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Патент USA US3093996

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June 18, 1963
M. B. BAKER
3,093,986
NEEDLE CONTROL DEVICE FOR CiRCULAR ‘KNITTING MACHINES
‘Filed Oct. 28. 1960
INVENTOR.‘
Mmavm B. BAKE-E.
' ATTORNEYS
Uted States
r“ice
v3,093,986
Patented June 18, 1963
1
2
3,093,986
a needle control means of the type set forth above in
NEEDLE CONTROL DEVICE FOR CIRCULAR
KNITTING MAQHINES
Marvin B. Baker, Box Ill-L, Midland, N.C.
Filed Get. 28, 196i), Ser. No. 65,663
9 Claims. (Cl. 66-30)
which the peripheral edge of the rotatable circular ele
ment is serrated to provide a plurality of needle shank
receiving notches adapted to receive the outer edges of
the needle shanks therein as the needles are lowered to
stitch drawing position to thereby maintain the needles
in uniformly spaced apart relationship.
This invention relates to a needle control device for
Some of the objects of the invention having been stat
maintaining the needles of a circular knitting machine in
ed, other objects will appear as the description proceeds
properly spaced apart and circular alinement and the 10 when taken in connection with the accompanying draw
present invention is of particular value in line gauge
ings, in whichcircular machines of the type adapted to knit sheer ladies’
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevation of the upper
hosiery.
portion of a conventional knitting machine having the
In ?ne gauge circular hosiery knitting machines, a
needle control device of the present invention applied
large number of needles are positioned for vertical move
thereto; 7
ment in slots in the outer periphery of the needle cylin
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional plan
der. The needles are necessarily thin and ?exible cylin
view taken substantially along the lines 2-2 of FIG
the slots in the needle cylinder are somewhat wider than
URE ‘1;
the needle shank. The needles are maintained in the slots
FIGURE 3 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary view of
in the needle cylinder by a plurality of circular spring 20 a portion of the needle control device and showing the
bands which are carried in an annular groove cut in the
peripheral edge thereof in engagement with the narrow
upper portion of the needle cylinder. The spring bands
portion engaging the shanks of several of the needles
engage the outer edges ‘of the shanks of the needles to
carried in the needle cylinder;
force the needles inwardly so that their inner edges are
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged vertical sectional view taken
maintained against the bottoms of the slots in the needle
through the needle control device, showing the sinker
cylinder. As is well known, the shank of the needles is
cap and needle cylinder in section and illustrating the
reduced or narrowed beneath the latch and when the
manner in which the peripheral edge of the needle con
needles are successively lowered to stitch drawing posi
trol device engages the stepped outer edge of the needles;
tion, a narrow portion of the needle shank is positioned
FIGURE 5 is a developed schematic view of the
adjacent the spring bands and the narrow portion of the 30 stitch drawing cams, illustrating the path of travel of
lowered needles are not engaged by the spring bands be
the needles as they are lowered to stitch drawing posi
cause the wider portions of the shanks of needles ‘at oppo
tion and showing the relative location of the needle control
site sides of the lowered needles hold the spring hands out
device above the stitch drawing cam.
sides of the lowered needles hold the spring bands out
Referring to the drawings, it will be noted that a Scott
wardly and out of engagement with the narrow portions 35 8: Williams type circular knitting machine is shown, how
of the shanks of the lowered needles. Thus, at the most
ever, it is to be understood that the needle control de
critical time, when the needles are lowered to stitch draw
ing position, the spring bands do not press inwardly
against the shanks of the lowered needles and therefore
vice ‘of the present invention may also be utilized with
other types of circular machines. The circular knitting
machine includes an upper bed plate It) and a needle
the inner edges of these lowered needles are not main 40 cylinder 11 which is mounted for driven rotation of
tained ?rmly against the bottoms of the slots in the
the bed plate 10. The needle cylinder T1 is provided
needle cylinder. Since the needles are not held ?rmly
with radially spaced apart needle slots 12 (FIGURES 3
against the bottoms of the slots as they are lowered to
and 4), each of which supports a latch needle N for
stitch forming position, they are not maintained in proper
vertical sliding movement therein. The needle N has an
45
alinement and may form longer or shorter than normal
outwardly extending operating butt 15 at its lower end,
stitches and thereby cause objectionable streaks in the
a hook T6 and a latch 17 at its upper end and a shank
knit fabric.
