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Advanced applications

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Contents

Advanced applications........................................................................... 6-1


6.1
6.1.1
6.1.2
6.1.3
6.1.4
6.1.5
6.1.6
6.1.7

Neps: The Correlation between Fiber Neps and Yarn Neps.........................................................6-1


Experimental Design .....................................................................................................................6-2
Measuring principles......................................................................................................................6-3
Methodology ..................................................................................................................................6-4
Results of ring yarns......................................................................................................................6-4
Results of rotor yarns ....................................................................................................................6-5
Yarn analysis with Inspection Stop................................................................................................6-6
Summary .......................................................................................................................................6-8

6.2

Maturity: The Significance and Application of AFIS Maturity Measurements in Cotton Yarn
Manufacturing ...............................................................................................................................6-8
6.2.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................6-8
6.2.2 USTER AFIS Maturity Module .....................................................................................................6-9
6.2.3 Origins of fabric barr in finished fabrics .......................................................................................6-9
6.2.4 Experimental................................................................................................................................6-10
6.2.5 Results of raw material ................................................................................................................6-10
6.2.6 Results of finisher draw frame slivers..........................................................................................6-11
6.2.7 Results from data comparison between raw material and finisher sliver ....................................6-12
6.2.8 Result from data comparison of raw material to USTER STATISTICS.....................................6-13
6.2.9 Quality of rotor yarns ...................................................................................................................6-15
6.2.10 Quality of the knitted fabrics ........................................................................................................6-15
6.3

Conclusions .................................................................................................................................6-16

6.4
6.4.1
6.4.2
6.4.3

Trash and Dust ............................................................................................................................6-16


Introduction ..................................................................................................................................6-16
The effect of reduction in sliver trash content on weaving efficiencies .......................................6-17
The effect of different production speeds on yarn quality ...........................................................6-19

6.5

Summary .....................................................................................................................................6-22

6.6

References ..................................................................................................................................6-22

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

Advanced applications

This section contains examples for the more advanced AFIS user. Specific areas of data application
are discussed and possible solutions based on AFIS results are given.
The challenge in yarn manufacturing is that the raw material, fibers in any loose state, are not
changed in its basic characteristics to form a new product, as for example wood is carved to a new
shape. Inherent fiber characteristics such as length, strength and fineness should be maintained in its
original state so that the spinning process can take full advantage of them.
However, undesirable parameters, such as neps, seed coat neps, excessive short fiber content,
immature fiber content, dust and trash disturb the spinning process and prevent the yarn from
achieving the quality desired. In addition, processing parameters such as machine settings,
throughput rates and production speeds influence the resulting yarn quality. If not set appropriately,
these processing parameters affect the fiber material negatively resulting in a deterioration of the
inherent fiber parameters mentioned above. This is the main reason for developing maintenance
schedules in manufacturing, monitoring and controlling overall quality and efficiency levels.
Below, several examples for AFIS measurements are described that show the extended application of
the results. It should be mentioned that only a specific experiment is described here. Processing
variables will be different with different production machines and procedures in other spinning mill
locations. The idea is to give the instrument user some ideas how to further utilize the AFIS, after the
basic groundwork has been done (see Chapter 2 of this manual). It is not the intention to give
recommendations how to set specific machine settings and throughput rates, or how to manage a
spinning mill. In short, we cannot provide a recipe, but we can talk about the ingredients of how to
optimize a spinning mills process.

6.1

Neps: The Correlation between Fiber Neps and Yarn Neps

The amount of fiber neps in cotton is an important quality parameter as already discussed in Chapter
3 of this manual. A high nep content in the fiber material usually results in a high nep content in the
yarn. A high nep content in the yarn can result in processing problems in weaving or knitting, reducing
production efficiencies. Further more, the human eye detects neps as knots or uneven surface
structure in the finished fabric as disturbing [1].
With the introduction of the USTER AFIS in the early 1990s, it became possible to objectively
measure neps in cotton fibers for the first time. The USTER TESTER series has been measuring
neps in yarn since the 1960s. How can the information received by both instruments be compared
and interpreted? And, is it possible to make a prognosis of the nep content in the finished yarn based
on the nep content in the fiber material? Those were the questions that lead to the following
experiment described below. However, before starting such an investigation, a few more facts need to
be considered:

What is the spinning process? Yarns made by different spinning processes have fundamentally
different yarn characteristics.

What is the yarn count range? In order to investigate general relationships, it is important to
include a wide range of yarn counts. Often, only a small range of yarn counts are evaluated with
little difference in their quality parameters. Thus, by the nature of the experiment, no relationship
of any significance can be found by this statistical analysis.

USTER AFIS PRO

6-1

Advanced applications

What are the ranges in fiber properties? This relates closely to the statement above regarding the
yarn count ranges. In order to find good statistical relationships, a wide range of fiber properties is
desirable.

