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Патент USA US2130681

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Sept. 20, 1938.‘ '
2,130,681
PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR DERIVING‘FIBER, FROM FLAX STRAW on THE LIKE Original Filed July 23, 1931 ‘ 2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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Sept. 20,1938.
R. FORSYTH
2,130,681
PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR DERIVING FIBER FROM FLAX STRAW OR THE LIKE
Original Filed July 23, _l931
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2,130,681
Patented ‘Sept. 20,
UNITED STATES2,130,68lPATENT OFFICE
PROCESS AND APPARATUS FQR DERIVING
FIBER FROM FLAX STRAW OR THE LIKE
mum Forsyth, cramming ‘assignor to Robert
‘
N. Burton, Chicago, Ill.
-
.
Application July 23, 1931, Serial No. 552,618
Renewed November ‘I, 1936
1 Claims. (01. 19-7)
of typical construction, all for treating the straw
This invention relates to a process and to ap
' paratus for performing the process of separat
ing or deriving from certain vegetable stalks or
in the dry state.
-
Figure 2 illustrates diagrammatically in verti
cal section the ?rst series of troughs in which
the ?ber is treated for softening the gums and 5
resins and also squeezing rolls associated with
adapted for use in the textile art for spinning - said troughs, together with a portion of the sec
and weaving thread and cloth in the nature of ond series of troughs from which the material is
linen; it is also valuable for the manufacture of
stems the ?brous structure thereof in the form
5 of individual ?bers. Such ?brous material is
fed from'the rolls.
certain grades of paper commonly known as
10 “bond" paper and for the paper stock employed
for currency; another and quite different use for
such ?ber is for packing or wicking for which
it is suitable by reason of its capillary structure
and in which capacity it may replace. the cotton
15 waste commonly employed for packing journal
-
Figurel3 is in'effect a continuation of Figure 2 10
showing the terminal portion of the second set
of troughs with additional squeezing rolls and
also a neutralizing acid bath, a rinsing water
bath, the ?nal squeezing rolls, a traveling dryer
belt and a set of rolls for mechanical softening 15
. of the dry ?ber.
bearings like those of railway car axles. These
Figure 4 is a diagrammatic detail mainly in
are only afew examples of the range of uses of section, showing the corrugations of the ?ex
such ?ber. The process is designed and illus» ing rolls illustrated in Figure l, and including.
‘ trated with respect to the treatment of threshed one of the hook shaped picker teeth to which said 20
20 ‘flax straw, or like material, in such manner that rolls feed the straw.
, the entire straw can be made available for use
by ~-separation into its‘component parts includ
ing the Woody portion or shive, the gum and resin,
the tannin and chlorofyl and the ?ber itself.
25
An object of the invention is to provide a proc
ess and apparatus for mechanically accomplish
ing this purpose; another object is to insure a rel
atively gentle treatment of the ?ber throughout
3“ the process so that it shall retain all of its origi
nal tensile strength and other desirable qualities
without the ‘impairment which might result from
excessive chemical treatment or rough mechani- '
cal handling; another object is to maintain the
?bers as far as possible in their original unbro-_
35 ken length and in substantial alignment through
_ the process to avoid tangling and breakage; and
Figure 5 is a transverse section of one of the ' ‘
tanks ‘or trough assembliesQbeing taken sub
stantially as indicated at line, 5-'—5, on Figure 2.
Figure 6 is a- detail elevation of the squeezing 25
rolls shown in Figure 2.
Figure '7 is a detail section on a larger scale
showing the construction of the troughs of Fig
ure
5.
.
t
-
.
Figure 8 is a partial plan view of said troughs. 30
This process having been designed primarily _
for the treatment of ?ax stalks or straw and par
ticularly for handling thrashed ?ax straw, will
be described with reference to that material al
though it may be understood that‘ the process 35
may be suitable wholly or in part for deriving
the ?brous content of other similar plant
it is also an object of the invention to provide growths. It may be understood‘that the process
is designed primarily to employ the straw shortly
a substantially continuous process adapted to op
after the threshing process has been completed, 40
40 elate on a de?nite time schedule whereby a given ‘but
preferably with the straw thoroughly dried. ,
plant may be depended upon to turn out a known
That- is, it is‘not intended or contemplated that
quantity of ?nished ?ber in a given time with
straw shall be retted as was once the prac
the various ‘steps of the process under de?nite the
by permitting it to partially rot on the
control at all times. Other objects will appear i tice,
ground or under water to allow deterioration of 45
5 as the description proceeds. _ The invention
wood portion, since such treatment has a
therefore consists inthe various steps of the proc the
tendency to deteriorate and weakenthe ?ber it
ess in combination and in certain features and self as well as to waste the woody material or
elements of the apparatus and the relative ar
shive which itself has a de?nite value, as for
rangement of the parts thereof, all as hereinafter use
in various wood pulp products, including news 50
50 described and shown in the drawings and as in
print.
