Successful Upgrade Of The soft-TRD Series By Thies Textilmaschinen

The range of uses for synthetic fibres continues to grow: for instance, man-made fibres are used for the production of functional clothing or technical textiles.

Technical textiles are used in the automotive industry, agriculture, in medical and health technology, and also in the construction industry  for buildings and infrastructure. Innovations and new application functionality — especially in the field of technical textiles — present dyehouses with ever greater challenges because these fibers and the resulting materials have to be made and processed according to very specific requirements.

Thies’ soft-TRD SIII was recently redesigned to be more energy efficient.

Universal equipment and machinery is therefore required to allow a flexible reaction to constantly changing market demands. For decades, the soft-TRD series developed by Thies GmbH & Co. KG, Germany, has offered customers successful processing options for a broad range of applications: the long chambers and the intensive penetration zone of the transport pipe of this series ensure maximum qualities and reproducibility.

The soft-TRD series recently has been redesigned and upgraded with the aim of offering resource-saving technology with even greater energy efficiency. High water consumption — which leads to an excessive use of chemicals — electricity and thermal energy, now can significantly be reduced according to Thies. The application engineers at Thies have succeeded in achieving liquor ratios of 1:4.5 for polyester woven fabrics.

The dyeing vessel has been redesigned so that it no longer needs to be fully flooded during processing. The fill level is freely selectable, and the fluid level can be adjusted according to the type and quantity of the textiles being used.

In partially filled systems, the temperature distribution is unfavourable as the liquid heated by the heat exchanger heats the textiles and also the dyeing vessel unevenly (See Figure 2). By using an intelligent vessel-wall temperature regulator, it is possible to achieve uniform and, more importantly, simultaneous heating of the product, the liquor and the vessel-wall (See Figure 3). This improved regulation also can help reduce the deposition of oligomers during polyester dyeing.

Figure 2: Thermal image of the soft-TRD SIII vessel without regulation

Items that are crease sensitive or have delicate surfaces can be treated gently at speeds of up to 600 meters per minute (m/min). The free material flow and the low-mounted intensive penetration zone of the transport pipe allow optimum relaxation, free shrinkage and a uniform treatment of the entire fabric rope in the chamber. The intensive penetration zone of the transport pipe has also been redesigned, avoiding excessive twisting of the rope. An automatically adjustable vario-nozzle provides additional flexibility as numerous articles can be successfully treated.

The soft-TRD SIII is designed for operating at temperatures of up to 140°C. Thanks to the new integrated vessel pressure regulation, the use of compressed air has been significantly reduced. The liquor can be drained at a temperature of less 92°C.

The nominal load of the soft-TRD SIII is 100 kilograms (kg), 150 kg and 200 kg per chamber. The modular design makes it possible to combine up to four chambers. Individual chambers can be locked off if required. This allows the processing of custom batch sizes.

Figure 3: Thermal image of the vessel with regulation

The drive reel has a reduced take-off height. This is particularly beneficial when treating items with a large elastic fibre content.

The continuous analysis and monitoring of the transport reel identifies stoppages immediately and reliably. The drive is stopped automatically within a second if required. The reverse drive makes it possible to remove knots and the process is then resumed automatically. This prevents abrasion and the quality of the finishing process is assured.

Chemicals, dyes and textile auxiliaries are used during the finishing of various types of materials. The soft-TRD SIII is equipped with two side- tanks: one for powdered chemicals and one for liquids. Powdered chemicals can be directly added without the need for time-consuming pre-solution of the treatment liquor in the dyeing vessel. This is because the soft-TRD SIII is equipped with an injector. One side tank is used for dissolving and dosing of liquid chemicals and textile auxiliaries, as well as dyes. These agents are diluted with liquid from the dyeing vessel in accordance with the guideline parameters and directed into the plant. The side tanks and the dyeing vessel are connected with the preparation tank. It is possible to prepare complete treatment baths and preheat them to the required temperature. Bath changes can then be carried out without wasting time.

A self-cleaning automatic filtration system has been installed in the circulation line to ensure permanent cleaning of the liquor. Fibre residues, threads and impurities are filtered out to reduce the risk of blockages in the liquor nozzle. An uniform nozzle pressure during the entire duration of treatment is ensured. The filter is also automatically cleaned after every programmed drainage process. Time-consuming manual changing and cleaning of the filter basket is thus no longer required. A spray system is integrated for optimum cleaning of the interior of the vessel. The use of this spray system during every drainage process ensure a good bath separation.

The soft-TRD SIII is equipped with a water meter to measure the consumption data. Measuring devices for electric and heat energy can be bought in addition. To keep a closer control over actual usage, the soft-TRD SIII can be fitted with measuring instruments for water quantity measurement and for measuring electricity and heat energy consumption, if required. The evaluation of the consumption can be seen directly on the machine controls or be viewed on the parent system. All machine and process parameters are displayed and logged online. The archived batch logs can also be displayed. Any possible faults or (manual) interventions are also logged and evaluated here.

The new THIES soft-TRD SIII is suitable for a wide range of textiles including multi-filament textiles, high-density products, mixed fabrics with varying elastane and polyester contents. In addition, high-quality woollen items can also be treated. The treated woven and knitted fabrics as well as non-woven textiles are characterised by their soft, voluminous feel.

October 14, 2014