What process stages are being evaluated? We cannot predict yarn properties directly from the
fiber properties in the bale as the intermediate processing stages change and influence the fiber
material (from card mat to sliver, from comber lap to sliver etc., all drafting processes). There are
general tendencies, for example stronger cotton results in a stronger yarn. However, these
general tendencies are often an insufficient explanation for the final yarn properties.

6.1.1

Experimental Design

The following experiment was carried out in two separate phases to evaluate the relationship between
fiber and yarn neps: In the first phase, a total of 17 combed or carded ring yarns were produced from
6 different test samples. Each sample was spun in at least two or even three different yarn counts.
The yarns were produced on the same ring-spinning machine, on the same spinning positions and
under the same conditions at the RIETER research facility in Switzerland. In the second phase, a total
of 26 open-end yarns were produced from 5 different combed or carded draw frame slivers at the
Schlafhorst research facility in Germany. The same procedures were followed as for the ring yarns:
The fiber samples were produced on one rotor-spinning machine and on the same spinning positions.
Table 6-1 and Table 6-2 below list the quality parameters for each fiber material with its respective
yarn result for the ring yarns and for the open-end yarns. The most important fiber parameters were
chosen from the USTER AFIS test results, such as nep, dust and trash content, as well as mean
length by number L(n) in millimeters and short fiber content by number SFC (n) in percent. The raw
material for both tests was selected to cover a very wide range with respect to the nep content. The
nep content was the only yarn characteristics of the USTER TESTER evaluated in this case.
Further explanation about the respective measurement principles and the methodology applied in this
study can be found in the sections 6.1.2 and 6.1.3 below.

AFIS

Fiber
Neps [cN/g]
Trash [cN/g]
Dust [cN/g]
L(n) [mm]
SFC(n) [%]

Neps +200%/g

Yarn
Ne 12
Ne 20
Ne 27
Ne 30
Ne 40
Ne 50
Ne 60
Ne 94
Ne 112

Table 6-1

6-2

RA
carded
89
10
30
21.1
21.3

RB
combed
49
1
11
24.0
9.7

RC
combed
33
0
7
28.0
7.3

RD
combed
111
2
22
23.5
13.6

RE
carded
6.9
26
120
18.1
36.1

RF
combed
15
0
13
27.8
6.1

RA
carded

RB
combed

RC
combed

RD
combed

RE
carded
30
99
178

RF
combed

3
21
51

3
3
8
18

15
34

2
4
7

53
77

Test results for the ring yarns

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

AFIS

Fiber
Neps [cN/g]
Trash [cN/g]
Dust [cN/g]
L(n) [mm]
SFC(n) [%]

Neps +200%/g

Yarn
Ne 6
Ne 11
Ne 14
Ne 20
Ne 24
Ne 28
Ne 33
Ne 37
Ne 42

Table 6-2

OA
carded
224
20
105
19.1
28.8

OB
combed
273
22
240
19.7
25.8

OC
combed
130
12
364
20.9
21.2

OD
combed
71
9
19
22.1
19.3

OE
carded
30
0
5
24.9
9.1

OA
carded

OA
combed
0
1
1
4
7

OC
combed

OD
combed

OE
carded

1
1
7
9
14

0
0
2
3
6
9

1
3
4
20
26

0
0
0
1
8

Test results for the rotor yarns

All rovings and draw frame slivers were tested under laboratory conditions on the USTER AFIS. The
yarns were tested with the usual settings for nep measurements of +200% for ring yarns and +280%
for rotor yarns on an USTER TESTER. Because the capacitive measuring system does not
distinguish between an actual fiber nep and a trash particle, the test program was extended to include
the Inspection Stop feature of the USTER TESTER. A total of 100 neps were cut out from each yarn
according to the respective nep content and then visually analyzed under the microscope.

6.1.2

Measuring principles

The measuring principle of the USTER AFIS is different from that of the USTER TESTER in so far
as the USTER AFIS is an optical system (see Fig. 2-2). The fiber samples are opened into individual
fibers in the opening unit, and are then passed in free airflow by the optoelectronic sensor. The pulses
generated by the sensor are converted into electronic signals and evaluated by a computer. One
sensor distinguishes between individual fibers and neps. A second sensor is required for the trash
and dust particle measurement. After the test has been completed, the fibers, neps, dust and trash
particles are deposited into a waste container.
The USTER TESTER, on the other hand, counts neps, which are classified as imperfections, with a
capacitive measuring system. Imperfections are divided into thin places, thick places and neps. Neps
can consist of an accumulation of fibers, dust or trash particles that result in a mass variation
registered by the capacitive sensor of the USTER TESTER and therefore are counted as yarn neps.
The USTER TESTER provides four different sensitivity levels for the nep size: +140%, +200%,
+280% and +400%. Every mass increase that exceeds one of these sensitivity levels is counted as a
nep, relating to a reference length of 1 mm.
A typical example: A 100% mass increase over 3 mm would correspond to a 300% mass increase
over 1 mm and would therefore be counted as a nep at +280%. The maximum length for a nep to be
counted as such is 4 mm. If an accumulation of fibers is longer than 4 mm, it is either counted as a
thick place or not counted at all depending on its dimension.