'
dicated by, the claims.
Assuming then that the straw is supplied in
Figure 1 is a diagrammatic side elevation of a dry condition, it is fed by any convenient means
the apparatus for the initial steps of the process such as by a conveyor belt, I, for delivery be
including a feeding belt, ?attening rolls and ad
tween a pair of plain rolls, 2, 2, which serve to 55
55 ditional rolls for flexing the straw and a picker
2
2,180,681
?atten the straw and tend to split the ?bers apart
to some extent, and partially break up the woody
ll,
openings, 2'.
,
tom. Near the top of the tank and below the up
per edges of the side walls. II, a series of longi
several pairs of ?uted rolls whose grooves or cor
rugations are smoothly rounded and extend longi
tudinally extending troughs, 2|, aresupported on
tudinally, that is, parallel to the axes of the rolls
any suitable framing, I2, and are provided with
perforated bottoms, 23, as indicated in Figures 1'
and 8. Steam pipes, 24, are shown supported
adjacent the side walls, II, and it may be un 10
- and without any sharp edges. Four pairs of such
"10
inwardly from _
the side walls, I ‘I, with communication ports or
material adhering to them. For further loosening
this material, ‘the, straw passes'directly- between
rolls are shown at 3, 4, 5 and 8 in Figure 1, and
from Figure 4 it may be noted that these rolls are‘
designed'to operate so that the ?utings 01' each
pair are lntermeshed witheach other but with
clearance space between them, and it may be fur
ther observed that the rolls are disposed. in a
15 graduated arrangement such that the. ?utings
of the rolls, 3, 3, are somewhat wider than the
?utings of the rolls, 4, 4, and likewise the clear
derstood that with the tank, l4, substantially ?lled
wardly between the sidewalls, l8, and their adia- .
cent bailles, II, and thence horizontally over the
troughs, 2|, and downwardly through their per
. ance space between the ?rst pair of rolls is great
' er than that between the second pair, while the
20 width of the ?utings and
the clearance space be
‘
,
several so called "slivers" or assemblies of fibers
will be disposed7 in the respective troughs, 2!, as
many as three slivers to'each trough if dedred,
tween the ?nal pair of rolls, 6, 6, is the least in the
The purpose of this arrangement is to
series.
and that as soon as these
cause the rolls to mildly ?ex the straw as it passes
tered in the feed rolls, II,
through them, tending to break the woody por
tions into short-sections and to loosen them from
the ?bers themselves, this treatment being slight-
,
ly more severe when vthe straw reaches. the ?nal
set of rolls, I, 8, than when it enters a set of rolls, F. and 212° F. by means ofthe livesteam in the
8, I. As a result of this treatment‘ the ?brous pipes-24, andthe convection currents set up in
the-tank,
l4,as
describedwiliserveto
stalks shed a considerable portion oi’their woody ~insure
the treatment oft-he?berbysubstantialiy
content or "shive" before they reach. the drum, 1,
thewhole-mass of waterinthetankratherthan
of the picker, 8, and are caught up by the hook
byanylocalized
like teeth, I, 0! said drum to be carried through
the picker. This machine may be similar to those
used for a like purpose and of generally standard
it being'u'nder'stood that its func
tion is to comb the ?brous material by means of
toothed rolls-tendlne'to split the ?bers apart and
straighten themout and at the same time serving softens the gum and reslnom material rendering
to break oil’ most ‘or the-remaining fragments and it relatively plastic. If the‘ process is continuous
particles of the woody material or shive. Merely the water in the tank or vat, i4, maybe changed
‘ as a suggestion
for‘ the pickerJ, _I have indicated periodically or continuously by the introduction
‘ in dotted outline two pairs of so-called "working" of fresh water, as through a supply valve, 25, the
rolls at II and I4“, and a ?nal large delivery roll excess water over?owing the end wall, I‘, of the
t, 21, having,
or drum, II, by which it may be understood the tank, into a short open com
?ber is discharged over a suitably inclined chute _'an outlet, II, which may lead into the sewer or to
_ construction,
any suitable receptacle if it is desired to recover
or table, it, into a receiving basket or car, It.
