Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2011
Publication Date: 7/27/2012
Citation: Sui, R., Byler, R.K. 2012. Air-bar cotton lint cleaner. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 28(2):173-177. Interpretive Summary: Machine-harvested cotton contains about 13 to 35% foreign matter. The process of removing the foreign matter from cotton at the gin involves cylinder cleaners and stick machines before fiber-seed separation to remove large particles of foreign matter from the seed cotton, and lint cleaners after fiber-seed separation to remove smaller particles that remain in the cotton. 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. Over the years, though significant attempts at developing new lint cleaning technologies have been made, today the ginning industry basically uses the same cleaning principles that were developed in the 1940s. In this study, a new type of lint cleaner, air-bar lint cleaner (ABLC), was developed. The ABLC uses pressurized 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 no fiber damage occurs at the bar. Preliminary tests of the ABLC prototype were conducted and superior results were indicated compared with the conventional saw-type lint cleaner in terms of preserving cotton fiber quality at the same production rate.
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 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 the fiber making mechanical contact with a solid object, such as a grid bar. The fiber quality could be preserved by reducing the damage from mechanical impact of the fiber against the 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.