Title:
Arrangement for brushing a fabric web
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arrangement for brushing a fabric web moving in a traveling direction to define an upward strand and a downward strand, includes a self-contained carrier module having a motor-driven brush rotatable about a rotation axis transversely to a traveling direction of the fabric web and carrying bristles made of plastic or metal wire. A deflection roller is disposed at a lower end of the upward strand and/or downward strand of the fabric web and movable in a direction transversely to the rotation axis of the brush. Disposed above the brush are pressure-applying strips in parallel relationship thereto for loading the upward and downward strands of the fabric web, wherein the pressure-applying strip has a surface which is convex in a direction to the fabric web.



Inventors:
Langius, Wilhelm (Nordhorn, DE)
Fischer, Dirk (Steinfurt, DE)
Application Number:
10/097145
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
03/13/2002
Assignee:
NEUENHAUSER MASCHINENBAU GMBH & CO. KG. (Neuenhaus, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06C11/00; (IPC1-7): D06C11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Henry M. Feiereisen (New York, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An arrangement for brushing a fabric web moving in a traveling direction to define an upward strand and a downward strand, comprising a self-contained carrier module adapted for disposition between a production unit for making the fabric web and a winding unit for receiving the fabric web, wherein the carrier module includes a brush rotatable about a rotation axis transversely to the traveling direction of the fabric web and loaded by the fabric web, said brush having a separate motive drive and including bristles made of plastic or metal wire; a deflection roller disposed at a lower end of at least one member selected from the group consisting of the upward strand and downward strand of the fabric web, wherein the deflection roller is movable in a direction transversely to the rotation axis of the brush; and pressure-applying means disposed above the brush in parallel relationship thereto for loading at least one of the upward strand of the fabric web in a direction to the downward strand and the downward strand of the fabric web in a direction to the upward strand, wherein the pressure-applying means includes a pressure-applying strip with a surface which is convex in a direction to the fabric web.

2. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the deflection roller is suspended from above and rotates in a substantially horizontal direction about an axis in parallel relationship to the rotation axis of the brush.

3. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the deflection roller is driven in synchronism at a speed of the fabric web.

4. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the deflection roller is provided with a rough coating.

5. The arrangement of claim 1, wherein the pressure-applying strip pivots in a substantially vertical direction about an axis in parallel relationship to the rotation axis of the brush.

6. The arrangement of claim 1, and further comprising a self-driving cleaning unit disposed above the brush and rotating in a direction parallel to the rotation axis, wherein the cleaning unit is provided with a plurality of circumferentially offset cleaning combs having straight needles of slender conical configuration.

7. The arrangement of claim 6, wherein the needles engage between the bristles of the brush at an inclination to a plane defined by the rotation axis of the brush and a rotation axis of the cleaning unit.

8. The arrangement of claim 6, and further comprising a housing for accommodating the cleaning unit, wherein the housing is open toward the brush.

9. The arrangement of claim 8, wherein the housing is movable in concert with the cleaning unit in a longitudinal direction of the brush, and further comprising a suction duct extending parallel to the brush and including a suction conduit for connecting the housing to the suction duct for withdrawing air and particles.

10. The arrangement of claim 1, and further comprising a further deflection roller, disposed in a top area of the carrier module, for changing the upward strand into the downward strand, and a lighting unit disposed below the further deflection roller between the upward and downward strands.

11. A brush assembly, comprising: a brush having bristles arranged about its circumference for engagement with a fabric web; a drive unit for rotating the brush about a rotation axis; and adjusting means for controlling a pressure by which the fabric web is urged against the brush, said adjusting means including a deflection roller deflecting the fabric web upstream of the brush and movable in a direction transversely to the rotation axis of the brush, and a strip deflecting the fabric web at a location downstream of the brush and having a surface which is convex in a direction to the fabric web.

12. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the brush is positioned between an upward strand and a downward strand of the fabric web.

13. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the drive unit includes a motor and a power transmission element connecting the motor with the brush.

14. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the brush is driven by the drive unit to rotate evenly or unevenly.

15. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the brush is driven by the drive unit to rotate back and forth at an angle of less than 360°.

16. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the brush is driven by the drive unit to rotate back and forth at different angles of rotation.

17. The brush assembly of claim 11, wherein the deflection roller has a roughened surface to prevent slippage of the fabric web.

18. The brush assembly of claim 11, and further comprising a rotating cleaning unit disposed above the brush and having a carrier member defined by a circumference, and cleaning comb sets detachably mounted in 90° offset disposition to the circumference of the carrier member, for engagement between the bristles of the brush.

19. The brush assembly of claim 18, wherein each of the cleaning comb sets has straight needles constructed of conical configuration and projecting out at an inclination.

20. The brush assembly of claim 18, and further comprising a housing for accommodating the cleaning unit, wherein the housing has an open side facing the brush to allow successive projection of the cleaning comb toward the brush.

21. The brush assembly of claim 20, wherein the open side has a curved configuration to complement a curved contour of the brush.

22. The brush assembly of claim 18, and further comprising a suction mechanism in communication with an interior of the housing to allow removal of particles separated by the cleaning unit from the brush.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 119(a)-(d), the priority of German Patent Applications Ser. No. 101 12 963.7, filed Mar. 17, 2001, and 102 09 366.0, filed Mar. 2, 2002, the subject matter of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates, in general, to an arrangement for brushing a fabric web.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 3,153,836, issued on Oct. 27, 1964, describes a fabric napping mechanism which includes a carrier module in the form of a frame having two banks of idling napping rollers in superimposed disposition. Each napping roller is provided at its periphery with fabric engaging needles. Rotatably mounted in the frame and disposed above and below the napping rollers are smaller idler rollers having rotation axes located offset to the rotation axes of the napping rollers in a direction toward the frame. In this way, the fabric web is conducted in an arcuated or looped pattern upwardly about one bank of rollers and downwardly about the other bank of rollers. Deflection of the fabric web from the upward strand into the downward strand is implemented by a drum at the top end of the banks and a drum at the bottom end of the banks. These drums have a greater diameter than the idler rollers above and below the napping rollers and run idle just like the napping rollers and the idler rollers and rotate about fixed rotation axes.

[0004] The fabric web is pressed against the napping rollers by a pressure frame with presser rollers to allow the needles to penetrate into the fabric web. The presser rollers are disposed above horizontal planes intersecting the rotation axes of the napping rollers and supported on the upward strand and the downward strand, respectively. The degree of pressure applied by the presser rollers is established by the weight of the pressure frame and the presser rollers as well as by a counterweight which is movably mounted at the end of a lever arm of a double-armed lever, whereas the pressure frame with the presser rollers is suspended from the end of the other lever arm.

[0005] This conventional fabric napping mechanism suffers many shortcomings because the quality of the napping function of the fabric web depends predominantly on the pressure applied by the presser rollers upon the fabric web. This pressure can, however, not be controlled in a precise enough fashion. Moreover, the overall structure of the fabric napping mechanism is complex and cost-intensive, and requires a multiplicity of napping rollers, idler rollers, presser rollers and drums so that the fabric web can be pulled-in only in a difficult manner. Also, the complex guidance of the fabric web renders the arrangement difficult to access.

