Investigating fiber motion in a vortex spinning nozzle
Zeguang Pei, Biyu Hu, Chuanyun Diao, and Chongwen Yu Numerical simulation is used to show how fibers move in the airflow of the nozzle of staple-yarn spinning technology. Vortex spinning has been accepted as one of the most promising technological innovations in yarn production. The process works by directly supplying a fiber strand to a drafting device, which is usually a four roller/apron system. After the fibers are drafted, they pass through an air-jet nozzle and hollow spindle to be made into yarn. The most remarkable advantage of vortex spinning is that it is capable of spinning pure cotton yarns with speeds around 20 times that of conventional methods. Additionally, vortex spinning uses high-speed airflow to insert twists into the yarn. This greatly increases the rotational speed of the fiber strand, which not only increases the production speed and shortens the processing procedure, but also lowers the cost and energy consumption involved in the yarn production. Since the resultant yarn is twisted by the airflow inside a spinning nozzle, the structure and properties of vortex yarn are highly dependent on the coupling between the fibers and airflow as well as the resultant fiber motion.1 Therefore, it would be of both theoretical and practical value if we knew the dynamics of the flexible fibers inside the vortex spinning nozzle (VSN). Unfortunately, the complex mechanical problems involved—such as complex fluid-structure interactions between the slender, flexible fibers and airflow—have limited the studies on this issue. While numerical models for fiber motion in the airflow have been developed, most fall into the categories of nonspherical rigid particle models2 and multi-rigid-body systems of simple particles.3, 4 These fiber models are either incapable of reflecting the fiber deformation or are computationally inefficient. To resolve these problems, we have introduced a 2D model for simulating the dynamics of four different types of single flexible fibers—cotton, viscose rayon, lyocell, and polyester—in the airflow inside the VSN.5 We do this by solving the coupling between the fiber and airflow together with the fiber-wall contact based on the finite element method for the solid phase and finite volume approach combined with a moving grid technique for the fluid phase. In the nozzle, the fiber undergoes large, nonlinear deformations with little extension.4 Thus, we adopted the total Lagrangian description to

Figure 1. The dynamic behavior of a polyester fiber in the vortex spinning nozzle at various times. (a) 0.00052s. (b) 0.00079s. (c) 0.00103s. (d) 0.00131s. (e) 0.00152s. (f) 0.00171s. (g) 0.00193s. (h) 0.00215s. (i) 0.00223s.

Figure 2. Radial displacement values of the trailing end of the polyester fiber varying with time.

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Author Information Zeguang Pei College of Mechanical Engineering Donghua University Shanghai. and Chongwen Yu College of Textiles Donghua University Shanghai. and incompressible. In future work. viscous.1002/spepro. The better wrapping effects of the fibers in the yarn can be attributed to the higher number of wrapper fibers and twists along with tighter wrapping. we use the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian method—with a mesh adaptivity procedure—for the large deformation of the airflow domain. express the fiber dynamics. Figure 3. The reference configuration is the configuration at t D 0. lyocell. we have proposed a numerical modeling methodology that provides a reliable way of investigating fiber dynamics in airflow. The displacement compatibility and traction equilibrium are satisfied at the interface of the fiber and airflow. The fiber is assumed to isotropic and elastic. In the Lagrangian description the position and deformation of an object are described in terms of the material or referential coordinates and time (t ). we will develop a 3D model for simulating the dynamics of a large quantity of fibers inside the VSN. China Zeguang Pei earned a PhD in textile engineering from Donghua University (2011). The changes of the position and configuration of the material body as it moves in space with time are observed in the frame of reference. Biyu Hu. The formed yarn consists of core fibers and helical fibers wrapping the yarn core (see Figure 3). varying with time. which are coupled. Figure 1 shows the simulated result of dynamic behavior of polyester fibers. while the rotational amplitude expresses the tightness of the wrapping. Scanning electron micrograph of the vortex yarn. We adopted the Lagrange multiplier method to impose the condition of the fiber-wall contact. We obtained the formation principle and property of the vortex yarn by analyzing the motional characteristics of the fibers. The splay degree of the fiber indicates the number of wrapper fibers generated for the yarn. yarn.10. Chuanyun Diao. Her research program was on the analysis of the vortex yarn structure. the trailing end of the fiber wraps to make the yarn and serves as the wrapper fiber while the leading end serves as the yarn core. Additionally.003957 Page 2/3 of twists inserted into the yarn. Figure 2 shows the displacement of the trailing tip of polyester fiber in the radial direction of the nozzle. Her research program is related to the processing of vortex spun yarn. We investigated the dynamic behaviors of the cotton. and textile processing. China Biyu Hu is an ME student who expects to complete her studies in 2012. and polyester fibers in the VSN airflow during spinning by solving our numerical model. His research interests include new spinning methods for short-staple yarns and processing of bast fibers. viscose rayon. We would like to express our thanks for support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China under grant 51076026. Through the helical rotation. He is now a faculty member whose research centers on the application and computer modeling of fluid flow in fiber. In summary. Chuanyun Diao received her ME degree in textile engineering from Donghua University (2009). Since airflow in the VSN is assumed to be turbulent. Chongwen Yu has been a professor since 1998. our model is an efficient solution to the mechanical problems in polymer/textile manufacturing processes involving fluid-solid coupling. The number of turns for which the fiber wraps denotes the number Continued on next page .

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