Deflossing is the removal of silk waste that appears outside the cocoon. In Benguet, silkworm farmers defloss by hand which is laborious and time-consuming. Only the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) Regional Satellite Office in Wangal, La Trinidad utilize a hand-driven cocoon deflosser with the capacity to defloss 0.75 kilograms of cocoon per hour. While scouting for possible thesis topics in various agencies, the hand-driven deflosser caught the attention of Lester Clyde B. Angel, then a student of Agricultural Engineering at BSU.
With his classmate, Joanna B. Cadao and their adviser, Mirafel T. Afuyog, they came up with the research “Design, Fabrication and Performance Evaluation of a Motorized Cocoon Deflossing Machine.” The research was awarded best paper in both the 3rdBSU student congress and the 2nd Regional Student Research Congress under the Science and Technology Category.
The Motorized Cocoon Deflossing Machine that resulted from the research was able to defloss 1.11 kilograms of cocoon per hour. It is made up of angle bars, spiked rubber mats, stainless round bar, galvanized iron, stainless iron rod, GI sheets and a 746 Watts (1HP) motor as the prime mover. The motorized deflosser cost PhP 15,212.63 to fabricate with an estimated life of ten years.
During the design conceptualization, the following were considered. First, the materials to be used must be locally available for easier and cheaper procurement and the machine must be easy and safe to operate. Easy operation will also minimize time spent in deflossing and the number of people needed to operate the machine.
Angel shared that current students at the BSU-CEAT are continuously modifying the motorized cocoon deflosser to improve it. The latest modification is that the cocoons can now be loaded continuously, no longer per batch.
Cadao explained that the earlier version of the machine deflosses five grams of cocoon per batch to avoid damage since silkworm cocoons are very fragile.
People interested on the machine may visit the College of Engineering and Applied Technology.