Continuous-Flow Depulping Machine for Treculia Africana
A continuous flow machine for the depulping of partially fermented fruit of Treculia Africana is presented. The machine is designed to improve upon an existing batch depulper, and consists of four main units, namely the hopper/depulping chamber, the connector-pipe, the separation chamber and power system. The machine operation involves the introduction of fermented breadfruit into the hopper from where it falls under gravity into the de-pulping chamber for further processing. The combination of crank and separation chamber is idealized as a six-member crank-rocker mechanism. Detailed kinematic and dynamic analysis of the idealized system is undertaken using an existing computer programme, SIXBAR. In this way, appropriate dimensions of each element are determined. A laboratory scale model of the machine is constructed and tested. Preliminary results indicate that 69–93% of the seeds could be effectively depulped. Further work is continuing to improve on the system performance and its acceptability by the stakeholders.