Recent Development of Circular Knitting Machine

Last Updated on 18/01/2022

Circular Knitting Machine:
Circular knitting machine is widely used throughout the knitting industry to produce fabric. This machine can be built in almost any reasonable diameter and the small diameter of up to five, which are used for wear.

Recent Development of Circular Knitting Machine

Seamless knitting technology
Seamless garment knitting can be achieved either on the circular knitting machine or flat (V-bed) knitting machine. However, seamless circular knitting machines differ from seamless flat knitting machines in that seamless circular machines create only a single tubular type of garment such as those produced on Santoni machines.

Seamless knitting machines can create more than one tube and join the tubes together on a machine. The complete garments knitted on circular machines may also only need a minimal cutting operation.

In addition, seamless circular machines require different diameters to make major changes in garment size, whereas seamless flat machines can adjust to different garment sizes on the same machine. Consequently, seamless knitting on circular machines is not true seamless knitting. It should be mentioned that knitting on V-bed seamless machines produces truly seamless garment since they do not require any cutting or sewing. In recent years, Santoni has developed a four-feed single-jersey electronic circular machine, which enables the creation of a shaped garment by reciprocal movement.

Automatic seamless circular knitting machine
Fig: Automatic seamless circular knitting machine

To get a higher quality knitted garment, it is crucial to control the manufacturing functions. It is critical for designers and manufacturers to communicate effectively in order to create successful new products in the knitting industry. Designers complain that the designs that they specified are not accurately created, while technicians are of the opinion that the designers do not understand the technical problems in knitting feasibility. It has been proposed that one way to overcome the communication problem between designers and technicians would be the use of intelligent CAD systems. The CAD system gives designers and manufacturers the opportunity to specify and evaluate their design more precisely without requiring great time investment and technical expertise. Diverse computer-controlled systems including CAD/CAM controlled machines have been developed to facilitate communication.

Companies have been offered new types of CAD system, which use two different monitors including a technical window and a design window for designers and manufacturers, who require different information for the same design.

Ultra-fine gauge knitting machines
Fine knitted fabrics known as ‘second skin’ are produced on fine gauge circular knitting machines. Cotton, polyester and viscose yarns of 90 to 120 Ne are applied to produce fine circular knitted fabrics. The appearance of these fabrics is similar to woven fabrics but they are more flexible.

Ultra-fine gauge elements of a circular knitting machine.
Fig: Ultra-fine gauge elements of a circular knitting machine.

High-grade circular knitting cylinders provide the ideal complement to the company’s premium range of needles and system parts to create the perfect knitting system from a single reliable supplier. It is only with the guarantee of a consistently high standard of component quality and outstanding durability that circular knitting machines are able to reach their full potential for high-performance operation on the factory floor. Ensuring the pinpoint precision of individual elements in existing machines not only simplifies the workflow but also improves capacity utilisation in production.

Fine gauge automotive fabrics, known as woven-like fabrics, are produced on fine gauge double cylinders in Pai Lung ultra-fine gauge machines. Pile technology is applied to these machines, where the fine gauge of loop makers is adjusted near to the sinkers.

Loop transfer technology in circular knitting machines
Stitch transfer is an important operation, as a higher number of transfer modes means more possibilities of making structured designs and shaped fabrics in which the stitch is transferred from one cylinder to the other or within the same cylinder.

The production of high-quality knitted fabrics – i.e. of homogeneous appearance as a result of a smooth knitting process and the absence of holes and barring – essentially depends on the application of certain technical solutions.

As for the type of needle used, Italian machines incorporate latch needles, which operate according to the drowned butt principle. This kind of needle remains in an idle position with its heel completely drowned in the needle bed groove without being involved in the action of cams, and retains the loop, which in this case is not subject to strain. Figures 7.7 and 7.8 demonstrate novel loop transfer elements of these circular knitting machines.

Pile and sliver insertion mechanism in circular knitting
A special sliver knitting process locks individual fibres directly into a lightweight knit backing, allowing each fibre to stand upright, free from the backing, to form the soft pile on the face of the fabric. This makes comfort pile fabrics softer, warmer, more drapeable and more resilient than fabrics made from yarns. Each fabric originates from premium loose fibres. These fibres include high-tech microfibre acrylics, polyesters and mod-acrylics specially developed for fabric, along with natural fibres such as wool.

Loop transfer tool
Fig: Loop transfer tool

Each blend is chosen for its specific end result. By engineering the fibre mix, an incredibly wide range of colours, density, weight, patterning, texture and performance features can be produced in comfort knit pile fabrics.

Needle with spring for high speed loop transferring
Fig: Needle with spring for high speed loop transferring

After knitting, the pile fabric is sheared to the desired height. It is then put through a series of technical finishing processes specially developed by this kind of knitting process to control the surface texture and special characteristics of the final fabric.

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