Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/2006
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Ray, S.J. 2006. Alternative Configurations in a Cylinder-type Cleaner for Seed Cotton. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Vol. 22(5): 643-649.
Interpretive Summary: The global cotton market is becoming increasingly competitive and it is imperative that the quality of U.S. cotton continues to improve. Current ginning recommendations include two saw-type lint cleaners after fiber-seed separation. Though lint cleaners remove an impressive amount foreign material, the aggressive cleaning action degrades the quality of the lint and expels a considerable amount of fiber. Prior to fiber-seed separation, seed cotton cleaners are much less aggressive and essentially do not affect the quality of the fiber. However, the gentle cleaning action is compromised by lower cleaning efficiency. Cylinder cleaners consist of spiked cylinders that scrub cotton across a series of cleaning points known as grid bars, which allow the foreign material to fall through the gaps between the bars. Previous work has shown that three seed cotton cleaners can be used in lieu of the second lint cleaner. This study investigated parameter modifications of a cylinder-type seed cotton cleaner, with the goal of reducing the number of seed cotton cleaners required to replace the second lint cleaner. Test treatments were combinations of cylinder speeds and grid bar types. Results indicated that the large square grid bars at the higher cylinder speed performed slightly better than the conventional grid bar and cylinder speed, considering both cleaning efficiency and fiber loss. However, the results do not merit changes in the existing configuration.
Technical Abstract: The cleaning performance of a six-cylinder cleaner was evaluated on seed cotton based on varying grid bar configuration, cylinder speed, and cylinder configuration. The experiment was conducted in two parts – cylinders equipped with (Part 1) and without (Part 2) “propulsion paddles”. Each part composed of eight combinations of grid bar shapes and cylinder speeds. Pre-cleaned and non pre-cleaned seed cotton was used to simulate the first and second stages of cleaning. The study also included an evaluation of the first three and second three grid sections of the cleaner by capturing the wastes from each separately. In Part 1, the treatment with 9.5-mm flat square grid bars and cylinder speed of 980 rpm outperformed the conventionally operated cylinder cleaner (9.5-mm dia. grid bars with 480 rpm cylinder speed) in all aspects of the analysis, considering both cleaning efficiency and fiber wastage. Overall, the 9.5-mm flat square bar/980 rpm treatment a cleaning efficiency of 28% and wasted virtually no fiber, while the conventional configuration had a 24% cleaning efficiency and experienced 0.08 kg/bale fiber loss. In Part 2, essentially no differences occurred between the 9.5-mm flat square bar/980 rpm treatment and the conventional configuration in all analyses, each with an overall cleaning efficiency of 26% and nearly no loss of fiber. All other treatments either had reduced efficiencies or significantly higher fiber loss. Results indicate that cylinders equipped with paddles may offer potential for optimizing seed cotton cleaning performance when used with certain grid bar configurations, though further research is needed.