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NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06

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ANALYSIS AND ENHANCEMENT OF CARDING AND SPINNING

Investigators:

Y. Wang (Leader), Georgia Tech J. L. Dorrity, Georgia Tech
M. L. Realff, Georgia Tech B.C. Goswami, Clemson University
R. Parachuru, Georgia Tech F. L. Cook, Georgia Tech

Graduate Students:

A. Saxena, Georgia Tech P. He, Georgia Tech
A. Kansal, Georgia Tech

Consultant:

K. Burdges, Novatek, Inc.

PROJECT GOAL

This project seeks to enhance the fundamental understanding of carding and spinning, and to use the
discovery as a new tool to shorten the sequence for staple yarn processing. This may lead to significant
savings, and thus improve the competitiveness of the US textile industry.

ABSTRACT

Currently, the process sequence for staple yarn manufacturing involves about ten individual steps. In a
previous NTC project, the research team worked on a new technology which shortens the processing
sequence to two major steps: opening/cleaning, and yarn formation by Card-Spinning. The novel yarn
formation system consists of a card fitted with a web dividing device and multiple spinning nozzles. The
feasibility of the key individual sub-systems was demonstrated in the previous project. This novel system
represents a brand new approach to staple yarn manufacturing, and a fundamental analysis of the system
is conducted in this study. The current project encompasses the following objectives: (1) To analyze and
regulate fiber transport to the spinning heads to achieve better reliability and product uniformity, (2) To
study the limiting factors affecting the operating range (e.g., yarn count range, types of raw materials) and
to develop solutions to overcome such barriers, (3) To characterize the structures of yarns from this
spinning system and to analyze the yarn performance characteristics, and (4) To work with industry
partners to identify and develop applications for the new yarns. During the period covered by this report,
there have been significant breakthroughs in integrating, simplifying and improving the Card-Spinning
process. We have also focused on analyzing the effect of processing conditions on the properties and
operational characteristics of yarns produced on the Card-Spinning system.

INTRODUCTION

In principle, staple yarn manufacturing involves four essential operations: fiber separation, parallelization,
attenuation, and consolidation. Currently, several machines (about 10) in sequence are needed for these
tasks. For carded yarns the sequence comprises: bale opening, opening/cleaning (1 to 3 steps), blending,
carding, drawing (1 to 2), and yarn formation (1 to 2). It has been the industry's strong desire to shorten

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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the sequence while maintaining acceptable product quality so as to reduce the costs associated with
equipment, floor space, labor, material loss, and machine down time.

In the last few years this research team has been working on a new technology that can make the staple
yarn processing sequence drastically different. The spinning machine developed combines carding
directly with yarn spinning in one integrated unit, thus by-passing the separate drawing and materials
handling/transport steps. The system was based on a Truetzschler card (DK-760) with a chute feed, and
the fiber is supplied by a hopper feeder and a fine opener linked to the card. The equipment was donated
by our industry partner, American Truetzschler. In the previous NTC project and the early phase of this
project, we have concentrated on the design and fabrication of a web dividing device, narrow ribbon
transport to the spinning head, and airjet spinning of yarns from a thin slice of carded web. During the
period covered by this report, we have successfully completed the integration of the card, web-splitting
unit, yarn spinning unit, and the winding unit into a continuous processing line. A redesigned web
splitting system that is simpler than the earlier version and more versatile in functionality has been
constructed and implemented. We have also focused on analyzing the effect of processing conditions on
the properties and operational characteristics of yarns produced on the Card-Spinning system. The work
on real-time on-line monitoring of web uniformity has progressed. Combining the web-monitoring with
the new web-splitting technique, it is possible for dynamic web splitting to automatically adjust ribbon
width according to local web mass density.

We have conducted a state-of-the-art literature survey on airflow in yarn processing [1-4], card web
uniformity monitoring and control [5-15], fiber web transport, and high speed yarn spinning [16-19].
Literature on current processing machinery has also been studied. The survey found several papers on
fiber opening, cleaning and carding, but most of them are from the 1950’s and are experimental in nature.
The uniformity of card web received some renewed attention since the 1980’s in part due to the growth of
the nonwovens industry. Of particular interest were some of the technologies for web uniformity
monitoring and regulation. With proper modification, these technologies may be imple mented in the
staple yarn manufacturing systems as well.

