United States Patent Chilpan Sept. 9, 1975 1 RING-TRAVELER ASSEMBLY FOR A 3.583.146 6/1971 Myers 1. 57/119 TEXTILE TWISTING MACHINE OR THE LIKE Primary ExaminerJohn Petrakes 1 At: ,A r, F J hH.He d  Inventor: Kurt Constantine Chilpan, Seneca, omey gen or (rm osep ar  ABSTRACT  Asslgnee: Robefls Company Sanford The ring component has an annular groove extending  Filed: Feb. 20, 1974 generally radially therethrough. The traveler component includes main body and anchor portions, adapted [2 I] Appl' 443970 during use of the assembly to be respectively disposed radially inwardly and radially outwardly from the ring  US. Cl 1. 57/119; 57/125 gr and a fl ng -li i l p r ion adapted to  Int. C1. Doll-1 7/52; D01H 7/60 t n hrough h ring groove. In preferred embodi-  Field of Search 57/119, 120, 125 ments thereof. h r l r is uni rily formed from wear-resistant plastic material and its anchor portion  Reference Cited is retractable and extendable so as to be readily insert- UNITED STATES PATENTS able through the ring groove but, following such ll'lSCl 327,550 10/l885 Hayden 57/119 "9" to 9 wfldrawal Cooper 588,817 8/1897 Draper v V I I I 57H [9 atmg bearmg surfaces upon the rmg and traveler pro- 743138 H903 Booth H 57/l25 X v1de large areas of engagement therebetween during 79|615 6/1905 Farmer I v 57/I25 X normal operation of the assembly, and prevent the 1,333.072 3/1920 Forbes 57/125 x traveler from assuming an excessively tilted or otherl,372,844 3/1921 Tarrantw 57/119 wise undesirable orientation during its movement [542,500 6/l925 Gordon... 57/l20 about the ring, 1.962.239 6/1934 Gilligan.... 57/125 x 2194,45; 9 1942 Harrison H 57/125 x 31 Clalmsr 26 Drawmg Figures sum 1 o g PATEN'I'EB 919? 3, 903 .689
sum u o 9 RING-TRAVELER ASSEMBLY FOR A TEXTILE TWISTING MACHINE OR THE LIKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Nov. 3, 1903 to z. E. Booth; 791,615, issued June 6,
1905 to T. P. Farmer et al.; 1,333,072, issued March 9, 1920 to Union Industrial Company; 1,372,844, issued March 29, 1921 to C. .l. Tarrant', 1,542,500, issued June 16, 1925 to S. S. Gordon; 1,962,239, issued June 12, 1934 to US. Ring Traveler Company; 2,294,453, issued Sept. 1, 1942 to W. G. Harrison; and 3,583,146, issued June 8, 1971 to US. Ring Traveler Company. Although ring-traveler assemblies of the type in question have considerable potential merit, to applicants knowledge none of the previously proposed construe tions thereof have operating characters significantly superior to those of more conventional assemblies. Additionally, the prior constructions have been relatively expensive, either from the viewpoint of initial manufacturing or acquisition cost and/or from the viewpoint of installation and maintenance expense. Noteworthy in the latter regard is the fact that in most of not all of the previously proposed constructions, traveler installation can be effected only be disassembling and subsequently reassembling at least one component, usually the ring component, of the ring-traveler assembly to some extent. Since even a moderate-size textile mill would normally utilize hundreds of thousands of travelers within a single year, the time spent in traveler replacement in the foregoing required manner could easily become prohibitive, in terms of man-hours consumed and/or machine production-time lost.
OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is the provision of an improved ring traveler assembly, of the type wherein the ring and traveler are secured in association with one another by cooperation between an annular groove within the ring and an anchor portion of the traveler, which permits traveler installation and replacement to be rapidly effected when required without disassembly of any components, but which also reli ably insures that the ring and traveler components of the assembly will not inadvertently become disassociated from one another during use of the assembly.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a ring-traveler assembly, of the indicated type, which is quite durable even when operated at exceedingly high operating speeds, and which possesses highly stable and uniform operating characteristics under all operating conditions, such latter feature of course being important to the quality of the yarn (which term is intended to encompass all types of threads, filaments, etc.) processed by such assembly.
Still another object is the provision of a ring-traveler assembly, of the type described, which is relatively inexpensive to construct, install, maintain and use.
A related and more specific object is the provision of a traveler member, for use in an assembly of the type described, which may be economically unitarily formed by injection molding techniques, and which includes an anchor portion which is resiliently or otherwise movable so as to be readily insertable into the groove of the ring component of the assembly, but which thereafter resists withdrawal through such groove and thereby maintains the traveler component in association with the ring component of the assembly.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved ringtraveler assembly, generally of the grooved-ring type discussed above, which readily pen-nits traveler re' placement when required without disassembly and subsequent reassembly of any components, and/or which is so constructed to be capable of prolonged uniform operation even at operational speeds much greater than those heretofore believed to be commercially attainable. In accordance with preferred embodiments of the invention, the traveler component of the assembly may be and preferably is economically and unitarily formed by injection molding from nylon or similar wear-resistant and durable plastic material having a memory" characteristic: i.e., the ability to resiliently return at least partially to the molded shape thereof following temporary deformation under stress. The traveler component includes a main body portion, an anchor portion and a flange-like medial portion. The anchor portion of the traveler is so constructed as to be capable in a retracted configuration thereof of rapid insertion into and through the groove within the ring component of the assembly. Following its insertion through the ring-groove, the anchor portion of the traveler assumes an extended configuration wherein it resists withdrawal from the groove and reliably maintains the traveler and ring components in association with one another.
