Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Most cotton bales in the U. S. are packaged at a density commonly called "universal density". High initial costs and large connected horsepower to make these bales as well as breakage of some of the restraining bale ties are financial and safety problems for the cotton industry. Recent patents provide methods to reduce compressive forces 35% by using special devices about 1-inch wide. However, research has been limited to presses with eight ties per bale and 9-gauge wire ties, and little is known about potential applications with the 0.75-inch wide steel or plastic strapping that is also used or the new six-tie/strap patterns approved for use. This study compared the reduction in compressive forces for the patented devices in widths of 1, 1.5 and 2 inches as well as in patterns of six and eight per bale. Means for compressive force ranged from 854,021 pounds for the standard platen to 685,197 pounds for the 6-tie pattern with 1.5-inch compression points. The 6-tie, 1.5-inch-wide inserts are suitable for use with the 0.75-inch wide traditional strapping that is in use in the industry today. The 1-inch wide inserts are suitable for use with wire ties. Force reductions of at least 20% were achieved for all treatments, thus the new technology can be used to reduce initial and operating costs of bale presses and to reduce bale tie failures. Application of these findings should produce a better bale package at reduced costs.
Technical Abstract: This study determined the relationship between the force required to compress cotton with a standard platen as compared with platens that had six or eight raised compressive inserts, either 1-inch, 1« -inches, or 2-inches wide across the width of the platen. The experimental platen inserts were installed on top of the standard bottom platen. Twenty-two bales of Suregrow-125 cotton were ginned using a dryer, cylinder cleaner, stick machine, dryer, cylinder cleaner, and two stages of lint cleaning at about five bales per hour. Bales weighing about 500 pounds each were compressed at about 5% moisture content to about 40 pounds per cubic foot density. Seven platen types (6-tie, 1-inch wide; 6-tie, 2-inches wide; 6-tie, 1« -inches wide; 8-tie, 1-inch wide; 8-tie, 1« -inches wide; 8-tie, 2-inches wide; and standard) were evaluated. Least square means for compressive forces (adjusted for bale weight and lint moisture) ranged from 854,021 pounds for the standard platen to 685,197 pounds for the 6-tie pattern with 1«-inch compression inserts. The 6-tie, 1«-inch wide inserts installed on one of the two opposing platens required about 21% less force to achieve the same compression density as the standard platen. The 1«-inch wide inserts are suitable for use with the 3/4-inch-wide traditional strapping that is in use in the industry today, and the 1-inch wide inserts are suitable for use with wire ties.