With the foregoing in mind, it is the primary object
18 intermediate the ends thereof (FIGURE 4). The
rear or inner edge of the shank 18 is straight and en
of the present invention to provide needle control means
gages the bottom of the slot 12 in the needle cylinder 11
which is adapted to engage the narrowed shank portions 50 while the front or outer edge of the shank 18 is stepped
of the needles and press the back edges of the needles into
and progressively narrowed toward the upper end.
?rm engagement with the bottoms of the slots in the
The upper portion of the needle cylinder 11 is provided
needle cylinder and thereby maintain the needles in proper
with an annular groove 14 (FIGURES 3 and 4) which
alinement as they are moved downwardly to stitch draw
is positioned immediately beneath a sinker head, broadly
ing or forming position.
indicated at 19. It will be noted in FIGURE 3 that the
It is another object of the present invention to pro
annular groove 14 is cut deep enough that the slots 12
vide a needle control device of the type described which
are very shallow adjacent the groove 14. In fact, in
can be easily attached to existing circular hosiery knit
the area of the annular groove 14, the slots 12 are not
ting machines without requiring any substantial modi?ca
much more than immissions in the needle cylinder Ill.
60 The annular groove 14 is usually provided with four
tion of the existing knitting machine.
It is a more speci?c object of the present invention
spring bands 2%), however, in the present instance one
to provide a needle control means for maintaining the nee
of the spring bands 2% has been removed to provide room
dles of a ?ne gauge circular knitting machine in proper
for the needle control device of the present invention,
alinement during the stitch forming operation which
to be presently described.
65
includes a rotatable circular element, the peripheral edge
The sinker head 19 includes a sinker cap 21 and a
of which is adapted to engage and press inwardly against
sinker bed 22 which is suitably secured to the upper end
the outer edges of the shanks of the needles as the
of the needle cylinder 11. The sinker bed 22 is provided
needles are lowered to stitch drawing position to main
with radially extending grooves in which sinkers S are
tain the inner edges of the needles ?rmly against the bot
mounted for radial sliding movement. The radial posi
toms of the slots in the needle cylinder and thereby main
tion of the sinkers S is controlled ‘by suitable cams, not
tain the needles in proper alinement.
shown, in the sinker cap 21 to control the operation of
It is another object of the present invention to provide
the sinkers in a conventional manner.
3,093,986
'
3
Referring to FIGURE 5, it will be noted that the
knitting machine is provided with the usual stitch earns
23 and 24, a landing cam 25, a center cam 26 and end
earns 27 and 28. When the machine is in rotary knit
ting, the needles N travel from right to left in FIGURE
5 and they are raised to stitch shedding level by the cam
23, lowered by cam 25 to pick up yarn Y from yarn
(ii.
‘against the outer edges of the shanks of three needles
and the teeth 55 projecting inwardly therebetween sta
bilize and prevent sidewise movement of the shanks of
the needles. Of course, by increasing the diameter of
the wheel 35, the outer peripheral edge would engage a
greater number of the shanks of the needles and by
decreasing the diameter of the wheel 35, the outer periph
eral edge would engage a lesser number of the shanks
of the needles.
then lowered by cam 24 to form knit stitches. The
In order to change the amount of inward pressure
needles N reach their lowest point as their butts 15 pass 10
exerted against the needle shanks 18 ‘by the peripheral
beneath the lower point 32 of the stitch cam 24. As the
edge of the wheel 35, it is merely necessary to vary the
needles continue past the stitch cam 24, they are raised
tension of the spring 45. If desired, the inward move
by the end cam 28 and the sinkers S cooperate with the
ment of the wheel 35 may be limited by adjustment of
needles to shed the stitch loops fro-m the hooks 16 of
an adjustable stop screw 6;‘) (FIGURE 2). One end of
the needles N, in the usual manner.
the screw 68> is positioned in alinement with the arm 4%)
The foregoing parts are conventional parts of a cir
and the medial portion threadably penetrates the upper
cular hosiery knitting machine and it is with this general
end of a support bracket 61. The lower end of the
type of machine that the present invention is shown.
support bracket 61 is suitably secured on the support
In its preferred form, the needle control device of the
present invention includes a rotatable wheel 35 which 20 post 42.
