Abstract: Hertz's theory of contact stresses was applied to predict the splitting of guar seeds during uni-axial compressive loading between 2 rigid parallel plates. The apparent modulus of elasticity of guar seeds varied between 296.18 and 116.19 MPa when force was applied normal to hilum joint (horizontal position), whereas it varied between 171.86 and 54.18 MPa when force was applied in the direction of hilum joint (vertical position) with in moisture content range of 5.16% to 15.28% (d.b.). At higher moisture contents, the seeds yielded after considerable deformation, thus showing ductile nature. Distribution of stresses below the point of contact were plotted to predict the location of critical point, which was found at 0.44 to 0.64 mm and 0.37 to 0.53 mm below the contact point in vertical and horizontal loading, respectively, depending upon moisture content. The separation of cotyledons from each other initiated before yielding of cotyledons and thus splitting of seed took place. The relationships between apparent modulus of elasticity, principal stresses with moisture content were described using second-order polynomial equations and validated experimentally.
Practical Application: Manufacture of guar gum powder requires dehulling and splitting of guar seeds. This article describes splitting behavior of guar seeds under compressive loading. Results of this study may be used for design of dehulling and splitting systems of guar seeds.