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Ceramic Hard Surfacing
British manufacturers who have begun to use super hard ceramics to cover wear points on tillage tools say they get up to nine times more wear over conventional steel parts, and up to four to five times the wear of hard-surfaced parts.
According to research into ceramics by the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NIAE) in Silsoe, England, conventional hard-surfacing often has little economic benefit. Although equipment may last longer with hard-surfacing, the cost of materials and the labor needed to apply it may nearly equal the benefits of less down time and parts replacement.
As work has progressed at NIAE, a commercial company has stepped in and produced ceramic tips for cultivator spring tines, which are now on the market. Smith Industries says the ceramic tips have been field tested extensively, outlasting standard steel point 5 to 9 times. Because ceramics are brittle, and can break on sudden impact, the points are difficult to use in rocky ground. The tines are available as replacements for existing equipment.
The company has also introduced a ceramic-protected subsoiler shank. Specially selected facings are bonded to the leading edge of the shank and along the foot of the implement.
The company attaches ceramics to existing shanks which are then sold as replacements. The tiles must be bonded to the shank with a special hot adhesive that would be difficult to apply on the farm but a Smith Industries spokesman says they hope to develop an adhesive that could be used on the farm to retrofit existing equipment with ceramics.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Smith Industries Ceramics & Ignition Co., St. Peter's Road, Rugby, Warwickshire England CV21 3QR (ph 0788 2166).

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #5