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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Wet Cotton and High Temperature Drying

Authors
item Hughs, Sidney
item Price, John

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 8, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Research has shown that high temperature drying of already dry seed cotton leads to fiber damage and textile quality problems. This has led to a ginning industry-wide effort to greatly limit drying temperatures during the ginning process in order to limit fiber quality damage as well as keep down operating costs. However, sometimes seed cotton is brought to the gin nwhose moisture content is above the recommended upper limit of 12 to 13% moisture content. In these situations, the ginners only choice is to increase drying temperatures in order to adequately dry the seed cotton for processing and hope that any fiber damage will be minimal. This work was done to determine what effect high drying temperatures have on the fiber quality of wet seed cotton. Test results showed that 400 deg F drying temperatures on 18% moisture seed cotton did not harm raw fiber or yarn quality. These same temperatures did significantly affect the quality of already dry (6% moisture) seed cotton. This information will help cotton ginners to better control their drying systems under changing seed cotton moisture conditions while preserving the quality of the ginned fiber.

Technical Abstract: Seed cotton was harvested both wet and dry from the same field and subjected to different drying treatments. The goal was to determine the quality effect of using high drying temperatures on both wet (18% moisture) and dry (6% moisture) cotton fiber. As was expected, high drying temperatures on already dry cotton damaged fiber length and strength but resulted in better trash removal during cleaning. However, high temperatures correctly used did not damage the length and strength of wet cotton fiber when compared to an already dry control that received no drying. The effects of drying damage carried into spinning, with the overdried fiber producing weaker and less uniform yarn.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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