Title: Effect of processing rate on seed cotton cleaning equipment performance Authors
Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Citation: Hardin IV, R.G., Byler, R.K. 2011. Effect of processing rate on seed cotton cleaning equipment performance. In proc of Beltwide Cotton Conference. National Cotton Council. Atlanta, GA. January 4-7, 2011. CD ROM p. 610-619. Interpretive Summary: Seed cotton cleaning equipment removes foreign matter from seed cotton before the gin stand. Gin manufacturers recommend a processing rate per unit width of this equipment of 1.5-2.5 bales hr-1 ft-1. Survey data has indicated that many gins exceed this recommended processing rate. Previous research did not test rates as high as commonly used in commercial gins. Seed cotton was processed through the recommended sequence of seed cotton cleaning equipment at rates from 2-6 bales hr-1 ft-1. Samples were collected after each cleaning machine to determine the effect of processing rate on cleaning performance and seed cotton loss from the cleaners. The first study tested four varieties grown in 2008, including one machine-stripped variety containing much more foreign matter (26.4%). The processing rate did not affect the performance of seed cotton cleaning equipment for the picker-harvested varieties; however, these varieties had low initial foreign matter content (4.6-7.2%). The stripper-harvested cotton was not cleaned as well at high processing rates. The study was repeated with cotton grown in 2009 to obtain a wider range of foreign matter content in picker-harvested varieties and higher moisture contents. Two varieties and two moisture content levels were tested. Preliminary data from this study indicated that less foreign matter was removed at higher processing rates. Under some conditions, higher than recommended processing rates may be used at gins without affecting cleaning performance. With clean, dry seed cotton, higher processing rates could be used. Regardless of the processing rate, the number and condition of seed cotton cleaners in a commercial gin would have a significant impact on the amount of foreign matter removed by the seed cotton cleaning equipment.
Technical Abstract: The processing rate per unit width of seed cotton cleaning equipment– cylinder cleaners and stick machines– recommended by manufacturers is 4.8-8.2 bales hr-1 m-1 (1.5-2.5 bales hr-1 ft-1). Survey data has indicated that many gins exceed this processing rate. Previous research with picker-harvested cotton only tested rates up to 6.6 bales hr-1 m-1 (2.0 bales hr-1 ft-1). Machinery design and cleanability of cotton cultivars has changed since this work was conducted. Two independent experiments were performed to evaluate the effects of processing rates significantly higher than recommended. Seed cotton was processed through a typical sequence of gin machinery- cylinder cleaner, stick machine, cylinder cleaner, extractor-feeder, gin stand, and lint cleaner. The foreign matter content after each stage of seed cotton cleaning was determined and the cleaning efficiencies of each machine were calculated. Foreign matter content of the ginned lint and fiber quality parameters were also measured. The first study tested four cultivars of cotton harvested in 2008. Varying the processing rate did not affect cleaning performance for the picker-harvested cultivars; however, these cultivars had low initial foreign matter contents. Higher processing rates resulted in increased foreign matter content through the second stage cylinder cleaner for the stripper-harvested cultivar. The second experiment tested two cultivars and two seed cotton moisture levels. Preliminary data from this experiment indicated that higher processing rates resulted in less foreign matter removed by the first stage cylinder cleaner, but only the highest processing rate contained significantly more foreign matter after the second stage cylinder cleaner.