Cooperating bearing surfaces upon the ring and traveler provide a large area of engagement between such components during normal operation of the assembly, and stabilize the traveler when and as required during its movement about the ring. Primary ones of the aforesaid bearing surfaces are provided upon the main body portion of the traveler component and upon inwardlyfacing sections of the ring component, such surfaces being disposed exteriorally of the ring-groove but in adjacent relationship to its inwardly-facing entrance opening. The aforesaid primary bearing surfaces upon the traveler and ring are maintained in engagement with one another during normal operation of the assembly by the centrifugal forces then exerted upon the traveler, and provide a large area of engagement between the components. Additional bearing surfaces provided upon the ring component adjacent the radially outwardly opening of the groove are normally spaced from and out of engagement with the anchor portion of the traveler component, but cooperate therewith when required to prevent excessive displacement of the traveler component in a radially inwardly direction under the impetus of, for example, a momentary abrupt increase in the tension of the yarn being processed by the assembly. Still other cooperating bearing surfaces are provided upon the ring and traveler components for the purpose of preventing, when required, the traveler component from assuming an uncentered and/or excessively tilted orientation during its movement about the ring component. Such surfaces preferably include the confronting ones upon the ring groove and a medial, flange-like traveler portion extending within such groove. The medial traveler portion and the ring groove are so proportioned relative to one another that attempted assumption by the traveler of an excessively tilted orientation is resisted by engagement between the aforesaid surfaces adjacent both the leading and the trailing edge sections of the medial traveler portion. In addition to tending to restore the traveler to a non-tilted orientation, the aforesaid engagement also discourages localized wearing of the traveler which, if permitted to occur, could adversely affect the operating characteristics of the assembly.
To further facilitate traveler replacement when desired or required, the annular groove provided within the ring component of the assembly extends completely through such ring component along at least a portion of its circumference, and preferably along most or all of it, and opens radially-outwardly therefrom. This provides convenient access to the anchor portion of a traveler mounted upon the ring, and also discourages the possible accumulation of lint or other debris within the ring.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other features and advantages of the invention will be in part apparent and in part pointed out specifically hereinafter, in the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a ring-traveler assembly constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section taken generally along the lines 2-2 through the assembly of FIG. I, and showing the traveler component of the assembly in side elevation;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged top plan and front elevational views, respectively, of the traveler of the assembly of FIGS. 1 and 2, a fragmentary portion of the ring also being shown in phantom lines in FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 is a fragementary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation. of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 5 assembly;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the traveler component of the FIG. 7 assembly;
FIG. 9 is a vertical section taken approximately along the line 99 through the traveler of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ringtraveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. II is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 10 assembly;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIGS. 13 and 14 are top plan and front elevational views, respectively, of the traveler of the FIG. 12 assembly;
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in' side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 16 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 15 assembly;
FIG. 17 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 17 assembly;
FIG. 19 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 20 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 19 assembly;
FIG. 21 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 22 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 21 assembly;
FIG. 23 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention;
FIG. 24 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 23 assembly;
FIG. 25 is a fragmentary view, partially in vertical section and partially in side elevation, of another embodiment of a ring-traveler assembly according to the invention; and
FIG. 26 is a top plan view of the traveler of the FIG. 25 assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The ring-traveler assembly designated in its entirety in FIGS. 1 and 2 by the numeral 10 includes a traveler component I2 (also shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) and a ring component 14, the latter being comprised of upper and lower sections 16, 16' arranged in vertically spaced, parallel relationship so as to define therebetween an annular groove 18 extending generally radially within and through ring 14 and opening inwardly and outwardly therefrom. Ring 14 is of a lubricated type. Annular lubricant reservoirs 20, 20 are machined and/or molded within its respective upper and lower sections 16, 16', which sections are each illustratively formed of porous metal capable of passing lubricant from the reservoirs to bearing surfaces provided upon ring 14 and to be subsequently described. Alternatively, ring sections 16, 16' might of course be formed of nonporous metal and provided with suitable capillary passageways innerconnecting reservoirs 20, 20 and the desired ring surfaces. Ring sections 16, 16 and the reservoirs 20, 20' therein are respectively overlaid and underlaid by annular cover-plate and lubricant-seal members 22, 22'. Members 22, 22' are formed of nonporous material, and are permanently joined to the respective ring sections 16, 16' as by a press-fit, bonding and/or other suitable means. At spaced locations about their peripheries cooperating flange elements upon members 22, 22' are similarly secured to one another so as to dq fine a plurality of circumferentially spaced bracket members 24, 24, 24" which rigidly join together the forego' ing components of ring 14 into a unitary structure. The vertical portions of bracket members 24, 24', 24" are spaced outwardly from the peripheries of ring sections l6, 16', for reasons which will subsequently become apparent. At one of the aforesaid bracket members, illustratively bracket 24, suitable fittings are provided for during operation of assembly directing desired quantities of lubricant to reservoirs 20, 20' from one or more lubricant-supply conduits 26 servicing ring 14 and the other similar rings which would normally be mounted therewith upon the ring rail of e yarn twisting machine (not shown) or the like in association with which the rings are used.
