Analysis and design of hemp fibre decorticators

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Xu, Jinke
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Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) fibre is a natural renewable material which has been used in important areas closely related to people’s daily life. The increasing need of hemp fibre of high quality requires better fibre processing methods, more advanced facilities with higher machine performance and efficiency. Decortication is the key procedure to extract hemp fibre, and it significantly affects the output fibre quality and purity. The machine used for this process, known as a decorticator, needs to be well designed. The energy requirement is worth being evaluated for decorticators. This study consisted of two parts. In the first part, the specific energy of using a hammer mill for decorticating hemp was examined. The experimental data (three hammer mill screen scenarios and three feeding masses) were used to fit modified size-reduction theories (Kick’s, Rittinger’s and Bond’s laws). The experimental data were also used to develop a linear regression model to predict the specific energy from the ratio of initial and final fibre lengths. Results showed that all modified laws and the linear model performed equally well for specific energy prediction, and they had better prediction accuracy at a higher feed rate. In the second part of the study, integrated with virtual reality (VR) technology, TRIZ (“Theory of Inventive Problem Solving” in Russian) method was used for designing and evaluating a new hemp scutcher prototype in virtual environments. An evaluation system was developed for making comparison of the new design and the traditional scutchers. The new design is expected to have a better performance in terms of scale, product quality and energy efficiency. The TRIZ-VR integrated design has great potential to be a fast, reliable and low-cost design trend.
hemp, decortication
Xu, J., Q. Peng, and Y. Chen. 2010. Integration of TRIZ and virtual environments for hemp scutcher design. Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. DETC2010-28458.
Xu, J., Y. Chen, C. Laguë, H. Landry, Q. Peng, and W. Zhong. 2010. Theoretical analysis of energy requirement for hemp decorticators. CIGR XVIIth World Congress. Paper No. CSBE10-769.