The Ambler Superdraft

Contributed by Bradford Industrial Museum

Cutaway model of the Ambler Superdraft

Invented by Air Vice-Marshall Ambler this device made the production time of worsted yarn 10 times faster.Spun yarns consist of fibres spun into a thread of suitable thickness and twist.

Mechanical spinning is achieved by passing fibre strands known as a 'Roving' through the nip of a pair of back rollers on the spinning frame, then through the nip of a pair of front rollers driven at a higher speed. This has the effect of drawing out the fibres thereby thinning the material, which is then twisted into a yarn. The speed ratio between the back and front rollers is known as the draft. Control of the fibres between the sets of rollers had always been a problem, and limited the drafts achievable, commonly to a ratio range from 6 to 10.

In 1947 Air Vice-Marshall Geoffrey Ambler developed a precision unit to control and feed fibres between the sets of rollers making high or 'super' drafts possible. Using drafts of 100-150 the elimination of other operations was possible with a huge saving in overheads and tenfold increase in efficiency.

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