A plurality of annular bearing surfaces 28, 28', 30, 30' and 32, 32, each of which receives lubricant from one or the other of reservoirs 20, 20' and is suitably finished so as to possess a low coefficient of friction, are provided upon sections 16, 16' of ring 14 in vertically paired relationship to the groove 18 within such ring. Primary bearing surfaces 28, 28' are respectively disposed closely above and below the radially-inwardly facing entrance opening of groove 18, and each flares away from such groove at a desired angle relative to the horizontal. While such angle may vary depending upon the particular results desired, it is illustratively approximately 60 in the case of each surface 28, 28' of the FIG. 2 assembly. Bearing surfaces 30, 30' are formed upon and/or comprised of those confronting horizontal surfaces of ring sections 16, 16' which define and constitute the respective upper and lower extremities of groove 18. Bearing surfaces 32, 32' are respectively disposed closely above and below the radiallyoutwardly facing rear opening of groove 18 and, as shown in FIG. 2, each extend approximately vertically. The width of bearing surfaces 32, 32' may be and illustratively is considerably less than the considerable width possessed by the primary bearing surfaces 28, 28' disposed radially inwardly thereof.
Referring now also to FIG. 3, the traveler component 12 of assembly 10 has an elongate main body portion 34, an anchor portion 36 and a flange-like interconnecting or medial portion 38. A yarn guide member 40, which illustratively is of an elongate sinuously curved type suitable for use in down-twisting operations, has one end connected to traveler main body portion 34 upon the radially-inwardly face of such traveler main body portion, and extends outwardly and upwardly therefrom. Traveler I2 may be and preferably is unitarily formed, as by an injection molding operation, from nylon or other plastic material having good wearresistance. If desired, glass fibers or other substances may be incorporated in the material from which traveler 12 if formed, to further increase its strength, stiffness and/or wear-resistance. At least the material from which the travelers anchor portion 36 is formed also possesses resilience or memory; i.e., the tendency to return to the formed shape thereof following temporary deformation under stress. As is shown in FIGS. 2-4, anchor portion 36 is generally of conical andpartially hollow construction. In its normal unstressed and extended configuration illustrated in the drawings, the maximum diameter of anchor portion 36 exceeds the height of groove I8 of ring 14. However, to permit convenient mounting of traveler 12 in association with ring 14, anchor portion 36 is capable of assuming and will assume a "squashed" or retracted configuration (indicated by phantom lines in FIG. 4) when inserted into the inwardly facing opening of groove 18, and in such retracted configuration may be readily moved radially outwardly through and from groove 18. After passing beyond the rear (i.e., radially outwardly) opening of groove 18, anchor portion 36 resiliently returns to substantially its original extended configuration illustrated in solid lines in the drawings, wherein it resists withdrawal back through groove 18 and thereby secures traveler 12 in association with ring 14.
Main body portion 34 of traveler 12 is too large to pass into groove 18, and a pair of primary bearing surfaces 42, 42' are provided upon its radially-outer face. Bearing surfaces 42, 42 extend along the full length of main body portion 34, and are respectively above and below medial traveler portion 38. Surfaces 4 2, 42 preferably have widths only slightly less than, and curvatures approximately complementary to, the respective ring bearing surfaces 28, 28'. Although the curvature of each surfaces 42, 42' is shown as being a continuous arc, the same could take the form ofa plurality of linear segments. The aforesaid ring and traveler bearing surfaces 28, 28' and 42, 42' are adapted to be maintained in contact with each other during normal operation of assembly 10 by the centrifugal forces then exerted upon traveler 12 during its movement about ring 14, and provide a large area of bearing engagement between the ring and traveler during normal operation of the assembly.
In addition to the aforesaid primary function of providing a large area of bearing engagement between the ring and traveler during normal operation, surfaces 28, 28' and 42, 42' also assist, to some extent and due to their inclinations relative to the vertical, to resist the possible assumption by traveler I2 of an uncentered and/or excessively tilted orientation during its movement about ring 14. However, this latter function is performed primarily by medial traveler portion 38, which projects radially outwardly from main body portion 34 of traveler l2 and, during use of assembly 10, is received within ring groove 18. The length of medial traveler portion 38, along at least some part thereof enclosed within ring groove 18, is preferably greater than the vertical dimension of such groove and may equal (as shown) or even exceed the length of traveler main body portion 34. The maximum thickness of the groove-enclosed part of medial traveler portion 38 is slightly less than the vertical dimension of groove 18. At those times during operation of assembly 10 when traveler 12 is in neither an excessively uncentered or tilted orientation, engagement between the traveler and ring 14 will occur solely at the cooperating bearing surfaces 28, 28' and 42, 42', and there would be no engagement between the bearing surfaces 30, 30' within ring groove 18 and the confronting bearing surfaces 44, 44' defined by the respective upper and lower faces of medial traveler portion 38. But upon the assumption by traveler 12 of a tilted or uncentered orientation, as might be caused by a change in tension of the yarn being processed and/or a reversal of the direction of movement of the ring rail (not shown) mounting assembly l0, engagement limiting and tending to correct the misorientation of the traveler would immediately occur between at least one of the pairs of confronting bearing surfaces 30, 44 and 30', 44'. If traveler 12 should become uncentered but not tilted, then the aforesaid engagement would occur only between either surfaces 30, 44 or surfaces 30, 44, but in any event would be over a relatively large area. If the traveler misorientation should be due to tilting, the ensuing engagement would still be distributed over a sizable area since the same would occur between sections of both pairs of confronting surfaces 30, 44 and 30', 44', at 10- cations thereon adjacent both of the opposite leading and trailing edges of medial traveler portion 38. Such engagement not only more widely distributes the wearforees imposed upon medial traveler portion 40 but also, due to a fulcrum effect, minimizes the magnitude of such forces. The durability of traveler 12 of assembly 10, and the uniformity of its operating characteristics over a prolonged period of use, are believed to be attributable in large part to the aforesaid cooperation between medial travel portion 38 and groove 18.