The dry ?ber which is‘thus loosely piled or the dissolved matter from the water. A drain
coiled in the receptacle, l3, may be-accumulated' plug, 29, may also be provided near the bottom
- as desired, as for example, until the receptacle is of the partition wall, 20, for use in occasionally
well ?lled, at which time the accumulated ?ber ?ushing out the entire tank, i4,'at which times
will be de?nitely cut or vbrolren .o?' from that-_ any resinous matter which has settled in the
which continues to discharge from the picker, - tank may be collected and removed.
The ?ber will not be injured by treatment with
another receiving car or basket being placed in
position and the ?rst car being wheeled to the re-v the hot water for a longer period than thirty
?ve minutes. Therefore the initial portion of
ceiving end'of the tank, l4, at A. The cut or bro
ken ends of the ?ber in the receptacle, ll, are , the ?ber maybe allowed to lie in the troughs,
2|, this length of time and then may be started
, bunched or assembled to form a "silver" which
may be started through the trough-like structure ' through the feed rolls, ll. These rolls are held
of the tank, I4, either by tying it with a string toward each other under adjustable spring pres
and leading the string through the feed rolls, ii, sure as indicated in Figure 2 and to accommo
at the opposite end oi’ the tank, l4, or by leading date the sliver. form in which the fiber is being
handled, it may be preferable to provide one of
the “sliver" itself through the tank and'starting ‘said
rolls
_
with circumferential
grooves, ll‘,
- 7 its end portion through these rolls, l5. It is de
sirable, however, that the ?ber shall experience a valigned with the several troughs, It, and Dro
soaking treatment in the heated water bath of the viding space for the thicker portions of the silver
so that substantially equal pressure may be ex
tank, l4, for a‘ period of at least thirty-five min
utes; therefore, if the lead string is not employed,
the sliver will be merely drawn through the length
70 of the tank, i4, and allowed to lie there for this
period before being started through the feed
erted by each of the ‘rolls upon all the ?bers of
each sliver‘. This pressure serves .to squeeze oil.’
from- the fiber the major portion of the gum
which hasbeen softenedland loosened by the
hot water treatment in the vat, l4, and this
gummy material with the water which is also
The tank, l4, as more clearly indicated in Fig
ure 5 consists of outer side walls, I1, and a bottom pressed out by the rolls, ii, is discharged into
wall, l8, within which are shown longitudinally - a special accumulating trough, ill, and thence
through any suitable conduit, 2|‘, may be car
rolls,
II.
-
'
‘
f
_
.
,
3
a1‘so,ee1
'ried-off for reclamation in accordance with well
understood methods. In the process of squeez
ing the hot-water—saturated sliver between the
spring-pressed rolls, the rolls are exposed to the
hot'water by their contact with the silver.
Whatever length of “silver” it is possible to
continuous belt conveyor, ll, which may be un
derstood as of any suitable reticulated form, as
for example, a series of belts or ribbons with '
transverse supporting bars secured to them at
intervals. Associated with the dryer belt, 40, are
make from the initial quantity of ?ber in the"
receptacle, it, it- will be understood that the silver
may be rendered continuous by splicing onto it
from time to time additional units of ?ber ‘as
delivered from the picker, 8, and before the trail
ing end of the silver has entered the trough of
thetank, II. It should also be understood that
in. the structure as illustrated with, multiple
15 troughs, 2|, a plurality of these slivers will be‘
started‘ simultaneously and, ‘will continue to
suitable heating means such as steam pipes, ll,
and a blower, 42, for supplying air through a
distributing conduit, 43, with ports, 44, through
which the air passes for heating contact with the
pipes, GI, and thence through the conveyor belt, 10
"I. for drying the ?ber. 'At the discharge end
of the belt, 40, the fiber is preferably passed
through a series of ?uted rolls, l5, which may
be similar to the rolls, 3, 4, i, S, employed at the
beginning of the process except that they need
not have corrugations of graduated dimensions,
travel parallel to each, other through the apps
ratus. The ?ber continues its movement through
the rolls, l5, and enters the second set of troughs.
as in the other series, but ‘may be all substan
tially alike; the function of these rolls, 4!, is sim
ply to mildly ?ex the ?ber atthe completion of
the drying to soften it and loosen from it any 20
20 30, in a tank, 3|, these troughs and tanks being . film of foreign material which may have adhered
structurally similar to the troughs, 2i, and their through the various washings and rinsings; and
tank, It. The bath in the tank, 3|, however, is may have been dried onto the surface in the ?nal
a weak solution of sodium carbonate, preferably step of the process.
about'three percent, and for this reason the ex
As it emerges from the softening rolls, 45, the
25 posed metal of this structure should be of ‘copper ?ber may be further treated by combing or card-'
or heavily nickled to prevent corrosion and to ing devices of any suitable design, as may be
prevent discoloration of the ?ber which might ‘readily understood by those skilled in the art.
occur if ordinary iron piping and tanks were It will then be baled for shipment to the user.
used. The ?ber travels through the troughs. S0.
For some uses, as for packing or wicking, 30
30 at the same rate as it moved through the troughs, where the matter of color is not important, the
2|. As a matter of convenience, if each set of acid dip in the tank, 35, may be omitted and the
troughs is made about thirty-?ve feet long- the water in the tank, 31, may be relied upon to sum
?ber will be moved through them at the rate of ciently wash out the alkali from the fiber. Where
one foot per minute. And to avoid cooling and the matter of color is of vital importance, as in 35
35 hardening of the gum during the transfer of the
spinning, it may be desirable to' subject the fiber ,
?ber from the tank H‘ to tank 3|, it may be
subjected to hot water sprays at i5’, and is?
adjacent the squeezing rolls, I5, as shown in Fig
ure 2.
40
The function of the alkaline bath of sodium
carbonate is to remove any remaining gum from
the ?ber by dissolving it, thus freeing any asso
ciated resin from' the ?ber and permitting it to
fall to the bottom of the vat from which it may
to ?nal chemical bleach, but this can be extreme
ly mild by reason of the fact that the material has
already been so thoroughly cleansed and washed
in the process herein described. As a result, the
spinning ?ber will be much stronger than that
which has been subjected to a relatively severe
bleaching, as such process always acts to weaken
the cellular structure and therefore tends to
weaken the strength of the fiber. Fiber produced 46
45 be collected at intervals for reclamation in mer- } in accordance with my process having been de
charitable form. A small quantity of the alkaline
gummed almost entirely by mechanical means
solution may be added from time to time to com
which at the same time is designed to handle
pensate for evaporation and for that which is
carried off with the gum and resin-removed in
the vat, it. At the end of the tanlr, 36, the ?ber
again passes through squeezing rolls shown at M
which remove most of the alkaline solution from
it. These rolls may be mounted directly in the
end of the vat, ti, or, as shown, may be separated
from it and provided with a collecting trough, 33,
for the solution squeezed from the ?ber. Asthe
?ber approaches the rolls it may be further clari
?ed by a rinsing spray of clear water indicated
at M.
,
-
For certain uses such as the manufacture ofv
paper, it is desirable that even the small quan
tity of alkali remaining in the ?ber be neutral
ized, and for this purpose it may be passed from
the rolls, it, directly into a neutralizing bath of
wealr acid indicated at so. Brief dipping in this
bath is all that is necessary, therefore the tank,
35, may be of much less length than the preced
ing tanks employed in the process and from it
the fiber may be passed through wringing rolls,
36, and then through a rinsing bath of clear
water, ii, to ?nal squeezing rolls. it, which will
press most of the moisture from the ?ber. Emerg
ing fromthe rolls, 38, it proceeds across any suit
able feed table or support, 3!, to a dryer which
75 is indicated diagrammatically in Figure 3 as a
the‘ ?ber always gently throughout the process,
will be found to present a softness of texture and 50
a. luster almost rivaling a silk ?ber, and since it
has been thoroughly washed and cleared, it will
take a fast dye rendering it suitable for spinning
and manuiiacture into cloth for a wide range of
purposes for which linen has not heretofore been 55
thought suitable.
in theapparatus shown, as indicated in Figures
2 and b, I have included vapor hoods, tile, extend
ing slightly above the side
lls, ill, of the tanks
and communicating with the suction passages,
it", so as to draw ch
as" and other vapors
tending to rise from the surface of the liquids
in the tahknthus facilitating handling of the
material if necessary by workmen and keeping
the premises clear of unpleasant steam and odors.
Another feature of construction of the apparatus
which is quite important is the provision of oiled
pressure pads of absorbent material such as felt
or the like shown at 90 in contact with upper and
lower rolls of each pair of squeezing rolls for the 70
purpose of cleaning the rolls of any adhering par
ticles or fiber which would otherwise cling to their '
surfaces by reason of the gum and resin
associ-
ated with the fiber. These pads serving to coat
the rolls with a thin ?lm of oil will prevent ad
.
4
2,130,681
hesion of the material and will also act as scrap
ers to remove ?ber which might otherwise be
carried around the rolls.
