Experimental and simulation approaches: effect of microwave energy on mechanical strength in sugarcane

Yin, L., Singh, P., Brodie, G., Sheehan, M., and Jacob, M.V. (2013) Experimental and simulation approaches: effect of microwave energy on mechanical strength in sugarcane. Australian Journal of Multi-Disciplinary Engineering, 10 (2). pp. 120-128.

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Sugarcane processing produces cane sugar (sucrose) from freshly harvested sugarcane through mechanical milling processes such as shredding and crushing. To make sugarcane more processable, we employed heat treatment of sugarcane using microwave energy to soften sugarcane prior to its mechanical processing. In this paper, we report our first simulation and experimental investigation of the influence of microwave heating on the mechanical properties of sugarcane stalk internodes. Finite-difference time-domain simulations were used to understand the microwave field distribution in the microwave-heated sugarcane specimens. Microwave-heating induced sugarcane property changes in Young's modulus, yield strength and ultimate strength were measured using compressive testing. The results show that microwave heat treatment significantly reduces mechanical strength and stiffness of sugarcane so that treated sugarcane stalks become more processable in mechanical milling processes. This work provides preliminary data with which the sugar industry could reduce shredding and crushing forces, torques, and energy. Potential savings in energy consumption, and operation and maintenance costs would be expected.

Item ID: 32295
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-8388
Keywords: microwave heating; simulation; strength; sugarcane; Young's modulus
Funders: Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC)
Projects and Grants: SRDC Project No. 090522
Date Deposited: 16 May 2014 04:26
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0908 Food Sciences > 090802 Food Engineering @ 34%
09 ENGINEERING > 0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering > 091505 Heat and Mass Transfer Operations @ 33%
09 ENGINEERING > 0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering > 091599 Interdisciplinary Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 85 ENERGY > 8507 Energy Conservation and Efficiency > 850703 Industrial Energy Conservation and Efficiency @ 100%
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