Hand cards are typically square or rectangular paddles manufactured in a variety of sizes from 2 by 2 inches (5.1 cm × 5.1 cm) to 4 by 8 inches (10 cm × 20 cm). The working face of each paddle can be flat or cylindrically curved and wears the card cloth. Small cards, called flick cards, are used to flick the ends of a lock of fiber, or to tease out some strands for spinning off.
A pair of cards is used to brush the wool between them until the fibers are more or less aligned in the same direction. The aligned fiber is then peeled from the card as a rolag. Carding is an activity normally done outside or over a drop cloth, depending on the wool’s cleanliness. Rolag is peeled from the card.
The simplest machine carder is the drum carder. Most drum carders are hand-cranked but some are powered by electric motor. These machines generally have two rollers, or drums, covered with card clothing. The licker-in, or smaller roller meters fiber from the infeed tray onto the larger storage drum. The two rollers are connected to each other by a belt- or chain-drive so that the their relative speeds cause the storage drum to gently pull fibers from the licker-in. This pulling straightens the fibers and lays them between the wire pins of the storage drum’s card cloth. Fiber is added until the storage drum’s card cloth is full. A gap in the card cloth facilitates removal of the batt when the card cloth is full.
Some drum carders have a soft-bristled brush attachment that presses the fiber into the storage drum. This attachment serves to condense the fibers already in the card cloth and adds a small amount of additional straightening to the condensed fiber.
Cottage carding machines differ significantly from the simple drum card. These carders do not store fiber in the card cloth as the drum carder does but, rather, fiber passes through the workings of the carder for storage or for additional processing by other machines.
A typical cottage carder has a single large drum (the swift) accompanied by a pair of in-feed rollers (nippers), one or more pairs of worker and stripper rollers, a fancy, and a doffer. In-feed to the carder is usually accomplished by hand or by conveyor belt and often the output of the cottage carder is stored as a batt or further processed into roving and wound into bumps with an accessory bump winder. The cottage carder in the image below supports both outputs.
Raw fiber, placed on the in-feed table or conveyor is moved to the nippers which restrain and meter the fiber onto the swift. As they are transferred to the swift, many of the fibers are straightened and laid into the swift’s card cloth. These fibers will be carried past the worker / stripper rollers to the fancy.
As the swift carries the fibers forward, from the nippers, those fibers that are not yet straightened are picked up by a worker and carried over the top to its paired stripper. Relative to the surface speed of the swift, the worker turns quite slowly. This has the effect of reversing the fiber. The stripper, which turns at a higher speed than the worker, pulls fibers from the worker and passes them to the swift. The stripper’s relative surface speed is slower than the swift’s so the swift pulls the fibers from the stripper for additional straightening.
Straightened fibers are carried by the swift to the fancy. The fancy’s card cloth is designed to engage with the swift’s card cloth so that the fibers are lifted to the tips of the swift’s card cloth and carried by the swift to the doffer. The fancy and the swift are the only rollers in the carding process that actually touch.
The slowly turning doffer removes the fibers from the swift and carries them to the fly comb where they are stripped from the doffer. A fine web of more or less parallel fiber, a few fibers thick and as wide as the carder’s rollers, exits the carder at the fly comb by gravity or other mechanical means for storage or further processing.
Card designed for processing of relatively short fibres have flats circulating on an endless path. So they are referred as revolving flat cards.
Tandem card consists of two individual cards joined together to make up a unit, in which the doffer of the first cards feeds fiber material to the taker-in of the second card. eg: Crosrol tandem card.
01. Two or three taker-in instead of one.
02. Cylinder speed up to 800 rpm.
03. Increase of the operating width 1.5 m
04. Production 150 kg/ hour
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