Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: More than 95% of the cotton bales produced annually in the U.S. are packaged at universal density (UD). These 500 lb. bales are typically compressed to over 40 lbs/ft3 and then restrained at a density of 28 lbs/ft3. Over 750,000 pounds of force is required to compress each bale. An energy intensive (300 horsepower) and costly ($300,000) press is required to package the bale. A method to reduce the force required to package a bale about 35% was developed. Existing presses may be retrofitted or the new method may be incorporated into new presses. Results should substantially reduce the initial costs of new bale presses and should also reduce the operating costs. This invention has broad applications across all industries that package compressible materials.
Technical Abstract: A method to reduce compression force requirements was developed and tested to either retrofit or replace existing platens on bale presses. Several versions of the device were tested and found to reduce compression forces for a gin universal density cotton bale by 20 to 35%. The device can also be used to provide additional compression using the existing bale press and to substantially reduce the resilient forces exerted on bale ties. A patent application has been filed and the devices will be available to the public in the near future.