Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to papermaking, and more particularly
to fabrics used in papermaking.
Background of the Invention
In the conventional fourdrinier papermaking process, a water slurry,
or suspension, of cellulosic fibers (known as the paper "stock") is fed onto the
top of the upper run of an endless belt of woven wire and/or synthetic material
that travels between two or more rollers. The belt, often referred to as a "forming
fabric," provides a papermaking surface on the upper surface of its upper run which
operates as a filter to separate the cellulosic fibers of the paper stock from the
aqueous medium, thereby forming a wet paper web. The aqueous medium drains through
mesh openings of the forming fabric, known as drainage holes, by gravity alone or
with assistance from one or more suction boxes located on the lower surface (i.e.,
the "machine side") of the upper run of the fabric.
After leaving the forming section, the paper web is transferred to
a press section of the paper machine, in which it is passed through the nips of
one or more pairs of pressure rollers covered with another fabric, typically referred
to as a "press felt." Pressure from the rollers removes additional moisture from
the web; the moisture removal is often enhanced by the presence of a "batt" layer
on the press felt. The paper is then conveyed to a drier section for further moisture
removal. After drying, the paper is ready for secondary processing and packaging.
Press felts typically include one or more base fabric layers; these
can be "flat-woven" and formed after weaving into an endless belt, or can be woven
in endless form. Generally, the flat-woven process is preferred, as it is typically
less expensive and more versatile than the endless weaving process. Also, in many
instances the felt is cut widthwise and reattached to simplify installation on a
paper machine, in which case some of the advantages of endless weaving (such as
the absence of a seam in the fabric) are lost.
Of course, flat weaving a fabric of a base layer requires that provision
be made for joining it into endless belts. Such joints should be constructed in
such a manner that they are sufficiently strong to withstand the extreme load, temperature,
and wear conditions the press felt experiences, yet do not cause the surface of
the press felt above the seam to unduly mark the paper. One popular method of joining
the base fabric of a press felt is to form loops with machine direction yams on
each end of the base fabric. To form the flat-woven base fabric into an endless
belt, the ends of the fabric are placed adjacent to each other, with each of the
loops on one end positioned between two loops on the other end in interdigitating
fashion. A "pin" (usually formed of a single monofilament or monofilament strands)
is then inserted into all of the loops to join the ends. After the batt layer(s)
are needled or otherwise attached to the base layer, the batt layer(s) are cut at
the seam location, the pin is removed, and the finished press felt is shipped to
a paper mill. Once at the paper mill, the press felt can be installed by placing
it onto a paper machine, then inserting another (usually more flexible) monofilament
pin or pintle into the loops. Examples of this type of seam are described in U.S.
Patent Nos. 4, 764,417 and 4,737,241 to Gulya; 4,601,785 to Lilja et al., and 5,476,123
to Rydin, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated herein by reference in
Not unexpectedly, the presence of a pin seam can create heterogeneity
in the press felt in the pin seam area. For example, the compressibility and water
and air permeability may be different at the seam area compared to the remainder
of the press felt. Further, because the density of base fabric yams is lower in
the seam area, the batt fibers tend to be anchored less effectively in the seam.
One approach to address some of these problems is to weave one or more additional
yarns into the pin seam area that increase the yarn density on the paper side of
the fabric. Examples of this approach are disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Patent
No. 5,476,123 to Rydin and in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,913,339 to Lee and 5,799,709 to
Summary of the Invention
The present invention is directed to pin-seamed press felts with additional
CMD yams located in the pin seam loops. As a first aspect, the invention is directed
to a press felt for a papermaking machine, comprising: a base fabric comprising
a plurality of machine direction (MD) yarns interwoven with a plurality of cross
machine direction (CMD) yams in a predetermined regular weave pattern, the MD yarns
being divisible into upper MD yarns, lower MD yams, and seam loops merging with
either end of the upper and lower MD yams, the seam loops defining the longitudinal
ends of the press felt and having upper and lower portions; and a first Dreher CMD
yarn interwoven with a CMD yam of the regular weave pattern located nearest to the
seam loops and with the upper portions of the seam loops of at least one end of
the press felt in a Dreher weave. In this configuration, the press felt can have
added yarn density at the seam to improve the uniformity of the press felt at the
seam. Also, the use of the Dreher yarn can precisely fix the position of the last
CMD yarn of the regular weave.