USTER AFIS PRO

6-3

Advanced applications

1 mm
+ 400%
4 mm
+ 100%
1
1st nep

Fig. 6-1

1
2nd nep

USTER yarn nep and the corresponding signal in the measuring slot

For ring yarns, the established sensitivity level is +200%, whereas rotor yarns are tested with a
nominal mass increase or nep size of +280%. The reason for the different sensitivity levels is that the
typical wrapper fibers of the open-end rotor yarns would normally cause the USTER TESTER to
count them as neps, although the human would not detect them as such in the fabric.
The information on both ring and rotor yarns published in the USTER STATISTICS is based only on
the respective sensitivity levels mentioned above.

6.1.3

Methodology

Because of the different sensor systems, it is not possible to compare fiber neps detected by the
USTER AFIS directly with the yarn neps measured by the USTER TESTER A direct comparison
resulted in an r value of only 0.46, which means that another way has to be found to establish a
correlation. In addition, the USTER AFIS also measures the nep size [m]. However, since small
neps are embedded in the yarn core, they are not necessarily detected by the USTER TESTER.
Large neps, on the other hand, are not enclosed in the yarn core and are therefore counted as neps
in the yarn. The focus of this experiment was the question what critical nep size as detected by the
USTER AFIS in the fiber material would result in a nep count on the USTER TESTER in the yarn.
For this study, the neps were classified according to their size and shown as a cumulated value per
gram. The neps detected by USTER TESTER were likewise converted into counts per gram, taking
the respective yarn count into consideration (see Table 6-1 and Table 6-2 above). This value was
then compared with the table of the size classes for fiber neps to determine the critical nep size for
each yarn.

6.1.4

Results of ring yarns

Fig. 6-2 below shows the critical nep size in roving for the different ring yarn counts from Ne 12 to Ne
112. The differences between carded and combed qualities are insignificant so that one single curve
can be applied.

6-4

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

Fig. 6-2

Critical nep size for ring yarns

Fiber neps measured in roving with a size above the curve shown in Fig. 6-2 will result in yarn neps of
the corresponding yarn count. For example, the critical nep size in roving for a ring yarn Ne 30 is 900
m. Every fiber material displays a natural variation in nep size, which is approx. 200 m, and
therefore not very large.
Generally, all fiber neps that are found in roving for yarn counts above Ne 60 will also transform into
yarn neps. With these yarn counts, the yarn diameter is so small that no fiber neps or trash particles
can be enclosed in the yarn core. Thus, the sensitivity level set at the USTER TESTER will always
be exceeded, and a nep will be detected.

6.1.5

Results of rotor yarns

The same classification was applied to the rotor yarns. Fig. 6-3 below shows the critical nep size in
finisher sliver for the different open-end yarn counts from Ne 6 to Ne 42. For technical reasons, the
yarn count range for rotor yarns is inevitably smaller compared to ring yarns.

USTER AFIS PRO

6-5

Advanced applications

2000

1800
2

R = 0.8841

1600

1400

AFIS nep size

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
10

20

30

40

50

60

Yarn count [Ne]

Fig. 6-3

Critical nep size for rotor yarns

Initial results showed that this classification did not apply for yarn counts coarser than Ne 20. The
open-end spinning process embeds most of the fiber neps counted in the fiber material, resulting in
very low numbers of neps counted by the USTER TESTER in the yarn. Therefore, these yarns could
not be included in the data comparison shown in Fig. 6-3 above.
The curve of the critical nep size in finished sliver for rotor yarns is much steeper than the curve for
ring yarns. For example, for a rotor yarn count Ne 30 the critical size is approx. 1200 m, and only
900 m for a yarn count Ne 40. This proves that open-end rotor yarn is less susceptive to neps in
fiber material prior to spinning than ring yarns. Fiber neps tend to be embedded in open-end rotor
yarns, in opposite to ring yarns, where fiber neps tend to be visible at the outside of the yarn body.
Another characteristic of the open-end rotor spinning process is the additional cleaning feature in the
spin box itself. Neps and seed coat neps, trash and dust particles can be extracted directly before the
actual spinning process.

6.1.6

Yarn analysis with Inspection Stop

In order to evaluate the source of a nep count in yarn, neps detected at the respective sensitivity level
for ring yarns and rotor yarns were cut out using the function Inspection Stop of the USTER
TESTER. All neps were then visually analyzed under the microscope, and the amount of fiber neps
and seed coat neps (SCN) in ring and rotor yarns were calculated in percent. Some foreign fibers and
sticky spots were found as well, but the amount of these contaminants was very low and therefore
negligible.

