Friday 22 December 2006

Old Rayon Filament Spinning Machines

The first man-made fibres were intended to replace silk in apparel, and the yarns were marketed as art-silk (artificial silk).
(from "Courtaulds: An Economic and Social History", Clarendon Press, 1969)

The artificial silk spinning machine designed and built by Count Hilaire de Chardonnet c. 1889 for spinning cellulose nitrate (dissolved in an alcohol/ether mixture) into hot air to make fine yarns.

The first Dobson & Barlow machine to produce rayon commercially in Courtaulds Coventry works in 1905. Here a solution of cellulose xanthate in caustic soda was extruded into and regenerated by a sulphuric acid bath

By 1930 the machines were bigger and faster and capable of stretching the yarn, but still recognisably based on the 1905 design.

Cakes of acid yarn had to be wound into skeins for washing in 1930

By 1950, the continuous spinning and washing system was used. This system was for producing tyre-yarn at Carrickfergus.

Further Reading: "Regenerated Cellulose Fibres edited by Calvin Woodings, Woodhead Publishing Ltd, Cambridge, England

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