The present invention concerns a weaving machine, in particular
what is called a multi-phase weaving machine, as well as a method for forming a
fabric by means of such a weaving machine.
In particular, the invention concerns a multi-phase weaving
machine of the type comprising a rotating weaving rotor upon which are provided
weaving shed-forming elements for forming several weaving sheds, as well as position
selection means which make it possible to place the warp threads of a fabric to
be formed on the weaving shed-forming elements provided on the perimeter of the
weaving rotor in such a manner that several weaving sheds are formed, and means
to insert weft threads in the formed weaving sheds, which are systematically beaten
up against the already formed fabric during the weaving by means of weaving combs
which are also provided on the weaving rotor.
Examples of such a weaving machine are described among
others in US patents Nos. 4.290.458, 4.291.729 and 5.174.341.
With the known embodiments of multi-phase weaving machines,
the above-mentioned position selection means which have to make sure that the warp
threads are placed in the topmost or bottommost position at the weaving shed-forming
elements consist of bars extending over the entire width of the weaving machine
and of the fabric in which are provided thread guide openings, such that all warp
threads passing through the thread guide openings of one and the same bar are always
moved synchronously. This is disadvantageous in that only fabrics with a relatively
simple weave can be realised. Another disadvantage consists in that no separate
selvedge weave can be formed on the fabric.
The present invention aims a weaving machine, in particular
a multi-phase weaving machine that is optimised and with which, in preferred applications,
one or several of the above-mentioned disadvantages can be excluded.
To this aim, the invention in the first place concerns
a weaving machine, in particular a multi-phase weaving machine of the above-mentioned
type, characterised in that the above-mentioned position selection means comprise
one or several position selection elements that can be individually activated. By
making use, according to the present invention, of position selection elements that
can be individually activated, the positions of the warp threads which are placed
on the weaving rotor by means of such position selection elements can be selected
individually, in other words separately per warp thread, as a result of which larger
combinations of selection possibilities are created.
According to a preferred embodiment, at least all the position
selection means, required for selecting the position of the warp threads of the
actual fabric, i.e. all the warp threads, possibly to the exception of those that
are used to form a selvedge and/or those that are used as catch threads, consist
of individual position selection elements. Thus, by means of the individual position
selection elements, provided there is a suitable control, rather complicated weaves
can be obtained, even with different weave patterns over the width of the fabric,
as opposed to the known embodiments with which only simple weaves can be realised.
According to another embodiment, the weaving machine comprises
means for forming a selvedge on a fabric, and at least all the position selection
means required to select the positions of the warp threads of which this selvedge
is formed, are made as individual position selection elements. Often, the weave
that is used for forming a selvedge is rather complicated, and by making use of
individual position selection elements at least to form such a selvedge, they can
be controlled independently as a function of the selvedge weave to be formed.
According to a special embodiment, the position selection
means consist of a combination of a number of individual position selection elements
on the one hand, and of position selection elements working together in conjunction
with several warp threads on the other hand.
It is clear that the individual position selection elements
are preferably coupled to a control which makes it possible for these individual
position selection elements to be also controlled individually, although it is not
excluded to have several controls carried out together via one and the same control
The individual position selection elements preferably consist
of thread guides arranged along the weaving rotor that can be moved laterally between
at least two positions. Such position selection elements that are arranged next
to the weaving rotor can be easily controlled separately, as they do not rotate
along with the weaving rotor.
According to a practical embodiment, the individual position
selection elements each have their own drive elements, provided at the position
selection element, integrated in it as if it were. This allows for a simple construction,
so that only control lines of a suitable control unit still have to be provided
towards the respective drive elements.
The invention also concerns a method for forming a fabric,
whereby warp threads are guided over a rotating weaving rotor, these warp threads
are placed on weaving shed-forming elements provided on the perimeter of the weaving
rotor by means of position selection means in such a manner that several weaving
sheds are formed on the weaving rotor, and weft threads are inserted in the respective
weaving sheds, characterised in that a position selection is carried out for one
or several of the warp threads via an individual position selection element per
warp thread concerned, whereby these position selection elements are controlled
individually as a function of the weave to be formed.