6-6

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

100
90
80

Fiber neps

70

Percentage

60
50
40
30

Trash particles + SCN


20
10
0
0

20

Fig. 6-4

40

60
Yarn count in Ne

80

100

120

Amount of neps and trash particles in ring yarns (% of IPI Nep Count at +200%)

The test results of the ring yarns in Fig. 6-4 show very clearly that the amount of fiber neps in yarn
increases with the yarn count while the number of seed coat neps decreases. The intersecting point is
at the yarn count Ne 30, which is certainly due to the fact that most yarns above that count are usually
combed, thus extracting trash and seed coat neps.
100

90

80

SCN
70

Percentage

60

50

40

30

Fiber neps
20

10

Fiber rings
0
0

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Yarn count in Ne

Fig. 6-5

Analysis of SCN, fiber neps and wrapper fibers in rotor yarns

USTER AFIS PRO

6-7

Advanced applications

Aside from the fiber neps and the see coat neps, the analysis of rotor yarns also has to include the
wrapper fibers. With coarse yarn counts, most of the counted neps are actually seed coat neps. But
the results again show very clearly that the number of seed coat neps decreases and the number of
actual fiber neps and fiber rings increases with a finer yarn count. Interestingly enough, the point of
intersection for rotor yarns is also around Ne 30.
The fact that the point of intersection for both the ring yarns and the rotor yarns is at Ne 30 leads us to
assume that the raw material used for yarn counts coarser than Ne 30 is somewhat alike for both
spinning methods.

6.1.7

Summary

This study has shown how fiber neps are related to yarn neps. A connection between the two
parameters can only be made via the nep size in the fiber material. An examination of the set critical
nep size on yarns from the USTER STATISTICS confirmed the respective limits.
In general, we can also conclude the following:

In regard to ring yarns with yarn counts above Ne 60, all fiber neps detected in the roving will later
be found in the yarn.

In regard to rotor yarns with yarn counts below Ne 20, no conclusion can be drawn from the
critical nep size in the roving, because the number of neps in the yarn is too small.

The analysis of yarn neps has shown that there is an intersection or transition point at a yarn count of
Ne 30 from neps or fiber rings to trash particles with both ring yarns and rotor yarns. The decrease in
the number of trash particles in ring yarns can be explained by the fact that the combing process is of
crucial importance at these higher yarn counts. With regard to rotor yarns, a finer yarn count means
that fewer fibers are transported into the rotor and therefore ensures a better clearing of trash
particles.
With this study, we have been able to establish the connection between fiber neps and yarn neps.
The two diagrams clearly define the critical limit for neps and this allows the user to make a prognosis
of the nep content in yarn. In other words, the neps detected with USTER AFIS enable the user to
determine the critical spinning limit with regard to the nep content.

6.2

Maturity: The Significance and Application of AFIS Maturity Measurements in


Cotton Yarn Manufacturing

6.2.1

Introduction

Maturity and fineness of cotton fibers are often the basis of long and exhaustive discussions among
industry partners since these parameters determine to a great extent the dying capabilities of a fabric.
Many tests in spinning mills have shown that 70 % of yarn-related dye problems have their origin in
the raw material. Hairiness, yarn count and yarn twist variations contribute only 10% each to the
problems [1].

6-8

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

The return of goods to the original manufacturer, the spinner, combined with a claim is usually quite
costly. In many countries Micronaire is used as an indication for fiber maturity and fineness. To avoid
fabric barr Micronaire variation is kept to a minimum. However, practical experience shows, that
Micronaire is not always a sufficient indicator of maturity, especially when different cotton varieties of
different origins are blended [6].

6.2.2

USTER AFIS Maturity Module

Traditional Air-Flow-Instruments for the measurement of maturity and fiber fineness determine only
the average for a cotton sample. Additionally, the degree of opening and the contamination of the
sample have a considerable influence on the measured value [2]. With the AFIS Length and Maturity
Module it is possible to determine not only the length, but also the maturity of single fibers and the
variation thereof. At the same time the Immature Fiber Content (IFC) and the fiber fineness in millitex
and its variation are determined.
For the determination of maturity and fineness USTER AFIS measures single fibers, as with the
other modules. The optical sensors are designed in a way, that light sources create a shadow and
scatter image of the fiber. This new technology enables the measurement of the circumference and
the area of individual fibers. The Immature Fiber Content (IFC) is a newly defined parameter, which
indicates the percentage of immature fibers in the sample. Fibers with a circularity of less than 0.25
are defined as immature. The lower the Immature Fiber Content the better the dyeability of fibers [see
also Chapter 3 of this Manual].

6.2.3

Origins of fabric barr in finished fabrics

The following situations with the raw material can cause fabric barr:

Blending of cottons from different origins

Blending of cottons of different varieties

Seasonal influences during cotton growth:


Influence of weather and climate
Infestation by insects or fungi

Immature fibers (Immature Fiber Content, IFC [%])

The following experiment will show how Maturity Ratio and Immature Fiber Content affect
downstream processing of cotton yarn and influence fabric appearance. Furthermore it will
demonstrate which of the two fiber properties Maturity Ratio or Immature Fiber Content - has a
higher effect on dye ability.