The remaining bearing surfaces 32, 32' of ring 14 are adapted to engage the radially inward edges of conical anchor portion 36 of traveler 12 when and if the traveler should be subjected to a force tending to displace the same radially inwardly, and to then cooperate with anchor portion 36 in resisting such inward traveler dis placement. Traveler 12 would be subjected to such a force only infrequently, as at start-up of assembly 10 and/or if the yarn being processed by the assembly should for some reason momentarily be subjected to an abrupt increase in tension. At other times, and during most of the operation of assembly 10, the centrifugal forces upon traveler l2 maintain the same in its radially-outwardly position illustrated in FIG. 2, wherein a considerable clearance exists between its anchor portion 36 and the ring bearing surfaces 32, 32'. To prevent traveler anchor portion 36 from possibly being cammed" toward its retracted configuration by engagement with bearing surfaces 32, 32', on those infrequent occasions when such engagement occurs, surfaces 32, 32' preferably extend approximately vertically (as shown) or, if inclined, have their inclinations directed inwardly and not outwardly.
A ring-traveler assembly such as assembly 10 is capable of prolonged, stable operation at speeds much greater than those heretofore believed to be attainable. By way of illustration, an assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention was operated at speeds of 13,500 feet per minute for 144 hours, and at the end of such period the traveler component of the assembly was still in good, usable condition. Engagement between the ring and traveler of the present assembly is selectively distributed, is over large areas, and is exclusively of the sliding type. Unlike travelers having rolling contact with a ring, which travelers become unusable upon significant wearing of any bearing component thereof, traveler 12 remains operational even when worn to a considerable extent by prolonged and- /or high-speed operation of assembly 10. It will also be appreciated that traveler 12 and ring 14 can each be manufactured in quantity at a very low unit cost, and the traveler can be rapidly mounted in association with the ring without disassembly of either component. Additionally, traveler replacement can be readily effected, when desired. This is facilitated by the fact that along most or at least a significant portion of the outer periphery of ring 14, groove 18 opens outwardly from the ring and is not in any way enclosed thereby. Therefore,
when it is desired to remove traveler 12 from association with ring 14, this may be quickly done simply by compressing its readily accessible anchor portion 36 with a pair of pliers or the like while pulling its main body portion 34 inwardly or, if further use of the traveler is not contemplated, by cutting or twisting off its anchor portion. The open" construction of ring 14 further discourages or prevents an accumulation of lint or other debris from forming therewithin, and thus contributes in this manner to the ease of maintenance of assembly 10.
The ring-traveler assembly 48 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 is generally similar in structure and function to assembly 10 of FIGS. 1-4, and the following description will therefore be primarily directed to its differences from the previously described assembly. Ring 50 of assembly 48 might be lubricated by any suitable means (not shown), as for instance by saturation-boiling the traveler-engaging sections thereof in oil or other lubricant, or in certain utilizations might possibly even be nonlubricated. In the latter instance, however, lubricity of assembly 48 should be provided by other means, as for example by the provision of a suitable lubricant coating or the like upon the bearing surfaces of the assemblys traveler component. The annular groove 52 provided through ring 50 varies in width, illustratively in a continuously decreasing manner, from its radiallyinwardly to its radially-outwardly end. Such a construction might be employed to, for instance, facilitate initial mounting of the traveler component in association with ring 50. The anti-withdrawal" bearing surfaces 55, 55 upon ring 50 do not extend precisely vertically, but rather slope inwardly to a slight extent. The traveler 54 of assembly 48 differs from the previously described traveler 12 of assembly 10 in various illustrative respects. Its yarn guide 56 is of a closed-eyelet type more suitable for use in yarn up-twisting operations. Its medial portion 58 tapers in thickness so as to be ofa complementary configuration to the varying-width ring groove 52 by which it is received. Its resilient anchor portion 60 is of a flanged or barbed arrowhead shape, rather than hollow conical shape. The flange or barb elements of traveler anchor portion 60 are of course resiliently movable toward each other from their extended positions shown in the drawings, to permit insertion through ring groove 52.
While in the assembly 10 of FIGS. 1-4 the primary bearing surfaces 28, 28' and 42, 42 of ring 14 and traveler 12 extended at illustrative angles of approximately sixty degrees relative to the horizontal, in the assembly 48 of FIGS. 5 and 6 the primary bearing surfaces 64, 64' and 66, 66 of ring 50 and traveler 54 extend substantially vertically. This tends to render assembly 48 more suitable for the processing of light-weight yarn, since movement of traveler 54 about ring 50 is not impeded by any wedging efi'ect and its attendant dragforeces. In the latter connection, it might also be noted that the wedging efiect and drag-foreces upon the traveler 12 of the assembly 10 of FIGS. 1-4 might be increased or decreased, if and as desired for a particular utilization, by varying the angulation of the primary bearing surfaces of that assembly from the angulation of approximately 60 illustratively shown in FIGS. 14.
