What goes into better disks and sweeps? A lot.

Posted on February 18, 2014 in Combines, Featured, Harvest, Spring.

Not all disks and sweeps are created equal. Earth Metal® disk blades are stronger, sharper and longer-wearing than conventional sweeps, meaning fewer headaches in the field and fewer unnecessary drains on your profit. Less breakage and more efficient tillage, seedbed preparation and planting mean higher yields.

So what exactly goes into a better sweep or disk blade?Earth Metal disk

  1. Earth Metal sets the industry standard for quality, durability and toughness, thanks to state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, robust testing processes, and automated production technologies – including material handling robots.
  2. A 25-ton decoiler feeds steel through a leveler to a 2,000-ton press, which stamps out disk 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. Automated processing at every stage boosts productivity, increases throughput and enables production to shift quickly from one blade design to another—yielding shorter cycle times from order placement to delivery.
  3. After emerging from the heat-treatment process, disks are water quenched while firmly locked in their dies. This allows for a shape that eliminates up to 90 percent of “disk wobble” and contributes to the overall toughness and durability of the blades.
  4. In the finishing process, disks 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 to improve hardness and quality.
  5. The process doesn’t end after production. Brinell or Rockwell tests measure hardness to ensure the disk is resistant to wear. The Ball test measures the toughness of the disk. This test, performed at three different points on the disk, consists of forcing a polished steel ball through the disk; the length and shape of the resulting fractures are measures of the disk’s ability to withstand stress.
  6. Disks are also tested for elasticity under load (to test for situations such as disks coming in contact with rocks). During this test, the disk is held in place while one edge is depressed. When the pressure is released, engineers measure the difference between the initial position of the edge and the final position. The propensity of the disk to return to its original shape is a measure of its ability to resist impact.

The result of this extensive production and testing process is disks and sweeps that are are measurably stronger, last significantly longer and resist stress fractures that might otherwise shatter conventional blades.