DESIGN AND FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS OF AN INDUSTRIAL-BASED VEGETABLE LEAF WASHING MACHINE
Keywords:Design Analysis, Conveyor system, Mechanization, Vegetable washing
The application of mechanization and process technology in washing vegetables and fruits has become a necessity in order to eliminate drudgery, reduce precious time lost to manual washing and to guarantee safety of consumers and quality of intakes especially in this Covid19 pandemic era. Hence, this work presents the design of an industrial based vegetable leaf washing machine. Some components of the machine include; Water bath, perforated screen, water pump, vegetable paddlers, rollers, shaft, bearings, air blower, electric motor, water sprinkler system, water tank, piping, and the material handling (conveyor system). Relevant design equations were used in the design analysis of the machine and finite element analysis (FEA) was carried out to ascertain the structural integrity, functionality and manufacturability of the system. With total load distribution of 9.50 kN resulting from the volume/capacity of the water bath and weight of accessories and vegetables, the behavior of the base material under various loading condition was reported. Solidworks von mises analysis carried out showed that a maximum stress distribution of 5.15×108 N/m2 was obtained which is below the yield strength of 6.20×108 N/m2 for the material selected. The maximum elongation obtained under loading condition is 14.29 mm which is very minimal for any failure to occur or reduce life cycle of the base material. Factor of safety was observed to be 1.2 hence guaranting a safe operation and thus optimizing production cost with a value of 1.20. Other simulation results carried out showed that the design is considered safe and fit for fabrication. The machine when fabricated can be used as a stand-alone machine and can also be integrated with a vegetable leaf powder processing plant for industrial purposes.
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