The vertically extending bearing surfaces 64, 64, 66, 66 of the assembly 48 of FIGS. 5 and 6 have little if any tendency to center or prevent tilting of traveler 54. Absent other compensating structure, therefore, mainm... -u o-u .n M wan-rs tenance of traveler 54 in a centered and non-tilted orientation would have to be performed solely by its medial portion 58. To alleviate the additional wear which this might otherwise impose upon medial traveler portion 58, ring 50 of assembly 48 may be provided with an additional pair of annular bearing surfaces 68, 68' which extend angularly, illustratively generally horizontally, inwardly from the vertical extremities of primary bearing surfaces 64, 64 respectively, and ring 50 is provided with additional cooperating and complementary bearing surfaces 70, 70' along the length of its respective upper and lower faces. When traveler 54 is in a centered and non-tilted orientation relative to groove 52, a small clearance exists between the cooperating surfaces 68, 70 and 68, 70. If traveler 60 should attempt to assume an excessively non-centered or tilted orientation, however, such would be prevented not only by engagement between medial traveler portion 58 and one or both of the confronting surfaces of ring groove 52, but also and substantially simultaneously by engagement between one or both of the aforesaid additional pairs of cooperating surfaces 68, 70 and 68', 70'.
Referring now to FIGS. 7-9, the ring-traveler assembly 74 thereof includes a traveler 76 having a main body portion 78 in the shape of a half-cylinder, and the primary bearing surfaces 80, 80' upon the assemblys ring component 82 possess complementary arcuate contours in their width directions. The yarn guide member 72 carried by traveler main body portion 78 is illustratively of a partially-open pig-tail type, which facilitates rapid yarn threading and is suitable for either up or down twisting operations. The anchor portion of traveler 76 comprises a pair of laterally spaced leg elements 84, 84 each formed integrally at their radiallyinwardly ends with medial flange-like portion 86 of traveler 76, which may be bifurcated along at least part of its length, and each extending generally radially outwardly therefrom. At the outermost ends of leg elements 84, 84', abutment elements 87, 87 are respectively formed integrally therewith and respectively extend upwardly and downwardly therefrom, Abutment elements 87, 87 are substantially inflexible but at least one, and preferably and illustratively both, of the leg elements 84, 84' are resiliently deflectable toward an imaginary horizontal plane extending centrally through traveler 76. When mounting traveler 76 in association with the ring 82, the tapered outer ends of abutment elements 87, 87' are inserted into the radially inwardly facing opening of ring groove 88, and traveler 76 is pushed in a radially outwardly direction. Leg elements 84, 84 are resiliently retracted, i.e., deflected toward the center-plane of traveler 76, by the foregoing force sufficiently for abutment elements 87, 87' to pass radially through and from groove 88. Upon clearing groove 88, leg elements 84, 84' resiliently return to their extended positions illustrated in FIG. 7, wherein an inwardly facing surface of abutment element 87 is in spaced confronting relationship to the uppermost one of the anti-withdrawal bearing surfaces 90, 90' upon ring 82, and a similar surface upon abutment element 87 is in spaced confronting relationship to the lowermost one of the aforesaid ring surfaces.
It will be appreciated that while the illustrated traveler 76 of assembly 74 has two leg elements 84, 84', both of which are resiliently deflectable, a greater number of leg elements might be provided if desired, and not all of them need be deflectable.
In the ring-traveler assembly 92 of FIGS. 10 and 11, to which reference is now made, the primary bearing surfaces 94, 94' of ring 95 each extend at angles in excess of ninety degrees relative to the horizontal, and the cooperating bearing surfaces 96, 96 upon main body portion 106 of traveler 108 of assembly 92 possess inclinations complementary to those of surfaces 94, 94'. The anchor portion of traveler 108 comprises an arm 110 formed integrally at its inner end with medial traveler portion 111, and having such a reduced thickness at its outer end as to there function in the manner of a strap-like hinge. An abutment element 112 formed integrally with the aforesaid outer end of arm 110 is thus pivotably movable from the substantially vertical extended orientation shown in solid lines in FIGS. 10 and 11 to the more horizontally disposed retracted" orientation indicated in phantom lines in FIG. 10. Mounting of traveler 108 in association with ring 95 may be effected simply by pivoting abutment element 112 to its phantom-line postion, and then inserting it into and through ring groove 114. Once abutment element 112 has passed through groove 114, it will pivotally return to its indicated solid-line orientation, due to the resilience of the plastic material from which traveler 108 is preferably formed and/or due to the force of gravity, and will thereafter prevent displacement of traveler 108 from ring 95 in a radially-inwardly direction. The yarn guide member 113 carried by main body portion 106 of traveler 108 is generally of the closedeyelet type of yarn guide member 56 of the assembly 48 shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. However, yarn guide member 113 is provided with an annular insert 115 formed of exceedingly wear-resistant ceramic or metallic material. When necessary or desirable, as might be the case due to the particular characteristics of the yarn to be processed thereby, the yarn guide members of all the various ring-traveler assemblies of the present invention might similarly be formed in part, or even wholly, of ceramic or metallic materials.
