13 April 2016

The Steel, the key material for a perfect tillage

Sweeps, discs, tines, shanks or ploughshares are manufactured with steel, but are they equal? Are all types of steel from the same quality? From where it comes and how to produce? We have asked all these questions to our clients at Bellota

Bellota was founded by a blacksmith (Patricio Echeverria) with a great knowledge of the steel and manufacturing process. In fact in the 30’s Bellota created its own foundry to face the shortage in steel that existed in that period. The heritage of the reputations of the “Bellota Steel” comes since then. 

Bellota was groundbreaking in the use of boron steel for the manufacturing of most of the spare parts for agriculture in the late 80’s. The great knowledge of the steels performance made it easy to find a steel with better characteristics to wear for products that support constant tensile stress and also shocks and torsions than the carbide steel that was used at that time.

The steel is composed of more than 10 different micro alloys that interact among each other. The composition and the quantity of each alloy (Carbon, Boron, Manganese, e.g.) together with the manufacturing process, determine the quality of the steel. Bellota at the beginning of the 90’s patented the Borodur® brand, that is, the brand that refers to the steel composition which is exclusive to Bellota. Now at days Bellota supplies from different European foundries that use high quality iron in their manufacture.

In order to consider a high quality agricultural spare part it should meet this two characteristics: 
  1. It has to be resistant to wear (so that the product last more). 
  2. It has to be flexible enough for the shocks and torsions in order to recover the original geometry and hence not to break. 

Achieve a product with high hardness (therefore more resistant to wear) is easy, but the problem is that the product does not recover the original geometry so it breaks easily. The steel composition and together with the manufacturing process make a product obtain a determined composition. The hardness, as well as the hardness and tenacity determine the quality of the wearing pieces. 

To manufacture discs, shares and sweeps Bellota uses the Borodur Steel, but for the manufacture of tines it is used a different steel with more elasticity in order to recover the original geometry due to the type of work this tines do. 

In moldboards, Bellota also uses another two types of very specific steels: Triplex and Case hardened. Triplex steel has three different layers, the ones from the outside are harder than the inside one, so it is more resistant to wear than the boron steel. In the case hardened moldboards, it has a special treatment that makes it also much more resistant to wear than the Borodur steel. 

Two year ago, Bellota launched into the market the inPHInium discs. This disc is make of a new generation of boron steel, that thanks to the new composition, Bellota has achieved to manufacture longer life discs but with the desired flexibility in order to recover the initial geometry and avoid breakages. The inPHInium discs are manufactured with the perfect balance between hardness and tenacity. 

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