Submitted to: Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2010
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
Citation: Hoch, J., Moran Lauter, A., Scott, M.P. 2011. Comparison of tungsten carbide and stainless steel ball bearings for grinding single maize kernels in a reciprocating grinder. Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter. 85. Available: http://www.agron.missouri.edu/mnl/85/HTML/02hoch.htm. Interpretive Summary: Maize researchers often need to grind corn prior to analysis. Grinding takes a lot of time, adding to the labor cost of experiments and limiting what experiments can be done. High throughput grinding tools exist, but they do not give a satisfactory grind of single kernels in our experience. We developed a new method of grinding single kernels using a high throughput grinder. This new method produces a better grind, allowing us to use a high throughput grinder for experiments requiring a high quality grind. Maize researchers who analyze grain will benefit from this work because it reduces the cost of obtaining a high quality grind.
Technical Abstract: Reciprocating grinders can grind single maize kernels by shaking the kernel in a vial with a ball bearing. This process results in a grind quality that is not satisfactory for many experiments. Tungesten carbide ball bearings are nearly twice as dense as steel, so we compared their grinding performance to that of the stainless steel ball bearings normally used. We ground four maize genotypes of varying hardeness. While the two bearing types gave similar performance when grinding extremely soft kernels, the tungsten carbide beardings resulted in finer grinds with normal and hard kernels. The use of tungten carbide bearings will benefit maize researchers by providing improved grinds with reciprocating grinders.