Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/26/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2011
Citation: Sui, R., Byler, R.K. 2011. Development of an air-bar lint cleaner. Proceedings of Beltwide Cotton Prod. Res. Conf., Jan 5-7, 2011, Atlanta, GA. pp 668-673 Interpretive Summary: U.S cotton is machine-harvested and contains about 13 to 35% foreign matter. It is desirable for as much foreign matter as possible, within fiber-damage constraints, to be removed from cotton fiber at the gin. The process to remove the foreign matter at gin involves cylinder cleaners and stick machines before fiber-seed separation to remove large particles of the foreign matter from the seed cotton, and lint cleaners after fiber-seed separation to remove smaller particles that remain in cotton. Saw-type lint cleaner (STLC) is now the most common lint cleaner because of its higher cleaning efficiency. Saw-type lint cleaning at gins is able to improve the grade classification of the cotton fiber and increase the market value in the current marketing system. However, STLC damages fiber in creating short fibers and neps and reduces bale weights. A new type lint cleaner, air-bar lint cleaner (ABLC), has been developed at USDA-ARS-CGRU at Stoneville, MS. Operation principle of the ABLC has a fundamental difference from the STLC. The ABLC uses pressured airflow to remove non-lint materials from lint cotton at the gin. There is no mechanical interaction between the fiber and the air-bar of the ABLC in the lint cleaning process so that no fiber damage occurs at the bar. Preliminary tests of the ABLC prototype were conducted and superior results were indicated compared with the conventional STLC in terms of preserving cotton fiber quality at the same production rate. Compared with cotton cleaned using the STLC, cotton cleaned using the ABLC had better fiber quality properties, including less short fiber content, less trash content, longer fiber length by number, less immature fiber content, lower yellowness, and less lint content in the lint waste. Those promising results suggested that the ABLC has significant potential to be used in cotton industry. More tests and adjustments of relevant parameters of the ABLC will be needed to improve its performances in the next phase of study.
Technical Abstract: Saw-type lint cleaners are now the most common lint cleaners used at gins because of their higher cleaning efficiency. Saw-type lint cleaning improves the grade of the fiber and increases the market value for the farmer. However, during the cleaning process the saw-type lint cleaners damage fiber in creating short fibers and neps. An innovative air-bar cotton lint cleaner (ABLC) was designed and built. The ABLC used pressurized air to remove non-lint materials from cotton fiber while the cotton fiber batt was on a rotating saw cylinder. Thus, non-lint materials attached to the fiber were blown off the fiber without fiber making mechanical contact with a solid object such as a grid bar. So, the fiber quality could be preserved by reducing the damage from mechanical impact of the fiber against grid bar during the lint cleaning process. Preliminary testing of the ABLC prototype was conducted. Compared with cotton cleaned using the conventional saw-type lint cleaner, cotton cleaned using the ABLC had better fiber quality properties, including less short fiber content, less trash content, longer fiber length by number, less immature fiber content, lower yellowness, and less lint content in the lint waste.