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Textile Research Journal Article

A Comparison of Compact Yarn Properties Produced
on Different Systems
Fatma Göktepe1, Demet Yilmaz
Abstract It is well known that yarn produced and Özer Göktepe
using the compact spinning technique, which has Textile Engineering Department, The University of
been introduced as one of the best spinning inno- Suleyman Demirel, Isparta, Turkey
vations of this century, has superior yarn structure
and quality, especially in terms of hairiness and
strength. However, there are different compact spin-
ning systems on the market from different manu-
facturers and information concerning the favorable
and unfavorable properties of each would be of
great interest. In this study, we compared the prop-
erties of yarn spun on the three main compact
spinning systems commonly used today. To main-
tain impartiality it was preferable to refer to these
three systems as system A, system B, and system C
instead of using their trade names. It was found
that system B seemed to be more suitable for finer
yarns whereas system A generally gave better
results for medium to coarse counts.

Key words compact yarn spinning systems, yarn
hairiness, yarn properties

There are a number of new systems offered to tackle the There are studies comparing compact yarn structure
current yarn quality/production speed problem on conven- with conventional ring spun yarns, and the greater even-
tional ring systems and compact yarn spinning is one of ness of structure and reduced hairiness of compact yarns is
these. Although this system uses the major components of well known [1–3]. Furthermore, because of this structure,
a conventional ring spinning system, it is also considered to greater strength, evenness and elongation properties have
be a new spinning system by some researchers [1, 2]. been reported by several researchers [1–7]. On the other
Today, there are a number of designs offered by differ- hand, some investigations have indicated that the same
ent machine manufacturers, but they all use the same prin- strength, and therefore higher productivity, can be achieved
ciple, namely condensing the fibrous strand at the end of with lower twist values [1–3, 8–10]. Krifa and Hequet
the draft region pneumatically. The main compact spin- defined the necessary fiber properties for this system [11]
ning machine producers available today are Zinser by Air- and Mahmood et al. studied the effect of spinning parame-
Com-Tex 700 (CompACT3), Rieter by K44 (Com4) and ters on yarn hairiness [12].
Suessen by Elite. However, some other companies such as Both yarn structure and the performance of compact
Cognetex and Officine Gaudino have recently introduced yarns in downstream processes have been investigated
their own designs to the market. and the benefits of compact yarn in winding, sizing, singe-
Although, the compact system was first introduced at ing, doubling, weaving, and knitting have been reported
ITMA 1995, most of the subsequent publications in this field
derive from the compact spinning system manufacturers or
the institutions involved in developing the system, and inde- 1
Corresponding author: fax: + 90 246 237 08 59; e-mail: fgok-
pendent studies, although needed, are very limited.1

Textile Research Journal Vol 76(3): 226–234 DOI: 10.1177/0040517506061241 © 2006 SAGE Publications
Figures 6, 7 appear in color online:
A Comparison of Compact Yarn Properties Produced on Different Systems F. Göktepe et al. 227 TRJ

in some studies. Dash et al. studied their performance in Material and Methods
winding [4] and Krifa et al. compared the performance of
ring spun and compact yarns spun from various staple
lengths of fibers [5]. Artzt indicated the advantage of this
Compact Yarn Spinning Systems Used
system for combed yarns [13] and Behera et al. studied In this study, the three different systems most commonly in
the performance of compact yarns in weaving [14]. use today in short staple spinning mills were compared.
In his study, Hechtl produced worsted yarn on a com- The basic principles of these three systems (named as sys-
pact spinning system and compared its properties with con- tem A, B, and C, respectively in this paper) are shown in
ventional yarns [9]. Artzt, on the other hand, reported that Figures 1–3.
this system was also advantageous for man-made fiber System A has a perforated apron which follows just
spinning [13]. after the classical 3 over 3 drafting rollers (Figure 1). One
However, Cheng and Yu criticised the compact spin- of the typical properties of this system is its perforated
ning system, suggesting that it was only effective for yarns apron situated at the top and an air current created under-
finer than Ne 60 and that it required higher investment and neath. In system A, the delivery top roller (41) and perfo-
maintenance costs [2]. Similarly, Oxenham reported that rated apron are the condensing components and are called
for of similar reasons the system was still not widely accepted the “compacting element”. After drafting, the fiber bundle
in the USA [6]. is sucked through the slot in the H1–H2 region by air suc-
Nikolic et al. reported another interesting study in tion after leaving the front rollers. The perforated apron
which they compared the properties of cotton and cotton/ has pores and the forms of these pores are in the order
polyester blended compact yarn spun on the Elite Fiomax elliptical pores followed by circular ones.
E1 machine of Suessen and Air-Com-Tex 700 of Zinser On the other hand system B, which is shown schematically
[15]. However their study did not compare these two com- in Figure 2, uses a perforated drum rather than an apron.
pacting systems but instead focused on a comparison of Inside the perforated drum, there is a stationary drum hav-
compact yarns with conventional yarns. ing a slot in direction of fiber flow so that an extra transverse
In all the studies mentioned above, the main interest force could be applied onto the yarn. Fibers are caught by
was on the superior yarn and fabric properties of com- the air current in the perforated drum soon after they leave
pact yarns as well as their running performance in down- the nip point (3–31) until they reach the nip point (3–32).
stream processes in comparison with the conventional The air current influences the fibers to pass along the slot
yarns. However, we believe a comparison of the differ- (S) and therefore the fibers are condensed by means of the
ent systems currently in common use in the world would aerodynamic forces caused by the air current.
be a valuable contribution to the decision-makers in the The third system, system C has a perforated apron simi-
short-staple spinning industry, and so the present study lar to the system A, but this is situated at the bottom part of
compared the properties of compact ring spun yarns the drafting system (Figure 3). Underneath this apron, there
made from the same raw material but spun on different is a grooved tube (S) to facilitate the condensing process.
systems. This tube has a small slot beginning from the nip line of

