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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Snow Plow Cutting Edge Evaluation Methods
Project Researcher: Wilfrid A Nixon, University of Iowa
Project Manager: Daris Ormesher
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:The cutting edge is the replaceable portion of the mold-board that comes in contact with the pavement. The cutting edge is made of various designs and material properties.

A recently completed research project "Snow Plow Cutting Edge Cost Effectiveness" (SD89-04) recommended the purchase of Kennametal cutting edges or the equivalent. The department purchased cutting edges for the winter of 93-94 using the recommendations from the study. The manufacturer that obtained the contract provided blades that did not meet the required specification. The cutting edges required replacement sooner than anticipated. When compared to the performance of the Kennametal cutting edges it was obvious that there were substantial differences in the material properties.

The cutting edge specifications for snow plows, motorgraders and underbody blades are not generic but based on a specific manufacturers product. There is a need to evaluate these specifications to determine if they can be rewritten so that they are generic but specific enough to ensure the product purchased under the specification meets the states desired durability requirements. Product properties called for in the specification must be readily testable using readily available testing equipment and procedures.

The Department does not have a procedure to use that allows for the quick evaluation of new cutting edge materials. The last cutting edge study, SD89-04, took several years to complete thus delaying the purchase of more durable cutting edges. Field testing is not a practical alternative because of the time required for testing. Therefore, the SDDOT desires a procedure which can be used under laboratory conditions which would allow quick evaluation of new cutting edge materials.


Research Objectives:
1  To develop a specification which will provide best cost effectiveness for cutting edges.
2  To develop a procedure to test the cutting edges purchased.
3  To develop a procedure to enable new cutting edge materials to be evaluated.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Review and summarize material testing methods which can be used on cutting edges to measure cutting edge durability and identify material properties.
3  Review SDDOT's existing specifications to determine if they include appropriate material properties.
4  Outline procedures and tests the Department should use to verify that delivered cutting edges meet specifications. The random testing should include but not be limited to abrasion and toughness.
5  Develop a standard wear test based on ASTM-G65 or similar test methodology with the intent of modeling wear characteristics of snow plow cutting edges.
6  Recommend changes to the Department's cutting edge material specifications based on the findings of the previous tasks.
7  Conduct laboratory tests on cutting edges evaluated in the Snow Plow Cutting Edge Cost Effectiveness study (SD89-04) to establish a baseline on which to reference future cutting edge evaluations.
8  Outline procedures, tests, and evaluation methods the department should use in the evaluation of new cutting edge materials.
9  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the literature review, research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
10  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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