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What is Contamination?

Causes Effects on Quality and Production Removal Systems

Engr. Shan Imtiaz Lecturer The University of Faisalabad

Mixing of foreign material /matter with main product at any stage of collection, production, handling, storage, processing in the yarn manufacturing process is termed as contamination. Also called Human Added Impurities in Cotton.

Contamination (Human Added Impurities)

Fabric Fragments


Organic Matter

Inorganic Matter

Woven Pieces Plastic Films Jute Dyed Cotton Polypropylene Polyethylene Nylon Straps

Oil Grease Rubber Sprays

Birds Feathers Hairs Paper Leather

Metal (Plates, Wires, Pieces)

Most of the Contamination arises from impurities being incorporated into the bale as a result of human interaction during harvesting, ginning and baling Reasons behind high Contamination level in cotton are given as:
Hand picking method Reuse of fertilizer bags

Contamination causes the cotton to become sticky, which creates obstruction in rollers. It causes wastage of fabrics due to defects in dyeing. Even after cleaning leftover embedded pieces of contamination in yarn affect its quality and value. Contaminants such as stones, metal pieces, etc causes disturbance to material flow especially in spinning preparatory process which affects production as well as quality of the process. Metal pieces tend to cause fire hazard which leads to severe machine and material loss. Fabric appearance produced with contaminated yarn will be poor and prone to rejection. Dyeing affinity of contamination is different from dyeing affinity of fabric which leads to uneven fabric coloration.

Introduction of standardized picking storage and marketing of raw cotton. Dissemination of awareness through mas media to the targeted segment. Cloth bags instead of jute and fabric bags must be provided by farmers and ginning factory owners to pickers. Cotton should be stored on clean and proper floors. Metal body open trolleys should be used for quick transportation of cotton from field to factories. Sheds and platforms should be built properly in the market. Bags should be opened by unsewing instead of cutting twine in to small pieces. Bags should not be beaten. Instead it should be beating should be done separately and obtained cotton should be cleaned properly to be added in heap. Conveyers can greatly facilitate the flow of bales. Plastic strips are used for strapping bales to avoid contamination by rust. Bale packing should be graded and awareness programs should be incorporated to improve bale packing.

1. Hand picking method 2. Foreign Fibre Separators

(Blow room equipped with contamination detection and ejecting units)

3. Contamination detect & removal at winding machinery 4. Installation of Ultraviolet (UV) lights in the packing and inspection section

1. Hand picking method:

Manually checking and remove contamination from every bale of cotton This manual sorting is either done directly from the bale or the is first opened using a bale opener with a spiked lattice to open the cotton prior to manual sorting. Spinning mills situated in countries where labour costs are comparatively low employ large numbers of people to patrol the bale lay down and remove contamination from bales before cotton is fed into the blow room line by the bale opener.

2. Blow room equipped with contamination detection and ejecting units The blowroom these days are equipped with systems for detection, separation and measurement of foreign material. These systems detect contaminants using acoustic, optical and colour sensors that monitor the material as it flows (is processed) through the machinery. When a sensor is activated by a contaminant it is measured (registered) and, depending upon the system, mechanically removed via an alternate material flow outlet. These systems are normally installed at the beginning of the blow room line before the final cleaning stage.

Cotton sorter is used for foreign material detection in the blow room. The contaminants are removed by means of very fast pneumatic ejectors. Cotton sorter is useful to improve the quality of raw material and also upgrade the low quality cotton bales by removing contamination. Some known Cotton Sorter are
Loptex Foreign Fibre Separator Vision Shield

Loptex Loptex removes the contamination from the cotton tufts using optical sensors. It works on the principle by comparing color of cotton tuft and contamination color and extracts the material that is darker than cotton.



windows ejectors

speed sensor

waste basket

Independent of the operators goodwill Upgrade possibilities for low quality cotton bales Improve the quality of raw material input Evaluation of cotton suppliers Higher and constant quality of the end product Higher efficiency in the spinning and winding processes Less complaints from customers

3. Contamination detect & removal at winding machinery

Equipping winding machines with yarn clearers that detect and remove foreign matter from the yarn before it is wound onto packages and delivered to the knitter or weaver. The types of contamination and the efficiency of removal depend on the sensors employed in these systems, with modern clearers able to detect the finest defects not visible by the human eye.

4. Installation of Ultraviolet (UV) lights in the packing and inspection section Installing ultraviolet lights in the packing and inspection departments to detect chemical/oily substances and foreign fibres such as polyester and other synthetic manmade fibres and defective packages are rejected manually.