In order to better explain the characteristics of the invention,
the following preferred embodiment is described as an example only without being
limitative in any way, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
- figure 1 schematically represents a side view of a weaving machine according
to the invention;
- figure 2 schematically shows a view in perspective according to arrow F2 in
- figure 3 shows the part indicated with F2 in figure 2 to a larger scale;
- figure 4 shows a view according to arrow F4 in figure 3;
- figure 5 shows a view according to arrow F5 in figure 4 for a restricted number
- figure 6 shows a view similar to that of figure 5, but for another position.
As is represented in figures 1 and 2, the invention concerns
a weaving machine 1, in particular what is called a multi-phase weaving machine
of the type which makes use of a weaving rotor 2.
This weaving machine 1 mainly comprises, apart from the
weaving rotor 2, a warp beam 3 for supplying warp threads 4; position selection
means 5 to place the warp threads 4, as will be described hereafter, in a suitable
manner on the weaving rotor 2; means 6 for the supply and insertion of weft threads
7; and a cloth beam 8 for the take-up of the formed fabric 9.
The weaving rotor 2 mainly consists of a cylindrical element
10 which can be driven in a rotating manner via a drive 11 according to the indicated
sense of rotation R. On this weaving rotor 2 are provided weaving shed-forming elements
12 on the one hand and beat up elements 13 on the other hand, mainly in the form
of combs or lamellas arranged in rows at short distances next to one another. It
should be noted hereby that, for clarity's sake, only a restricted number of these
lamellas are represented in the figures, at rather large distances from one another,
and that, in reality, these lamellas can stand closer to one another, and also larger
numbers will be placed next to one another.
The weaving shed-forming elements 12 consist of lamellas
which are provided with seatings 14 on their top sides in which warp threads 4 can
be received, so that they are supported at a distance above the cylindrical surface
15 of the weaving rotor 2.
The beat up elements 13 consist of rows of combs arranged
between the rows of weaving shed-forming elements 12, whereby these combs have such
a shape that they rotate with their free ends at a short distance along a fixed
fabric support 16.
The above-mentioned position selection means 5 comprise,
as can be seen in detail in figures 3 and 4, position selection elements 17 with
thread guides 18 for the respective warp threads 4, whereby these thread guides
18, as represented in figures 5 and 6, can be laterally moved between at least two
positions, P1 and P2 respectively, such that every warp thread 4 concerned can be
presented to the weaving rotor 2 in the surface of rotation 19 of a weaving shed-forming
element 12, can be presented to the weaving rotor 2 next to such a weaving-shed
forming element 12 respectively, with as a result that several weaving sheds 20
are formed on the perimeter of the weaving rotor 2.
The means 6 for supplying weft threads 7 mainly consist
of a yarn accumulation device 21 on the one hand which, in the given example, consists
of a bobbin stand with weft thread bobbins 22-23-24-25, and of a yarn insertion
system 26 on the other hand working in conjunction with the weaving rotor 2 via
which several weft yarns, in the given example four, 27-28-29-30 respectively, can
be inserted in the formed weaving sheds 20.
Yarn insertion systems for inserting weft yarns in the
weaving sheds of a weaving rotor are known as such, and hence only the main principles
of the above-mentioned yarn insertion system 26 will be described hereafter.
As is schematically represented in figure 2, this yarn
insertion system 26 consists of a fixed part 31 on the one hand and of a part 32
rotating along with the weaving rotor 2 on the other hand. In the fixed part 31
are provided yarn feed-through ducts, in this case four, 33-34-35-36 respectively,
for the respective weft yarns 27-28-29-30, with fixed entries 37-38-39-40. Their
outlets open laterally into the part 32 which rotates along with the weaving rotor
2. In this part 32 which rotates along are formed passages which, when they are
situated opposite to the outlets of the yarn feed-through ducts, form outlets for
the weft threads, in particular the indicated outlets 41-42-43-44, which open into
the extension of the weaving sheds 20. Further, the necessary blow systems for conveying
the weft yarns 27-28-29-30 through the yarn feed-through ducts 33-34-35-36 are integrated
in the yarn insertion system 26, as well as cutting means for cutting the weft threads
7 formed out of the weft yarns 27-28-29-30 and inserted in the weaving sheds 20.
