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Adhesives help bring in the harvest

28 June 2010

In a successful bid to beat the current world record, the New Holland CR9090 combine harvester managed to harvest more than 550 tons of grain in just eight hours. Reliability is everything with these vital machines, so leaking joints and loosening bolts cannot be tolerated. And that’s just where threadlockers and sealants come to the rescue

New Holland’s world record beating CR9090 combine harvester has a number of interesting features beyond its sheer productivity and power. The spacious cab has a glass surface of 5.8 square metres and is isolated very effectively from the noise produced by the huge engine and the crop harvesting process.

It is also a good example of the way in which the progress of information technology has changed agricultural practices. The steering is enhanced by a variation of the global positioning system - DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) - plus a variety of units that monitor the grain flow's steadiness and quality. Fully integrated systems optimise the speed of the crop flow depending on the type of grain and the combine harvester load.

Harvesting, by its very nature, crams a great deal of work into a relatively short period, and these machines must work reliably throughout the short season. To ensure a high level of dependability, New Holland uses a wide range of anaerobic adhesive products during manufacturer, including Loctite to support critical bolt connections. Even when subjected to the most severe vibrations, these bolted joints must remain secure during the entire life of the machine.

A particularly stressed component is the twin rotor thresher, which is subject to extreme vibrations created by the threshing action. Here, high-strength Loctite 270 threadlocker is used to secure the bolts in this difficult-to-access assembly. Loctite 638 anaerobic high-strength adhesive is used in the assembly of shaft hub joints associated with the thresher rotor gear drive, and a rapid cure is assured when this adhesive is used in combination with an activator. In other areas, Loctite 542 is used in the assembly of the hydraulic system to prevent any leaks, and Loctite 515 flange sealant is applied during pre-assembly to protect the axle bearings against moisture ingress.
As well as supplying these products, Henkel (the company that makes Loctite adhesives) provides on-site training in their use. The aim of the training is to give New Holland's employees background knowledge about adhesive technology, to clear up any misunderstandings about their application and to help smooth the workflow processes.

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