As is the case with all new emerging technologies, detailed analysis of our novel spinning system should
lead to a better understanding of the limiting factors, solutions to overcoming such limitations, and thus a
better and more efficient system. In this project, we conduct a fundamental analysis of carding and
spinning, in order to optimize the Card-Spinning system toward commercial applications. Specific
objectives of the project are: (1) To analyze and regulate fiber transport within the system for reliability
and product uniformity; (2) To study the limiting factors affecting the operating range (e.g., yarn count
range, types of raw materials) and to develop solutions to overcome such barrie rs, (3) To characterize the
structures of yarns from this spinning system and to analyze the yarn performance characteristics, and (4)
To work with industry partners to identify and develop applications for the new type of yarn.

CARD-SPINNING SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

Below are concept drawing illustrating the various sections of the system to combine the carding through
spinning processes. The process steps including the card, web scanner, web divider and spinning sections
are shown in Figure 1.

Web monitoring

We have completed the development of software to analyze the card web online. This C++ program
analyzes web variability in both cross-machine and machine directions. Such a system must account for

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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(a)

Cylinder

Doffer
Mat

Web
Yarn
Fiber Formation

To computer Scan System

(b)

Card Camera Web Divider

V1 V2 V3 V4 V5

Drafting device Airjet Nozzle Winder

Figure 1. (a) Top view: conceptual schematic; (b) Side view (“V” indicates velocity of
web/ribbon/yarn at corresponding section)

any drafting that takes place after the web passes the camera view in order to be able to predict variability
of later processes. Currently, there are no publicly available data to indicate the amount of cross-machine
variability and this project will add to the body of knowledge in this regard. Input for the system is a line
scan camera under computer control. An image of 256 lines by 2048 pixels (picture elements) is
produced one line at a time. To produce a true image one must synchronize the line rate of the camera
with the machine speed. This is done with an encoder which is chosen to produce a pulse to the camera
frame grabber circuit board each time that a line is needed. Figure 2 shows a section of card web about
6.4 X 2.5 inches taken during slow-speed production of the card. This was extracted from the full-width
image to better show the quality of the image. Although speed is a consideration in limiting exposure
time, this is not of concern with current camera technologies. This image is more than sufficient to
measure the reflection of light from the web. We have begun using a 2048 x 1 pixel camera for more
light sensitivity and higher speed capability. Some resolution is compromised, but we still have about 50
pixels per inch. We expect to use web widths of 2 inches or more in the final design.

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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Figure 2. A 6.4 X2.5-inch section of the card web imaged by a line scan camera in-process

The project team has found previous ly a good correlation between reflected light from the web and
weight of the web when properly calibrated. The images were created in that work by a CCD array
camera that captures a rectangular image. The line scan camera uses similar imaging technology. The
array, however, is 4096 x 1. The graph of data showing the correlation from the previous work has been
presented in the report dated November 2001.

The program written for this research has the flexibility to analy ze various widths of strips and to
compare the resulting yarn variability with web variability. We will have the ability to determine the
parameters of the strip with sufficient uniformity to make a single yarn. We know that the web strip will
be much more variable than card sliver, but we also know that yarn is much more variable than sliver.
The question is whether the combined process can be made comparable to current yarn manufacturing.

Web Divider

In a previous report we discussed a belt system to divide a web (Figure 3a). While it has been
demonstrated to work independently of the card, the belt system presents several drawbacks: (1) it is
bulky, (2) it has many moving parts including a motor and a controller, (3) it can only split web into
ribbons of a fixed width, (4) there are two exit speeds of the ribbons, and (5) it is difficult to compensate
for web mass density when slit the web.

