• Dimensions and density

    Chapter 2 - Cotton value addition - Cotton bale packaging 


    The inside dimensions of the bale press determine the cross-sectional dimension (length and width) of the bale. Press design is decided by the baling press manufacturers so once the press is installed, the ginner can control only one dimension: the height. The height is determined by the degree of compaction and the length of the bands or ties. There are numerous weights, sizes, dimensions and densities of cotton bales produced around the world. Bale weights may be as great as 330 kg as in some Egyptian bales and as low as 100 kg as in old-type bales observed in China. However, recent advances in standardization are rapidly reducing the variation among cotton bales. Today most bales are compliant with the International Standard ISO-1986 (E).6 The nominal dimensions and density of the ISO-compliant bales are shown in the following table.




    Figure 2.30, as copied from the ISO standard, depicts the external dimensions of the cotton bale. L is the overall length of the banded bale, W is the overall width of the banded bale and H is the overall height of the bale. The recommended density is 450 kg/m3. Bales meeting ISO standards are of optimum size for use in ISO containers having the nominal length of 12 metres.

    Figure 2.30: Banded bale


    For most stable stacking, bales are normally stacked with their height horizontal, i.e. lying down; however, selection from warehouse inventories often makes it most efficient to stack bales on their heads, with the length dimension vertical.

    *This International Standard lays down the nominal overall dimensions and the bale density of banded cotton bales. It applies to the shaping and forming, the transport and the opening of the bales. It does not apply to wrapping, to banding, or to the marking of bales.

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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