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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENHANCING QUALITY, UTILITY, SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF COTTON AND ITS BYPRODUCTS THROUGH IMPROVEMENT IN HARVEST/GIN PROCESSING

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Upland fiber changes due to ginning and lint cleaning

Authors
item HUGHS, SIDNEY
item ARMIJO, CARLOS
item Foulk, Jonn

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2012
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Citation: Hughs, S.E., Armijo, C.B., Foulk, J.A. 2013. Upland fiber changes due to ginning and lint cleaning. Journal of Cotton Science. 17(2):115-124.

Interpretive Summary: A study was done to determine how upland cotton fiber length distribution was affected during ginning and how possible length changes might affect subsequent textile processing. The full range of ginning treatments currently commercially available in the U. S. cotton industry were utilized. These treatments consisted of both roller- and saw-ginning stands followed by various levels of mechanical fiber cleaning. A secondary goal was to determine the length parameters of cotton fiber that is lost during subsequent mechanical lint cleaning after fiber and seed separation at the gin stand. It was expected that there would be a significant shift towards shorter fibers as ginning changed from roller to saw ginning and then to increased mechanical lint cleaning. What was not expected was that the percentage of fibers approximately 2.54 cm (1.00 inch) length stayed relatively constant while the percentage of fibers above this length decreased as the percentage below this length increased with increasing mechanical handling. While some long fiber was lost to lint cleaning waste at all stages of lint cleaning, over 33% of the fiber lost at any stage was equal to or less than 1.27 cm (0.50 inches) and was of very little textile value. During textile processing, carding waste removed was not affected by mechanical treatment at the gin but changes in fiber distribution towards shorter fibers did adversely affect yarn quality. A priority for future lint cleaning research should be to reduce fiber breakage while maintaining reasonable levels of trash removal during gin lint cleaning.

Technical Abstract: A study was done to determine how upland cotton fiber length distribution was affected during ginning and how possible length changes might affect subsequent textile processing. The full range of ginning treatments currently commercially available in the U. S. cotton industry were utilized. These treatments consisted of both roller- and saw-ginning stands followed by various levels of mechanical fiber cleaning. A secondary goal was to determine the length parameters of cotton fiber that is lost during subsequent mechanical lint cleaning after fiber and seed separation at the gin stand. It was expected that there would be a significant shift towards shorter fibers as ginning changed from roller to saw ginning and then to increased mechanical lint cleaning. What was not expected was that the percentage of fibers approximately 2.54 cm (1.00 inch) length stayed relatively constant while the percentage of fibers above this length decreased as the percentage below this length increased with increasing mechanical handling. While some long fiber was lost to lint cleaning waste at all stages of lint cleaning, over 33% of the fiber lost at any stage was equal to or less than 1.27 cm (0.50 inches) and was of very little textile value. During textile processing, carding waste removed was not affected by mechanical treatment at the gin but changes in fiber distribution towards shorter fibers did adversely affect yarn quality. A priority for future lint cleaning research should be to reduce fiber breakage while maintaining reasonable levels of trash removal during gin lint cleaning.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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