Coconut Dehusking Machine
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04-10-2010, 04:14 PM



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Abstract

Generally, coconuts are dehusked manually using either a machete or a spike. These methods require skilled labour and are tiring to use. Attempts made so far in the development of dehusking tools have been only partially successful and not effective in replacing manual methods. The reasons quoted for the failure of these tools include unsatisfactory and incomplete dehusking, breakage of the coconut shell while dehusking, spoilage of useful coir, greater effort needed than manual methods, etc.

The present work involved the design, development and testing of a coconut dehusker which overcomes the drawbacks of the previously reported implements. The design and developmental stages called for a closer look at the magnitude and direction of the dehusking forces and their generation mechanisms. Details of a simple, sturdy and efficient hydraulic dehusker unit, financially beneficial to labourers and producers, are given here. Comparative assessment of this unit in relation to those reported in the literature is provided. Test results and assessment of the present unit in both laboratory and field conditions are also reported. Safety aspects are incorporated. The unit can dehusk about 70 coconuts per hour compared with about 40 nuts per hour from a skilled worker using the spike method. It can be operated by unskilled labourers. Cost benefit analysis indicates that it should be commercially viable.

Introduction

Coconut, the fruit of the coconut palm tree which has the scientific name as “Cocos nucifera”. India is one of the leading producers of this coconut. It is usually grown in coastal areas. Coconuts are large, dry drupes, ovoid in shape, up to 15" long and 12" wide. The coconut is smooth on the outside, yellowish or greenish in color. Within the outer shell is a fibrous husk one to two inches (2.5 to 5cm) thick. The inner shell is brown and hard, surrounding the white coconut meat. Coconut husks are the rough exterior shells of the coconut. This outer shell or husk has to be removed for the usage of coconut.
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