Figure 1 The basic principle of system A.
TRJ 228 Textile Research Journal 76(3)

Figure 2 The basic principle of
system B.

Figure 3 The basic principle of system C.

front rollers (S1) and ending at the delivery nip line formed Yarn Production
by the delivery top roller (S4). The form of the groove
changes according to yarn count and raw material. The We produced 100% cotton combed compact yarns of Ne
condensing zone consists of a grooved tube (S), lattice 20/1, Ne 30/1 and Ne 41/1 on each system. This count range
apron and the delivery top roller (4). Drafted fibers pass to was chosen since it covers the majority of the yarn pro-
the condensing zone and are held on the surface of the duced although the compact system is mainly designed for
perforated apron firmly. The fibers are seized by the air finer counts.
current and transported from the S1 end to the S4 end of It was necessary to use different roving for Ne 41 to be
the suction slot. able to produce the yarn count range required without any
difficulty. Therefore the yarns of Ne 20 and Ne 30 were
produced from Agean cotton of Ne 0.85 rovings whereas
A Comparison of Compact Yarn Properties Produced on Different Systems F. Göktepe et al. 229 TRJ

the yarns of Ne 41 were produced from Greek cotton of Table 1 The fiber properties.
Ne 1.0 roving count.
For yarn production, the yarn preparation processes Mean values
were followed closely. During yarn spinning, the same rov- Properties
Agean cotton Greek cotton
ings were fed in the same order to the spindles of each of
the different compact yarn spinning machines to eliminate Staple Length (mm) 30.1 28.2
any variation between roving bobbins. On each machine, Micronaire 4.6 4.2
U.I. 85.6 82.6
the same 10 spindles were also used during the production
Strength (g/tex) 30.6 27.9
of different yarn counts to eliminate any possible variation
Breaking Elongation (%) 6.7 11.6
between spindles. SFI 7.3 6.9
In addition, all yarn samples were produced with the +b 8.0 7.6
same spinning parameters, namely the same twist multi- Rd 76.5 74.85
plier, draft and spindle speed, etc. We also tried to use CG 31–2 41–1
same traveler for each, but there had to be slight differ- SCI 153 128.6
ences in travelers because of the differences between
ring diameters and profiles of the three compact spin-
ning machines. However, the most suitable traveler types was used [16–18]. However, when we examined the test
having similar wire profile and shape were chosen by fol- results, it was found that the highest hairiness values
lowing the manufacturer’s recommendations to provide occurred with system C although the traveler used for this
the highest performance for each ring profile and yarn count at system C was the heaviest. Similarly, the lowest
count. In terms of traveler number, similar numbers hairiness results were obtained at system A for Ne 41
were used during the production of Ne 20 and Ne 30 although the lightest traveler was used there. As a result,
counts, but for Ne 41 yarn, there were differences as the the effect of the traveler weight for Ne 41 seemed to be
lightest traveler was used for System A whereas the heavi- insignificant.
est one was used for System C. As it is well known, the The fiber properties and spinning parameters are given
yarn hairiness values decrease as the heavier traveler in Tables 1 and 2, respectively.

Table 2 Spinning particulars.

