Corncob Uses

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Corn cobs in a pile

Best Cob corncob products have virtually thousands of uses. Corncob particles are highly absorbent, and depending on how they are processed, can be used as a “carrier” by absorbing material including pesticides to spread on lawns, all the way to animal nutrients that are mixed into feed. Corncob particles can also be ground into an abrasive, to clean and polish metal, remove burrs or paint, and clean specialty surfaces including fiberglass boat hulls and log homes.

Parts of the Corncob

The composition of a corncob is made of 4 parts, and each component has unique characteristics, which can be used for a variety of end use applications.

1) Pith – White center
Highly absorbent, carbon-based, and used for absorbents and carriers.

2) Woody Ring – Internal ring
Hard composition, and used for abrasives and carriers.

3) Chaff – White and soft
Moderately light, highly absorbent, and used for absorbents.

4) Beeswing – Pinkish and flaky
Very Light, fluffy, highly absorbent, and used for absorbents.


Corncob Processing
Corncobs are processed through a series of grinding, separating, and sizing operations to produce specific end products. These products vary from homogenous large particles the size of pea, down to highly refined flour-texture materials. The sizing of material is done through a mechanical sifting process, filtering particles through a series of different sized mesh screens. The products are each defined by the size of the mesh screen that the particle does or does not pass through.

For example, a 10-14 grit product contains particles that will pass through a standard 10 mesh screen, but are too large to pass through a 14 mesh screen. Screen sizes are standardized to meet industry requirements, sized to an opening-per-square-inch specification. The larger the mesh size number, the smaller the particles.

Best Cob Bulk Density Testing
Bulk Density is defined as the weight per unit volume of material. Bulk density is primarily used for our powders, grit, and pellets. Best Cob Bulk Density Testing provides a gross measure of particle size and dispersion, which affects material flow, consistency and end use of the target product.

Bulk Density measurements are done by taking several measurements of the material over a period of production time, to ensure consistent composition. The most common method of measuring Bulk Density is by collecting a known volume material, and determining the weight after drying. The higher the Bulk Density of the material, correlates to a harder and less porous final product.

Best Cob Sieve (Mesh) Testing
A Sieve Test (or gradation test) is the procedure used to assess the particle size distribution of a granular material. Size distribution is often of critical importance to the way the material performs in use.

Best Cob performs Sieve Tests on all products including grit and powders, down to a minimum size. Our Sieve Analysis involves a nested column of sieves with wire mesh screen.

A representative weighed sample is poured into the top sieve, which has the largest screen openings. Each lower sieve in the column has smaller openings than the one above. At the base is a round pan, called the receiver.

The column of sieves is placed in a mechanical shaker. The shaker shakes the column, for a fixed amount of time. After the shaking is complete, the material on each sieve is weighed. The weight of the sample of each sieve is then divided by the total weight to calculate a percentage retained on each sieve. The size of the average particle on each sieve is then analyzed, defining a cut-off point or specific size range, which is then captured on a screen. Test results determine final particle size distribution.


Corncob Applications

Different parts of the Corncob can be used as a substitute for minerals and clay in absorbent applications, or as an inert, non-toxic, biodegradable, and renewable carrier for insecticides or animal nutrients, and as a surface preparation abrasive for grease removal and cleaning. The variety of uses is endless.