We have designed a new web dividing system using airjets. The Jet Web Divider consists of a bank of
very fine nozzles (two nozzles are implemented) blasting compressed air against a moving cylinder, as
illustrated in Figure 3b. This cylinder also serves as one of the bottom rollers to control and/or draft the
ribbons (The top roller was removed when the picture was taken to show the nozzles). It was observed
that the card web shrinks in both the machine and the cross direction, if the web is unrestrained. This is
due to the fact that the card straightens the initially crimped fibers but the fibers have a natural tendency
to shrink back to a more crimped configuration. The drafting device provides a positive control over the
ribbons in the longitudinal direction. The drafting action causes the divided ribbon to shrink in width,
allowing easy feeding to the spinning nozzle and also providing fiber straightening to certain extent.
Even at a draft ratio close to 1.0, ribbon narrowing has been observed due to the tension in the web. A set
of experiments were conducted varying the nozzle positions in relation to the support roller and the air
pressure, leading to a set of parameters allowing satisfactory operation. In this jet divider design, because
the nozzles themselves are extremely light, it is possible in a future version to control the tilt angle of the

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
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nozzles with fast-acting actuators so as the web can be divided into ribbons with widths varying
according to the web local mass density, thus improving the uniformity of the yarn.

(a) Belt Web Divider (b) Jet Web Divider
Figure 3. Web dividing systems

The newly designed Jet Web Divider also improves the operability of the process line. At the beginning
of the process, card web is brought over the bottom rollers of the drafting device, and then allowed to fall
down and picked up by an air-suction device. Then the top roller is lowered to position and the nozzles
are activated. The divided ribbons can then be fed one-by-one to the airjet spinning nozzles. Should one
ribbon/thread breaks during spinning, the ribbon will be vacuumed away without affecting neighboring
positions, very much like how a ring spinning frame deals with a broken end. In this project, the
operational characteristic of the system has been demonstrated, although only one ribbon is converted into
yarn.

Spinning Section

The previous design of the spinning section incorporated 3 motors with independent controls that ran
asynchronously. Although this gave great flexibility, it proved difficult to balance and synchronize. A
new spinning section has been redesigned. It is driven by a single motor with means to synchronize with
the carding machine and web dividing sections.

Figure 1b also illustrates the speeds at various locations, V1 to V5 , which can be varied and synchronized.
Yarn processing conditions can be varied for different yarns by changing these speeds as well as the
spinning nozzle pressure settings.

Videos showing the operation of the Card-Spinning system are provided on the project’s website (URL
given at the end of this report). The process currently can run about 10 minutes without stopping, and
most of the stops are due to the limitation of the experimental setup. Further work on the Card-Spinning
system to enhance its operational characteristics for better efficiency and yarn quality is still underway.

PROCESSING-STRUCTURE-PROPERTY OF YARNS FROM CARD-SPINNING

We have produced a series of yarns from the Card-Spinning process under various conditions, and have
analyzed their geometric structures and mechanical properties. These yarns represent the first set

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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produced on the novel system. Such an analysis of the process-structure-property relationship will be
useful in guiding further developmental work and in finding suitable applications for the new product.

Processing Conditions

One set of experimental yarns were produced under the following conditions: the pressures for the yarn
spinning nozzle (N1 and N2 ) are 193-414 kPa (28-60 psi) for N1 and 255-483 kPa (33-70 psi) for N2 . All
the speeds (see Figure 1b) were kept constant: V1 =18.3, V2 =18.4, V3 =V4 =18.4; V5 =19.0 m/min. The
ribbon width was varied to result in yarns with different linear density. Efforts are under way to extend
the rage of the parameters and to vary the speeds and thus the draft ratios.

The fibers used were polyester staple (38.1 mm long, 1.2 denier), supplied by our industry partner KoSa
of Spartanburg, S.C.

Testing

We have tested the experimental yarns for structural geometry, linear density, strength, and Uster
evenness. Table 1 summarizes the processing conditions for yarn samples 1-8 and test results.