System A System B System C
Roving count 0.85
Twist (t/m) 628
αe 3.6
Spindle speed (rpm) 12.000
Ne 20

Take-up speed (m/min.) 19 19 19
Traveler EL1 Hf 1/0 C1 UL Udr 1/0 C1 LM Udr 1/0
Ring diameter (mm) 38 (Elliptic) 40 (Titan) 40 (Titan)
Break draft 1.18 1.14 1.16
Draft Total 23.5 23.8 23.4
Roving count 0.85
Twist (t/m) 843
αe 3.9
Spindle speed (rpm) 15.000
Ne 30

Take-up speed (m/min.) 17.8 17.8 18.5
Traveler EL1 Hf 5/0 C1 EL Udr 4/0 C1 LM Udr 5/0
Ring diameter (mm) 38 (Elliptic) 40 (Titan) 40 (Titan)
Break draft 1.18 1.14 1.16
Draft Total 35.3 35.6 34.9
Roving count 1.0
Twist (t/m) 918
αe 3.56
Spindle speed (rpm) 15.500
Ne 41

Take-up speed (m/min.) 16.8 16.8 17
Traveler EL1 Hf 4/0 C1 EL Udr 6/0 C1 LM Udr 7/0
Ring diameter (mm) 38 (Elliptic) 40 (Titan) 40 (Titan)
Break draft 1.19 1.14 1.16
Draft Total 40.7 41.0 40.5
TRJ 230 Textile Research Journal 76(3)

Yarn Tests
To minimize any possible variation, we used 10 spindles
side by side on each compact spinning machine and
obtained samples following two consecutive doffings from
each spindle. As a result, 20 bobbins from each compact
spinning machine for each yarn count were available to
determine their properties.
The yarn tests were carried out on Uster Tester 4,
Uster Tensorapid and Zweigle G566 testers by feeding
bobbins of each system in the same order to the test-
ers. Twenty bobbins were tested for each system yielding
the average values of 20 test results for each property.
The tests were carried out under standard atmospheric
Figure 5 Zweigle hairiness (S3) values.
conditions and the samples were conditioned for a mini-
mum of 24 hours before the tests. All the tests were car-
ried out on the same testers and the test results were
analysed statistically to determine any significant differ-
ences [19].
the suction is through narrower grooves situated under-
neath the perforated drum and lattice apron, respectively
(Figure 6).
In system A, the roller 41 has a larger diameter in com-
Results and Discussion parison with the roller 31 (Figure 1) leading to a slight draft
in this condensing region. However, at system B and C,
Yarn Hairiness Results there is no such draft in this region. The combined effect of
air suction through the perforated apron and such a draft
The Uster hairiness (H) and Zweigle S3 results are given in (max.1.04) in system A might lead to much better fiber
Figures 4 and 5. The test results show that system A had control and binding into the yarn body, and therefore
the lowest hairiness in terms of both Uster H and Zweigle reduced hairiness. These aspects indicate that system A
S3 value in comparison with the other two systems for all works more effectively in terms of reducing hairiness for
yarn counts we produced. The reason for this might be the this range of yarn counts because the condensing power
different design and construction of the systems. In system may be stronger than that of systems B and C. As reported
A, the air suction is performed over a larger area under- by the manufacturers, system A has a maximum suction of
neath the perforated apron. However, in systems B and C 3430 Pa whereas systems B and C have 686 and 3000 Pa
suction, respectively.
System B appeared to yield the highest H and S3 values
for Ne 20, but this trend changed for Ne 30 and Ne 41 as
system C had the highest values. This is in agreement with
the earlier study of Cheng and Yu [2] as system B was
reported to having quite weak fiber control and therefore
poorer fiber properties for coarse yarns.
On the other hand, yarns produced on system C had the
higher variation in hairiness values. The high CV% of hair-
iness of these yarns has a negative effect on subsequent
processes. This might lead to the conclusion that fiber con-
trol by the compacting action of this system was not very
constant and stable because of the lattice apron design.
The surface of this apron has a porous structure like a net,
causing fiber deposition and blockage at the surface from
time to time as observed during production. However, in
system B there was an air guide element (Figure 7) pro-
tecting the pores of the steel drum from fiber/dust block-
age. Similarly there was also no blockage in system A since
Figure 4 Uster Hairiness (H) values. the air suction is at the top through a single line of pores
(Figure 8).
A Comparison of Compact Yarn Properties Produced on Different Systems F. Göktepe et al. 231 TRJ

Figure 6 Different designs of suction slots in three systems. (1), (2), (3):, suction slots.

Figure 7 Air guide element of system B. Figure 8 Perforated apron of system A.

