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combing machine[′kōm·iŋ mə′shēn]
a machine for combing fibrous materials (such as cotton and wool) in preparation for spinning. Its principal working parts are combs. The combing machine cleans the material being combed of impurities and flaws, separates out the short strands, and produces straight and parallel strands. The most widely used combing machines are of the periodic type, though there are also machines with continuous combing action.
In periodic-action combing machines a bundle of fibers called the beard is held in a vise and is combed in succession by several rows of needles held in a rotating, round comb; the most close-set rows of needles have a count of up to 30 needles per cm. The round comb removes the impurities and short strands (combings), which are in turn removed from the comb by a rotating brush. The combed end of the beard is then pinched between the separating cylinders; these pull the beard through the straight comb, which is lowered into the beard. Thus, the rear end of the beard gets combed with one or two rows of needles. Because it is gripped by opposite ends in turn, each beard is combed from both ends. The continuous-action combing machine is used mainly for long and rough wool.