DSM Engineering Materials

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Driving agricultural equipment efficiencies to help meet global food demands

27 October 2020
  • Tony PaddenSenior Application Development Engineer

There is a growing agricultural demand around the world—the global population is expected to grow from 7.6 billion to 9.2 billion by the year 2050, and one recent study estimates that global agricultural production will need to increase 60-70% during this time frame to meet the increased food demand.

Manufacturers of crop care and crop harvesting equipment are up to this challenge and know they must continue to drive efficiencies to help farmers meet this demand. It is no wonder material science innovation will play a key role in helping to make agricultural equipment efficiencies a reality.

 

Sustainability—The same trends that are driving agriculture growth are putting pressure on governments and manufacturers to address climate change. To address global warming and focus on sustainability, DSM is developing new bio-based thermoplastics that leverage bio-based renewable feedstocks to replace fossil fuels. We are also reducing ocean plastics by working with the fishing industry in India. Fisherman are incentivized to recover used fishing nets dumped into the ocean. These nets are then recycled—the end result being Akulon® RePurposed.

Lightweighting—As manufacturers seek to reduce weight and improve the efficiency of agricultural equipment, metal replacement will no doubt increase. Thermoplastics are typically 50% lighter than aluminum and as much as six times lighter than steel. Material science is driving metal replacement in applications, and the innovation of polyamides (nylon) has created a new generation of advanced thermoplastics to replace metal in many different agricultural components.

Cost-Savings—The world’s growing needs for food is also driving the need for cost savings across the agricultural equipment industry. When metal-to-plastic conversion can deliver average cost-savings of 25-50%, advanced materials will be an important part of farm equipment manufacturer efforts to deliver more value to their customers.

Advanced material selection

For years, DSM has partnered with the world’s leading agricultural equipment manufacturers to enhance product design with advanced material solutions, such as the following:

  • Arnitel® TPC—Arnitel combines hard and soft segments to deliver flexibility and strength, which  delivers properties similar to rubber in a fully recyclable thermoplastic.
  • EcoPaXX® PA410—EcoPaXX uses the properties of the castor bean to create a bio-based nylon with excellent mechanical performance, chemical resistance and hydrolysis resistance.
  • ForTii® PA4T/PPA—An ideal solution for metal replacement applications, ForTii leverages advanced polyphthalamide (PPA) chemistry with high amide density, creating a polymer with best-in-class strength, chemical resistance and heat resistance.
  • Stanyl® PA46--Stanyl is a proven solution for applications that demand a combination of mechanical strength and heat resistance. Its properties make Stanyl a popular material for complex systems.
  • Xytron™ PPS—An ideal solution for thermal management systems and other applications that demand long-term material performance, Xytron combines mechanical strength, chemical resistance and hydrolysis resistance with superior weldline strength.

To learn more about DSM’s material solutions for agricultural equipment, contact us. You can also learn more about the portfolio of materials solutions by downloading the white paper.

Whitepaper

Advancing material science in crop harvesting and crop care equipment 

 

 

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