PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF A LOCALLY FABRICATED HAMMER MILL ACQUIRED BY ICRISAT, KANO – NIGERIA.
Publication Date : 05/08/2021
A hammer mill is a machine used to crush materials into smaller pieces by the repeated blows of hammers. Hammer mills are often employed in agricultural industries for size reduction such as in feed mills and flour mills for both livestock and human food production. There are substantial numbers of hammer mills fabricated locally to aid food production in Nigeria. Some of the problems associated with locally fabricated hammer mills are lack of adequate data such as the machine throughput capacity, milling efficiencies and quality of milled flour. International Institute for Crops Research in Semi-Arid Tropic (ICRISAT) Kano a government agency that has the mandate of crop improvement research, acquired some locally fabricated hammer milling machines to be promoted among small and medium scale farmers, but detailed performance data of the machines are not available. The present research is a collaboration between ICRISAT and the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Bayero University, Kano. The research is aimed at addressing the problems of lack of performance parameters by evaluating the performance of ICRISAT hammer mills I to attain better utilization of the machine. The machine was evaluated using sorghum, millet and soybeans with a factorial design in a completely randomized design, (CRD). The performance indices were milling efficiency, machine capacity, milling losses, fineness modulus, and the average size of grain. The independent variables considered were the cylinder speeds at three levels, 800 rpm, 900 rpm and 1000 rpm and the feed rates at two levels 2.5 and 5kg min-1 for all the crops. Sorghum has the highest value of milling efficiency, machine throughput capacity, average grain size and fineness modulus this is followed by millet and then soybeans. Soybeans crop milling has higher values of losses followed by millet and then sorghum. For Sorghum, the mean values for machine efficiency, machine capacity, losses, fineness modulus, and the average size of grain ranged from 76.63 – 92.36%, 45.13 – 69.11kg/hr, 7.64 – 23.37 %, 3.05 – 4.87 and 0.034 – 0.12 inch respectively. The results show that the feed rate and speed are significant at 1% level on machine milling efficiency, machine throughput capacity, losses, fineness modulus, coarse and fine particles and average grain size. The least significant difference shows that as the speed increased, the values of machine milling capacity and milling losses increased but values of milling efficiency, fineness modulus and average grain size for all the crops decreased. But as the feed rate increases, milling efficiency decreases while machine milling capacity, milling losses, fineness modulus and average grain size increase with the increase in feed rate.
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