USTER AFIS PRO

6-9

Advanced applications

6.2.4

Experimental

Ten bale laydowns (or mixes) that were processed over two weeks in a European cotton mill were
analyzed. Each of the laydowns was processed individually and was followed through the entire
spinning process up to the yarn. For this purpose samples were taken from the bale laydown, the card
chutes, card and the draw frame slivers, and the finisher sliver feeding the rotor spinning frame. All
the yarn samples were taken from the same ten spinning positions, to eliminate the influence of the
rotor spinning process. The produced rotor yarn of Ne 30 (20 tex, Nm 50) was knitted afterwards on
an interlock machine, and was piece-dyed in blue.
Each of the bale laydowns consisted of 21 bales, originating from five different regions. All ten
laydowns had the same composition. The selection of the individual bales was based only on the
average Micronaire, not on the Micronaire variation.
All fiber samples were tested on the AFIS-Multidata, i.e. besides length and maturity data, neps and
trash content were determined as well. In the yarn all quality-relevant properties were measured.

6.2.5

Results of raw material

Fig. 6-6 below shows the average, the minimum and the maximum value for the Immature Fiber
Content in each of the ten laydowns. The average IFC value over all ten laydowns shows only little
variation. The lowest value was measured in laydown no. 9 with 10.8 %, while laydown no. 1 had the
highest Immature Fiber Content with 12.1%.
Mean
Range

Immature Fiber Content


IFC [%]

16.0

16.0

14.0

14.0

12.0

12.0

10.0

10.0

8.0

8.0

6.0

6.0

4.0

4.0

2.0

2.0

0.0

0.0
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-6

Immature Fiber Content per Laydown in Raw Material, Means and Ranges

However, the variations within the individual laydowns are quite high as can be seen by the large
differences between minimum and maximum value. For example, the Immature Fiber Content in
laydown no. 3 ranges from 7.2% to 14.2% within a laydown of only 21 bales. Some laydowns, e.g. no.
8, show a considerable smaller range within the identical composition of 21 bales from the same
growth areas.

6-10

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

Mean
Range

Maturity Ratio

1.1

1.1

1.0

1.0

0.9

0.9

0.8

0.8

0.7

0.7

0.6

0.6

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.0
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-7

Maturity Ratio per Laydown in Raw Material, Means and Ranges

Fig. 6-7 above shows the same results for Maturity Ratio across the ten different laydowns. The
differences between and within the laydowns are not as noticeable as with the Immature Fiber
Content. The average Maturity Ratio of all ten laydowns is 0.83 and none of them shows a significant
deviation from the average. Especially the variation within the individual laydowns is less pronounced
compared to the IFC. Over all laydowns, the Maturity Ratio has a range of app. 0.1.

6.2.6

Results of finisher draw frame slivers

The same figures were generated for the finisher draw frame slivers. Even after processing each
laydown in opening/cleaning, carding and two draw frame passages the Immature Fiber Content (Fig.
6-8 below) shows a variation between the averages of the ten laydowns. Furthermore, the range
within each laydown is still considerably high. Since this is the last processing step prior to rotor
spinning, where only trash and dust are extracted, all the immature fibers will be processed into yarn.
Mean
Range

12.0

12.0

Immature Fiber Content


IFC [%]

10.0

10.0

8.0

8.0

6.0

6.0

4.0

4.0

2.0

2.0

0.0

0.0
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-8

Immature Fiber Content per Laydown in Finisher Draw Frame Sliver, Means and Ranges

USTER AFIS PRO

6-11

Advanced applications

Mean
Range

Maturtiy Ratio

1.10

1.10

1.00

1.00

0.90

0.90

0.80

0.80

0.70

0.70

0.60

0.60

0.50

0.50

0.40

0.40

0.30

0.30

0.20

0.20

0.10

0.10

0.00

0.00
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-9

Maturity Ratio per Laydown in Finisher Draw Frame Sliver, Means and Ranges

The Maturity Ratio in Fig. 6-9 above has a similar distribution as in the raw material. There are no
distinct differences between laydowns, and the variations within each laydown are considerably small.

6.2.7

Results from data comparison between raw material and finisher sliver

The average values for the Immature Fiber Content and the Maturity Ratio change from raw material
to the finisher draw frame sliver, with the IFC decreasing and the Maturity Ratio increasing. The main
reason for this behavior is that immature fibers are extracted in the opening/cleaning line and on the
card, which in results in a higher MR value and a lower IFC value in the finisher sliver.
Since there is no additional blending after finisher drawing, apart from the additional blending effect
in the rotor, the following results are especially important. Fig. 6-10 below shows a comparison of the
coefficient of variation of the Immature Fiber Content in the raw material and in the finisher sliver.
Except for laydown no. 4 the coefficient of variation is reduced by about 3% in the spinning
preparation process. This is indicates, that the different bales have been well blended throughout the
process. However, the coefficient of variation of the IFC within the finisher slivers is still quite high
when compared to Maturity Ratio.