[0006] It would therefore be desirable and advantageous to provide an improved arrangement for brushing a fabric web to obviate prior art shortcomings and to allow the production of a nap or a roughing in a simple manner, while ensuring a permanent quality of the fabric web, and to allow easy retrofitting of existing devices for producing fabric webs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] According to one aspect of the present invention, in an arrangement for brushing a fabric web moving in a traveling direction to define an upward strand and a downward strand, a self-contained carrier module, positioned between a production unit for making the fabric web and a winding unit for receiving the fabric web, includes a brush rotatable about a rotation axis transversely to the traveling direction of the fabric web and loaded by the fabric web, with the brush having its own motive drive and including bristles made of plastic or metal wire; a deflection roller disposed at a lower end of the upward strand and/or downward strand of the fabric web and movable in a direction transversely to the rotation axis of the brush; and a pressure-applying strip disposed above the brush in parallel relationship thereto for loading the upward strand of the fabric web in a direction to the downward strand and/or loading the downward strand of the fabric web in a direction to the upward strand, wherein the pressure-applying strip has a surface which is convex in a direction to the fabric web.

[0008] The present invention resolves prior art problems by the provision of a single brush provided with bristles of plastic of metal wire and disposed between the strands slightly above the deflection rollers. Suitably, the brush contacts both strands of the fabric web and may rotate evenly or unevenly. Currently preferred is an embodiment in which the brush does not rotate continuously but pivots back and forth at movements of less than 360°. Of course, the pivot movements in both directions need not be the same but the angle may differ in one direction from the angle in the other direction. Parameters, such as rotation, oscillation or oscillation characteristics, can be freely programmed or controlled, because the brush has its own drive which may, optionally, be integrated in a stored program control system.

[0009] Suitably, both the upward strand and the downward strand interact with a separate deflection roller. As each deflection roller is movable in a transverse direction, the pressure of the fabric web upon the brush can be varied. As a consequence, the brushing intensity can be controlled precisely in a sensitive way and brush wear can be compensated until replacement becomes necessary.

[0010] It may also be suitable to provide two pressure-applying strips, one strip for interaction with the downward strand and one strip for interaction with the upward strand. The use of such a pressure-applying strip allows by itself, or also in conjunction with a displacement of a deflection roller, to precisely determine the wrapping angle of the fabric web upon the brush, i.e. size of the contact surface between the fabric web and the brush, and thus the contact pressure of the fabric web upon the brush. The pressure-applying strip may be in sliding contact with the fabric web or also in rolling contact therewith, whereby in the latter case, the pressure-applying strip is implemented by a simple rotatable tube, thereby necessarily providing the convex surface.

[0011] According to another feature of the present invention, the deflection roller is suspended from above and rotates in a substantially horizontal direction about an axis in parallel relationship to the rotation axis of the brush. The respective pivot position is suitably fixed in place and may be combined with a scale so that the operator may set a particular tension or a predetermined contact pressure of the fabric web on the brush.

[0012] In order to configure the brushing process even more efficient and to take into account shifts of the fabric web relative to the brush, and/or to a deflection roller, and/or to a pressure-applying strip, the deflection roller may be driven in synchronism at a speed of the fabric web and also roughened with a coating. In this way, slip, which may adversely affect the operation, is prevented.

[0013] According to another feature of the present invention, the pressure-applying strip may pivot in a substantially vertical direction about an axis in parallel relationship to the rotation axis of the brush. Hereby, the pressure-applying strip may be articulated to one end of a one-armed lever whose other end is swingably mounted to the carrier module. The pressure-applying strip may be pivoted by hand or by machine, optionally, also in dependence on a stored program control system, and the pivot movement may be combined with an increase or decrease in pressure of the fabric web upon the bristles of the brush.

[0014] According to another feature of the present invention, there is provided a self-driving cleaning unit which is disposed above the brush and rotates in a direction parallel to the rotation axis, wherein the cleaning unit includes a plurality of circumferentially offset cleaning combs having straight needles of slender conical configuration. The needles may be made of plastic or metal wire, and the drive of the cleaning unit may be integrated in a stored program control system. The provision of the cleaning unit enables a continuous or periodic cleansing of the brush, so that the quality of the fabric web can be consistently maintained at a same high standard throughout the process. The cleaning unit may be operated during travel or also during stoppage of the fabric web. Since the cleaning unit is located above the brush, the space between the upward strand and the downward strand of the fabric web may be exploited hereby.