Table 1. Summary of Test Results

Sample N1 N2 LD Diameter (mm) Strength (N) EB
# kPa kPa tex Max Min Avg SD Avg SD %
1 414.0 414.0 116 0.86 0.40 0.73 0.094 8.01 3.39 21.63
2 248.4 303.6 126 1.42 0.59 1.00 0.201 10.79 2.52 20.06
3 276.0 483.0 124 1.52 0.71 1.10 0.190 8.04 4.07 19.34
4 414.0 303.6 188 1.66 1.14 1.40 0.144 11.62 6.57 20.98
5 414.0 276.0 120 1.04 0.66 0.85 0.089 7.24 1.66 18.59
6 414.0 276.0 167 1.18 0.64 0.91 0.113 13.19 6.57 20.65
7 193.2 351.9 102 1.12 0.57 0.83 0.125 7.06 1.72 19.47
8 296.7 255.3 148 1.18 0.66 0.92 0.105 8.64 3.45 19.18
N1 and N2 are yarn spinning nozzle pressures. LD=linear density of yarn. EB=elongation at break.

The yarns tested ranged from 102 to 188 tex in linear density, corresponding to 5.8 Ne to 3.1 Ne. Coarse
yarns in this range may find applications in industrial, carpet backing and home furnishing applications.
While we identify uses for the coarse yarns, we also make effort to produce finer yarns in this project.

The yarn geometric features were analyzed using an image analysis system. A typical 1-cm yarn section
was first imaged and for each image, the yarn widths (diameters) were determined automatically at 100
equally spaced sections using the LEICA Qwin V2.3 software. The results for yarn diameters (minimum,
maximum, mean, standard deviation) are reported in Table 1. The images of typical yarn segments are
shown in Figure 4. The processing conditions clearly had a significant influence on the yarn geometry.
While Yarns 1, 7, and 8 appear to be uniform in shape, Yarn 2-6 exhibit the appearance of fancy yarns.

Tensile test on yarns was performed on a Testron tester under a constant rate of elongation of 30 cm/min.
10 specimens were tested for each yarn sample, and the gage length was 50.8 mm. It was observed that
the average yarn elongation at peak load for all the yarns was around 20%, and all the yarns failed by
fiber slippage. Figure 5 shows the tensile test curves for Yarn 3. It illustrates the typical load-elongation

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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behavior of all the yarns tested. A typical curve consists of an initial linear portion, followed by a sharp
drop once the peak load is reached. Figure 5 also demonstrates that within each yarn sample, the strength
of the yarn varies greatly, as a result of uneven twisting. Figure 6 illustrates the effect of yarn linear
density on yarn strength. The lack of increase in yarn strength with yarn linear density is again due to
uneven twisting. We will direct our effort to improve yarn spinning consistency and yarn strength by
optimizing the operating conditions and/or modifying the spinning nozzles.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Figure 4. Images of yarns for structural feature characterization ( 2 mm)

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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15

12

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Load (N)

6

3

0
0 5 10 15 20 25

Elongation (mm)

Figure 5. Load-extension curves from tensile test for Yarn 3

Error bar represents Average ± Standard Deviation
20.00

15.00
Yarn Strength (N)

10.00

5.00

0.00
100 120 140 160 180 200
Linear Density (tex)

Figure 6. Effect of yarn linear density on yarn strength

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002
NTC Project: F01-GT06 (formerly F01-G06)
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SUMMARY

During the period covered by this report, there have been significant breakthroughs in integrating,
simplifying and improving the Card-Spinning process. We have redesigned the web dividing mechanism
using airjet nozzles, and we have successfully integrated the fiber opener, card, web divider, yarn
spinning head, and winder into one continuous system. Yarn spinning directly from carded web without
intermediate steps has been demonstrated. We have also conducted an analysis on the effect of
processing conditions on the properties and operational characteristics of yarns produced on the Card-
Spinning system.

Yarns produced from the Card-Spinning system to date ranged from 102 to 188 tex in linear density.
Under certain conditions, the yarns show an appearance of a fancy yarn. The yarns may be suitable for
many applications such as secondary carpet backing fabric, industrial textiles, and home furnishing. The
yarns, however, exhibit significant variation in strength along the length, caused by non-uniform twisting.