As a second aspect, the invention is directed to a press felt for
a papermaking machine, comprising: a base fabric comprising a plurality of machine
direction (MD) yarns interwoven with a plurality of cross machine direction (CMD)
yarns in a predetermined regular weave pattern, the MD yarns being divisible into
upper MD yarns, lower MD yarns, and seam loops merging with either end of the upper
and lower MD yams, the seam loops defining the longitudinal ends of the press felt
and having upper and lower portions; an additional CMD yam that passes between the
upper and lower portions of each of the seam loops; and a first Dreher CMD yarn
interwoven with the additional CMD yarn and with the upper portions of the seam
loops of at least one end of the press felt in a Dreher weave. This configuration
can provide the same types of benefits as are mentioned above.
Brief Description of the Figures
Detailed Description of Embodiments of the Present Invention
- Figure 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating the press section of a papermaking
machine that may employ a press felt according to embodiments of the present invention.
- Figure 2 is an enlarged, partial, cutaway perspective view of the press
felt of Figure 1 showing the pin seam of the press felt of Figure 1.
- Figures 3A and 3B are greatly enlarged, partial perspective views
of the pin seam ofFigure 2, with Figure 3A showing the pin seam assembled
and Figure 3B showing the pin seam unassembled.
- Figure 4 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yarns according to another embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 5 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yams according of an additional embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 6 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yams according to a further embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 7 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yarns according to still another embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 8 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yams according to yet another embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 9 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yams according to even another embodiment of the present invention.
- Figure 10 is a greatly enlarged, partial perspective view of seam loops
and additional yarns according to still another embodiment of the present invention.
The present invention will now be described more fully hereinafter,
in which embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be
embodied in different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments
set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure
will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention
to those skilled in the art. In the drawings, like numbers refer to like elements
throughout. Thicknesses and dimensions of some components may be exaggerated for
As used herein, the terms "machine direction" (MD) and "cross machine
direction" (CMD) refer, respectively, to a direction aligned with the direction
of travel of the papermakers' fabric on a papermaking machine, and a direction parallel
to the fabric surface and transverse to the direction of travel. Also, both the
flat weaving and endless weaving methods described hereinabove are well known in
the art, and the term "endless belt" as used herein refers to belts made by either
Referring now to the drawings, a papermaking machine press section,
designated broadly at 10, is illustrated in Figure 1. The press section
10 includes a press felt 14 that is installed upon and conveyed by
a set of rollers 12. In its travel, the felt 14 travels over a press
roll 15. An opposed press roll 17 is positioned so that, in conjunction
with the felt 14 and press roll 15, it forms a nip N
between the press rolls 15.
In operation, a paper web P is conveyed from a forming
section 16 through the nip N formed by the press rollers
15, 17, wherein pressure is applied to the paper web P by the
press rolls 15, 17. The pressure forces moisture from the paper web
P that is absorbed by the felt 14. As the felt 14 is
conveyed around its roller set 12, moisture is removed therefrom, and the
felt 14 is conditioned by one or more suction boxes 20.
Figures 2, 3A and 3B illustrate enlarged sections of
the felt 14. As can be seen in the aforementioned figures, the felt
14 includes a base fabric layer 22 which includes a set of machine
direction yarns 26 (divisible into upper MD yams 26a and lower MD
yams 26b) and a set of cross machine direction yarns 28 interwoven
in a regular pattern with the machine direction yarns 26. The CMD yarns
28 are interwoven with the MD yams 26 such that each CMD yam
28 passes, sequentially, over one upper MD yam 26a, between the next
pair of upper and lower MD yarns 26a, 26b, below the next lower MD
yarn 26b, and between the next pair of upper and lower MD yarns
26a, 26b. Adjacent CMD yarns 28 are offset from one another
by one or more MD yarns 26 yams to form, in the illustrated embodiment, a
1x4 satin pattern on the top surface of the base fabric 22.
The base fabric 22 is woven in a flat weave process; thus,
in a flat condition, the fabric 22 has two free ends 29a,
29b, one of which (29a) includes seam loops 30 (formed by MD
yarns 26), and the other of which (29b) includes seam loops
32 formed by the other ends of the MD yarns 26. When the base fabric
22 is in an endless condition such as that illustrated in Figures 2
and 3A, the loops 30, 32 are positioned in interdigitated fashion,
and a pin 34 is inserted through the loops 30, 32 to join the
ends 29a, 29b of the base fabric 22 to form a seam
40. It can be seen that the seam loops 30 include upper portions
41 and lower portions 42.
Those skilled in this art will recognize that other types of fabrics
can be employed as the lower fabric layer of the base fabric layer 22 of
the press felt 14, including other single layer fabrics, duplex fabrics (those
having two sets of MD yarns and one set of CMD yarns), and triplex fabrics (i.e.,
those having two sets of machine direction yarns and two sets of cross machine direction
yarns). Virtually any weave pattern known to those skilled in this art, such as
the illustrated plain weave, twills, satins, and the like, can be used for this
Referring now to Figures 3A and 3B, at the seam
40, the upper portions 41 of the seam loops 30 are interwoven
with two additional yams: an anchoring yarn 44 and a Dreher yam
46. The anchoring yam 44 passes between the upper portions
41 and the lower portions42 of each of the seam loops 30. The
Dreher yarn 46 interweaves with the anchoring yam 44 and the upper
portions 41 of the seam loops 30 in a Dreher weave, which is described
in detail below.
A Dreher weave is one in which a first yarn weaves on both sides of
a second yam that extends in nominally the same direction (i.e., both the
first and second yarns are MD yams or both are CMD yams), wherein the first yarn
passes below the second yarn and passes over and interlaces with multiple yarns
that extend nominally in the opposite direction. Consequently, the second yam of
the Dreher weave passes above the first yarn and interlaces with the oppositely
extending yams by passing below them. The result is a somewhat serpentine path followed
by at least one of the yarns. Additional information regarding Dreher weaves is
set forth in, for example, Gewebetechnik, (VEB - Fachbuchverlag Leipzig,
A Dreher weave is demonstrated in the base fabric 22 shown
in Figure 3B by the interweaving of the Dreher yam 46 and the anchoring
yam 44 with the upper portions 41 of the seam loops 30. As
can be seen in Figure 3B, the Dreher yam 46 passes over the upper
portion 41a of the seam loop 30a on the side of the anchoring yarn
44 away from the seam40, under the anchoring yarn 44, above
the upper portion 41b of the next seam loop 30b on the side of the
anchoring yarn 44 adjacent the seam 40, under the anchoring yarn
44, over the upper portion 41c of the seam loop 30c, and so
on in a repeating pattern. Thus, in the illustrated embodiment the Dreher yarn
46 forms single float knuckles 48a, 48b over each of the seam
loop upper portions 41, wherein the knuckles are alternately positioned on
opposite sides of the anchoring yarn 44 as the Dreher yam 46 extends
in the cross machine direction.
In this configuration, the anchoring yarn 44 is positioned
to provide a yam at the seam40 that can help to increase the yarn density
at the seam 40 and that can assist in anchoring batt fibers inserted in the
seam area. Also, the Dreher yam can assist in precisely fixing the position of the
anchoring yarn 44 in the seam area.
Typically, the anchoring yam 44 may be of any form (e.g.,
monofilament, multifilament, hybrid yarns, meltable monofilaments, and twists) known
to be suitable for use in press felts, although monofilaments or twists are preferred.
The anchoring yam will typically have a diameter of between about 0.2 and 0.5 mm
or, if in three ply twists, each monofilament will typically have a diameter of
between about 0.1 and 0.3 mm each. The Dreher yarn may take any form (e.g.,
monofilament, multifilament, hybrid yams, meltable monofilaments, and twists), with
multifilaments being preferred. The Dreher yam will typically have a fineness of
between about 50 and 500 dtex. These desciptions of the Dreher yarn and the anchoring
yam are equally applicable to the press felt embodiments described below.