'
‘Although I have shown and described herein
‘ a speci?c group of mechanisms and apparatus for
ing the shive or woody material, and-then con
tinuing the movement through a picker arranged
for combing out and removing most of said woody
material, forming into a sliver the ?brous portion
of the straw emerging from the picker and feed
ing said sliver longitudinally at a relatively ‘slow
5
performing the process and have indicated cer
tain modes of treatment, it is to be understood
rate through a liquid bath maintained at tem
that theproeess and apparatus described are il
lustrative and that my invention is not speci?cally . perature suitable for softening the gum, then
without intermission in the exposure of the silver
10 limited thereto except as indicated by the ap
the liquid maintained at said gum-softening 10
pended claims; it being evident that various ‘to
changes and modi?cations vboth in the process temperature, passing the sliver between squeezing
rolls in direct contact of the ?ber with the sur
and the apparatus may be made without depart
of the rolls on opposite sides of the sliver
ing from the spirit and scope of the invention. - face
while maintaining the sliver in exposure to the
I claim:
15
1. A process for the purpose indicated which liquid maintained at said gum-softening tempera
includes forming the ?brous material into a sliver ture, splicing additional ?brous material from
after the shive has been removed therefrom and the picker to the sliver at intervals to- extend
feeding it slowly through a heated water bath the length inde?nitely, feeding the silver after
20 to soften the gum and resin and dissolve out the passing the rolls into a mild chemical water bath
water-soluble material, passing the ‘silver between through which it moves‘ longitudinally at the same 20
rolls for removing the softened gum and resin and rate of speed to permit the remaining gum to be
protecting the sliver against atmospheric cooling
by spraying it with hot water in its passage to and
through the rolls.
.
2. A process for the purpose indicated which
includes loosening the shive or woody material
‘so
mm the ?ber in its dry state and separating a
substantial portion of the said material there
from, then submerging the ?ber i'or soaking it in
liquid maintained at a temperature suitable for.
softening the gum and resin, and directing a >
liquid current maintained at said temperature
into impact with the sliver while the latter is free
from mechanical pressure and without substan
tial time interval between the submergenee of the
dissolved and the associated resinto be freed from _
the ?ber, then feeding the ?ber through addi
tional pressure means, rinsing and drying it, and
?nally subjecting said ?ber to mechanical ?exure 25
for softening‘it, and to combing or carding means
for removing any adhering particles and straight
ening the ?ber.
,
I
, 5. A process for the purpose indicated which
includes forming the ?brous material into a sliver 30
after’ the shive has been removed therefrom and
,feeding it slowly through a heated water bath
to soften the gum and resin and dissolve out, the
water soluble material, feeding the sliver out of
said bath and then passing it between rolls for‘ 35
?ber for soaking it and its exposure to the impact dislodglng the gum and resin while applying heat
of the liquid current; whereby the gum is main— to protect the sliver against atmospheric cooling
tained in said softened condition throughout the during its passage to and through the rolls.
6. A process for the purpose indicated which
40 step of separation by liquid current impact.
3. A process for the purpose indicated which includes forming the ?brous material into a silver
includes forming the ?brous material into a sliver after- the shive has been removed therefrom and
feeding it slowly through a heated water bath
after the shive has been removed therefrom, feed
ing the sliver slowly through" a bath of water to soften the gum and resin and dissolve out the
water soluble material, feeding the sliver out of
maintained at a temperature suitable for soften
ing the gum, exposing the sliver to the directim- ' said bath, then subjecting it to mechanical pres
pact of a current of water maintained at said sure to dislodge the gum and resin and applying
‘temperature without substantial intermission in heat to the sliver immediately upon its emergence
from the heated water bath to prevent cooling
the exposure to liquid maintained 'at said gum
softening temperature and while exposed to said ' and hardening of the gum before its dislodgement.
7. A process for the purpose indicated which in
liquid ‘current impact, passing the sliver between
cludes
forming the ?brous, material into a sliver
squeezing rolls the surfaces of which make con
‘ tact with the surfaces of the sliver for squeezing, after the shive has been removed therefrom, sub
the surfaces of the rolls being thus exposed to said jecting the ?ber to .a heated liquid bath to dis-'
solve out the coloring matter and soften the gum
liquid.
'
and
resin, then separately dislodglng and collect
4. A continuous process for the purpose in
dicated which consists in feeding dry stalks or ing the softened gum and resin outside said liq
bath while applying heat to prevent cooling
straw through instrumentalities adapted to apply ‘ uid
and hardening of the gum and resin.
pressure and limited ?exure thereto forloosen
__ as
ROBERT FURSYTH.
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