6-12

USTER AFIS PRO

Laydowns
Draw Frame Slivers

14.0

12.0

10.0

CV IFC [%]

Coefficient of Variation of Immature Fiber Content

Advanced applications

8.0

6.0

4.0

2.0

0.0
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-10

Coefficient of Variation of Immature Fiber Content per Laydowns, Raw Material vs. Finisher Draw
Frame Sliver

As mentioned above, the coefficients of variation for the Maturity Ratio shown in Fig. 6-11 below are
considerably smaller in comparison to the IFC. The average coefficient of variation for all slivers from
the ten laydowns is in the area of 1% without significant differences between the laydowns.
Laydowns
Draw Frame Slivers

3.0

2.5

CV Mat Ratio [%]

Coefficient of Variation of Maturity Ratio

3.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0
1

10

Laydown

Fig. 6-11 Coefficient of Variation of Maturity Ratio per Laydowns, Raw Material vs. Finisher Draw Frame Sliver

6.2.8

Result from data comparison of raw material to USTER STATISTICS

Two important fiber quality parameters were compared to the USTER STATISTICS in order to
position the cotton quality used in the laydowns:
1. The number of neps per gram, which have a direct influence on the number of imperfections in
the yarn [3], and
2. the short fiber content, which has an influence on yarn evenness.

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Advanced applications

In Fig. 6-12 and Fig. 6-13 below, the averages for the ten laydowns were recorded in the respective
USTER STATISTICS diagrams. For the x-axis an average fiber length of 28.3 mm was selected, as
this represented the average fiber length of the cottons used in the laydowns. The number of neps per
gram for this raw material blend was near the 25%-line, which is a relatively low nep level. The
average short fiber content for all laydowns was 22%, which is close to the 5%-line in the USTER
STATISTICS, and therefore represents a very low level. This comparison to the USTER
STATISTICS shows that the selected raw material was, in fact, of high quality with respect to its nep
and short fiber content. Both are good indicators of the overall cotton quality, as increased levels in
SFC and nep content normally indicate over-ginning or other production related quality problems (for
example, a high content of immature fibers due to irregular weather conditions during the cotton
growth period).

Fig. 6-12

Average Nep Content of all laydowns compared to USTER STATISTICS

Fig. 6-13

Average Short Fiber Content (n) of all laydowns compared to USTER STATISTICS

6-14

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Advanced applications

6.2.9

Quality of rotor yarns

In the yarn, evenness, imperfections, hairiness and all tensile properties were measured. These
quality parameters did not show a significant variation between the bale laydowns. The comparison of
the yarn results with the USTER STATISTICS show that evenness and imperfections were close to
the 25%-line.
No negative physical effects were observed during processing since both yarn and raw material data,
compared well to the 25%-line in the USTER STATISTICS.

6.2.10 Quality of the knitted fabrics


The yarn sequence on the knitting machine was selected in such a manner, that a yarn with a high
Immature Fiber Content was always followed by a yarn with low Immature Fiber Content, based on
the results of the draw frame slivers. This resulted in larger differences between the yarns with
respect to Immature Fiber Content in the beginning of the knitted fabric compared to the end of the
fabric.
Fabric barr caused by the differences between bale laydowns became clearly visible after the fabrics
were dyed (fabrics not shown). As expected, they were more pronounced in the beginning, and
started to diminish towards the end of the fabric. Based on the experimental setup, the difference in
Immature Fiber Content between the first and the second yarn was 1.2%, between the second and
third yarn only 1% and was continuously decreasing in the same manner. Despite these small
differences the fabric barr in the knitted fabric is very pronounced.
Laydown 1

Frequency

6
5
4
3
2
1

16.0

15.5

15.0

14.5

14.0

13.5

13.0

12.5

12.0

11.5

11.0

10.5

10.0

9.5

9.0

8.5

8.0

IFC
IFC[%]
[%]

Laydown 8

Frequency

6
5
4
3
2
1

16.0

15.5

15.0

14.5

14.0

13.5

13.0

12.5

12.0

11.5

11.0

10.5

10.0

9.5

9.0

8.5

8.0

IFC [%]

Laydown 2

Frequency

6
5
4
3
2
1

16.0

15.5

15.0

14.5

14.0

13.5

13.0

12.5

12.0

11.5

11.0

10.5

9.5

10.0

9.0

8.5

8.0

IFC [%]

Fig. 6-14

Distribution of IFC in selected laydowns (1,8 and 2)

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6-15

Advanced applications

The reason for this effect is shown in Fig. 6-14 above, where the distribution of the IFC values
measured in three laydowns is shown. Laydown no. 1 shows a large IFC range from 10% to 15.5%,
whereas laydown no. 8, which was knitted on second position, shows a much better homogeneity.
Laydown no. 2, knitted on third position, had again a larger range in IFC values compared to laydown
no. 8, but was more mature than laydown no. 1.
This means: The first knitting band (from laydown no. 1) had a high variation in Immature Fiber
Content, with a tendency to immaturity (higher average IFC), followed by a band from a homogenous
laydown (no. 8), again followed by a laydown (no. 2) with high variation in IFC but a lesser tendency
to immaturity (lower average IFC). With this constellation, fabric barr is almost pre-programmed.