[0015] Suitably, the cleaning combs may be detachably secured in 90° offset disposition about the periphery of a central carrier member and thus can be made easily and separately replaceable.

[0016] According to another feature of the present invention, the needles engage between the bristles of the brush at an inclination to a plane defined by the rotation axis of the brush and a rotation axis of the cleaning unit. In this way, the cleaning unit can be operated at high rotational speed so that in conjunction with the slender conicity of the needles, particles encountered between the bristles can be reliably pulled and moved away as a consequence of centrifugal forces.

[0017] In order to eliminate a risk of injury and to improve the removal of particles from the brush, the cleaning unit may be accommodated in a housing which is open toward the brush. The contour of the open side of the housing may hereby be suited to the curvature of the brush. Suitably, the housing may be movable together with the cleaning unit in a longitudinal direction of the brush, whereby a suction duct extends parallel to the brush and includes a suction conduit for connecting the housing to the suction duct for withdrawing air and particles. In this way, the cleaning unit may then be continuously or periodically shifted back and forth in longitudinal direction across the brush. Particles separated by the cleaning combs from the brush are then instantly picked up by the suction duct and moved away for disposal. There are many ways to implement the drive of the cleaning unit in longitudinal direction of the brush. For example, when the housing and the cleaning unit are supported by a carriage or vehicle which moves along the suction duct, the carriage or vehicle may be moved back and forth by a simple, especially motor-driven, traction member, such as a belt, cable or the like. Of course, other drives are certainly feasible as well and considered to be covered by this disclosure.

[0018] According to another feature of the present invention, there may be provided a further deflection roller, disposed in a top area of the carrier module, for changing the upward strand into the downward strand, and a lighting unit disposed below the further deflection roller between the upward and downward strands. In this way, the fabric web can be directly monitored and controlled to detect, e.g., web defects, along a substantially freely accessible viewing path. The illumination by the lighting unit may, e.g., be sized to extend across the entire width of the fabric web.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0019] Other features and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent upon reading the following description of currently preferred exemplified embodiments of the invention with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of an arrangement for brushing a fabric web, in accordance with the present invention, in combination with a winding unit;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a partial view of the arrangement of FIG. 1 in a direction of arrow II in FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a schematic view, on an enlarged scale, of the arrangement of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 4 is a schematic cutaway view, on an enlarged scale, of the illustration of the arrangement of FIG. 3; and

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective illustration the detailed view of FIG. 3, without the fabric web.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0025] Throughout all the Figures, same or corresponding elements are generally indicated by same reference numerals.

[0026] Turning now to the drawing, and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a schematic side view of an arrangement for brushing a fabric web 1, in accordance with the present invention, disposed between a production machine PM, shown here only schematically, for producing the fabric web 1, and a winding unit 2 for winding the processed fabric web 1 onto a spool 3. The spool 3 is placed on two winding drums 4, 5, which are part of the winding unit 2 which further includes a deflection roll 6 for cooperation with the winding drum 4 to realize a reliable conduction of the fabric web 1 traveling in the direction of arrow LR.

[0027] The fabric web 1 is roughened on one side 7 by means of a brush assembly 8 which is disposed between the production machine PM and the winding unit 2 and constructed as a self-contained carrier module with a module frame 9. The fabric web 1 is conducted in horizontal direction toward the brush assembly 8 and is then guided in the frame 9 via a deflection roller 10 upwardly to define a substantially vertical upward strand 11. At its top 12, the frame 9 supports a deflection roller 13 by which the fabric web 1 is conducted downwardly in a substantially vertical downward strand 14. Disposed at the lower end of the downward strand 14, is a further deflection roller 15 which deflects the fabric web 1 into a horizontal direction for travel to the winding unit 2. The brush assembly 8 includes a brush 23 which has bristles 21 of plastic or metal wire and is disposed between the upward and downwards strands 11, 14 slightly above the deflection rollers 10, 15, and which is supported for rotation about a rotation axis 22.

[0028] The deflection rollers 10, 15 may have surfaces 16 which are provided with a rough coating and/or may be driven in synchronism by at least one drive, not shown, at a same speed as the traveling speed of the fabric web 1. As further shown in FIG. 1, the fabric web 1 is further conducted between the production machine PM and the deflection roller 10 at the entrance of the brush assembly 8, by two deflection rollers 17, 18.

[0029] As shown in particular in FIG. 3, which is a schematic view, on an enlarged scale, of the arrangement of FIG. 1, the deflection rollers 10, 15 at the lower ends of the upward strand 11 and the downward strand 14 are suspended from pivot axes 19 so as to be able to move in substantially horizontal direction about the pivot axes 19 and fixed in place in a desired position as governed by a scale 20. In this way, the pressure of the fabric web 1 upon the bristles 21 of the brush 23 can be adjusted in a desired manner. The adjustment of the deflection rollers 10, 15 may be realized by hand through suitable adjustment members 44 secured to the frame 9. As shown in particular in FIG. 2, the brush 23 extends across the entire inner length of the frame 9.

[0030] Disposed above the brush 23 are two pressure-applying strips 24 for respectively loading the upward strand 11 as well as the downward strand 14 in a horizontal direction. The pressure-applying strips 24 may have a tubular configuration so as to exhibit a convex surface pointing to the strands 11, 14, respectively, and are movable about pivot axes 25 in a substantially vertical direction, as indicated by the curved double arrows PF. The provision of the pressure-applying strips 24 also promote a sensitive adjustment of the pressure by which the fabric web 1 is urged against the bristles 21 of the brush 23 to suit the conditions at hand.

[0031] The brush 23, disposed in a vertical location between the deflection rollers 10, 15 and the pressure-applying strips 24 is in contact with the upward strand 11 as well as the downward strand 14 and is rotated by a motor 27 via a belt 36. The brush 23 may rotate evenly, as indicated by double arrow PF1 in one or the other direction. Of course, the rotation may be limited to an angle of less than 360°, and the brush 23 may execute an oscillating motion in the direction of the double arrow PF1. It is also possible to integrate the motor 27 in a stored program control system.

[0032] Positioned above the brush 23 between the upward strand 11 and the downward strand 14 of the fabric web 1 is a cleaning unit 28, which is shown in more detail in FIGS. 4 and 5. The cleaning unit 28 has a separate drive 29 for rotation of the cleaning unit 28 about a rotation axis 33 in parallel relationship to the rotation axis 22 of the brush 23, as indicated by arrow PF2, and has a central carrier member 31 and cleaning combs 30 detachably mounted to the periphery of the carrier member 31 in 90° offset disposition. The cleaning combs 30 have straight needles 32 constructed in a slender conical configuration and made, for example, of metal wire. The needles 32 are positioned at slight inclination with respect to a plane extending between the rotation axis 22 of the brush 23 and the rotation axis 33 of the cleaning unit 28, when engaging between the bristles of the brush 23.

[0033] The cleaning unit 28 is fitted in a housing 34 which is open toward the brush 23, as shown in particular in FIG. 4. The housing 34 is shiftable in a direction indicated by the straight double arrow PF3 (FIG. 5) along a suction duct 35, extending in parallel relationship to the rotation axis 22 of the brush 23, and is connected via a suction conduit 36 with the suction duct 35 for withdrawing air and particles separated from the brush 23.

[0034] Referring again to FIG. 3, it can be seen that a lighting unit 37 is provided in the area of the upper deflection roller 13 between the upward strand and the downward strand 14, for permitting an optical supervision of the fabric web 1.

[0035] While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in an arrangement for brushing a fabric web, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and practical application to thereby enable a person skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.

[0036] What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims and their equivalents: