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THE APPLICATION OF THE EVENER OR FEED REGULA
TOR TO THE LAPPER.
BY WILLIAM A. BURKE, Esq., OF LOWELL, MASS.
Mr. President and Gentlemen :
The government of this association has requested me to present a Report, at this meeting, on the “ Application of the Evener to the Lapper"; and having recently had an opportunity of making some trials and observations on the subject, I have prepared the following brief paper for your consideration.
Taking the cotton as the Opening Machine leaves it, in a loose and fleecy condition; spreading it on the Feed Apron of the Lapper; passing it through that machine, and delivering it in a continuous sheet; and winding, say fisty or sixty yards, on a Roll at the lap end of the Lapper, we have what is called a Lap, ready to be placed to the carding machine, or to be again passed through a second Lapper for a more thorough cleaning from its impurities; and after this second beating, then to go to the Carding machine.
It is very evident that this sheet of cotton, or Lap, should be made as even in thickness, and as uniform in weight for its length, as is practicable, when we consider that it is the first step in the process by which the cotton receives its length and grist; and any imperfections in its evenness here will be felt in the future operations, and must be remedied before it is finished into yarn.
Supposing the Lap weighs eight ounces to one yard in length, then if No. 30 yarn is to be made, this one yard becomes 12,600 yards long. It is true, by often repeated doublings in the subsequent operations, we are able to remedy any minor defects in the Lap; yet we are all aware that Laps not uniform in thickness or weight cause much trouble and annoyance to the carder in the processes carried on in his department. Some of the difficulties in the manufacture of an even 'Lap are owing to the manner in which it is made.
The usual practice is as follows:—The Lapper tender grasps in his arms a quantity of cotton that has passed through the Opener, and places it on the pan of the Scale that stands near the feed apron, and then takes from, or adds to it, enough cotton to make the right weight per yard for the Lap,—the draft in the Lapper, and loss by passing the Beaters, being estimated and provided for. Having obtained the right amount, he then spreads it as evenly as he can upon the space marked off on the feed apron for one weighing.
This act of spreading is done by the judgment of the tender; and as the cotton delivered from the Opener is not very uniform in weight for its bulk, it is easy to see that the evenness with which it is spread can only be approximated, and is not to be depended upon for accuracy. This defect in evenness of spreading is not of so much consequence in the breadth of the Lap, as it is in regard to the length. For if the Lapper has a good Fan draught, or Suction, on the circular screens or cages, any difference, not excessive, in the evenness of the cotton on the breadth of the apron, is likely to be overcome before the cotton reaches the Lap end of the machine. But if the defect in spreading is in the length of the feed apron, this defect will remain, and be incorporated into the Lap when formed. Besides the difficulties already stated, in forming an even Lap, when the spreading is done by hand, I might also note those which are caused by the negligence and carelessness of the tender, by not weighing carefully or correctly; and sometimes an excessive speed of the feed apron, which makes correct weighing, and even spreading, matters of some difficulty.
For the purpose of bringing to your notice some of the results of weighing and hand spreading on the Lapper, as usually practised, I have takeu the trouble of making some trials to test its accuracy. We have in use at the Boott Cotton Mills, at Lowell, three Lappers, built by the Lowell Machine Shop, after the Messrs. Walker and Hacking's plan. These Lappers have three Beaters each, and each Beater has three Knives or Blades. These Lappers, I hardly need say, are very effective machines : have an excellent fan draft, and do their work in a thorough manner.
As our work is arranged, we take the cotton from the Opener, weigh
and spread as has been described, and make it into Laps for the Cards on these machines without passing it through a Finisher Lapper. All the trials or tests noted in this paper have been made by taking one yard in length from a Lap, and weighing on a scale graduated for quarter ounces. The Lap has been unrolled a few feet on the floor, so as to avoid any stretching, and then, placing on the unrolled part a wooden frame just one yard in length, the piece to be weighed was separated and taken out with all needful care. Sixty trials on as many Laps were made for each Lapper, making one hundred and eighty trials in all. Six trials were made on each Lapper per day, ten days in succession. As the variations in weight on the different Lappers were nearly the same, I have added the number of trials together, where the weights were alike. The results are as follows:
The whole weight of the 180 yards being 1,523 ounces, and the average weight 8.46 ounces per yard. It will be seen that the extreme difference is 24 ounces,–146 of the trials varied one ounce, and 133 varied three-fourths of an ounce, or less. These trials were made on Laps made in the usual course of work, and I presume give a fair result of weighing and spreading by hand, as usually practised.
