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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOP, ENHANCE AND TRANSFER GIN TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE FIBER QUALITY AND PROFITS

Location: Cotton Ginning Laboratory(Stoneville, MS)

Title: Effect of Machine-Fiber Interaction on Cotton Fiber Quality and Foreign-Matter Particle Attachment to the Fiber

Authors
item Sui, Ruixiu
item Thomasson, J. Alex -
item Byler, Richard
item Boykin Jr, James
item Barnes, Edward -

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2010
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/48602
Citation: Sui, R., Thomasson, J., Byler, R.K., Boykin Jr, J.C., Barnes, E.M. 2010. Effect of machine-fiber interaction on cotton fiber quality and foreign-matter particle attachment to the fiber. Journal of Cotton Science. 14:145-153.

Interpretive Summary: U.S. Cotton is mechanically harvested. Machine-harvested cotton contains about 13 to 35% foreign matter including plant leaves, bract, stick, stem, seed-coat fragment, shale, grass, etc. It is desirable for as much foreign matter as possible to be removed from cotton with minimal fiber damage at gin. In general, current seed-cotton and lint cleaning equipment used at the gin are capable in removing non-lint material from cotton. However, it is also widely realized that they damage the fiber. To develop new and less damaging methods for removing foreign-matter particles from cotton fiber, effects of various machine-fiber interactions during harvesting and ginning on fiber quality and attachment between foreign-matter particles and fibers were studied. Cotton samples were collected with five different harvesting and processing treatments: (1) hand-picked and hand-ginned, (2) machine-picked and hand-ginned, (3) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, and hand-ginned, (4) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, and machine-ginned, and (5) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, machine-ginned, and one-stage lint-cleaned. A microscope was used to identify foreign-matter particles in each sample. Physical characteristics of the particles and their attachment to fibers were investigated and classified. All samples were analyzed with standard cotton quality measurement instruments, HVI and AFIS. Data were processed using statistical analysis software, SAS. Results indicated that each machine-fiber interaction during the harvesting and ginning process decreased the size of foreign-matter particles. The particles had no obvious difference in shape across the processing stages. The tightness of particle-fiber attachment, the number of neps, and the short fiber content tended to increase as the number of mechanical interactions increased. The gin stand was a major contributor to the increase in short fiber content. The majority of the foreign-matter particles was leaves. However, the particle categories changed with stages of processing. The proportion of leaf particle decreased and the proportion of the seed-coat fragment and stem increased with an increasing number of mechanical interactions. This study developed a fundamental understanding of the effect of mechanical interactions on physical characteristics of the foreign-matter particles, the particle-fiber attachment, and the fiber quality. The results are useful in developing new methods to remove non-lint material from cotton with less damage of the fiber.

Technical Abstract: Changes in fiber quality and attachment forces between foreign-matter particles and fibers were studied at multi stages from the time of harvest through lint cleaning to develop new and less damaging methods for removing foreign-matter particles from cotton fiber. In total, the study involved 75 samples collected from five locations in a field near College Station, Texas, including three replications and five different harvesting and processing treatments: (1) hand-picked and hand-ginned, (2) machine-picked and hand-ginned, (3) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, and hand-ginned, (4) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, and machine-ginned, and (5) machine-picked, seed-cotton-cleaned, machine-ginned, and one-stage lint-cleaned. A microscope was used to identify foreign-matter particles in each sample. Physical characteristics of the particles and their attachment to fibers were investigated and classified. All samples were analyzed with High Volume Instrument (HVI) and Advance Fiber Information System (AFIS). Particle classification, HVI, and AFIS data were statistically processed with SAS. Results indicated that each machine-fiber interaction during the harvesting through ginning process had the net effect of decreasing the size of foreign-matter particles. The particles had no obvious difference in shape across the processing stages. The tightness of particle-fiber attachment, the number of neps, and the short fiber content differed significantly as a function of mechanical actions; they all tended to increase as the number of mechanical actions increased. As expected, the gin stand was a major contributor to the increase in short fiber content. The majority of the foreign-matter particles were leaves, but proportions of the particle categories changed with stages of processing. The proportion of leaf particles decreased, while the proportion of seed-coat fragments and stems increased, with an increasing number of mechanical actions.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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