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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GINNING AND PROCESSING RESEARCH TO ENHANCE QUALITY, PROFITABILITY, AND TEXTILE UTILITY OF WESTERN COTTONS

Location: Cotton Ginning Research

Title: Beltwide Cotton Quality Study

Authors
item WHITELOCK, DEREK
item Buser, Michael
item ARMIJO, CARLOS
item HOLT, GREGORY
item Boykin Jr, James
item VALCO, THOMAS
item Findley, Dennis - SE COTTON GINNERS ASSN.
item Barnes, Edward - COTTON INCORPORATED
item Watson, Michael - COTTON INCORPORATED

Submitted to: World Cotton Research Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2007
Publication Date: July 18, 2008
Citation: Whitelock, D.P., Buser, M.D., Armijo, C.B., Holt, G.A., Boykin Jr, J.C., Valco, T.D., Findley, D.S., Barnes, E.M., Watson, M.D. 2008. Beltwide cotton quality study. In: Proceedings of the World Cotton Research Conference, September 9-15, 2007, Lubbock, Texas. 2007 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Mechanical handling of cotton will typically increase fiber entanglements and in many cases result in fiber breakage, increasing the amount of short fibers content, which is undesirable from the textile mill’s perspective. Also, there has been recent discussion that the base grade fro U.S. cotton is a discounted cotton in international cotton markets. As part of an initiative to develop new technologies to clean fiber and maintain fiber quality as well as or better than current technology, and reduce fiber entanglements and the amount of short fibers, a two year, belt-wide commercial cotton gin sampling project was conducted during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to confirm and establish, with the better fiber quality measurement techniques used today, some basic knowledge about the changes in upland cotton quality throughout the ginning process and the ginning season. The first year data showed that cleaning machines were adequately removing foreign matter and that the amount of short fibers doubled and the number of fiber entanglements tripled at the gin stand, much more than for any other machine. Length measurements also decreased due to processing. This work establishes up-to-date baseline fiber quality information for saw-ginned upland cotton to focus future engineering research to improve cotton fiber quality with the ultimate goal of enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. cotton in international markets.

Technical Abstract: A two year, belt-wide commercial cotton gin sampling project was initiated in 2005 for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 ginning seasons to assess the changes in upland cotton quality throughout the ginning process and the ginning season with the ultimate goal of identifying areas where improvements can be made in preservation of fiber quality. This report discusses analysis of the first year data. Overall fiber properties after one stage of lint cleaning were typical of U.S. cotton. In order to compare quality of fiber in seed-cotton samples with ginned lint samples from a commercial gin, hand ginning to lab ginning relationships were developed and used to correct the fiber quality data for lab ginned seed-cotton samples to near pre-ginning values. Trash content analyses showed that cleaning machines typically reduced foreign matter content per lint basis from as high as 50% at the module to about 4% at the lint slide. Short fiber content (SFC) values after ginning were double those at the feeder and increased at a lesser rate with lint cleaning. Nep counts were nearly tripled by the gin stand, then increased steadily as the lint passed through the first and second stage of lint cleaning, but the increases associated with the lint cleaners was much less than that at the gin stand. Length measurements also decreased due to processing. More in-depth data analyses will continue after the 2nd year data are complete. This future work will focus on within-ginning process changes, changes as the ginning season progressed, interactions among fiber properties (i.e. SFC and micronaire or neps and length), and effects of cleaning.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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