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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of the Shirley Trash Separator for Measuring Foreign Matter Content in Lint Cotton

Authors
item THOMSON, STEVEN
item Anthony, William
item Mangialardi, Jr, Gino - AG ENGINEER (RETIRED)

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Analyses of the waste (including foreign matter) in cotton lint samples has traditionally been accomplished with a device called a Shirley Analyzer; however, the device is no longer manufactured and existing machines are near the end of their service life. Lack of suitable replacement devices in the future will negatively influence cleaning research. The market value and utility of the cotton are strongly related to the quantity of waste in cotton, thus waste must be measured accurately. A new device based on new technology and called a Shirley Trash Separator is now available to determine the waste content of lint cotton. The objective of this study was to determine if the new machine could accurately represent the waste in lint cotton. Both devices analyzed samples representing the complete spectrum of cottons and waste levels and tests showed that the new machine captured significantly more fine trash than the older machine and accounted for most of the waste in the cotton samples. The new machine also produced more uniform and consistant determinations of trash levels. Results from these tests clearly show that the new device can satisfactorily replace the older device and actually yield additional critical data. A conversion factor can be used to relate historical data to that produced by the Shirley Trash Separator. Use of the new device will meet industry needs and the more accurate evaluations will benefit the farmer, ginner, textile mill, consumer, and researcher.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine if the Shirley Trash Separator (STS) could be used to predict waste content of cotton lint expected using the standard Shirley Analyzer (SSA) and to measure fine trash not captured by the SSA. Three studies were conducted to compare waste quantities from the two machines. Tests showed that visible waste contents were significantly lower with the STS, and invisible and total waste contents were only slightly lower in the first study but higher in the second study. All waste contents were significantly lower with the STS in the third study. This is consistent with expected results because the STS was designed to capture what previously was ejected as invisible waste in the SSA. Conversion equations were developed relating waste contents between the two machines. Significant correlation was determined indicating that the equations could be used to predict SSA waste using data obtained from the STS. These tests demonstrated that the STS can be used to measure fine trash not collected by the SSA and that the STS can predict visible waste from the SSA satisfactorily.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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