6.3

Conclusions

The fabric barr in the finished fabric is caused by the variation of the Immature Fiber Content in the
individual bale laydowns. Since cottons from five considerably different growth areas were blended in
each laydown, the variation between the laydowns has been combined with variations within the
individual laydowns.
Based on the experimental conditions and the results, the following recommendations for the
composition of bale laydowns can be made:

The difference between the average Immature Fiber Content value for subsequent laydowns
should be not larger than 0.5%.

The difference of the coefficient of variation of Immature Fiber Content within a laydown
should not exceed 2% between subsequent laydowns.

It should be noted that these recommendations are only valid for the actual investigated case. With
the help of the AFIS L&M instrument each spinning mill can perform a similar analysis and determine
its own, mill-specific guidelines.
This experiment shows in a practical way one of the problems related to the composition of bale
laydowns. With the help of the USTER AFIS L&M it was demonstrated, that not only the average
Micronaire or Maturity Ratio should be considered for the bale selection process. Average and
variation of the Immature Fiber Content have a much higher influence on the dye ability of fabrics.
From this experiment it can be concluded that the Immature Fiber Content is one of the most
important parameters for fabric appearance.

6.4

Trash and Dust

6.4.1

Introduction

The trash content in card and draw frame sliver has a significant impact on the spinning efficiency and
yarn quality, especially in open-end rotor spinning. The following two examples show how the AFIS
Trash module can be utilized for process optimization by the spinning mills. The production rates may
not be comparable to todays throughputs since all trials were been carried out some years ago.
However, the applied principles still hold in todays spinning environment. The main idea is to show
how a trial can be conducted in a spinning mill to get a similar benefit from the data application.

6-16

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Advanced applications

6.4.2

The effect of reduction in sliver trash content on weaving efficiencies

A trial was done in a vertical operation to determine the impact of reducing the trash content in card
sliver on spinning and weaving. Production efficiencies were found to be low in both operations, and it
was found that the trash levels in sliver were much too high. An effective machine maintenance and
rebuilding schedule was then put into practice.
The sliver trash content, card cleaning efficiency, ends down/ 1000 spindle hours (sph) and weaving
efficiencies were recorded over a period of six months to monitor the improved maintenance
schedule. The results were the following:

AFIS V.F.M.% levels in card sliver were reduced from 0.48 to 0.13%. Card cleaning
efficiencies rose from 50 to over 80% (Fig. 6-15 below).

The ends down in spinning improved dramatically from a high at the beginning of the trial of
over 50 per 1000 spindle hours to an acceptable level of 18 ends down (Fig. 6-16 below).

Weaving efficiency improved greatly due to less breaks in warp and filling yarns. The
improvement in yarn quality resulted in an increase of weaving efficiency from 88% to 93%
(Fig. 6-17 below).

Utilizing the AFIS V.F.M. % (Visible Foreign Matter) value to monitor the trash and dust content in the
sliver provided the necessary control to measure the improvement in machine maintenance.
Therefore, the mill decided to continue using the V.F.M. % value as a benchmark for their internal
quality control procedures.

81

80

0.40
V.F.M.%

100

0.48
83

0.36
72

68

0.30
53

60

0.20

0.20

0.17

40
0.12

0.13
20

0.10

0.00
July

August

September
V.F.M.%

Fig. 6-15

80

Card Cleaning Efficiency %

0.50

October

November

December

Card Cleaning Efficiency %

Reduction of V.F.M.% in card sliver vs. card cleaning efficiency

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Advanced applications

Ends Down/ 1000 Sph

60
50

50

40

32
28

30

18

20
10
0
July

Fig. 6-16

August

September

October

Reduction of ends down/ 1000 sph

95.0

Weaving Efficiency %

94.0
93.0
92.0
91.0
90.0
89.0
88.0
87.0
86.0

Fig. 6-17

6-18

em
be
r
D
ec

em
be
r
N
ov

O
ct
ob
er

be
r
Se
pt
em

Au
gu
st

85.0

Increase in weaving efficiency

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

6.4.3

The effect of different production speeds on yarn quality

A spinning trial investigated whether a reduction of trash content in sliver would enable an increase in
spinning speed. The basic trial set up is summarized in Table 6-3 below. Four different lots were
produced under different spinning preparation conditions as shown in Table 6-4 below.
Mill Trial Descriptions

new rotor spinning, older opening and carding equipment


Increase in OE spinning speed from 48,000 to 60,000 rpm
Yarn count: Ne 16, 100% cotton, carded
Filling yarn for denim fabric (weaving)

Table 6-3

Mill trial descriptions

Sample Number

Cleaning (lbs/ hr)

Carding (lbs/ hr)

Licker-in (rpm)

