Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 2004
Publication Date: January 7, 2005
Citation: Anthony, W.S. 2005. Moisture transfer with strip-coated and micropore bale baggings. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD ROM pp. 676-683. Interpretive Summary: The U.S. cotton industry continually seeks to improve the quality of the packaged bale as bale storage and handling practices change and new technology emerges. Prevention of contamination during storage and shipment is very important, especially since most U.S.-produced bales are shipped to foreign markets. In response to negative perceptions concerning the approved strip-coated bag currently used, a new bagging called 'micropore' was developed by private industry. The new bagging offers excellent fiber protection. This study compared the new bagging to current bagging to ensure satisfactory moisture transfer performance before widespread commercial use. The study was conducted under accelerated conditioning at high humidity in order to quickly assess the response of the new materials prior to commercial use. During a six-month storage period, the micropore bagging allowed 1.7% (8.5 pounds) moisture gain while the 3-inch striped bagged bale gained 2.1% (10.5 pounds). The micropore bagging gained moisture more slowly than the conventional bag and required about three weeks longer storage to achieve the same moisture levels as conventional bags. However, bale protection offered by the micropore bagging is superior even though moisture transfers at a lower rate. Adoption of this technology will greatly improve the acceptance of U.S.-produced cotton bales in foreign and domestic markets.
Technical Abstract: As bale storage and handling practices change and new technology emerges, new types of bagging and ties are developed in response to the new requirements. The new materials are investigated to ensure that they perform satisfactorily before widespread use. The materials are studied under accelerated conditioning at high or low humidity in order to quickly assess the response of the new materials prior to commercial testing. The purpose of this study was to determine if a new style, fully coated woven polypropylene bale bag that has uniformly spaced pinholes for air release transferred moisture as well as the fully coated and strip laminated woven polypropylene bags currently used in the United States. Three universal density bales were placed in each of three types of bale bags: 1) fully coated with uniformly spaced pinholes added (micropore), 2) fully coated, and 3) 3-inch wide, strip coated. The bales were stored for 179 days at 75% relative humidity and 75 °F. The micropore covered bales gained 1.7% (8.5 pounds) while the 3-inch stripe bagged bale gained 2.1% (10.5 pounds). Thus, the micropore bagging gains moisture more slowly than the conventional bag and will require about three weeks longer storage to achieve the same moisture levels as conventional bags. In short, the micropore bagging offers excellent bale protection at a lower moisture transfer rate.