Air Jet Loom

An air-jet loom is a type of weaving machine used in the textile industry to produce fabrics. It works by using compressed air to propel the weft yarn (filling yarn) through the shed (an opening created between the warp yarns) to form the fabric. Air-jet looms are considered shuttleless looms, as they do not use traditional shuttles to carry the weft yarn back and forth during weaving.

Air jet weaving machines are a type of advanced weaving technology known for their high weft insertion performance. They are considered the most productive machines for manufacturing light to medium weight fabrics, especially made of cotton and certain man-made fibers. These fabrics include sheets, shirting fabrics, linings, taffetas, and satins using staple yarns of man-made fibers. However, modern air jet weaving machines have also shown positive results in producing heavy weight fabrics like denims, and some manufacturers even produce models for terry fabric production.

These machines are highly efficient for large-scale production of customized fabric styles. They come in various weaving widths, typically ranging from 190 to 400 cm, allowing for versatile fabric production. Additionally, air jet weaving machines have a multicolor weft carrier capability, allowing up to 8 different wefts to be fed during weaving, enabling the creation of multi-colored or patterned fabrics.

Features of Air Jet Weaving Machine:

1. High Weft Insertion Performance: Air jet weaving machines have the highest weft insertion performance, making them highly efficient in weaving processes.

2. Productive for Light to Medium Weight Fabrics: They are most productive when manufacturing light to medium-weight fabrics, especially those made of cotton and certain man-made fibers like sheets, shirting fabrics, linings, taffetas, and satins.

3. Suitable for Heavy Weight Fabrics: While preferred for lighter fabrics, air jet looms can also achieve positive results with heavy weight fabrics like denims. Some manufacturers even produce machine models for terry fabric production.

4. Ideal for Bulk Customized Fabric Production: Air jet weaving machines are the ideal solution for producing large quantities of customized fabric styles efficiently.

5. Wide Weaving Widths: The weaving widths of air jet looms typically range from 190 to 400 cm, providing versatility in fabric production.

6. Multicolor Weft Carrier: They have the capability to handle up to 8 different wefts, allowing for the creation of multi-colored or patterned fabrics.

7. High Energy Consumption: Air jet weaving machines require a significant amount of energy to prepare the compressed air used for weft insertion. Energy consumption increases with larger loom widths and higher running speeds.

8. Robust Frame Structure: The machines are built with a sturdy frame structure for durability and stability during high-speed weaving.

9. Smooth Warp Shed: Air jet looms have a well-balanced beating system, ensuring a smooth warp shed for efficient fabric weaving.

10. Low Vibrations: They are designed to minimize vibrations during operation, contributing to a smoother and more reliable weaving process.

11. Free Drum Pooling System: Air jet looms are equipped with a free drum pooling system, which stabilizes weft insertion and reduces yarn breakage even during high-speed or extra-wide weaving.

12. Computerized Controlling System: The machines come with a computerized controlling system that is easy to operate and supervise, allowing for precise and efficient weaving operations.

Working principle of an air-jet weaving machine

1. Filling Yarn Preparation: The weft yarn is drawn from a supply package by the filling feeder. Each pick of the weft yarn is measured for insertion using a stopper.

2. Weft Insertion: When the stopper releases the filling yarn, it is fed into the reed tunnel through tandem and main nozzles. The tandem and main nozzle combination provides the initial acceleration, while the relay nozzles maintain high air velocity across the shed.

3. Profiled Reed: The profiled reed guides the flow of air and separates the filling yarn from the warp. The weft yarn remains in the groove formed by the reed’s profiled dents until the reed stroke is complete.

4. Additional Nozzles: To transport the weft across wider widths, auxiliary or relay nozzles are used to push and guide the weft through the channel effectively.

5. Suction Nozzle: Some machines have a suction nozzle on the weft delivery side of the shed, which helps maintain the weft stretched and properly aligned during weaving.

6. Automation and Microprocessors: Modern air-jet weaving machines are equipped with microprocessors and automation systems that optimize air pressure based on yarn characteristics. This self-adjustment ensures consistent weft arrival time and minimizes yarn defects and machine stops.

7. Electronic Controls: The warp let-off, pick finding device, and levelling-off device for heald frames are electronically controlled to prevent fabric defects during weaving.

8. Weft Color Selection: Electronic and computer-controlled systems are used for weft color selection, ensuring precise color patterns in the fabric.

Automatic weft repair is an essential feature of air jet weaving machines, and it is particularly effective in fixing weft breakages during the weaving process. This automatic repair system is available as standard equipment on some loom models and optional on others.

The automatic weft repair is a significant advantage of air jet weaving machines, as it helps to minimize downtime and improve product quality. When a weft breakage occurs, the automatic repair device immediately takes action, ensuring quick and reliable repair without the need for manual intervention from the weaver. This reduces the overall downtime of the machine, as the repair device is always ready to handle any weft defects.

The process of automatic weft repair involves the following steps:

1. Detection of Weft Breakage: The weaving machine’s sensors detect a weft breakage in the fabric.

2. Faulty Weft Removal: The faulty short weft is released from the fabric.

3. Insertion of Additional Weft: A new additional weft is inserted into the shed alongside the existing weft.

4. Cutting the Additional Weft: The additional weft is cut, and the thread trimmer is temporarily disconnected during this process.

5. Removal of Additional and Faulty Wefts: The relay nozzles, in combination with the suction nozzle, expel both the additional weft and the short, faulty weft from the fabric.

Advantages of Air Jet Loom:

  1. Low Noise Level: Air jet looms have a lower noise level compared to rapier looms and projectile looms, making them more comfortable to operate in the textile production environment.
  2. High Weft Insertion Performance: Air jet looms boast high weft insertion performance, with an average speed of around 600 picks per minute. This allows for faster fabric production.
  3. Low Power Consumption: Air jet looms are energy-efficient and consume relatively low power, contributing to cost savings and environmental sustainability.
  4. Standard Width: Air jet looms are commonly available in a standard width of 190cm, providing versatility for various fabric production requirements.

Disadvantages of Air Jet Loom:

  1. Broken or Missed Picks: Excess air pressure from the main nozzle can lead to broken or missed picks, resulting in defects in the woven fabric.
  2. Pile-Up and Buckling: Air resistance during weaving may cause pile-up and buckling of the yarn, leading to irregularities in the fabric surface.
  3. Double Picks: In some cases, double picks (two weft yarns inserted together) may occur during the weaving process, causing weaving defects.
  4. Looming of Weft Yarn: Variations in air pressure along the weft direction can cause the weft yarn to “loom” or form loops, leading to fabric imperfections.

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