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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #235673

Title: Trash Particle Attachment to Fiber and the Effects of Various Machine-Fiber Interactions

item Byler, Richard
item Boykin Jr, James

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Thomasson, A., Sui, R., Byler, R.K., Boykin Jr, J.C., Barnes, E. 2009. Trash Particle Attachment to Fiber and the Effects of Various Machine-Fiber Interactions. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD ROM pp. 388-391.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is machine harvested in the U.S. and therefore contains considerable non-lint and thus must be machine cleaned while some cotton competing in the world marked is hand harvested which contains little non-lint, not requiring machine cleaning. The machine cleaning of cotton lint tends to damage fibers putting it at a competitive disadvantage on the world market. The previous work on improving machine cleaning of lint focused mainly on examining and modifying the effective and widely used saw-type lint cleaner. This study examined the non-lint particles in cotton lint under a microscope. Samples of non-lint particles were obtained from 5 different processes including before and after cleaning with a saw-type lint cleaner. The particles were categorized as to how much lint was attached to each particle and how tightly the lint was attached to the particle. Two primary conclusions were reached from the observations made and data collected and analyzed in this work: (1) the primary means of fiber-particle attachment is mechanical restriction of the fiber in cracks at fractured particle edges; and (2) the foreign-matter particles remaining in the lint after each stage of machine interaction are more tightly attached, both in terms of the force required to remove them and in terms of the number of fibers attached to them. Based on these data researchers will be able to better understand problems with machine cleaning cotton lint and may be able to devise ways of removing the non-lint with less damage to the lint.

Technical Abstract: U.S. cotton is at a competitive disadvantage from a fiber-quality standpoint, because lint cleaning is required for mechanically harvested cotton, and lint cleaning causes fiber damage. Lint-cleaning research has focused mainly on modifying saw-type lint cleaners, but the work reported here focuses on the physics of cleaning foreign matter from cotton. Individual particles were examined under a microscope, and the observations made and data collected indicate that (1) cotton fibers adhere to foreign-matter particles by becoming restricted in cracks at fractured particle edges, and (2) all instances of machine processing of cotton from harvesting through ginning tend to increase the tightness of fiber-particle attachment.