Assessment of Physical Properties of Castor Seeds with Variety
Some physical properties of castor seeds were determined with a view to classifying the varieties and exploring the possibility of developing shelling and dehulling equipment for this important seed oil yielding crop. Four varieties were identified on the basis of colour and size and named White Big Size (WBS), Black Big Size (BBS), Grey Medium Size (GMS) and Grey Small Size (GSS) respectively. The physical properties studied were geometrical properties (size and shape); gravimetrical properties (mass, volume, porosity, particle and bulk densities) and frictional properties (angle of repose and coefficient of static friction). At the dry basis moisture content of 6.05, 7.19, 7.68 and 5.75% for WBS, BBS, GMS and GSS varieties respectively, the major, intermediate and minor diameters were 17.69, 16.34, 14.27, 8.97 mm; 13.12, 12.33, 9.08, 6.10 mm and 7.93, 7.19, 5.71, 4.56 mm respectively; the volumes were 132.50, 104.10, 43.40 and 16.30 for the WBS, BBS, GMS and GSS respectively. The sphericity and aspect ratio ranged from 0.635 to 0.702 and 0.636 to 0.755 depending on the variety. One thousand seed weight and particle mass were 0.754 kg and 0.77 g (WBS), 0.609 kg and 0.59 g (BBS), 0.330 kg and 0.32 g (GMS) 0.117 kg and 0.123 g (GSS). Particle and bulk densities and porosity ranged from 572.59 kgm-3 to 822.23kgm-3 , 445.75 kgm-3 to 609.33 kgm-3 and 20.20% to 27.70% respectively depending on the variety. Angle of repose and coefficient of static friction varied from 18.23O to 21.79O and 0.287 to 0.374 depending on the variety and the structural surface. The geometric, gravimetric and frictional properties of WBS and BBS castor varieties were higher than those of the GMS and GSS varieties because they are larger in size and have rougher surface.
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