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QC Innovations

Textile World reviews some of the latest developments in quality control and testing equipment.

TW Special Report

I t was roughly 18 months ago that Textile World last discussed testing technology (See " Testing Update," TW, January/February 2009). With developments constantly taking place in this specialized segment of the industry, it seemed appropriate to present some of the newest quality control equipment available to textile manufacturers.

Three new products are available through Greer, S.C.-based testing equipment supplier Advanced Testing Instruments (ATI). The Textest FX 3500 On-Line Tester "Combiscan" from Switzerland-based Textest AG. The Combiscan - for woven fabrics, nonwovens, felts, films and paper machine clothing - can measure air permeability or pressure drop, thickness and basis weight across a moving web, depending on the model selected. The FX 3500-TX light frame version measures air permeability and/or thickness; while the FX 3500-SX heavy frame version can measure basis weight, air permeability and/or thickness.


The FX 3500 On-Line Tester "Combiscan" from Switzerland-based Textest AG is available through Advanced Testing Instruments (ATI)

The Heal Martindale 900 Series™ abrasion and pilling tester is United Kingdom-based James H. Heal & Co. Ltd.'s latest-generation Martindale technology. The Maxi Martindale 909 features nine testing stations, and the Midi Martindale 905 model has five testing stations. The machines now can test lightweight, water-resistant materials; and feature smaller, more ergonomic pressing weight compared with the previous-generation Martindale testers. Tests are controlled using a keypad control panel and finger-molded grips facilitate sample removal.

ATI also offers the bench-top SoniSys Opus Out of Plane Ultrasonic System to measure Z-direction tensile stiffness, soft-platen thickness in accordance with TAPPI 551, elastic modulus, acoustic impedence, and attenuation and apparent density. Analysis is non-destructive, and the system is compatible with a variety of materials including paper, tissue, plastic film and composite materials.

Lawson Hemphill
Lawson Hemphill, Swansea, Mass., now offers the Entanglement Strength Tester (EST) LH-485, a high-speed production-scale tester for analyzing the number of entanglements per meter, length of entanglement skips and entanglement strength in man-made yarns. Speeds range from 50 to 400 meters per minute (m/min); and 22- to 1,500-denier draw-textured, fully-drawn (FDY) and partially-oriented yarns (POY) can be tested. The yarn transport system has two zones: The Draw Zone features a high-resolution tension device to measure the tension developed on the yarn as the entanglements are removed. The Entanglement Measurement Zone features a charged-coupled device camera that collects yarn diameter measurements to within 3.5 microns and uses the data to recognize and calculate the entanglements and entanglement skips in the running yarn.
lawson hemphill

Lawson Hemphill's LH-485 Entanglement Strength Tester

Werner Mathis
Concord, N.C.-based Werner Mathis USA offers the Crockmeter model CRO-B for measuring abrasion resistance of colored and printed textiles. The instrument has a minimum sample size of 51 millimeters (mm) by 127 mm, a 16-mm rubbing contact surface diameter and rubbing speed of 1 cycle per second; and can perform from 1 to 9,999 rubbing cycles in a test. Wet or dry samples may be tested using BS 1006D02, ISO 105-X12/D02 and AATCC 8-1981 - 8/165 test methods.

Measured Solutions
Measured Solutions Inc., Spartanburg, offers laboratory instruments for testing cotton and man-made fibers, and all types of yarns. One of the newest products is the Fibrotest from Germany-based Textechno Herbert Stein GmbH & Co. KG, which is a fiber length and strength tester that measures the two values on the same fiber bundle without the need for a calibration cotton sample. Once the measurements are recorded, Fibrotest determines the sample size from which the exact and absolute tenacity value can be calculated. If desired, the system can be calibrated with calibration cotton to replicate high-volume instrument (HVI) data. A comb-type sample holder is used to prepare the sample, and an optical system with high lateral resolution compensates for unavoidable fiber mass variation along the sample holder.


The Fibrotest from Germany-based Textechno Herbert Stein GmbH & Co. KG is available through Measured Solutions Inc.

