Hydro-Fracture Resistance Properties of Hura crepitans Seed Relevant to Handling and Processing

During harvesting, handling and dehulling, agricultural materials including seeds were subjected to several static and dynamic pressures that may affect the quality of the kernel if not properly handled. This work therefore studied the effects of moisture content on some compressive properties of Hura crepitans as a preparation for the design of the seed dehulling machine. Hura crepitans seeds were conditioned to four different moisture contents (9.3, 12.6, 15.6, and 17.8% db). The effect of moisture contents on energy at yield, energy at break, compressive load at yield, compressive load at break, compressive strain at yield and at break and compressive stress at yield and at break were studied using Instron testing machine (Model 3369). The results of the experiment show an increase in load at break from 44.87 to 356.27N; Load at yield from 10.87 to 83.06 N; and decrease in energy at yield from 0.262 to 0.021J; energy at break from 2.292 to 0.258 J; compressive strain at yield from 0.311 to 0.160 mm/mm; compressive stress at break from 2.809 to 0.384 mm, with increase in moisture in the range studied. The effect of moisture content on all the properties studied were significant (p> 0.05). These result showed that the compressive force properties of Hura crepitans is moisture dependent. The data reported in this work will be of great help during the design of Hura crepitans seed harvester, dehuller, cleaning and sorting equipment for the seed.

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