The ring-traveler assembly 116 of FIGS. 12-14 includes a traveler component 118 having a generally spherical main body portion 120. Primary bearing surfaces 122, 122' of ring component 124 of assembly 116 have concave curvatures, in their width directions, complementary to the spherical shape of traveler main body portion 120. The yarn guide member 126 upon the radially inward face of traveler main body portion is illustratively of an open pig-tail type previously discussed but is, as may sometimes be desirable, offset somewhat from the longitudinal center of main body portion 120 of traveler 118. Flange-like medial portion 128 of traveler 118 is shown as possessing a plurality of weight-reducing notches 129 therein, and such medial portion 128 of traveler I18 illustratively has a length in excess of the width (i.e., diameter) of traveler main body portion 120. The generally T-shaped anchor portion of traveler 118 includes a radially-outermost element abutment 130 connected to medial traveler portion 128 by a stem-like element 132. Abutment element 130 normally extends substantially vertically, as shown in solid lines in the drawings, but may be pivoted about the longitudinal axis of stem-like element 132 to an inclined or retracted position, shown in phantom lines in FIG. 14, wherein such element 130 may be inserted into and through annular groove 134 of ring 124. Upon passing radially outwardly from ring groove 134, abutment element 130 returns to its extended" vertical position shown in the drawings, due to the resilience of the stem-like element 132 of the travelers anchor portion, and in such extended position prevents excessive displacement of traveler l 18 from ring 124 in a radially inwardly direction.
Referring now to the ring-traveler assembly I36 shown in FIGS. and 16, the primary bearing surfaces 138, 138' upon ring component 140 each possess convex configurations, illustratively hemispherical ones, in their width directions. The cooperating bearing sur faces upon the radially inwardly face of main body portion 142 of traveler component 144 have complementary concave configurations in their width directions. In their length directions the aforesaid primary bearing surfaces upon the traveler component may be substantially straight when the length of the main body portion of the traveler is relatively small in relation to the inner circumference of the ring component of the assembly, since in such case the difference in curvature between the confronting primary bearing surfaces upon the ring and traveler would be quite small and would be quickly eliminated by breaking in" of the traveler component during initial operation of the assembly. The foregoing would also be possible in connection with travelers having main body portions of greater length, but a longer breaking-in" period of operation thereof would probably be required. The yam guide, anchor and medial portions of traveler 144 of assembly 136 are illustratively of constructions previously discussed, and may be of any of such constructions.
In the ring-traveler assembly 146 of FIGS. 17 and 18 the primary bearing surfaces 148, I48 upon ring component 150 each extend, in the width direction thereof, initially vertically and then flare angularly outwardly. The cooperating primary bearing surfaces upon main body portion 152 of traveler component 154 each have a complementary two-faceted configuration in the width direction thereof. The length of medial portion 156 of traveler 154 is illustratively less than the length of traveler main body portion 152, but is still greater than the height (i.e., vertical dimension) of ring groove 158. Such construction might be employed when, for example, the tilting forces exerted during use of the assembly upon the traveler component are of such a rela tively small magnitude, or are otherwide so resisted, that the added "fulcrum effect" realized from a medial traveler portion of longer length is not required in order to counteract such tilting forces without undue wearing of the medial traveler portion. The yarn guide and anchor portions of traveler 154 may be of any of the various types previously discussed herein, and illustratively are respectively of the pig-tail and pivotedabutment types employed 'n connection with assemblies 74 (FIG. 7) and 92 (FIG. 10).
The ring and traveler components of the hereinbefore described assemblies have each been substantially symmetrical above and below an imaginary horizontal plane passed through the center thereof, with respect to the shape and arrangement of the various bearing surfaces thereon. In some instances, however, an asymmetrical arrangement of one or more of the sets of bearing surfaces might be desirable. The following embodiments illustrate a few of the many alternative constructions possible in the foregoing regard with respect to just the primary bearing surfaces upon the ring and traveler components.
Thus, in the ring-traveler assembly 160 of FIGS. 19 and 20, the upper primary bearing surfaces 162 upon ring component 164 extends in its width direction first vertically and then angularly outwardly, generally in the manner shown and described in connection with assembly 146 of FIG. 17, but the rings lower primary bearing surfaces 162 extends substantially vertically throughout its width. The upper and lower primary bearing surfaces upon the inner face of the main body portion of traveler component 165 of assembly 160 are respectively complementary to the upper and lower ring surfaces 162, 162', and therefore also differ in shape from each other. Assembly 160 also illustrates that the medial portion of the traveler component may be of discontinuous or sectionalized construction, and does not necessarily have to constitute the means interconnecting the traveler main body and anchor portions. In assembly 160, the medial portion of traveler 165 is illustratively comprised of two flange-like sections 166, 166' extending outwardly from the traveler main body portion adjacent opposite ends thereof, and anchor portion 168 of traveler 165 is connected to the traveler main body portion by a projection 170 which is disposed between and is of a lesser thickness than the sections 166, 166'. The total length of the medial portion of traveler 165 i.e., the distance between the leading edge of its section 166 and the trailing edge of its section 166 exceeds the heigth of groove 172 of ring 160.
The ring-traveler assemblies 174, 176 respectively shown in FIGS. 21 and 23 also have asymmetrical primary bearing surfaces, similar to assembly 160 of FIG. 19, but in assembly 174 (FIG. 21) the upper primary bearing surfaces upon the ring and traveler components are respectively of convex and concave configuration in the width direction thereof, and in assembly 176 (FIG. 23) the upper primary bearing surfaces of the ring and traveler components slope angularly outwardly throughout the width thereof. Assembly 174 (FIG. 21) also illustrates that the upper edge of the ring component may if desired be provided with a recess at one or more locations within its upper portion to facilitate convenient threading of the yarn guide member of the traveler component. The recess 178 shown in FIG. 21 within ring component 180 of assembly 174 illustratively projects downwardly into the body of the upper ring section 182 underlying the rings top cover plate 184. If ring 180 were provided with an annular lubricant reservoir therein, such as the previously-described reservoir 20 provided in ring section 16 of the assembly 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, such reservoir could be of a discontinuous construction extending through less than 360 and terminating upon opposite sides of recess 178. The provision of at least one such recess within the ring component is particularly desirable when, as in the illustrated assembly 174, the yarn guide member 186 upon the traveler component 188 is of an upstanding type. If only a single recess is provided, the same would normally be located in a readily-accessible forward part of the ring component.
The asymmetrical shapes of the primary bearing surfaces upon the ring and traveler components 190, 192 of the assembly 176 of FIGS. 23 and 24 tend to produce, during operation of the assembly, an upwardlydirected force component upon the assemblys traveler component 192. If in a particular yarnprocessing operation the yarn and/or gravitational forces are such as to tend to cause a traveler to maintain a downwardly uncentered position, assembly 176 might therefore advantageously be employed to offset such tendency and assist in maintaining the traveler in a desired centered position. Similarly, if in a particular yarn processing operation the yarn or other forces exerted upon the traveler tended to maintain the traveler in an upwardly uncentered position, such tendency might be ofi'set by employing assembly 176, or another assembly similar to it, in an everted or "upside-down" orientation from that shown in FIG. 23. In the latter connection, it will be noted that assembly 176 is in all respects readily usable in an everted orientation. The ring components of assemblies 160, 174 of FIGS. I9 and 21 could similarly be employed in everted orientations, if the assemblies were provided with travelers possessing vertically symmetrical or otherwise suitable yarn guide members.
The ring component [94 of the ring-traveler assembly 196 shown in FIG. 25 has a shape resembling that which would be possessed by the ring component of assembly 176 (FIG. 23) if the latter were mounted in an everted orientation as discussed above. Main body por tion 198 of traveler component 200 of assembly 196 carries a yarn guide member 202 which is generally similar to the previously discussed rapid-threading yarn guide member 41 of the assembly shown in FIGS. l-4. However, the illustrated asymmetrical arrangement of the primary bearing surfaces upon assembly 196 permits yarn guide member 202 to extend angularly outwardly throughout most of its length. This discourages the possibility of the yarn guide member becoming unthreaded" during a yarn processing operation, and use of assembly 196 (FIG. 25) in lieu of assembly 10 (FIGS. l-4) might therefore be preferable in utilizations wherein inadvertent unthreading" might present a significant problem. Assembly 196 also illustrates one manner in which, as previously discussed, the primary bearing surfaces upon the traveler component of the assembly may in the length direction thereof be comprised of a plurality of angularly extending linear segments, as opposed to continuous arcs. Each primary bearing surface upon main body portion 198 of traveler 200 of assembly 196 is illustratively comprised of two such linear segments, which merge with one another at the approximate longitudinal center of the traveler. Such segments would tend to assume a continuous arcuate configuration following a period of breaking-in" operation of assembly 196.
While preferred embodiments of the invention have been specifically shown and described, it is to be under stood that this was for purposes of illustration only, and not for purposes of limitation, since various features of the illustrated embodiments are interchangeable and since further modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. The scope of the invention should therefore be construed in accordance with the follow ing claims.
That which is claimed is:
l. A ring-traveler assembly for a textile yarn twisting machine or the like, comprising:
a ring member having an annular groove extending generally radially therethrough and opening inwardly and outwardly therefrom, and having annular bearing surface means thereon exteriorally of said groove and adjacent the inwardly facing opening thereof;
a traveler member adapted to be mounted upon said ring member, said traveler member having a main body portion impassable through said ring groove and adapted during use of said assembly for sliding engagement with and movement about said ring bearing surface means, and said traveler member having a retractable and extendable anchor portion connected to and spaced outwardly from said traveler main body portion for mounting said traveler member upon said ring member;
said traveler anchor portion in a retracted condition thereof being insertable into and outwardly through said ring groove and, following insertion through said ring groove, being returnable to an extended condition wherein it resists withdrawal back through said groove and secures said traveler member in association with said ring member.
2. An assembly as in claim 1, and further including a yarn guide member carried by said main body portion of said traveler member.
3. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said traveler member further includes a medial portion innerconnecting said main body and anchor portions thereof and extending during use of said assembly within said ring groove, said medial traveler portion and said ring groove having thereon confronting upper and lower bearing surfaces located in closely spaced nonengaging relationship to each other during normal operation of said assembly but engagable with one another upon the assumption by said traveler member of an excessively tilted or uncentered orientation during operation of said assembly.
4. An assembly as in claim 3, wherein the length of said medial traveler portion exceeds the heigth of said ring groove.
5. An assembly as in claim 4, wherein said portions of said traveler member are integrally and unitarily formed from wear-resistant material, and further including a yarn guide member carried by said main body portion of said traveler member.
6. An assembly as in claim 2, wherein said yarn guide member is of closed-eyelet shape and projects generally radially-inwardly from said traveler main body portion.
7. An assembly as in claim 2, wherein said yarn guide member is of pig-tail shape.
8. An assembly as in claim 2, wherein said yarn guide member is of elongate shape, and extends upwardly from said traveler main body portion and has a free end disposed thereabove during use of said assembly.
