Effects of Moisture Content on Selected Physical and Mechanical Properties of Alfalfa Seeds

John Morris Togo, Decheng Wang, Wenpeng Ma, Changbin He


Alfalfa is one of the most widely planted forage legume in the world and that because of its tolerance, adaptation, high yield and nutritious value. Physico-mechanical properties of alfalfa seed are very crucial in the machine designing and processing operations. In this study, some of the physical and mechanical properties of alfalfa seed cultivar were investigated under laboratory condition, as desired for the design of a metering device.  Seven moisture contents were introduced to the initial content of 7.98%, d.b. The geometric and gravimetric characteristics were determined. Correlation equation models were developed based on the function of moisture contents. The means average parameter values of the length, width, thickness, aspect ratio, seed mass, arithmetic, geometric mean diameter, true and bulk density, porosity seed volume, and surface area ranged between 2.356 to 2.718mm, 1.390 to 1.473mm, 1.071 to 1.345mm, 0.68 to 0.776%, 1.7968 to 2.295g, 1.466 to 1.589mm, 1.141 to 1.517mm and 1.466 to 1.589g/cm31.199 to 0.830g/cm3, 0.10 to 0.44%, 0.7383 to 0.79426, and 6.305 to 7.2438mm2, respectively. While, the plywood surface had the highest value of the coefficient of friction as the roughest, followed by polished steel and rubber, glass the least surface roughness. However, the germination rate (%) increased as seed damages decreased, as the coefficient of internal friction decreases from 0.127 to 0.095, while the cohesion increasing from 2.11 to 5.95. The angle of repose resulted in a non-linear increase from 27.05o to 28.68o, 28.86o to 29.86o, 31.49o to 32.35o, and 32.47o to 33.21o as moisture content increased from7.98 to 22.12% d.b.

Keywords: alfalfa seed, moisture content, mechanical property, physical property

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