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Development of a Snake Gourd Seed Decorticating Machine

, O. K. Owolarafe

Abstract: Aims: A snake gourd seeds sheller which comprises of hopper, decorticating chamber, and the cleaning chamber was designed, fabricated and evaluated in this study. Methodology: A 3-level factorial response surface methodology (RSM) of design expert version 6.0.8 of 2002 was used to identify the relationship between the response functions and the process variables of the device. The factors considered are shaft speed (300, 350, 400 rpm), soaking time (8, 15, and 20 minutes.), hammer diameter (115, 135 and 150 mm) and feed rate (90, 120, 150 kg/hr.) in the determination of shelling efficiency while air speed (2, 4, and 6 m/s) and angle of air injection (20, 40, 600) were used in the determination of cleaning efficiency. Results: The shelling efficiency was observed to increase with increase in hammer speed, hammer diameter and soaking time but decreased with increase in machine feed rate. The maximum shelling efficiency of 97.61% was recorded when the soaking time is 20 minutes, hammer speed is 400 rpm, hammer diameter is 150 mm and feeding rate is 90 kg/hr. The cleaning efficiency increases with increase in air speed and angle of air injection. The cleaning efficiency of the machine was found to be 92.5 % when the angle of injection and air speed is 600 and 5.0 m/s respectively. The effect of the speed and the angle of injection was found to be significant (p<0.05). Conclusion: The study concluded that with the result of the performance evaluation of the machine, it is suitable for inclusion in the process line for the seed and hence its potential could be harnessed.
Keywords: machine / gourd / chamber / Snake / Decorticating / functions / hammer / speed / shelling / minutes

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