It is preferred that the teeth 55 and notches 56 on
may be formed of metal, such as brass, or of synthetic
the peripheral edge of the wheel be machined therein
material, such as nylon. The wheel 35 is preferably
in proper spaced relationship in accordance with the
provided with an antifriction bearing 36 which is suit
spacing of the needles N in the needle cylinder ‘11.
ably secured, as at 37, on the inner end of an arm 4%.
feed ?nger St) at the throat opening in latch ring 31 and
However, the wheel 35 may be molded of a suitable
plastic or nylon material and the serrated edge formed
during the molding process. It is also possible to form
(FIGURE 1). The lower end of the support post 42;
the peripheral edge of the wheel 35 of a resilient material
is supported on a plate 43 which in turn is secured on
which will deform when pressed against the shanks of
the upper bed plate It).
The wheel 35 and arm 40 ‘are normally urged in a 30 the needles and extend inwardly therebetween to the
desired extent.
clockwise direction in FIGURE 2 by a tension spring 45,
The outer end of the arm 40 is pivotally secured as at
41 (FIGURE 2) on the upper end of a support post 4-2
one end of which is connected intermediate the ends of
the arm 40 and the other end of which is connected to
The wheel 35 is mounted to rotate with the needle
cylinder 11, however, it is to be understood that a non
Thus, the tension spring 45 resiliently urges the wheel
35 inwardly toward the needle cylinder 11. As shown
in FIGURE 4, the peripheral edge of the wheel 35 is
positioned in the annular groove 14 of the needle cylin 40
a cam member having a curved inner face could be used
in place of the wheel 35. In this case, the cam member
would be positioned in the same relative vertical and
radial position as the wheel 35 and its inner face would
be curved to press inwardly against the shanks of the
lowered needles. A cam of ‘this type would not provide
rotating wheel having a smooth peripheral edge may be
a spring perch 46. The spring perch 46 may be at
tached in any suitable position on the machine and is 35 used to press inwardly against and hold the needle
shanks 18 ?rmly seated in the slots 12, if desired. Also,
shown on the usual sinker head hold-down arm 59.
der 1‘1 and between the lowermost and the two upper
spring bands 20.
Referring to FIGURE 3, the shanks 18 of the needles
N are shown in section to clearly illustrate that a narrow
portion of the needle shank is positioned adjacent the
spring bands 20 as the needles N are lowered by the
stitch cam 24. As shown in FIGURE 3, the spring bands
20 are not engaging the outer edges of the shanks 18
of the lowered needles N while they are engaging the
shanks 13 of the needles adjacent opposite sides of the
lowered needles N. Thus, the spring bands 24? do not
engage and hold the lowered needles N inwardly against
uniform sidewise spacing of the needles, however, it
would hold the needles inwardly against the bottoms of
the needle slots 12 and maintain the needles in uniform
radial alinement during the formation of stitches thereby.
In a circular knitting machine having the needle con
trol device of the present invention applied thereto, the
spring bands 26 act as a main needle engaging means
to normally maintain the majority of the needles in
wardly against the bottoms of the slots 12 in the needle
cylinder 11 while the wheel 35 acts as an auxiliary needle
the bottoms of the slots 12 ‘at this critical time when
engaging means to maintain a few of the needles in
the needles are lowered to stitch drawing position.
As shown in FIGURE 3, the peripheral edge of the
wheel 35 is being resiliently urged against the outer
edges of the shanks 18 of a plurality of the lowered
needles N adjacent the lowermost point 32 of the stitch
cam 24 to ?rmly press their inner edges against the
bottoms of their respective slots 12 and thereby hold
wardly against the bottoms of the slots 12 in the needle
cylinder Ill.
The needle control device of the present invention thus
provides means engagcable with the shank portion of
the needles in proper alinement at this critical time when
the needles are lowered to stitch drawing position. Be
cause the slots 12 in the needle cylinder 11 are wider
than the thickness of the shanks 18 of the needles N,
it is also desirable to stabilize the needles and prevent
the needles to press the needles inwardly and maintain
the same in ?rm engagement against the bottoms of the
needle slots as the needles are lowered to stitch drawing
position. ‘In the preferred form of needle control de
vice, means is also provided to maintain the needles in
proper spaced apart alinement as the needles are lowered
to stitch drawing position. Also, the present needle con
trol device may be easily applied to conventional circular
knitting machines without any substantial modi?cation
sidewise movement thereof during the critical stitch draw
ing action. In order to provide uniform spacing of the
of the knitting machine. In circular knitting machines
needles and to prevent sidewise movement, it is pre
having more than one knitting station, a needle control
ferred that the peripheral edge of the wheel 35 be ser
rated to hold the needles in proper spaced apart rela 70 device of the present invention would be provided at
each knitting station.
tionship. The peripheral edge of the wheel 35 is pro
In the drawings and speci?cation there has been set
vided with outwardly projecting equally spaced apart
forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and, al
teeth 55 which de?ne needle shank engaging notches 56
though speci?c terms are employed, they are used in a
therebetween. As shown in FIGURE 3, the notches
generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes
56 are simultaneously engaging and pressing inwardly
8,093,986
6
of limitation, the scope of the invention being de?ned in
the claims.