These blow systems and cutting means are not represented for clarity's sake.
As is represented in figures 1 to 4, air conduction means
can be provided on the weaving rotor 2 to provide for an interference-free conveyance
of the weft threads 7 through the weaving sheds 20, in particular in the shape of
conveyor ducts 45 formed by recesses in the weaving shed-forming elements 12. Moreover,
several relay nozzles 46 are preferably provided, spread over the length of the
weaving rotor 2, which promote the conveyance of the weft threads 7 through the
conveyor ducts 45. These relay nozzles 46, which for clarity's sake are only represented
in figure 1, are switched on and off by means of a valve system which is built-in
in the weaving rotor 2, for example by means of connecting ducts 47 through the
weaving rotor 2, schematically indicated in figure 1, which, as a result of the
rotation of the weaving rotor 2, are positioned opposite to compressed air ducts
28 provided in a fixed, central part inside the weaving rotor 2.
The present invention is special in that, as represented
in the figures, for the position selection means 5 for one or several warp threads
4, and in the given example for all the warp threads 4, use is made of position
selection elements 17 which can be activated individually, in other words which
also have thread guides 18 which can be individually moved between the above-mentioned
positions P1 and P2.
In the given example, these individual position selection
elements 17 are arranged in the shape of two rows along the weaving rotor 2.
These individual position selection elements 17 each have
their own drive element 49. The respective drive elements 49 are coupled to a control
unit 51 via control lines 50 which makes it possible to excite them individually.
For clarity's sake, only a limited number of these control lines 50 are represented
in the figures.
In the example, the individual position selection elements
17 consist, as is represented in greater detail in figures 5 and 6, of a bendable
base structure 52, attached to a fixed support 54 on one far end 53 and carrying
the thread guide 18 concerned, in this case in the shape of a thread eye, on its
other far end 55. The drive element 49 consists of an actuator, in particular an
electrically controllable actuator, with which the base structure 52 can be bent.
The actuator can be of any nature whatsoever, but use will be preferably made of
a piezo-electric or electromagnetic actuator, or an actuator that works by means
of a bimetal.
Actuators which can provide for a minor movement, take
up little space and yet can be easily controlled are sufficiently known as such,
for example from WO 99/62088 and WO 00/63938. Hence, the precise construction thereof
will not be described in detail. It should be noted, however, that the construction
of the position selection elements 17 and of their drive elements 49 can be of any
nature whatsoever according to the invention, and that the essence of the invention
consists in that the drive can take place individually.
The working of the weaving machine 1, as well as the method
followed thereby to form a fabric, are mainly as described hereafter.
Warp threads 4 are unspooled from the warp beam 3 and are
placed on the rotating weaving rotor 2 along the individual position selection elements
17. By hereby putting, as represented in figures 5 or 6, the respective thread guides
18 in a position P1 or P2, the warp threads 4 concerned can be presented to the
weaving rotor 2 in a rotation surface 19 of a weaving shed-forming element 12, or
next to this rotation surface 19 respectively. The warp threads 4 which are presented
to the weaving rotor 2 in this manner, as represented in figure 5, end up in the
seatings 14 of the weaving shed-forming elements 12 as a result of the rotation
of the weaving rotor 2, i.e. at a distance above the cylindrical surface 15 of the
weaving rotor 2, whereas the warp threads 4 which are presented to the weaving rotor
2 in this manner, as represented in figure 6, end up on the surface 15.