1620

90

850

2*

1620

90

1100

1250

70

1100

930

50

1100

Table 6-4

Machine settings during trial, 2* = plant standard

Lot number 2 presented the mills standard operating settings with a throughput of 1620 pounds per
hour in opening and cleaning, a card production of 90 pounds per hour with a licker-in speed of 1100
rpm.
For lot 1, the same throughput rates in opening and cleaning were maintained, but the speed of the
licker-in was reduced. For lot 3, the licker-in speed was maintained, but the throughput in opening and
cleaning was reduced by 23% to 1250 pounds per hour. The card production was also reduced by
23% to 70 pounds per hour. For lot 4, again, only the licker-in speed was maintained at 1100 rpm.
The throughput in opening and cleaning was reduced drastically by 43% to 930 pounds per hour, and
the card production by 44% to 50 pounds per hour.
As expected, trash levels in card mat and sliver of lot 3 and 4 showed improvements with lower
throughput rates in opening and cleaning and carding. Trash levels in the card mat were reduced from
1.41% to 1.24% and levels in card sliver were reduced from 0.42% to 0.27% (Fig. 6-18). The
reduction of the licker-in speed of lot 1 did not show any influence on trash contents in card mat and
sliver.

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Advanced applications

1.60

1.41

1.40

1.40

1.32

1.24

V.F.M.%

1.20
1.00
0.80
0.60

0.42

0.40

0.40

0.32

0.27

0.20
0.00
1

Fig. 6-18

Card Mat

Card Sliver

Decrease in visible foreign matter in card mat and sliver

Card cleaning efficiencies increased from 69% to 78% between lot 1 and lot 4 (Fig. 6-19), proving that
lower production rates have a favorable impact on spinning preparation processes.

Card Cleaning Efficiency %

100
80

69

70

75

78

60
40
20
0

Fig. 6-19

Increase in card cleaning efficiency

Card sliver from the four sample lots were spun on open-end rotor spinning frames at 60,000 rpm to a
yarn count Ne 16. The resulting yarn quality parameters are shown in Fig. 6-20 andFig. 6-21 below.

6-20

USTER AFIS PRO

Advanced applications

Yarn CV% + IPI Values

60

54

52

50

44

40
32
30
20

15

14

15

14

14

14
10

10

0
1

2
Yarn CV%

Fig. 6-20

Thick Places (+50%)

4
Neps (+280%)

USTER TESTER yarn quality data, for open-end rotor yarn, Ne 16

Lot number 1 and 2 did not show much difference in yarn mass variation, thick places and neps as
measured on the USTER TESTER. Please note that thin places were not recorded as none were
counted on the USTER TESTER in each case. The yarn mass variation remained the same for lot 3
and 4 as well. However, a considerable reduction in thick places and neps could be achieved.

H1 + H2 Classimat Faults

40
33

35
30

27

25
20

20
15

10
5
0
1

Fig. 6-21

USTER CLASSIMAT H1 + H2 faults for open-end rotor yarn, Ne 16

The USTER CLASSIMAT values for the H1 and H2 classes (long thin places) showed an
improvement in all three cases that were deviating from the plant standard 2. Again, lot 3 and 4
showed the most significant improvement, which confirms that an overall lower production level
results in overall better yarn quality.

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Advanced applications

6.5

Summary

This trial of applying AFIS trash measurement data in the spinning mill resulted in the following
conclusions:

6.6

Reduced throughput rates in opening, cleaning and carding result in lower trash levels in
card sliver.

Reduced throughput levels in opening, cleaning and carding result in higher cleaning
efficiencies in carding.

In the yarn, thick places and neps were reduced with lower trash content in the sliver,
whereas yarn mass variation remained the same.

The amount of long thin places in the yarn was reduced with lower throughput rates in
opening, cleaning and carding.

References

[1]

Jankey,Yoseph M.: The Solutions for controlling Fabric Barr, 1996, Proceedings of the
Beltwide Cotton Conference, USA, pp. 1284 1288

[2]

Frber, Ch.: FMT Measurement in Mill Practice Importance, Problems, Corrective Action,
1990, Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, Las Vegas, USA.

[3]

Frber, Ch.: The Significance of AFIS Nep and Trash Particle Count in Determining
Imperfection Levels of Cotton Yarns, 1996, Proceedings of the International Cotton Conference
Bremen, Germany, pp. 93 - 102

[4]

The correlation between fiber and yarn neps, Gabriela Peters, Uster Technologies, Switzerland
(also available at www.uster.com)

[5]

Impacts on Yarn Quality of USTER AFIS Measurements of Cotton Fiber Length Distributions,
Eric F. Hequet, M. Dean Ethridge, Textile Topics, International Textile Center, Texas Tech
University, Lubbock, Texas, Winter 2000 Publication

[6]

The Significance and Application of AFIS Maturity Measurements in Cotton Yarn


Manufacturing, Gabriela Peters, Uster Technologies, Switzerland (also available at
www.uster.com)

6-22

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