What goes into better disks and sweeps? A LOT.

Posted on 01/29/2013 in Planting, Primary tillage, Seedbed preparation.

earth metal prod and testing

Not all disks and sweeps are created equal. The stronger, sharper and longer-wearing they are, the fewer headaches in the field—and the fewer unnecessary drains on your profit. Less breakage and more efficient tillage, seedbed preparation and planting mean higher yields. So what goes into a better sweep or disk blade? Here’s an inside look at the Earth Metal® manufacturing and testing process.

  1. The Earth Metal factory is one of the most advanced in the world; material-handling robots assure quality control and consistency to give you the best product for your farm.
  2. A 25-ton decoiler feeds steel through a leveler to a 2,000-ton press, which stamps out disk blade blanks. These blanks then undergo further processing, including edging, notching, shaping and heat-treating. The cutting edges of the disk blades are precision-machined using automated edge-turning equipment to create the optimal combination of edge sharpness and strength.
  3. After emerging from the heat-treatment process, disk blade blades are water quenched while firmly locked in their dies. This allows for a shape that eliminates up to 90 percent of “disk blade wobble” and contributes to the overall toughness and durability of the blades.
  4. In the finishing process, disk blades undergo shot blasting to remove scale. They are then coated with high-gloss enamel, which is baked to a smooth, hard finish that improves surface appearance and provides rust protection. An inline oven draws each blade individually, which relieves internal stresses and improves ductility and quality.
  5. The process doesn’t end after production. Brinell or Rockwell tests measure hardness to ensure the disk blade is resistant to wear. The Ball test measures toughness by forcing a polished steel ball through the disk blade; the length and shape of the resulting fractures are measures of the disk blade’s ability to resist cracking.
  6. Disk blades are also tested for elasticity under load. This test applies pressure to the blade—the propensity of the blade to return to its original shape afterward is a measure of its ability to resist impact.

The resulting product is tougher, longer-lasting and significantly more durable in the face of harsh field and crop conditions. To learn more about Earth Metal sweeps, disks and openers, watch this video.

To browse Earth Metal sweeps, click here.

For disk blades, click here.