Simulation of tillage forces and furrow profile during soil-mouldboard plough interaction using discrete element modelling


C. Saunders, M. Ucgul




Biosystems Engineering



The mouldboard plough has a complex shape and its development has mainly relied on resource intensive and time consuming empirical or semi empirical methods. However, if the mouldboard plough to soil interaction can be simulated, improved and more energy efficient mouldboard ploughs can be designed without performing field tests which may only be undertaken at certain times of the year. In this study the interaction between the soil and a mouldboard plough was simulated using discrete element method (DEM) and results were compared to experimental test and analytical draught force results and furrow profile measurement. It was found that draught and vertical tillage forces can be predicted within 1.9–16.6% and 0.3–21.5% of the total cutting forces, respectively. This shows that DEM can predict draught forces better than analytical method which predicted draught forces within 3.6–44.4% of the total cutting forces. The comparison of the furrow profile area results also showed that DEM can predict the furrow profile area within 0.8–16.5% of the measured furrow profile area. Results of the study proved that DEM has the potential to predict soil-mouldboard plough interaction with a reasonable accuracy.


dem, Draught forces, Furrow profile, Mouldboard plough, Vertical forces

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