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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321330

Research Project: Enhancing the Quality, Utility, Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Western and Long-Staple Cotton through Improvements in Harvesting, Processing, and Utilization

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Saw gin stands

item Hughs, Sidney
item Holt, Gregory
item RUTHERFORD, ROSS - Lummus Corporation

Submitted to: Journal of Cotton Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/16/2016
Publication Date: 4/12/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Hughs, S.E., Holt, G.A., Rutherford, R. 2017. Saw gin stands. Journal of Cotton Science. 21:60-69.

Interpretive Summary: Approximately 95% of the cotton ginned in the U.S. is processed by saw gins. The original idea of a saw gin has been around and used in the U.S. cotton industry for over 200 years. However, during the past 200 years the U.S. cotton industry has undergone huge changes in varieties grown, production practices, harvest practices, and ginning practices continues to change up to the present day. The saw gin stand has also undergone very significant changes during this time and also continues to change to meet the needs of the changing cotton ginning industry. To keep up with and manage these changes, the U.S. ginning industry collects and publishes information on all aspects of equipment operation, capacities and maintenance for use by gin managers and operators. As part of this effort, the U.S. cotton industry periodically publishes reference handbooks for ginners use. The last update for the Ginners Handbook was published in 1994 and needs to be updated. These handbooks are divided into sections relating to various aspects of the ginning operation. One section is devoted to information on the models, specification, and adjustments of saw gin stands. This manuscript has been written to provide the latest information on saw gin stands for reference use by the U.S. ginning industry.

Technical Abstract: The saw gin stand is the heart of the saw ginning system. Almost from the initial filing of patents for the spiked tooth gin and the saw gin in 1794 and 1796 by Whitney and then Holmes respectively (Hughs and Holt, 2015), the saw gin stand has predominated over early roller-type gins in the U.S. cotton ginning industry. These early saw gin stands were small relatively simple machines that were manually fed hand-picked seed cotton and were only capable of processing a few hundred pounds of fiber per day. However, even at this early stage, it was recognized that the gin stand had a huge impact on fiber quality and textile utility. These early saw gins tended to be single stand installations that consisted of a gin stand and a bale press and only processed the cotton of the plantation on which they were located. The basic operating principle of separating fiber and seed by pulling the cotton fiber through narrow slots that blocked the passage of the cottonseed in these early saw gins has not changed. However, the size and complexity of the saw gin stand as well as the complexity of the ginning system of which the saw gin is the heart has changed by orders of magnitude up to the present day. The most recent Cotton Ginners Handbook documented all of the manufacturers and specifications of U.S. saw gins that were being used in the cotton industry at that time (Columbus et al., 1994). However, the saw gin has continued to evolve and some gin manufacturers are no longer in business while others have entered the field. This document was prepared to provide the U.S. ginning industry the most recent information available on saw gin stands currently operating in the U.S.