cotton gin

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cotton gin,

machine for separating cotton fibers from the seeds. The charkha, used in India from antiquity, consists of two revolving wooden rollers through which the fibers are drawn, leaving the seeds. A similar gin was early used in the S United States for long-staple cotton. In the modern roller gin, rollers covered with rough leather draw out the fibers, which are cut off by a fixed knife pressed against the rollers. This type of gin cleans only about two bales per day, but it does not snarl or break the fibers. The saw gin, invented by the American inventor Eli Whitney in 1793 and patented in 1794, consisted of a toothed cylinder revolving against a grate that enclosed the seed cotton. The teeth caught the fibers, pulling them from the seeds; the fibers were then removed from the cylinder by a revolving brush. This device, especially suited to short- and medium-staple cotton, has been mechanized and is used in commercial plants that are also called gins, where the fiber is conveyed from farm wagon to baler by air suction. Such plants have one or more gin stands, each with a series of from 70 to 80 circular saws set on a shaft. The fibers, freed from dirt and hulls, are pulled through a grid by the saw teeth to remove the seeds. The fibers are removed from the saw teeth by a revolving brush or by a blast of air (in more modern plants) and are then carried by air blast or suction to a condenser and finally to the baling apparatus.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cotton Gin


a machine for cleaning seed cotton gathered from the ground and bollies.

The USSR produces the model UPKh-1.5B cotton gin. It works in the following manner. The cotton enters an air separator through a pipe feeder and is fed to a toothed cylinder, where large-size trash, such as clumps of earth and stones, is removed. The cylinder pulls the cotton across a screen, removing small debris, and a suction valve draws the cotton into a hopper. Feed rollers deliver the cotton to a rubbing cylinder that forces small debris through a screen, and the cotton is thrown onto a hulling cylinder. When cleaning bollies, the rubbing cylinder breaks the shell, and the seed cotton that is extracted is fed to the shelling cylinder. The shelling and blade cylinders then feed the cotton to a saw cylinder. The cotton is taken from the saws by a brush cylinder and fed to the saw cylinder for an additional cleaning. It is then removed by the brush cylinder and ejected toward a kicker or fed to the brush cylinder again, from which it is unloaded by a suction valve and pneumatic conveyor along a tube into a trailer.

The UPKh-1.5B cotton gin is driven by a pulley or takeoff shaft from a tractor engine or by an electric motor. The machine can clean 1,500 kg of seed cotton (with approximately 10 percent contamination) per hour. Its productivity for hand-picked bollies (with no more than 20 percent humidity) is 1,500kg/hr; for machine-picked bollies the productivity is 700–800kg/hr. Five workers are needed to operate the gin.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cotton gin

[′kät·ən ‚jin]
A machine that separates cottonseed from the fibers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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