A structure and yarn sensor for fabric directly determines pick density in a fabric thereby allowing fabric length and velocity to be calculated from a count of the picks made by the sensor over known time intervals. The structure and yarn sensor is also capable of detecting full length woven defects and fabric. As a result, an inexpensive on-line pick (or course) density measurement can be performed which allows a loom or knitting machine to be adjusted by either manual or automatic means to maintain closer fiber density tolerances. Such a sensor apparatus dramatically reduces fabric production costs and significantly improves fabric consistency and quality for woven or knitted fabric.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC05-84OR21400 between the United States Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. The invention arose within work done under CRADA No. ORNL 94-0253.