Innovative hard faced plate for long-lasting agricultural equipment

“When I first delivered it, I was put off by the cracks in the components and I never thought that the parts would last long. After 4 years the parts still look like new, simply incredible.” ~Erich Engelbrecht – farmer in Lower Austria

In agriculture, long-lasting machines and equipment are among the key factors for efficient operations. A crucial factor in the durability of agricultural equipment is the wear-prone components that come into contact with planting material and soil. In this blog post I would like to give you insights into an innovative armor plate that significantly extends the lifespan of tillage equipment.

The challenge: wear in quartz-containing soils

One of my customers, Erich Engelbrecht from the Waldviertel in Lower Austria, runs a biogas plant and an agricultural business. In his region, the soils are rich in quartz, which causes extreme wear and tear on the components of all agricultural equipment. Typically, these components had to be turned over every six months and replaced annually, which was not only costly but also took up valuable working time during the field season.

The solution: specially made hard faced plates

To address this problem, I worked with Erich Engelbrecht and my partner company in Germany to develop specially optimized components made of hard faced sheet metal, which are now available ready for installation. Here are the details about the technical implementation:

Choice of material: In order to be as efficient as possible compared to simple steel parts from the machine manufacturers, we concentrated on using machined hard faced plates. The base material is a structural steel (S235), while the wear layer consists of a special alloy with hard carbides, which has a hardness of approx. 60 HRC.

Manufacturing process: The armor plates are manufactured by melting the lower structural steel material and applying the carbide layer. When cooling, stress cracks appear in the surface, which are characteristic of these components but do not have any negative effects on their use.

Adaptation to the soil: The selection and production of the correct welding material takes into account the nature of the soil, in this case the quartz-containing soil. The cored wire production upstream of hard faced sheet metal production enables us to optimally adapt components to all environmental conditions.

Hand-made: The hard faced sheets are cut using CAD cutting programs, shaped by machine and by hand, manually reworked in certain places and provided with weld-in rings for the appropriate fasteners. This creates an extremely durable, ready-to-install component piece by piece.

The result: durable agricultural equipment

The first wear parts for plowshares were delivered in 2017. Despite three years of intensive use, the components were still in use on the first page. Although the above-mentioned stress cracks were visible, the service life increased eightfold. Erich Engelbrecht and his farming colleagues are thrilled because they have now been able to use their agricultural equipment for several years without regularly replacing wear parts.


Innovative solutions like these show how technical expertise and individual solutions tailored to customer needs can make a decisive difference in agriculture. The specially manufactured wear parts made from hard faced plate not only offer a longer service life for agricultural equipment, but also cost savings and increased efficiency for agricultural operations that cultivate highly abrasive soils.