The Nonwoven Laboratory at the International Textile Center of Texas Tech University has become the first facility in the USA to house the Fehrer H1 Technology Needle Loom fed by William Tatham carding and cross lapping machinery.

The equipment, which has been supplied by Batson Yarn and Fabrics, is being used in a project to develop protective fabrics, led by Dr Seshadri Ramkumar of the International Textile Center and sponsored by the Department of Defense. 
According to Fehrer, the principle behind the H1 technology is that superior web properties can be obtained by oblique angled needle penetration. This is achieved by means of an asymmetrically curved needling zone and straight needle movement. Some of the advantages said to derive from this new technology are more isotropic web properties, better fibre entanglement and higher strength values.
The Tatham Card Unit uses a three roller/seven roller design and is fed by a Tatham single automatic feeder model 503 equipped with a volumetric delivery. Microfeed 2000 is included to monitor the fibre delivery from the chute section of the volumetric hopper and control the speed of the card feed rollers to compensate for any discrepancy between the pre-programmed 'target' weight and continuously monitored 'actual' weights. Microfeed ensures extremely accurate fibre delivery into the card unit which is equipped with an AC inverter controlled drive system. The fibre web delivered from the single doffer section of the card unit is transferred into a Tatham 'conventional' design crosslapper.

Further information about the research project is available from Dr Ramkumar. E-mail: s.ramkumar@TTU.EDU