Yarn Irregularity Results
On the other hand, the reason for the unsatisfactory
Irregularity test results are given in Figure 9. The test results with system B for Ne 20 and Ne 30 might perhaps
results show that statistically the system A had the best be the weak compacting power of this system for the
irregularity for Ne 20 and Ne 30, whereas system B had the medium to coarse counts, as similar results have been
best value for Ne 41. Clearly, system C had the worst irreg- reported earlier [2]. System A had worse irregularity values
ularity results as well as the highest variation for all yarn for Ne 41 yarn in comparison with the system B. This can
counts we applied. A possible explanation for that might be be explained by the level of suction power, as it might be
the weak fiber control by system C due to the blockage of higher than the ideal value for Ne 41, although optimum
fibers underneath the perforated apron, as sometimes for Ne 20 and Ne 30 yarns for system A.
observed, leading to unstable compacting power and there-
fore uncontrolled spinning during production.
TRJ 232 Textile Research Journal 76(3)

Figure 11 Thick place values.

Figure 9 Irregularity values.

When the neps values shown in Figure 12 are exam-
ined, system A appeared to have the lowest value for
Ne 20 and Ne 30. However, there was no statistically sig-
nificant difference between the three systems for Ne 20,
Yarn Imperfection Results
although, on the other hand, system B gave the best values
The test results for thin places, thick places and neps are for Ne 41.
shown in Figures 10–12. The results above also reveal some limitations for these
Similar to the irregularity results, system A appears to systems in general. In system B, the power of the suction
have given the best values for Ne 20 and 30 whereas system effect may not be strong enough as the distance between
B gave the best values for Ne 41 (Figure 10). However, no the apron nip line (R) and the front roller nip line is longer
statistically significant difference was found between the than that of the conventional ring spinning drafting system
test results of systems A and B for Ne 30 and Ne 41. On the [2] (Figure 2) and this distance can not be reduced further
other hand, the yarn produced on system C had the highest because of the large diameter of the perforated drum. Fib-
variation for thin places. ers that are shorter than this distance could not be drafted
When thick place values were analysed (Figure 11), the properly and this situation may cause increased yarn faults.
results were quite similar to the above findings. Earlier findings such as the increased number of thick

Figure 10 Thin place values. Figure 12 Neps values.
A Comparison of Compact Yarn Properties Produced on Different Systems F. Göktepe et al. 233 TRJ

Figure 13 Yarn tenacity values. Figure 14 Yarn breaking elongation values.

places and neps for compact yarns confirm this point [2, 7]. Conclusions
Consequently, this restricts the raw material properties
used in this system and therefore this system seems to be
more suitable for processing longer cotton fibers, i.e finer This study was carried out to determine the significant dif-
yarns. ferences in yarn properties obtained by the most common
In system A, on the other hand, the design of condens- compact yarn spinning systems used today.
ing zone, especially the distance between the nip points of In terms of hairiness, system A had the lowest Uster
the rollers in the condensing zone (Figure 1) may restrict hairiness (H) and S3 values for all yarns in comparison with
work with longer staple fibers and so it might be a problem the other two systems because of the system design. Inter-
to work with longer staples, i.e. finer yarns, with this sys- estingly, in general we observed the highest variations with
tem. system C. This is attributed to the blockage due to fiber and
dust observed under the perforated apron, which therefore
caused a continuous change in the condensing area leading
Yarn Tenacity and Breaking Elongation unstable fiber control in the condensing zone.
The test results of irregularity, thin/thick place, neps
and tenacity show that, in general systems A and B led to
Tenacity and breaking elongation test results are shown in better yarn properties in comparison with system C. For
Figures 13 and 14. Ne 20 and Ne 30, the best irregularity values were obtained
Similar to the previous findings, system A appeared to by system A whereas for the finest yarn we produced
give the highest tenacity in comparison with the other two (Ne 41), system B gave the best irregularity. The better
systems for Ne 20 and 30 yarns whereas system B gave the results obtained by system A with Ne 20 and Ne 30 made
highest tenacity for Ne 41. However, all the yarns pro- us consider that the drafting system design might be more
duced by system C had the lowest tenacity of all in parallel suitable with this system for these count ranges. However,
to the trend in irregularity results. The same trend was for finer yarns such as Ne 41 that was produced here, sys-
observed for breaking elongation values. With system B, tem B was superior. Therefore it was concluded that system
yarns that had the highest breaking elongation values were B has a less effective fiber control for coarse to medium
obtained. The reason for this might be that there was no counts in comparison with system A and when the yarn
transverse draft in system B and also the vacuum effect became coarser, the number of fibers in the yarn cross-sec-
seems to be weaker as explained in the section on yarn tion increased and the condensing power of system B may
hairiness results above. Therefore, the degree of paralleli- not be strong enough to grasp all the fibers effectively. In
zation of the fibers in the yarn structure might be lower addition, the distance between the apron nip line and the
than other systems causing higher breaking elongation. Of front nip line is longer than that of the conventional ring
course, a further detailed yarn structure analysis is needed spinning drafting system, which made the yarn irregularity
to confirm these comments. and imperfections results poorer.
TRJ 234 Textile Research Journal 76(3)

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