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Development of a Date Palm Dethorning Device

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  051079,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.18853) @2005
Authors:   Ahmad Albozahar
Keywords:   Date palm, fronds, thorn, spine, dethorning, mechanization

Date palm dethorning means removing the spins (or thorns) off the palm fronds and plays a great role in date quality. This operation is done traditionally by means of different types of sickles in Iran and nearly all over the world. In this way the operation intensity is high, it takes about 5-10 minutes to do the operation for each palm, and frond midrib injuries are high. The workers also sustain many injuries during the operation. Consequently this operation has been neglected in recent years.

In this research a hand-held date palm dethorning device is designed, developed and evaluated in order to overcome the aforementioned operation problems. The device is consisted of a 1.5 meters aluminum pole, a jaw mechanism, two counter moving blades, some rollers to facilitate the devicefrond interaction, a lever on its lower end to actuate the blades, and two shielded cables to transmit force and movement from the lever to the jaw. It requires only manpower and only one worker is able to do the operation.

Preliminary evaluation of this device showed that it reduces the operation time to less than 3 minutes for each palm, and also decreases the frond midrib injuries in comparison to the traditional devices. Its maximum operation height is about 2.5 meters.

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