New ARS Technology Cuts Cotton Gin
Noise By Jim
October 16, 2003
A device developed by an Agricultural Research Service engineer for
use in cotton gins improves worker comfort and safety, reducing one source of
noise by 80 percent.
W. Stanley Anthony, research leader of the ARS
Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss., recently conducted a field trial in
Marked Tree, Ark., in which standard doffing brush cylinders were replaced with
quiet, solid-wound brush cylinders in lint cleaners.
The solid-wound brush can be used in several types of gin
machinery, including the two leading sources of noise in gins: gin stands and
lint cleaners. A gin stand is where fiber is removed from the cottonseed. After
cotton fiber is separated, lint cleaners then remove foreign matter and other
contaminants that reduce the cotton's value.
During the field trial, noise levels while using both brushes
were measured on a logarithmic scale. Noise levels were reduced from 94
decibels measured on the logarithmic A-scale, used by industry to approximates
the human ear--to 78 decibels, dramatically improving worker comfort. High
noise levels in cotton gins can lead to hearing loss and decreased efficiency.
More than 40,000 bales were processed using the solid-wound
brush without any operational problems.
Standard doffing brush cylinders have numerous brush sticks
spaced about two inches apart around the perimeter of a large cylinder
(typically 16-18 inches) as the cylinder turns, the sticks cause sound pulses
at frequencies that irritate human ears. Solid-wound brushes have no pulse
points; therefore, they do not generate noise pulses.
Although solid-wound brush cylinders are used for various
purposes in other pieces of equipment, such as street sweepers, Anthony was the
first to demonstrate that they could be used for noise reduction in cotton
According to Anthony, solid-wound brush cylinders cost about as
much as new standard brush cylinders. He is interested in cooperating with a
brush manufacturer to develop a less-expensive refill for the solid-wound
brush. Adoption of this technology in cotton gins would significantly reduce
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.