Tea-Leaf Plucker, Mechanical

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tea-Leaf Plucker, Mechanical


a mounted or self-propelled machine that is used to pick mature flushes of leaves from rows of tea plants.

In the USSR, efforts at the development of mechanical tea-leaf pluckers were begun in 1930. The first Soviet mechanical tea-leaf plucker, which had a mower-type cutting bar, was drawn by a tractor or a horse. A trailer-type pneumatic tea-leaf plucker, which was powered by a motor mounted on it, was developed in 1951. Lot production of the ChSN-1.6 mechanical tea-leaf plucker, or the Sakartvelo, was inaugurated in 1963.

Intended for use in level areas or on slopes of up to 8°, the ChSN-1.6 mechanical tea-leaf plucker moves along rows of tea plants. The operating elements of the plucking device, which are controlled by an hydraulic servomechanism, are inserted into the crown of a tea bush to the required depth. Elastic inserts of blades that move back and forth “feel” for shoots and find the most brittle place for breaking off the shoots. The shoots to be picked are bent between the rigid supports of fixed blades and the elastic inserts of the moving blades and are plucked. Highly developed shoots, whose brittle part lies above the zone in which the inserts operate, are cut by pruners. The plucked leaves are fed through an air duct and flexible tubing to screen conveyors by means of an airflow produced by a fan and are discharged into receiving bins. The operating elements are driven by a power takeoff shaft and by the hydraulic system of the tool carriage. The ChSN-1.6 mechanical tea-leaf plucker picks up to 90 percent of a mature flush. Its operating capacity is 0.2 hectare/hr at a speed of 1 km/hr.

The ChA-650/900 mechanical tea-leaf plucker is used on steep slopes (up to 16°). The plucking device is mounted on a tricycle carriage so that the device remains upright when it moves across a slope; it is equipped with a reel having rubber vanes. The rubber vanes bend the shoots under the cutting blade. The shoots are then pressed against picking rollers and are cut, fed to a conveyor, and discharged into a bin. Pins equipped with capron threads are fastened beneath the cutting blade. The pins deflect immature shoots so that they are not cut. The ChA-650/900 mechanical tea-leaf plucker picks up to 98 percent of a mature flush. Its capacity is 0.2 hectare/hr.

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