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Category: Material
Volume: 40
Issue: 5
Article No.: 5748

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Plastics in Agriculture
Smart farming and precision agriculture involve the integration of advanced technologies into existing farming practices in order to increase production efficiency and the quality of agricultural products. Most of the current and impending agricultural technologies fall into three categories that are expected to become the pillars of the smart farm: autonomous robots, drones or UAVs, and sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Driverless tractors, precision seeding equipment, automatic watering and irrigation, autonomous robots for weeding and crop maintenance, fruit picking robots, drones for planting and spraying are all being implemented to fulfill the need to boost worldwide food production by 70% over the next several decades in order to feed the anticipated population of 2050.

With new equipment and automation comes opportunities for plastics because of their inherit properties. To help keep food collection, processing, and packaging up and running, agricultural equipment needs to be strong and dependable. Cast nylon plastic has exceptional resistance to wear and abrasion, both of which are common in farming equipment. This plastic also has high impact strength.

It's not always easy or efficient to keep agricultural equipment parts lubricated as some parts are not easily accessible or require the equipment be taken out-ofservice in order to perform lubrication or replacements of parts. Cast nylon plastic parts are self-lubricating, and because they have increased corrosion and chemical resistance, they are less likely to break than other plastic or metal parts so don't need to be replaced as often as parts of other materials.

Most agricultural equipment handles food meant for human consumption so this is a consideration of machinery parts and cast nylon excels here because cast nylon is a food-safe grade of plastic.

And finally, when safety or visibility is a concern, cast nylon parts can be made in high visibility colors so they can be seen easily, to prevent accidents or injuries.

Cast nylon is ideal for a wide range of applications including: pulleys & sheaves, bushings, spacers, pipe clamps, wear plates, nylon bearing blocks, bearing housings, sprockets, chain guides, gears, wear strips, wear pads, scrapers and bespoke components to name a few.

For more information, contact Calvin Petersen, Nylatech, Inc., P.O. Box 455, Everson, WA 98247, 800-506-9566/360-966-2838, Fax: 360-966-2838, E-mail: info@nylatech.com, Web: www.nylatech.com.

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