Experimental and numerical investigation into the destemming of grapes

Lombard, Stephanus Gerhardus (2011-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The removal of grape berries from the stems is an important step in the wine making process. Various problems are experienced using the destemming machines currently available, where the berries are mechanically removed and separated from the stems by a rotating beater shaft and drum. Not all berries are removed from the stems and broken stems can end up with the removed berries which can result in unwanted characters and flavours in the wine. The development of these machines is currently limited to experimental tests. In this study, the destemming process was investigated experimentally. The ability of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate this process was also investigated. A range of experiments was designed to obtain the material properties of the grapes. These experiments included the measurement of the stem stiffness and break strength, the berry stiffness, and the force needed to remove a berry from the stem. Experiments were conducted to gain further insight into the destemming process. Firstly, a simplified destemming machine with only a beater shaft and a single grape bunch was built. The influence of the bunch size and the speed of the beater shaft on the number of berries removed from the stems were investigated. Secondly, field tests on a commercial destemming machine were conducted and the performance of the machine was measured. A DEM model of both the simplified and the commercial destemming machine were built. Commercial DEM software was used with linear contact and bond models. The stems were built from spherical particles bonded together and a single spherical particle was used to represent each berry. The measured stiffnesses and break strengths were used to set the particle and bond properties. Modelling the simplified destemming machine, it was found that the DEM model could accurately predict the effect of the bunch size and the speed of the beater shaft on the number of berries removed from the stems. The model of the commercial destemming machine could accurately predict the machine’s performance in terms of the number of berries removed as well as the number of broken stems.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die verwydering van druiwekorrels vanaf die stingels is ʼn belangrike stap tydens die wynmaak proses. Verskeie probleme word ondervind met huidige beskikbare ontstingelaars, waar die korrels meganies verwyder en skei word vanaf die stingels deur middel van ʼn roterende klop-as en drom. Nie alle korrels word vanaf die stingels verwyder nie en gebreekte stingels kan saam met die verwyderde korrels beland, wat ongewensde karakters en geure in die wyn kan veroorsaak. Die ontwikkeling van ontstingelaars is tans beperk tot eksperimentele toetse. In hierdie studie is die ontstingel proses eksperimenteel ondersoek Die vermoë van die Diskrete Element Metode (DEM) om hierdie proses te simuleer is ook ondersoek. ʼn Reeks eksperimente is ontwikkel om die materiaal eienskappe van die druiwe te bepaal. Hierdie eksperimente sluit in die meet van die styfheid en breeksterkte van die stingel, die korrel styfheid, en die krag benodig om ʼn korrel vanaf die stingel te verwyder. Eksperimente is gedoen om verdere insig oor die ontstingel proses te bekom. Eerstens is ʼn vereenvoudigde ontstingelaar gebou, met slegs ʼn klop-as en een tros. Die invloed van die trosgrootte en die klop-as spoed op die aantal korrels wat verwyder is, is ondersoek. Tweedens is ʼn toets in die veld gedoen met ʼn kommersiële ontstingelaar om die werkverrigting van die masjien te bepaal. ʼn DEM model van beide die vereenvoudigde en kommersiële ontstingelaar is gebou. Kommersiële DEM sagteware is gebruik met lineêre kontak- en bindingsmodelle. Die stingels is gebou deur sferiese partikels aan mekaar te bind en ʼn enkele sferiese partikel is gebruik om ʼn druiwe korrel voor te stel. Die gemete styfhede en breeksterktes is gebruik om die partikel- en bindingseienskappe te spesifiseer. Die modellering van die vereenvoudigde ontstingelaar het getoon dat die DEM model akkuraat kan voorspel wat die invloed is van die trosgrootte en die klop-as spoed op die aantal korrels wat verwyder is. Die model van die kommersiële ontstingelaar kon die werkverrigting van die masjien akkuraat voorspel in terme van die aantal korrels wat verwyder is asook die aantal gebreekte stingels.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6676
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