Thus, due to the rotation of the weaving rotor 2 and the
suitable control of the position selection elements 17, several weaving sheds 20
are simultaneously formed on the perimeter of the weaving rotor 2, whereby the above-mentioned
conveyor ducts 45 extend exactly through these weaving sheds 20.
When the weaving rotor 2 is situated in a position as represented
in figures 1 and 2, lengths of weft yarn 27-28-29-30 are inserted in the weaving
sheds 20 via the outlets 41-42-43-44 which are situated in front of the weaving
sheds 20 at that time, so as to form weft threads 7. This insertion takes place
by means of air streams created in the yarn feed-through ducts 33-34-35-36, as well
as with the help of the air stream created in the thread conveyor ducts 45 by means
of the relay nozzles 46. It is clear that these weft threads 7 are cut off in a
suitable manner by means of cutting means which are not represented in the figures.
Thanks to the rotation of the weaving rotor 2, which moves
considerably faster than the warp threads 4 at its perimeter, the inserted weft
threads 7 are pushed towards the cloth line 56 situated at the height of the fabric
support 16 by means of the beat up elements 13, and they are also beaten up against
it. It is clear that the weft threads 7 are automatically released laterally from
the thread conveyor ducts 45.
Finally, the formed fabric 9 is taken up on the cloth beam
8 or carried off in another manner.
By controlling the position selection elements 17 individually,
it is clear that a large number of weave patterns can be realised, in contrast with
the known embodiments of multi-phase weaving machines whereby the warp threads are
moved by means of thread guides formed in bars.
Although, in the figures, all the position selection elements
17 are represented as individual elements, it is clear that according to a variant
of the invention also just a limited number of warp threads 4 can be controlled
by means of individual position selection elements 17, while the other warp threads
4 are controlled by means of position selection elements which simultaneously control
several warp threads 4. Thus, it is possible, for example, in the case of fabrics
with a special selvedge weave, to make use of individual position selection elements
17 on the place of the selvedges only, whereas for the normal fabric, use is made
of common position selection elements for several warp threads 4. Nor is it excluded
to control for example certain series of warp threads 4 by means of common position
selection elements, for example by means of traditional bars, whereas other series
are controlled via individual position selection elements 17 according to the invention.
It should be noted that by 'position selection elements
that can be activated individually' is meant that they have a drive element of their
own. They must not necessarily be controlled individually, however, and thus it
is possible that several drive elements of these position selection elements 17
that can be individually controlled are connected to one and the same control line
Of course, the position selection elements 17 can preferably
all be controlled individually, such that they can be operated independently from
one another as of the control unit.
It should also be noted that the position selection elements
that can be activated individually must not necessarily be formed of elements 17
which are arranged next to the weaving rotor 2, but can also be formed of elements
on the weaving rotor 2 itself. In this case, use can be made of fixed thread guides
next to the weaving rotor 2 instead of moveable thread guides 18, whereas for example
the weaving shed-forming elements 12 can be laterally bent, such that by either
or not bending them can be obtained that the warp threads 4 lay themselves on these
weaving shed-forming elements 12, next to them respectively. The weaving shed-forming
elements 12 in this case function as position selection elements.
Finally, it should be noted that, for clarity's sake, the
weaving rotor 2 is represented excessively large in relation to the warp beam 3
and the cloth beam 8 in figure 1. In reality, the weaving rotor 2 has a relatively
small diameter in comparison to the diameters of the warp beam 3 and the cloth beam
8. Further, it is clear that the mutual arrangement of the weaving rotor 2, the
warp beam 3, the cloth beam 8 and the position selection elements 17 can be different
from the arrangement in the figures. Thus, for example, the warp threads 4 can also
be supplied to the weaving rotor 2 in a predominantly vertical plane, while the
fabric is carried off for example vertically downward.
The present invention is by no means limited to the above-described
embodiment represented in the accompanying drawings; on the contrary, such a weaving
machine and method can be made in all sorts of variants while still remaining within
the scope of the claims.