Fiber lubrication on the ring


It used to be assumed that the interaction of ring and  traveler involved purely metal/metal friction. Fortunately for spinning mill operators, this is not the case, since metal/metal friction would probably limit traveler speed to about 28-30 m/s. In fact, however, the traveler moves on a lubricant film it has created itself, consisting primarily of fiber abrasion waste. If fiber particles are caught between the ring and the traveler at high speeds and correspondingly high centrifugal forces, they are partially crushed by the traveler. It compresses them as small, colorlessly translucent lamina several μm thick into a solid running surface. These lamina adhere very differently to the ring and within the lubricant film, and are therefore repeatedly stripped off, but also renewed again.

The position, form and structure of the lubricant film depends on many factors, such as yarn count, yarn structure, yarn raw material, traveler mass, traveler speed, arc height, etc. For example, only little fiber lubrication can be expected with yarns finer than 7.5 tex (Ne 80) due to the low traveler mass and thus low centrifugal force.
In this case maximum traveler speed is therefore lower than for medium-count yarns. Travelers reach speeds of up to 40 m/s and more with modern ring/traveler combinations when fiber lubrication is functioning effectively.