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Modelling Torque and Power Requirements for a Deep Tilling Down-Cut Rotavator

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  071125.(doi:10.13031/2013.22914)
Authors:   M O Marenya, H. L. M du Plessis
Keywords:   Theoretical models, torque requirement, deep tilling rotavator, soil shear strength, soil-metal friction, power requirements, L-shaped blade

There are a number of empirical models describing the work of rotary tillers, on torque and power requirements. The existing models, however, are not only empirically based, but are limited to tillage operation at shallow depths. The deep-tilling rotavator acts on the soil with pressure similar passive narrow tines. However, the existing models of forces acting on passive tillage tools refer only to the tool’s linear movement, which is inappropriate for the working principles of rotary tillers. In the study reported in this paper, it was hypothesised that the methods used in predicting the forces acting on soil cutting by narrow tines may be applicable to deep-tilling rotavators if the subsequent positions of the cutting blade and its movement were considered. Owing to the absence of theoretical models describing the working of rotavators, the theoretical prediction of torque and hence power requirements, is crucial for designers and other experts using rotavators for tillage operations or other related tasks. The model was evaluated and verified using field experiment data conducted in a sandy clay loam soil using an experimental deep-tilling rotavator equipped with L-shaped blades. There was acceptable agreement between the theoretical and measures torque requirement values for greater part of the soil cutting process. Considerable departure in the empirical and theoretical torque requirement values were noted towards the end of the soil cutting.

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