Horizontal sugar mills

Full details

Authors & editors

Roberts, Niall [Author]

Publisher Mills Research Group
Year of publication 1992 -

Medium Digital

Food (non-cereal) processes > Sugar


Scope & contentExcerpt: (for figures see attachment below)
The earliest horizontal sugar mills were man-powered - as was the two-roll Indian cotton gin - and consisted in essence of two directly driven horizontal windlasses mounted one immediately above the other in the same frame (see figure 1). Each roll had its own operator and constant speed of the rolls was not a problem since the presence of one or more pieces Of sugarcane between the rolls would make it very difficult if not impossible to turn the rolls manually at all unless their two speeds were the same.

Waterpower, using a vertical waterwheel, appears to have been applied to driving the two roll horizontal sugar mill in Hispaniola (modern Haiti/Dominican Republic) in the early sixteenth century.

However, when animal power was applied to cane-crushing in about the middle of the sixteenth century in India, there was a need for right angle gearing to convert the horizontal motion of the animal into the vertical rotation of the rolls.
Inward-facing trundle gears were fitted (one at one end of one roll and one at the opposite end of the other roll), and a long-toothed downward facing trundle gear was mounted above the centre of the roll assembly so as to engage with the teeth of both the two roll-end trundle wheels. This large horizontal gear was turned by a buffalo tethered to the end of a traction arm attached to the upper end of a short vertical shaft (see figure 2).

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