Hello everyone! Our team had COVID-related issues for the last two weeks and we finally had the chance to meet all together in person on Tuesday. Some other updates for the week:
We also discussed our issue getting hammer blades and managing their weight with a scaled down prototype. He suggested we can try custom making L-shaped sheet metal since it's a rough approximation and use it for preliminary testing. We have already made our custom 'blades' and we are going to weld it onto the rod on Thursday so we can do preliminary tests until the hammer blades arrive. We measured the angle of the hammer blades at the bend and bent the metal to be this exact angle (85 degrees). We also used the relative size of the blades to the axle and maintained that ratio constant in order to make it a closer approximation.
Alawab will also run some other calculations on how close the approximation is using parameters like its mass, momentum during a rotation and we will film it and compare it visually to how hammer blades rotate.
Isabella has been running some tests on our previous prototypes. She is currently measuring the horizontal and vertical area it covers, to ensure a blade can cover the sufficient height and width of a cotton stalk. She is also measuring the rpm of the axle itself based on variable drill speeds, so if the drill we are using turns out to be too fast/too slow we can quantitatively approximate what speed is ideal. We also found some industrial specifications for flail mowers (very similar to what we've been building) here: http://ncsheriffs.org/Heavy%20Equipment%20Bid%2019-03-0504/Equipment%20to%20Add/Quality%20Equipment/Lot%2032/Copy%20of%20RF90ED%20%28Rear%20Flail%29030714.pdf. We will be comparing out prototype and which of these specifications it meets and doesn't meet.
Next week, we'll likely present some experimental data we've gathered over the past weeks and start prepping for the presentation. See you next week!