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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334032

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: The impact of historical gin stand technologies on cotton fiber and seed quality

item Whitelock, Derek
item Buser, Michael
item Armijo, Carlos
item Hughs, Sidney

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2019
Publication Date: 10/1/2019
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Buser, M.D., Armijo, C.B., Hughs, S.E. 2019. The impact of historical gin stand technologies on cotton fiber and seed quality. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 35(5):775-785.

Interpretive Summary: Over the years, gin machinery manufacturers have engineered gin stands to have higher and higher capacity. These increases in ginning rate usually come from increasing the number of saws, increasing saw speed, decreasing saw spacing, increasing motor horsepower, and adding seed-roll agitators or seed tubes. While these innovations have greatly increased cotton processing rates, there are questions about the impact of these changes on fiber and seed quality. A test was conducted to compare the quality of fiber and seed from modern gins stands. The gins stands tested were high capacity, operating at 4-5 bales per hour, and super-high capacity, operating at about twice the rate of high capacity. The tests showed that the fiber and seed properties associated with the HC gin stands tended to be superior to those properties associated with the Super HC gin stands. These results indicate that there may be relationships between gin design parameters and fiber and seed quality that need to be further investigated. This work could lead to recommendations for ginners and gin stand design changes that improve the quality of U.S. cotton fiber, increasing US cotton’s competitiveness on the world market.

Technical Abstract: The trend in modern gin stand designs to increase gin stand production rate in terms of bales/h was generally achieved by increased width, narrower saw spacing, and higher saw loading. This study examined fiber length reductions, short fiber content, fiber neps, and cottonseed damage associated with five saw gin stands of differing production rates, design, and manufacture that represent a range of gin technologies developed since the 1960s to identify technologies from those earlier designs that may guide future gin stand research. Based on rated ginning rate, the gin stands were classified in two general categories, lower capacity (LC, 5 bales/h and less) and higher capacity (HC, 7.5 bales/h and higher). Fiber from the LC gin stands contained fewer fiber neps, longer fibers, less short fiber, and less foreign matter than fiber from the HC gin stands. In addition, cottonseed from the gin stand with lowest capacity had the highest residual linters content and the lowest overall seed damage which aligned with the short fiber content data. Both the LC gin stands were older models and had wider saw spacing; the oldest of them was substantially different from the other designs with two saw mandrels pulling fiber from the same seed roll position. Study results indicate that there may be historical gin stand technologies and relationships between gin parameters such as ginning rate per saw, saw spacing, and seed roll density, and fiber and seed quality that need to be further investigated.