Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The heart of the roller ginning plant is the rotary-knife roller gin stand. A roller gin stand separates the fiber from the seed using the interaction of a stationary knife that rides with some pressure against a rotating cylinder (known as a gin roll), pulling the fiber from the seed. A special material made from a composite of laminated rubber and cotton fabric is used to cover the roll. The physical characteristics of this covering material are what give the gin roll its frictional and wear properties that make the roller ginning process possible. During the ginning process, the covering material is worn away and must eventually be replaced. Replacement of the roll covering material is a significant expense. The roller ginning industry would benefit if a satisfactory, cheaper, and longer wearing roll covering material could be found. Research was done to compare the ginning performance of a felt material (100% wool) against the standard laminated fabric and rubber covering material. Tests showed that the ginning rate of the felt covered roll was significantly less than with the standard covering. Also, the particular felting used was too soft to perform satisfactorily over a long period without undue wear. Further work will be done with other materials to see if an alternate roll covering material can be found.
Technical Abstract: The covering or "packing" used for rotary-knife roller gin rolls is very important to the operation of the gin stand and is a major expense item for a commercial roller gin plant. Finding materials that enable faster ginning, wear longer, and are more economical while maintaining fiber quality is an important roller ginning research item. A research project was performed at the Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory to compare the performance of a felt material (100% wool) to the conventional fabric and rubber packing. The felt packing wore well, ginned at a reasonable rate, and maintained fiber quality. However, the ginning rate coupled with the cost of the felt packing is not enough to warrant changing from the conventional packing being used in the industry. Further research is required to identify other materials that might be good alternatives to the current packing.