Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 31, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Lack of knowledge of the moisture content in bales of cotton prevents control of moisture removal (drying) and moisture restoration during the gin process. Moisture is important because each percentage of moisture in the bale represents 5 pounds of cotton weight and about $3.50 added value. In addition, cotton packaged at low (<5%) moisture requires more compression force and also generates greater forces on ties used to restrain the bale. Previous studies have shown that bale temperature significantly impacts a new microwave-based instrument to measure bale moisture, thus indicating a need to know the temperature of bales immediately after packaging. Knowledge of the temperature of the lint after compression can provide a means to correct the microwave-based measurement of moisture. Research indicated that bale temperature distribution during press operation could be measured using thermocouples and that a temperature rise of 2.8 C (5.1 F) could be expected. With temperature information, microwave-based representations of bale moisture can be more reliable and can be used to influence drying and moisture restoration as well as reduce compression energy and bale tie stresses.
Technical Abstract: The temperature increase during compression of cotton bales to universal density was determined by placing thermocouples at several locations in partially collected lint cotton at the tramper side of a double box press. Readings before compression were obtained here and at the lint slide, and readings after compression were obtained at the press. Results indicated a 2.8 C (5.1 F) temperature rise at the center position of the bale. A low-cost, portable thermocouple multiplexing system was constructed and used with a notebook computer to acquire the data. The data collection technique has considerable promise for future applications in collecting similar data. The temperature information obtained in this study is useful for correcting bale moisture readings made with temperature sensitive instruments, and can be useful in controlling drying and moisture restoration.