporate
a better representation of friction in the model.

[1] M. Hannah. Applications of a theory of the spinning balloon. Journal of the Textile
Institute, 43:T519–T535, 1952.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-CL04 (formerly F01-C04)

[2] C. Mack. Theoretical study of ring and cap spinning balloon curves (with and without
air drag). Journal of the Textile Institute, 44:438, 1953.
[3] D. G. Padfield. The motion and tension of an unwinding thread, I. Proc. Royal Society
of London, A245:382–407, 1958.
[4] H. V. Booth. Variations in tension of an unwinding thread. Br. J. Applied Physics,
8:142–144, 1957.
[5] D. G. Padfield. A note on friction between yarn and package. Journal of the Textile
Institute, 46:T71–T77, 1955.
[6] W. B. Fraser, T. K. Ghosh, and S. K. Batra. On unwinding yarn from a cylindrical
package. Journal of Engineering Mathematics, 40(1):479–498, 1992.
[7] W. B. Fraser. On the effect of yarn elasticity on an unwinding balloon. Journal of the
Textile Institute, 83:603–613, 1992.
[8] R. Wu. Measurement of yarn/package friction and residual tension in over-end unwind-
ing. Master’s thesis, Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, December 1998.
[9] X. M. Kong, C. D. Rahn, and B. C. Goswami. Steady-state unwinding of yarn from
cylindrical packages. Textile Research Journal, 69:292–306, 1999.
[10] R. Wu, J. Yu, C. D. Rahn, and B. C. Goswami. Measuring yarn/package friction during
over-end unwinding. Textile Research Journal, 70(4):321–327, 2000.
[11] J. D. Clark, W. B. Fraser, and D. M. Stump. Modeling of tension in yarn package
unwinding. Proc. Royal Society of London, A436:59–75, 2001.
[12] X. Kong. Steady State Unwinding of Yarn from Cylindrical Packages: Theory and
Experiment. PhD thesis, Textile and Polymer Science, Clemson University, December
[13] S. R. Ramaswami. Study of staple yarn-package friction during unwinding. Master’s
thesis, Clemson University, December 2002.
[14] A. E. de Barr and H. Catling. The principles and theory of ring spinning. In F. Charnley
and P. V. Harrison, editors, Manual of cotton spinning, volume 5. Butterworths Press,
Manchester and London, 1965.
[15] Y. Qiu, Y. Wang, and J. Z. Mi. A novel approach for measurement
of fiber-on-fiber friction. NTC Project Number F98S-09, Year 8 proposal.
[16] T. Murayama. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis of Polymeric Material. Elsevier Scientific
Publishing Company, New York, 1978.
[17] Y. E. El Mogahzy and R. M. Broughton. A new approach for evaluating the frictional
behavior of cotton fibers, part I: fundamental aspects and measuring techniques. Textile
Research Journal, 63(8):465–475, 1993.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002