The concept of employing a Dreher weave at the seam loops can be extended
to other configurations. For example, another embodiment of a press felt having
seam loops 50 that form a seam 50s is illustrated in Figure 4.
In this embodiment, an anchoring yarn 44 passes between upper portions
51 and lower portions 52 of the seam loops 50 in the manner
described with respect to the embodiment of Figures 3A and 3B. However,
a Dreher yarn 56 is woven such that it forms single float knuckles
58 over the upper portions 51a on one side of the anchoring yarn
54 (the side away from the seam 50s) and three yarn floats
59 (i.e., the Dreher yam 54 passes over the upper portions
51b of the seam loops 50 of three consecutive MD yarns) on the opposite
side of the anchoring yarn 54. As with the embodiment ofFigures 3A
and 3B, the Dreher yarn 56 can help to precisely fix the position
of the anchoring yam 54, and the anchoring yam 54 can increase the
density at the seam and provide anchoring for batt fibers.
An additional embodiment of a press felt of the invention is illustrated
in Figure 5. The press felt illustrated therein includes seam loops
60 with upper portions 61 and lower portions 62 as well as
an anchoring yarn 64 that passes between the upper and lower portions61,
62 of the seam loops 60. One Dreher yam 66 alternately forms
knuckles 67a, 67b on opposite sides of the anchoring yarn
64 as it passes over the upper portions 61 of the seam loops
60. A second Dreher yam 68 is woven such that it forms knuckles
69a over the upper portions 61 away from the seam 60s when
the Dreher yarn 66 is forming knuckles 67b adjacent the seam
60s, and forms knuckles 69b over upper portions 61 of the seam
loops 60 adjacent the seam 60s when the Dreher yarn 66 is forming
knuckles 67a away from the seam60s (i.e., the first and second
Dreher yams are woven in opposite Dreher patterns). The form, material and size
of the second Dreher yarn may be the same as what is described above for the first
Dreher yarn, or it may differ as warranted.
A further embodiment of a press felt of the present invention is illustrated
in Figure 6. The press felt illustrated therein includes seam loops
70 having upper portions 71 and lower portions 72 and an anchoring
yam 74 that passes between the upper and lower portions 71,72.
An additional CMD yam 73 is woven with the upper portions 71 of the
seam loops 70 nearer to the seam 70s than the anchoring yarn
74. The additional CMD yarn 73 alternately passes over the upper portion
71a of one MD yarn, then between the upper and lower portions 71b,
72b of the next MD yarn 71, then above the upper portion
71c of the next MD yarn 71, and so on in a repeating pattern. A Dreher
yarn 76 forms single float knuckles 78a,78b over alternate
seam loop upper portions 71 on opposite sides of both the additional CMD
yarn 73 and the anchoring yarn 74 and passes below both the additional
CMD yarn 73 and the anchoring yarn 74 as it extends between adjacent
MD yarns to form the aforementioned knuckles 78a, 78b.
The additional CMD yarn 73 typically takes the form of a single
ply or mutli-ply yam, but may take any form. The diameter of the additional CMD
yarn is typically between about 0.2 mm and 0.5 mm, or it may have a fineness of
between about 50 and 500 dtex. This description is equally applicable to additional
CMD yams described below in other embodiments.
Another embodiment of a press felt of the invention is illustrated
in Figure 7. The press felt shown in Figure 7 includes seam loops
80 with upper and lower portions 81, 82, and includes an additional
CMD yarn 83 and an anchoring yarn 84 like those described above in
connection with the embodiment of Figure 6. A Dreher yam 86 forms,
alternately, single float knuckles 88 on the side of the additional CMD yarn
83 and the anchoring yarn 84 away from the seam 80s and three-yarn
floats 89 over the seam loop upper portions 81 near the seam
An additional embodiment of a press felt of the present invention
is illustrated inFigure 8. In this embodiment, the press felt includes seam
loops 90 with upper and lower portions 91, 92. Rather than
employing an anchoring yarn like those described above and illustrated in
Figures 3A-7, in this embodiment a Dreher yarn 96 interweaves in a
Dreher pattern with the CMD yam 94 of the fabric that follows the regular
weave pattern and that is nearest to the seam loops 90. The Dreher yarn
96 interweaves to form single float knuckles98 on the side of the
CMD yarn 94 away from the seam 90s and three-yarn floats
99 on the side of the CMD yarn 94 nearest the seam 90s.
