Less wear in agricultural machinery

(21-10-2022) Ádám Kalácska, in his PhD, is investigating how to make agricultural implements more wear-resistant.

Tribology is a part of mechanical engineering in which one studies the behaviour of contact surfaces between all possible materials under various conditions, such as wet, dry, cold or hot. Important aspects here are friction and wear and their mitigation by lubrication.

"In my research, I focus on wear in agricultural applications and more specifically in implements that work the ground because knowledge about this is still limited," Ádám explains.

"Several factors contribute to wear: the type of material, the type of contact between those materials, the shape and size, the soil conditions (e.g. moisture content, soil constituents) and the operational aspects of the implements such as the tillage speed and depth, as well as other environmental parameters," Ádám explains.

"Specifically, in my research I have studied symmetrical skew wedge cultivator tines or goose foot tines," he continues.

    Goose foot tines

"Finally, the goal is to extend the life of these parts through better performing materials and some design modifications."

"I tested three newly developed steels: fresh martensitic, tempered martensitic and a multiphase steel. The tempered martensitic steel proved to be the most wear-resistant and I suggest it as a possible replacement material for the goose foot tines," Ádám concludes.

Read a more detailed summary or the entire PhD

PhD Title: Multi-Level Abrasive Wear Investigation of Agricultural Tool Steels

“During my childhood, I spent a few months in Gent with my family where I fell in love with the city. That contributed to my wish to start my research here.”
“My interest in mathematics, physics and computer science, which was already evident during my primary and secondary school education, led me to pursue engineering studies in Budapest.”
It made me feel at the time how "interesting and inspiring it is to approach engineering challenges from two sides: from an academic and industrial point of view. During my research at Soete Laboratory, I had the opportunity to put this vision into practice.”

Ádám Kalácska was born in 1990 in Budapest (Hungary). At the age of 18 he enrolled at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Mechanical Engineering, where he acquired a systematic and orderly engineering mentality. In 2014 Ádám completed his BSc in Mechanical Engineering with a final work entitled ‘Investigation of the mechanical properties of thermoplastic matrix hybrid polymer composites’. After having worked at an automotive exporter and polymer manufacturer he pursued an MSc program in material science: polymers and composites. He obtained his MSc degree in 2016 with a thesis on ‘Development of hybrid resin matrix composites with hybrid reinforcement’.

After graduating, Ádám found an opportunity to work at Soete Laboratory (UGent). As a researcher, he was involved in a number of industrial projects under the guidance of Prof. Patrick De Baets, Prof. Dieter Fauconnier, and Dr Jacob Sukumaran. Later he realized that the work performed in the frame of these different projects could be analyzed more thoroughly. Ádám decided to do so and to write a PhD manuscript based on these results. He has also published his work in international journals. He is the author of 8 so-called a1-publications (3 as a first author) and presented his work at the occasion of conferences and workshops.


Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke