Friction Coefficients for Dried Distillers Grains on Eight Structural Surfaces

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Nyendu, Guevara C.
Pflum, Spencer
Schumacher, Paul
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Bern, Carl
University Professor Emeritus
Brumm, Thomas
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Static and dynamic coefficients of friction on structural surfaces play important roles in the power requirements and material selection for equipment used in handling and storing agricultural commodities. However, friction data on dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) is limited. Further, lack of a standardized method for determining friction coefficient on grain handling materials presents a challenge. This article describes studies carried out to determine the static coefficient of friction (µs) and dynamic coefficient of friction (µd) for corn DDGS at 10%, 8.2%, and 6.5% moisture content (all moistures are % wet basis) on eight structural surfaces: High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), 20-gage aluminum, galvanized steel, mild steel, 18-gage stainless steel, poplar wood, and pine wood. For all structural surfaces and DDGS moistures tested, µs lies in the range from 0.20 to 0.43 and µd in the range from 0.17 to 0.35. The µs values were higher than corresponding µd values for all moisture levels. In general, µs and µd increased linearly with increasing moisture for metal and wood surfaces. Pine wood had the highest µs at all moisture levels and the highest µd at 8.2% and 10% moisture. HDPE had the lowest µs and µd at 10% moisture followed by the values for UHMWPE. For these surfaces the µs and µd remained the same or decreased with increasing DDGS moisture. Among the metal surfaces, galvanized steel and aluminum exhibited similar coefficient of friction characteristics however galvanized steel had the lowest µs and µd at 6.5% and 8.2% moisture.


This article is from Applied Engineering in Agriculture 30 (2014): 673–678, doi:10.13031/aea.30.10453. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014