9. An assembly as in claim 5, wherein at least a yarnengaging part of said guide member is formed of wearresistant material other than said wear-resistant material from which said portions of said traveler are formed.
10. An assembly as in claim 3, wherein said ring member has additional bearing surface means thereon adjacent the outwardly facing opening of said ring groove, said additional bearing surface means extending no more than approximately vertically relative to a radius of said ring, and wherein said traveler anchor portion is spaced radially outwardly from said additional bearing surface means during normal operation of said assembly but is engagable therewith upon inward displacement of said traveler member relative to said ring member.
11. An assembly as in claim 10, including lubricantsupply means associated with said ring member for supplying lubricant to each of said bearing surface means and bearing surfaces upon said ring member.
12. An assembly as in claim ll, wherein said ring member is comprised of rigidly innerconnected upper and lower ring sections.
13. An assembly as in claim 12, wherein said lubricant-supply means includes annular lubricant reservoirs within said ring sections.
14. An assembly as in claim 13, wherein each of said ring sections are formed at least in part of porous metal.
15. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said bearing surface means comprises upper and lower primary bearing surfaces respectively provided upon said ring member above and below the inward opening of said ring groove, and wherein said traveler main body portion has upper and lower primary bearing surfaces, said bearing surfaces upon said traveler main body portion being maintainable by centrifugal force in contact with corresponding ones of said ring bearing surfaces during normal operation of said assembly and then affording a large area of engagement between said traveler and ring members.
16. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein at least some of said bearing surfaces extend along at least part of their widths at an angle relative to the horizontal of less than 90.
17. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein at least some of said bearing surfaces extend along at least part of their widths at an angle relative to the horizontal of more than 90.
18. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein at least some of said bearing surfaces have complementary concave and convex configurations in the width direction thereof.
19. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein at least some of said bearing surfaces extend along at least part of their widths substantially vertically.
20. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein said upper bearing surfaces upon said ring and traveler members are symmetrical in shape to said lower bearing surfaces upon said members.
21. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein said upper bearing surfaces upon said ring and traveler members are asymmetrical in shape to said lower bearing surfaces upon said members.
22. An assembly as in claim 15, wherein at least some of said bearing surfaces extend other than vertically along at least part of their widths and tend to maintain said traveler member in a desired vertical relationship relative to said ring groove.
23. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said traveler anchor portion comprises a resilient element of gener' ally tapered shape, said element in an unstressed and extended configuration having a maximum dimension greater than the minimum heigth of said ring groove.
24. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said traveler anchor portion comprises a resilient element of generally arrowhead shape having barb components thereon, said barbs being yieldingly movable toward one another to permit insertion of said element through said ring groove and, following insertion of said element through said ring groove, being resiliently movable away from each other.
25. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said traveler anchor portion comprises at least two laterally adjacent leg elements, said leg elements in an unstressed and extended condition thereof being non-coplanar along at least part of their lengths and collectively possessing a dimension in the height direction of said groove greater than the minimum heigth of said groove, and at least one of said leg elements being resiliently movable toward a coplanar position relative to the other of said elements to permit insertion of said elements into said ring groove.
26. An assembly as in claim 25, wherein both of said leg elements are resiliently movable, and each have an abutment on the free outer end thereof, one of said abutments extending in a downward direction and the other of said abutments extending in an upward direction.
27. An assembly as in claim 1, wherein said traveler anchor portion comprises an elongate element pivotally movable relative to said main body portion of said traveler member, said element in a retracted pivotal postion thereof extending at a relatively small angle to the horizontal and being freely insertable through said ring groove, and said abutment element in an extended pivotal position thereof extending at a larger angle relative to the horizontal and resisting withdrawal through said ring groove.
28. A ring-traveler assembly for a textile yarn twisting machine or the like, comprising:
a ring member having an annular groove extending generally radially therethrough;
a traveler member unitarily formed of wear-resistant plastic material and having an elongate main body portion, an anchor portion movable relative to said main body portion, and a medial portion innerconnecting said main body and anchor portions;
said traveler member being mountable upon said ring member without disassembly of either of said members, with said medial traveler portion extending through said ring groove and with said traveler main body and anchor portions being respectively disposed radially inwardly and radially outwardly therefrom;
said medial traveler portion being so dimensioned relative to said ring groove as to have both leading and trailing edge sections of said medial portion engage opposite ones of the peripheral surfaces of said groove upon the assumption by said traveler member of a tilted orientation.
29. An assembly as in claim 28, wherein a part of said medial traveler portion enclosed by said ring groove has a length greater than and a thickness slightly less than the vertical dimension of an adjacent part of said ring groove, and further including a yarn guide member carried by said traveler main body portion.
30. An assembly as in claim 28, wherein said traveler main body portion is impassable through said ring groove, and wherein said traveler anchor portion is movable between a retracted position, wherein it is insertable through said ring groove to permit said mounting of said traveler member, and an extended position wherein it resists withdrawal through said groove and secures said traveler member in association with said ring member.
31. A ring-traveler assembly for a textile yarn twisting machine or the like, comprising:
means carried by said traveler member and insertable into said ring groove for releasably retaining said traveler member in association with said ring member, said retaining means comprising a retractable and extendable anchor element insertable in a retracted condition into said ring groove, and incapable of withdrawal from said ring groove when in an extended condition;
and a yarn guide member carried by said main body portion of said traveler member.