Mechanical Design of a cleaning machine for vicuña fiber of 5kg/h
Keywords:Washing, vicuña fiber, mechanical design, IWTO
The vicuña is considered a national heritage of Peru and has the finest animal fiber in the world (12 μm of diameter). According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), Peru is the first producer of vicuña fiber in the world (68.1 %) followed by Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Ecuador (Mincetur,2010). The washing process consists of immersing the fiber into an aqueous medium formed by hot water (40-60°C) and detergents that, through gentle mechanical movements, eliminates the fiber impurities (grease, suintin, dust, dirt, etc.). In Peru thousands of peasant communities in charge of the exploitation of this product, commercialize the untreated fiber, without removing impurities In this work, a small washing equipment has been designed, according to the production capacity of Peruvian peasants who take care of vicuñas. This washing equipment allows the cleaning of the fiber through the feeding, dragging, dipping and squeezing processes, fulfilling the washing standards IWTO-19-981. The use of this equipment will allow obtaining a cleaner fiber without any type of felting, a saving 20 % of water and a yield of 90% compared to traditional manual washing.