Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2012
Publication Date: 12/4/2012
Citation: Wanjura, J.D., Gamble, G.R., Holt, G.A., Pelletier, M.G. 2012. Influence of grid bar shape on field cleaner performance - field testing. Journal of Cotton Science. 16(4):255-267.
Interpretive Summary: Cotton stripper harvesters utilize onboard cleaning machines known as field cleaners to remove foreign matter from harvested seed cotton. These machines help producers reduce the mass of material that must be transported from the field to the gin, thereby reducing overall ginning costs. Field cleaners are only used on stripper type cotton harvesters due to the increased amount of foreign matter harvested with seed cotton. Early development research on field cleaners pointed out that the diameter of internal grid bars used to help clean the cotton has an influence on the overall cleaning efficiency of a field cleaner. In a recent project, two field cleaner configurations utilizing grid bars with experimental cross sectional shapes improved the cleaning performance of the field cleaner compared to the conventional round grid bars. This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of these two experimental field cleaner configurations under field conditions. The results indicate that one of the experimental configurations performed as well as the conventional configuration with regard to cleaning efficiency, but tended to lose more seed cotton. The second experimental configuraiton had substantially lower seed cotton loss than the other two configurations, but also had substantially reduced total trash cleaning efficiency. No differences in fiber or yarn quality were observed between field cleaner treatments indicating that the field cleaner does not damage fiber in the cleaning process. Additional work on this subject should evaluate the influence of field cleaner grid bar cross sectional shape under crop conditions with higher yield, increased plant moisture content, and in years which favor the generations of bark.
Technical Abstract: A test was conducted to evaluate the influence of grid bar cross sectional shape on cotton stripper field cleaner performance in terms of cleaning efficiency, seed cotton loss, and fiber and yarn quality. Three field cleaner configurations were tested on a cotton stripper harvester operating under field conditions. Seed cotton foreign matter content, fiber quality, and yarn quality data from the three field cleaner configurations were compared to data from cotton harvested without a field cleaner using the same cotton stripper harvester (with the field cleaner bypassed) and a cotton picker. Four cotton cultivars, which varied with regard to maturity and bolltype, were harvested during the test to investigate field cleaner performance over a range of crop conditions and fiber quality. Results indicate that a cotton stripper field cleaner configured with round cross section grid bars installed around the top saw with grid bars having a flat approach and angled relief installed around the bottom saw clean seed cotton as well as a production model field cleaner configured with round grid bars installed around both saws but seed cottn loss was higher for the experimental configuration. A second experimental field cleaner configuration consisting of grid bars with a flat approach and 38.1 mm straight relief installed around both saws had the poorest cleaning efficiency, but the lowest seed cotton loss of the other two configurations tested. Differences in fiber and yarn properties were primarily observed between picker and stripper harvest methods. Minimal differences were observed between stripper harvest treatments with or without the field cleaner for fiber and yarn quality parameters.