I now come to the matter of an Evener, or, as it is usually called, a “ Feed Regulator,” as applied to a Lapper.
The first attempt to apply a Feed Regulator to a Lapper, so far as I have any knowledge, was made some twelve or fifteen years since, by Mr. Edward Lord, of the firm of Lord Brothers, of Todmorden, England.
Without going into any particular description of this invention, I will briefly state, that its operation as an Evener is effected by any movement, up or down, of the top Roller of the first pair of futed Rollers in the Lapper, through Levers and a pair of Cones, so arranged that the speed of the Feed Rollers and Feed Apron would be in accordance with the quantity or thickness of cotton
required to mako a Lap of the proper weight. If too great a thickness of cotton is presented to the Feed Rolls, the Top Roll rises, and the belt on the Cones being moved by the operation of the Levers, the speed of the Feed Rolls, and also of the Feed A pron, is lessened ; and, vice versa, if too little cotton is supplied to the Feed Rolls, the Top Roll falls, and the speed of the Rolls and Feed Apron is increased.
That this Feed Regulator is somewhat defective in producing the desired result of a Lap which shall be of an even thickness, is quite evident, if we consider that it is uniformity of weight in length that is essential ; for, although evenness in the breadth of the Lap is very desirable, so that a uniform quantity of cotton may be presented to the whole breadth of the Card Cylinder, yet it is not essential for a uniform grist of Card Sliver. The operation of this Regulator is such that, if the proper thickness of cotton is passing between the central portion of the top and bottom Feed Rolls,--say for only one-third or one-half of their length,--and there is a deficiency at both ends of the Rolls, this deficiency would not be noticed by the Regulator, and no increase of speed would be obtained. So, also, if cotton enough was passing between the end portions of the Feed Rolls, and there was a deficiency at the central part, the Lap would be deficient in weight, under such circumstances.
From what I have observed of this Regulator, I think it may perhaps dispense with the labor of weighing the cotton; and if some pains is taken to spread the cotton evenly across the breadth of the Feed Apron, it may give tolerably satisfactory results; but not much better than those obtained by weighing and spreading in the usual manner.
The Boott Mills have in operation a three-Beater Lapper, made by Evan Leigh, Son & Co., of Manchester, England, to which is attached one of the Regulators just described.
We use this Lapper as a finisher; placing on the Feed Apron two Laps made on an ordinary Lapper, the cotton for those Laps being weighed and spread in the usual manner.
The following is the result of sixty trials, of the weight of one yard each, taken from as many Laps made on this Lapper,—six trials being made each day for ten successive days :
The whole weight of the 60 yards being 5441 ounces, and the average weight per yard being 9.07 ounces. The extreme difference in weight was 14 ounces, and 56 of the Laps varied one ounce, or less.
Some three or four years since, Mr. Edward Lord made an improvement on his previous patent for the Feed Regulator that I have been describing, by which irregularities or inequalities in the breadth of the cotton carried on the Feed Apron, as well as those in the length, can be obviated.
In this improved Regulator but one Feed Roll is used. This Roller is mounted in fixed bearings or stands, and, beside the usual flutes or grooves in its length, has similar grooves (about eight in one inch of length) turned in its circumference,--the surface of the Roll being thus divided into square teeth, with rather blunt points. Underneath this Feed Roll is a feeding trough or shell, composed of Levers 14 inches wide, which operate on the apparatus for changing the speed of the Feed Roll and Apron, as occasion requires. The Feed Roll is driven in nearly the same manner as in his first patent.
As the operation of this Improved Regulator will be much better understood by proper plans or diagrams, W. T. Horrobin, Esq., the agent in this country for Messrs. Lord Brothers, has kindly furnished engravings and description of the apparatus, which will be found appended to this Report
By the arrangement as shown in the diagrams, it will be seen, to quote the description, “If a handful of cotton be laid on all at one place, or taken off from one place, the apparatus immediately compensates for it."
We have at the Boott Mills two of Messrs. Lord Brothers' Lappers, with Feed Regulators of this last improvement attached. They have been in use for six or eight months, and have operated entirely to our satisfaction, thus far; and we have purchased five others, which are now being put in operation.
These Lappers have two Beaters each, and are used as Finisher Lappers. The Laps that are placed on the Feed Apron are made