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Title: Development of rapid continuous dyeing process for heavy-weight nylon 6,6 carpet

item DONG, HONGMING - Georgia Institute Of Technology
item CARR, WALLACE - Georgia Institute Of Technology
item COOK, FRED - Georgia Institute Of Technology
item Nam, Sunghyun

Submitted to: Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2014
Publication Date: 5/8/2014
Citation: Dong, H., Carr, W., Cook, F.L., Nam, S. 2014. Development of rapid continuous dyeing process for heavy-weight nylon 6,6 carpet. Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics. 9(2):93-98.

Interpretive Summary: The carpet industry for many years has sought to convert the coloration of heavy weight residential nylon carpet from batch processes to continuous processes. However, on current dye pad-nip-steam-wash continuous dye lines, the slow speeds necessary to adequately process heavy weight carpets, dictated by the longer dwell times required in the box steamer to achieve levelness and full dye penetration/fixation, is a costly detriment to productivity compared to processing light-to-medium weight nylon carpets on the same continuous lines. Preheating via applying steam through a slot applicator onto the tufted carpet face after the dye applicator was shown to potentially increase continuous, heavy weight nylon 6,6 carpet dye line process speeds by a factor of 2.5-3.0. All tests were conducted with the preheating device mounted outside of the atmospheric steamer which limited the heat up rate due to the presence of air. Mounting of the pre-steamer inside of a pilot-scale atmospheric steamer is expected to yield further reductions in required dye fixation steaming times for coloration of heavy face weight residential carpets.

Technical Abstract: An improved continuous dyeing process for coloration of heavy-weight (60-70 oz/yd2), residential nylon 6,6 carpet is reported. By inserting a slot steam applicator after the dye pad and before the box steamer to preheat the carpet to around 180°F (greater than the nylon wet glass transition temperature of 150°F), the required dwell time of the padded carpet in the atmospheric steamer is greatly reduced (0.3-0.5 of normal). The improved continuous coloration process provides a route to beck-quality, level-dyed, heavy-weight nylon 6,6 carpets at production speeds 2-3X those of conventional lines.