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11th CSITC RT completed
Oct '09
The Eleventh Round Trial under the auspices of the Task Force on Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC RT 2009-3) was conducted from July to September 2009. Sixty-two testing laboratories with 89 instruments participated.

In each Round Trial, five cotton samples with known values are mailed to each participating laboratory. Each sample is tested six times each day on each participating instrument for five days, for a total of 150 tests. Each sample is tested for the six CSITC parameters of length, length uniformity index, micronaire, strength, Rd (reflectance) and +b (yellowness). Accordingly, 900 separate test results (150 tests of 6 parameters) from each instrument are evaluated.

Instrument results for each Round Trial are collected by USDA and forwarded to the Bremen Fibre Institute for evaluation. Each instrument is given an overall ranking, as well as rankings for performance on each of the six parameters. Rankings are based on the first four upland cotton samples with known values.

The purpose of the fifth cotton sample in all CSITC Round Trials is for special study purposes and is not used for performance-ranking. Results for each instrument are confidential, but each testing facility receives an evaluation of its performance in the Round Trial and a detailed diagnostic analysis of results.

Rankings are based on the results of each instrument in coming closest to the mean (average) values for all instruments participating in the Round Trial on all six parameters. The range of scores for the combined properties among the 89 instruments was 0.27 to 2.73 (a score of zero would be perfect), and the median overall evaluation of combined properties was 0.52.

The typical inter-laboratory variations achieved by instrument testing, given as standard deviations, were:

CSITC RT 2009-3

Property Standard Deviation Standard Deviation based on Single Tests based on 30 Tests/Sample

Micronaire 0.09 mic 0.07 mic
Strength 1.37 g/tex 1.16 g/tex
Length 0.020 inches 0.015 inches
Length Unif. 0.9 units 0.5 units
Color Rd 1.26 units 1.27 units
Color +b 0.45 units 0.40 units

SFI and Maturity
SFI and Maturity results were evaluated for their interlaboratory variations for the first time during RT 2009-3. Thirty-five labs operating HVI 1000 instruments voluntarily participated in the evaluation of results for SFI and maturity. The variation between labs indicates that SFI measurements are insufficiently reliable to be included as an official part of round trials.

The lack of a procedure of calibration for HVI SFI readings precludes any possibility of using the information on a commercial basis. However, CSITC includes SFI data in round trials so that, as new software is introduced, it will be possible to evaluate the performance of instruments after calibration. USDA is preparing calibration cottons with trial values for 12.7mm short fiber index.

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