Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Le, S. 2006. Cleaning performance of modified cylinder cleaners. Journal of Cotton Science. Vol. 10: 273-283
Interpretive Summary: After it is separated from the cottonseed, cotton fiber is cleaned normally with a very aggressive machine known as a saw-type lint cleaner in order to meet current market requirements. This process causes fiber damage and fiber wastes. A two-year study was conducted to identify a gentler and better alternative using machines normally used to clean raw seed cotton and known as a cylinder cleaner. Different cylinder configurations were consisting of different grid bar (cleaning point) geometries and spacings. Results indicated that all cylinder cleaner configurations yielded more fiber than the saw-type lint cleaner. The best overall experimental cylinder cleaner differed for the two years, and was different from machines currently available in the industry. The studies concluded that cylinder cleaners produced less fiber loss and fiber entanglements but also were only 30% as efficient cleaners when compared to the standard saw-type lint cleaners. Cleaning cotton fiber with the less aggressive, modified cylinder cleaners can increase producer profits on cottons that require limited cleaning. Further research is required to improve the cleaning efficiency of the modified cylinder cleaners.
Technical Abstract: ABSTRACT. Saw-type lint cleaners are considered the most efficient and aggressive cleaners in the ginning industry. To look for a more gentle cleaner alternative, a study was conducted for 2 seasons to evaluate the lint cleaning performance of modified cylinder cleaners. In the crop year 2003, six cylinder configurations were made by varying the grid bar geometries, the spacing between grid bars and the design combination for each cylinder. Results indicated that all cylinder cleaner configurations yielded higher turnouts than those of the bench mark saw-type lint cleaner and its hybrid (a six cylinder cleaner with a special saw-type lint cleaner connected in tandem). The best overall cylinder cleaner was composed of 3 cradles of flat, square grid bars with wide spacing (9.6 mm) followed by another 3 cradles of flat, square grid bars with narrow gap (6.4mm) between bars. This cylinder cleaner configuration provided the highest turnout (40.4%), a high reflectance (79.0), an adequate cleaning efficiency at 17.0% as compared to a saw-type lint cleaner at 47.1%, a moderate fiber loss to waste (1.30 kg/bale) and low nep counts (226.6 neps/gram). In the second-year study, two new cylinder configurations were studied together with the baseline saw-type and the two top cylinder cleaner performers found in the first-year study. The study found that the optimal cylinder cleaner was composed of flat, square grid bars with narrow spacing followed by wide spacing between grid bars (3 cradles each). This configuration yielded the highest turnout (39.3%), a good reflectance (79.72), a low cleaning efficiency at 18.0% as compared to a saw-type lint cleaner at 49.5%, a second lowest level of waste and neps (1.11 kg/bale of SG105 and 207.6 neps/g, respectively).