Submitted to: Cotton Gin and Oil Mill Press
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 22, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Excessive tie failures on cotton bales places an unnecessary financial strain ($35 per bale for 800,000 bales) on the cotton industry. Analysis of the cause of failures on bales from specific gins is not simple and direct because many factors affect the forces in the restraining ties, primarily compression density, restraint density, lint distribution, and lint moisture content. A decision matrix to allow systematic analysis of bale tie failures was developed and is invaluable in isolating causes and corrective actions required. A portable device that can be operated by one person that allows the bale to be compressed only in the area where the tie is to be placed was developed and will be licensed to private industry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be available to the public in 1998. The decision matrix will allow ginners to reduce the incidence of bale tie failures and the new bale tie replacement device will allow inexpensive replacement of broken ties, thereby making the bales more acceptable in foreign and domestic markets.
Technical Abstract: Analysis of the causes of excessive bale tie failures was simplified by development of a decision matrix that allows the user to systematically identify and eliminate possible causes of tie failures. The matrix is sufficiently complete for use as a "stand alone" aid, or it may be used with the entire report. The report graphically documents the forces involved in packaging cotton and provides the information necessary to identify and resolve problems with broken bale ties. Several key rules of thumb are invaluable: 1) a 2-inch decrease in tie length increases tie force by 20%, 2) a 2-inch decrease in minimum platen separation reduces tie force by 30%, but increases compressive force by 33%, and 3) uneven lint distribution can increase the force on some ties by 50%. A device to replace broken ties was also developed and will provide an inexpensive means to replace ties and make the bales conform to industry standards.