6. In a structure according to claim 5 including adjust
rable stop means for limiting the amount of inward move
ment of the needle engaging notches of said wheel.
7. In a circular knitting machine having a frame, a
I claim:
1. In a circular knitting machine having a rotatable
needle cylinder with needle receiving needle slots therein,
independently operable needles positioned for vertical
bed plate supported by said frame, a rotatable needle
cylinder supported by said bed plate and having needle
receiving needle slots therein, independently operable
movement in the slots of said cylinder, stitch cam means
positioned adjacent said cylinder and adapted to lower
said needles to stitch forming position, and radially
needless positioned for vertical movement in the slots
of said cylinder, stitch cam means positioned adjacent
movable sinkers positioned at the upper end of said 10 said cylinder and adapted to lower said needles to stitch
cylinder and cooperating with said needles to successively
forming position, and radially movable sinkers positioned
form knit stitch loops, the combination therewith of a
at the upper end of said cylinder and cooperating with
needle engaging wheel positioned adjacent the outer
said needles to successively form knit stitch loops; the
periphery of said cylinder and below said sinkers, and
combination therewith of needle engaging means posi
the peripheral edge of said wheel being positioned above 15 tioned adjacent the outer periphery of said cylinder, said
said stitch cam means to press a few of the needles in
needle engaging means comprising a support post
mounted on said bed plate, an arm pivotally supported
at one end on said support post, a needle engaging wheel
rotatably mounted on the other end of said support
wardly into ?rm engagement with the bottoms of the
slots in said needle cylinder as the needles are lowered
by said stitch cam means.
2. In a structure according to claim 1 including re 20 arm, and the periphenal edge of said wheel positioned
silient means normally urging the peripheral edge of said
below said sinkers and above said stitch cam means to
wheel against said few needles.
engage and press a plurality of said needles inwardly into
3. In a structure according to claim 2 including adjust
able stop means for limiting the innermost position of
the peripheral edge of said wheel.
?rm engagement with the bot-toms of the slots in said
needle cylinder as the needles are lowered by said stitch
25
4. In a circular knitting machine having a rotatable
needle cylinder with needle receiving needle slots therein,
independently operable needles positioned for vertical
cam means.
8. In a structure according to claim 7 wherein the
peripheral edge of said wheel is serrated to de?ne out~
wardly projecting teeth having needle engaging notches
therebetween, the needle engaging notches engaging said
positioned adjacent said cylinder and adapted to lower 30 few needles, said outwardly projecting teeth extending
movement in the slots of said cylinder, stitch cam means
said needles to stitch forming position, and radially mov
able sinkers positioned at the upper end of said cylinder
and cooperating with said needles to successively form
knit stitch loops; the combination therewith of a rotat
inwardly between said few needles to prevent sidewise
movement of said few needles in the slots of said needle
cylinder, and resilient means connected to said support
arm and normally urging the needle engaging notches
able needle engaging wheel positioned adjacent the outer 35 of said wheel against said few needles.
periphery of said cylinder and below said sinkers, the
9. In a structure according to claim 8 including ad
peripheral edge of said wheel being serrated to de?ne
justable stop means carried by said support post and
outwardly projecting teeth having needle engaging notches
engageable with said support arm to limit the amount
therebetween, the needle engaging notches being posi
of inward movement of the needle engaging notches
tioned above said stitch cam means to press a few of 40 of said wheel.
the needles inwardly into ?rm engagement with the bot
toms of the slots in said needle cylinder as the needles
are lowered by said stitch cam means, and said out
wardly projecting teeth extending inwardly between said
few needles to prevent sidewise movement of said few 45
needles in the slots of said needle cylinder.
5. In a structure according to claim 4 including re
silient means normally urging the needle engaging notches
of said wheel against said few needles.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
595,698
1,027,034
1,066,367
2,066,440
2,596,535
Cummings __________ __ Dec. 21,
Crane ______________ __ May 21,
Berry ________________ __ July 1,
Winter et a1 __________ __ Jan. 5,
Curtis ______________ __ May 13,
1897
1912
1913
1937
1952
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