For radiographic studies of the teat and teatcup liner during milking, quarters were infused with a suspension of propyliodone in milk. Simultaneous recordings of vacuum within the liner, in the mouthpiece chamber and in the pulsation chamber, and recordings of liner-wall movement, were made in conjunction with the radiographs.
The studies indicated that the sudden decline in milk flow-rate at the end of the period of peak flow-rate from each quarter, and the concurrent changes in the appearance and position of the teat in the liner, result from a fall in teat sinus pressure. This fall in pressure follows the partial closing of the milk passageway between the teat and udder sinuses. The changes initiating the closing of this connexion seem to occur above the teatcup and are associated with the declining amount of milk in the udder.
The teat is elongated by 33–50% as it enters the liner and further stretching of the skin of the teat throughout milking is negligible. Thus, increase in the depth of penetration of the teat into the liner is due to more of the teat entering the top of the liner.
The force exerted on the teat by the closed liner, which is greatest near the end of the teat, usually appears to increase near the end of milking. The force acting against the inner surface of the open liner barrel is greatest during the peak flow-rate period and it appears to be fairly uniform over most of the area of contact.