Typically, the CMD yam 94 nearest the seam 90s will
take the same form, will be formed of the same material, and will have the same
diameter as the other CMD yarns of the press felt. However, this need not be the
case, and the CMD yarn 94 may take other forms known to those skilled in
this art to be suitable for use in press felts. This description is equally applicable
to the embodiments below in which the CMD yarn nearest the seam is interwoven with
a Dreher yam.
Referring now to Figure 9, another embodiment of a press felt
of the present invention is illustrated therein. This embodiment includes seam loops
100 with upper portions 101 and lower portions 102. A CMD yam
104 is the CMD yarn of the regular weave pattern that is positioned nearest
to the seam 100s. An additional CMD yam 103 interweaves in an "over/under/over/under"
sequence with the seam loop upper portions 101. A Dreher yarn 106
passes below the CMD yam 104 and the additional CMD yarn 103 as it
interweaves to form knuckles 108a, 108b over alternate seam loop upper
portions 101 of alternate MD yarns on opposite sides of the CMD yam
104 and the additional yarn 103 in the manner described above for
the embodiments of Figures 3A, 5 and 6.
Referring now to Figure 10, a still further embodiment of a
press felt of the invention is illustrated. This embodiment includes seam loops
110 with upper portions 111 and lower portions 112. A CMD yam
114 is the CMD yarn of the regular weave pattern that is positioned nearest
the seam. A Dreher yarn 116 is interwoven with the CMD yarn 114 in
a Dreher weave to form knuckles 117a on the side of the CMD yarn away from
the seam 110s and three-yarn floats 117b on the side of the CMD yarn
nearest the seam 110s. A second Dreher yarn 118 is woven in a Dreher
weave with the CMD yarn 114 oppositely from the Dreher yarn 116, such
that it forms knuckles 119b on the side of the CMD yarn 114 nearest
the seam 110s and three-float knuckles 119a on the side of the CMD
yarn 114 away from the seam 110s.
Those skilled in this art will recognize that other combinations of
Dreher weaves at the seam loop are also possible. For example, a press felt may
include an anchoring yam of the type shown in the embodiments of Figures 3A-7
in combination with the Dreher yam patterns shown in Figure 10. As another
example, a press felt may include the nearest CMD yarn of the regular pattern shown
in Figure 10 with two Dreher yarns woven as shown inFigure 5, such
that each Dreher yarn forms knuckles on both sides of that CMD yarn. Other modifications
which can provide similar benefits and performance advantages may be apparent to
those skilled in this art and need not be described in detail herein.
For any of the illustrated or described embodiments, the press felt
of the invention may also include one or more batt layers. Referring back to
Figure 2, the press felt 14 includes two batt layers: a machine side
batt layer 120 and a paper side batt layer 122. Illustratively and
preferably, these batt layers 120, 122 are attached to the base fabric
layer 22 through a needling process, although other attachment techniques,
such as heat bonding and adhesives, can also be used with the present invention.
The machine side and paper side batt layers 120, 122 should be formed
of material, such as a synthetic fiber like acrylic, aramid, polyester, or nylon,
or a natural fiber such as wool, that assists in wicking water away from the base
fabric layer 22. Preferred materials for the batt layers 120, 122
include polyamide, polyester and blends thereof. The weight and thickness of the
batt layers 120, 122 can vary, although it is preferably that the ratio of
batt weight to fabric weight is about between about 0.5 and 2.0, with 1.0 being
more preferred. Also, in some embodiments, it may be desirable to have additional
batt layers or to omit either or both of the batt layers 120, 122.
The foregoing is illustrative of the present invention and is not
to be construed as limiting thereof. Although exemplary embodiments of this invention
have been described, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many
modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing
from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such
modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as
recited in the claims. The invention is defined by the following claims, with equivalents
of the claims to be included therein.