The Covatest, also from Textechno, is an evenness tester for slivers, rovings, and staple fiber spun yarns. The machine uses capacitance to measure the mass irregularity along the sample, and the option hairiness module uses a modern optical sensor with last illumination to determine yarn hairiness. Results, including a mass spectrogram, are displayed both graphically and numerically during the test and can be retrieved easily using an open Database access.

Oerlikon Fibrevision
United Kingdom-based Oerlikon Fibrevision Ltd. reports its FibreTQS SF - On Line Spin Finish Measurement technology eliminates production of off-quality yarn and substantially improves downstream quality. In real time, the system measures and grades the spin finish level and variation in POY and FDY manufacturing processes. It also eliminates transient and short-term faults not identified during regular lab testing.

Fibrevision also recently introduced the Fraytec FV, the latest generation of its known Fraytec MV broken filament monitoring system. In addition to using Fibrevision's advanced software, the newest model offers optional features to capture and quantify digitally all filament events, as well as monitor interlace level.

Cleveland-based Q-Lab Corp.'s new rotating-rack Q-Sun B-02 lightfastness tester for textile labs complies with the ISO 105 B02 standard, as well as AATCC TM 16 and AATCC TM 169 options 2 and 3. Q-Lab reports the affordable, fully automated, compact tester is easy to install and use, requires minimal maintenance, and can operate around the clock. Features include long-life xenon lamps and a special filter lantern to produce the required light spectrum; Solar Eye™ irradiance control with AutoCal calibration system; an electronic humidity sensor to control relative humidity; simultaneous control of chamber air temperature and black standard temperature; and substantially larger specimen capacity compared with similar testers. In addition, Q-Lab recently added a water spray feature for the rotating rack, which adds weathering testing capabilities to the machine.

Q-Lab Corp.'s Q-Sun B-02 lightfastness tester

SDL Atlas
SDL Atlas, United Kingdom, offers the Moisture Management Tester for knitted and woven apparel fabrics. It measures the wetting time, absorption rate, maximum wetted radius and spreading speed of both inner and outer surfaces; one-way wicking capacity from the inner to the outer surface; and the overall moisture management capacity. Another SDL Atlas instrument, the Hydrostatic Head Tester M018, measures a fabric's resistance to water penetration under hydrostatic pressure. An electronic sensor applies static or dynamic pressure until the material leaks in three places. The results from three consecutive tests are combined to calculate an average minimum hydrostatic pressure along with a rating for that material. The instrument can hold a specimen of up to 30 mm in thickness at a maximum pressure range of 3 bar, and the electronic pressure sensor provides consistent testing conditions throughout for reliable results.


SDL Atlas' Moisture Management Tester is suitable for testing knitted and woven apparel fabrics.

Last year, Uster Technologies AG, Switzerland, acquired the Zweigle product range. Uster has integrated Zweigle's technology into its product range, and its research and development staff have taken complementary technologies from both brands to develop new, advanced technologies, including the Uster ® Zweigle HL400 yarn hairiness tester, which operates at a speed of 400 m/min - eight times faster than the 50 m/min of its Zweigle system predecessor and other competitors' products, and compatible with the speed of the Uster Tester 5.

The Uster® Zweigle HL400 yarn hairiness tester enables in-depth yarn-engineering opportunities and helps in monitoring and controlling the overall performance level of the compacting system at the ring spinning frame.

"Precise analysis of yarn hairiness is vital for many textile applications, as hairiness has a significant influence on both the appearance and durability of fabrics, as well as impacting on the productivity and efficiency of subsequent processing stages," said Gabriela Peters, product manager.

"As compact spinning technology becomes more popular with spinners, measurement of both Uster Hairiness and Zweigle hairiness values is vital to allow spinners to be in full control of the quality fo the yarns they produce," said Richard Furter, head of Textile Technology.

"The Zweigle acquisition strengthened the overall portion of Uster Technologies in yarn testing and certification, as well as providing customers with a single source for all their laboratory testing needs," said Dr. Geoffrey Scott, CEO. "Future editions of Uster Statistics global quality benchmarks will include data from Uster Zweigle-based instruments to enable product quality to be correlated with internationally-recognized standards."

July/August 2010