Protecting the Investment

It can therefore be seen that the most effective needle lubricant used may not always be that which has the lowest purchase price. It is more likely to be a needle oil which will help control monies lost due to fabric waste. Only highly effective, readily scourable oils such as the SPOTLESS CN range can give a reduction on fabric waste due to staining, therefore reducing costs. In the same way, only products like our SPOTLESS NX range can offer ground breaking compatibility with, for instance, Lycra®, ensuring that all investment in the yarns and fabrics is protected. At the same time a high level of scourability is maintained ensuring that SPOTLESS NX is truly an “universal” oil. All this is done whilst still offering excellence in lubrication and compatibility with the components of both electronically actuated and mechanical machines.

The Importance of a Balanced Formula

In recent years Vickers’ range of needle lubricants has been developed to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of modern knitting machine technology. The requirements of a knitting machine lubricant are often conflicting and a careful balance of properties is needed to give the performance necessary for different knitting machine operators. An overview of factors that need to be considered when formulating a needle oil are given below: The primary function of a needle lubricant is to ensure that the needles and knitting elements of the machine run smoothly and with minimum wear. The lubrication aspects of a needle oil are influenced by various factors including:

Viscosity

Normally specified by the machine builder. Any needle oil used would be expected to meet the viscosity specification for the machine. The ISO 22 and 32 viscosity grades are the most widely specified for modern machines.

Oil additives

The choice of additives incorporated in oils is critical. Additives are used to:

  • Modify the frictional properties of the oil
  • Give improved anti-wear performance
  • Give improved oxidation resistance and stability to high running temperatures
  • Ensure corrosion resistance

The needle oil has to be compatible with the machine components The needle oil should have good compatibility with electronic and plastic components, electrical cabling, elastomeric seals and machine paints.

Textile aspects and the ability to be washed from the knitted fabrics

The formulation and selection of the oil should take into account over the fibre and yarn types being knitted, and the processing and finishing route of the fabric when it leaves the knitting machine. Specially selected emulsifier systems enable a good needle oil to be readily washed from different fabrics using the wide variety of detergent and scouring systems found in practice. This should be the case whilst still providing the lubrication and compatibility aspects listed above.