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Title: Effects of Friction Reduction on Fiber Damage in a Saw-Type Lint Cleaner

item THOMASSON, J. - Texas A&M Agrilife
item Sui, Ruixiu
item Byler, Richard
item BARNES, E. - Cotton, Inc

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2010
Publication Date: 4/30/2010
Citation: Thomasson, J.A., Sui, R., Byler, R.K., Barnes, E.M. 2010. Effects of Friction Reduction on Fiber Damage in a Saw-Type Lint Cleaner. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference. CD ROM p. 727-733.

Interpretive Summary: Mechanical harvesting of U.S. cotton requires at least one stage of lint cleaning to reduce its foreign-matter content to a marketable level. Lint cleaning damages fibers by causing fiber breakage and fiber entanglements, such that increases in short fiber content (SFC) and nep counts are typically measurable between before-and-after lint-cleaner samples. Recent research directed at fundamental changes to lint cleaning has approached the problem from two angles: (1) modeling the physics to determine the effects that current saw-type lint cleaners have on cotton fiber, and (2) determining the fundamental requirements for removing foreign-matter particles from cotton fiber. The modeling work indicated that friction between fibers and machine surfaces was likely a strong contributor to fiber damage. Therefore, the objective of this work was to determine whether reducing fiber-to-machine friction significantly affected fiber damage as measured between before-and-after lint-cleaner samples. In this study two tests were conducted in which a water-based lubricant solution was sprayed onto lint cotton between the gin stand and the lint cleaner. Samples were collected before and after the lint cleaner. Fiber quality of the samples was measured with Advanced Fiber Information System (AFIS) and High Volume Instrument (HVI). The first test indicated a significant trend towards reduction in nep count with increasing lubricant application rate. The effect on SFC was negligible. The second test appeared to indicate, based on post-lint-cleaner data alone, that a particular application rate on the order of 500 to 600 mg lubricant/kg fiber gave the lowest values of neps and SFC. However, pre-lint-cleaner data are forthcoming and will be compared with post-lint-cleaner data to shed light on the cross-lint-cleaner effect on neps and SFC, and how this effect is altered by addition of lubricant.

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, specifically the effect of friction reduction on lint-cleaner effects on nep count and short-fiber content (SFC). Two tests were conducted in which a lubricant was added to the fiber prior to lint cleaning, and AFIS nep count and SFC were measured. Preliminary findings are that friction reduction may have a positive effect on neps and a neutral effect on SFC, although one of the lubricant-application levels appeared to produce the lowest levels of neps and SFC.