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Vegetable-based Oil as UTTO Fluid for Agricultural Tractors Application

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 36(1): 79-88. (doi: 10.13031/aea.13488) @2020
Authors:   Daniele Pochi, Roberto Fanigliulo, Carlo Bisaglia, Maurizio Cutini, Renato Grilli, Monica Betto, Laura Fornaciari
Keywords:   Biolubricant, Engine performance, High-oleic sunflower oil, Hydraulic lift, Lifting force, Power transmission.


Lubricants are commonly used in agricultural activities involving machines.

To reduce lubricants impact on the environment, a process has been started for replacing them with products obtained from vegetable oils.

Tests have been carried out to explore the possibility of introducing vegetable-based UTTO in tractors.

Results encourage to deepen the behavior of vegetable-based oils and develop specific test bench and methods.

Abstract. To reduce the impact of mineral and synthesis lubricants on the environment, a process has been started for replacing them with lubricants and hydraulic fluids obtained from high-oleic vegetable oils, with good tribological properties, high biodegradability, and low toxicity. Test have been carried out at Research Center for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing of Monterotondo, Rome, Italy, with the aim of comparing the performances provided by a standard agricultural tractor supplied with conventional Universal Tractor Transmission Oil (UTTO) fluid and with a vegetable-based oil in their transmission-hydraulic system group. The research aimed at assessing differences, if any, in tractor‘s performances attributable to the fluids in comparison. For a better comparison, the tests were carried out under controlled conditions, connecting the tractor, at first to a dynamometric brake used in engine and transmission tests, then to a test rig for hydraulic lifts. The results, although non generalizable, were encouraging, indicating that the tractor‘s performances with the two fluids, after 30 h work cycles, were similar both for transmission and hydraulic lift. On the other hand, the reduction observed in the viscosity of the biofluid requires the deepening of the aspects related to its durability. The results also allowed to focus some basic aspects of the evaluation of biofluids and to identify some methodological approaches mainly based on the comparation of fluids performance during repeatable work cycles and on the assessment of how their physical properties evolve overtime.

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