Sugar beet clamp modelling – physical
The storage period is short. Is building a scale model of a beet clamp a solution to extending this, for research purposes?
In my mind, absolutely (obviously). I can’t imaging how much more we’d be able to learn about the thermo- and fluid dynamics of a clamp during one year if we could run 5 tests a day as opposed to the 5 tests a season we can currently manage using actual commercial clamps.
But the economics of it are a little difficult to justify just now. By my reckoning, I need around 100,000 model beets to have a clamp worth looking at: something equivalent to a 120 tonnes (+) clamp. Using moulded plastic to create something like what you see in the photos below for the 1:3 scale, the quotes I’ve had are for around three-quarters of a million SEK. It’s around 2,5 SEK per beet, and 500,000:- for the mould. If anyone has an idea of how to take one of the zeros off that estimate, I’d be very happy to hear it. I’m open to any process, and any material that is tough enough to last 5 years of regular handling and being outside.
FYI: At 1:3 scale, the model clamp would be around 3m wide, 0.8 high, and 7m long. I think that would be pretty valuable in education/ discussions, as well as research.
And a little aside: wouldn’t the idea be magical if I could use plastic made from sugar beets to make the sugar beet clamp model? Bio-on is an Italian company making plastic from sugar beets. Unfortunately, for now, the production scale is way too small to meet their demand, so I wouldn’t be able to source it even if I could fund it.