Further work on the Card-Spinning system to enhance its operational characteristics for better efficiency
and yarn quality is still underway. We will conduct a systematic study to determine the optimal operating
parameters for different yarn count range. We will also attempt to improve the uniformity and strength of
yarns produced on the system. One technique to be evaluated would be the design and implementation of
dynamic web dividing according to the web local mass density. Yarn structure and property studies will
be continued, along with product development utilizing the unique characteristics of yarns from the Card-
Spinning system.

REFERENCES

1. W. Bostock, S.M. Freeman, S.A. Shorter and T.C. Williams, “An aerodynamical study of the
opening and cleaning of cotton by existing machinery”, J. Tex. Inst., 1955, T171-190.
2. P.M. Strang, “Air shearing force separates fibers”, Am. Wool & Cotton Reporter, August 1949,
p12.
3. G. Merenyi, “Methods of control of strips and effect of air currents in carding”, Tex.
Manufacturer, 1957, p27.
4. A.L. Miller, R.S. Brown, and R.A. Ruca, “An investigation of air pressures in the cotton carding
machine”, Tex. Res. J., July 1958, p593.
5. Leifeld, Ferdinand, “Test Methods For Evenness Measurement Of Card Webs”, International
Textile Bulletin, Yarn Forming (English Edition), v 32 First Quarter 1986 p55, 58-63, 66.
6. P. Boeckerman, “Meeting the Special Requirements for On-line Basis Weight Measurement of
Lightweight Nonwoven Fabrics” TAPPI Nonwovens Conference, 1992 169.
7. L. Crook, and K. Staats, “Carded Webs—An Overview of Methods Used to Produce Parallel and
Random Webs for Print Bonding and Thermal Bonding” TAPPI Nonwovens Conference, 1984,
p21.
8. Datta, A. K., Sengupta, P., “Sliver Thickness Monitoring By Ultrasonic Method”, Indian Journal
of Textile Research, v 13 n 1 Mar 1988 p 7-10.
9. T.R. Wan, G.A.V. Leaf, C. Iype, “A New Objective Method for Assessing Fibre Arrangement in
Fibrous Webs.” J. Text. Inst. 86 No. 4, 1995, p649.
10. A. Cherkassky, “Analysis and Simulation of Nonwoven Irregularity and Nonhomogeneity.”
Textile Res. J. 68(4), 1998, p242.
11. R.K. Aggarwal, W.R. Kennon, and I. Porat, “A Scanned-laser Technique for monitoring Fibrous
Webs and Nonwoven Fabrics.” J. Text. Inst. 83 No.3, 1992, p386.
12. Gutierrez, Hector M., Rust, Jon P., Seyam, Abdel-Fattah, “Modeling and simulation for control in
carding”, Textile Research Journal, v 65 n 11 Nov 1995.

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13. Rust, J.P., Koella, E. IV, “Carding fiber load measurement”, Textile Research Journal, v 64 n 6
Jun 1994.
14. Cherkassky, Arkady, “Two-dimensional mathematical model of the carding process”, Textile
Research Journal, v 64 n 3 Mar 1994.
15. Schlichter, Stefan, “Measures For Improving The Uniformity Of The Feeding Lap On Cotton
Cards”, International Textile Bulletin, Yarn Forming (English Edition), v 34 First Quarter 1988,
11-22.
16. E. Pallay, "Method of and apparatus for spinning yarn in an air vortex in a Spinning tube", USA
patent: 4174605, Nov, 20,1979
17. S. Didek, L. Fajt, M. Reymanova, M. Markova, "Method of and apparatus for spinning yarn from
staple fibers in an air vortex", USA patent:4553383, Nov 19, 1985.
18. D. A. Bahov, H. A. Bahov, "Vortex air nozzle for yarn spinning from staple fibers". USA patent:
4689948,Sep, 1,1987.
19. H. Stadler, R. Ammann, "Method of producing a rotating air layer and false-twist air jet nozzle
for practicing such method", USA patent: 4934133, Jun 19,1990.

PROJECT WEBSITE (with test-run videos):

http://www.tfe.gatech.edu/faculty/wang/NTCF01G06/

National Textile Center Annual Report: November 2002