X-ray computerized tomography for characterization of pick-up destruction and pick-up parameter optimization of tomato root lumps
AbstractThis study was aimed to find the causes of pick-up destruction of tomato root lumps using X-ray microcomputed tomography, and to identify the pick-up parameters of low root lump destruction. The roots and pores were reconstructed three-dimensionally and analyzed quantitatively. It was found that the roots acted winding and wraping the root lumps and thus preventing the substrate from loosening. The major causes for root lump destruction were pore aggregation and crack formation. The apex and circumference of pick-up pins were areas where root lumps were prone to fracture and breakage, respectively. Lacunarities of these two areas were used as index to quantify the root lump destruction. Single-factor analysis of variance was conducted with pick-up pin shape (circular, flat), diameter (2, 2.5, 3 mm) and initial pick-up angle (18°, 21°, 24°) as the test factors and then the effects of these three factors on root lump destruction were studied. It was found the lacunarities at the fracturable area and breakable area both increased with the rise of pick-up pin diameter and decreased with the rise of initial pick-up angle. At the same pick-up conditions, lacunarities with the use of flat pins always surpassed that of circular pins. When circular pick-up pins with diameter of 2 mm and initial pick-up angle of 24° were used, the destruction rate of root lumps (6.63%) was smaller than under other test conditions. The optimized pick-up parameters can be used to guide gripper design and to improve the working performance of automatic transplanters.
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