In a rice sorting machine, rice grains drop onto and slide down an anodised aluminium chute. The purpose of the chute is to separate the grains and provide a controlled distribution. At the bottom of the chute the grains are examined optically and contaminants or defective grains\ud are removed from the stream by jets of air. The machine has the ability to sort low quality rice which contains a large element of contaminants such as husk. The husk is extremely\ud abrasive and this, along with other factors, can lead to a reduction in the life of the chute by wear of the surface.\ud \ud In this work a failure analysis process was undertaken to establish the nature and causes of the chute surface wear and the mechanisms of material removal. Wear occurs initially at the location where the grains first strike the chute and at subsequent regions down the chute where bounce occurs.\ud \ud An experimental and analytical examination of the rice motion on impacting the chute was also carried out along with some friction testing of potential replacement chute materials. The evidence gathered during the failure analysis along with the experimental analysis was\ud used to propose possible material/design improvements
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