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Polymers Enhance Tractor Functionality and Efficiency

Cabin comfort and connectivity among benefits enabling farmers to focus on bringing fresh food to the table.

July 29, 2022

2 Min Read
tractor in field
Image courtesy of Alamy/Photimageon

The continued rise in food demand coupled with the speed of technology has accelerated the evolution of agricultural equipment. Farmers today are looking for sustainable, efficient solutions that meet the highest industry standards and enhance cultivation activities such as sowing and harvesting. By using innovative polymers that increase vehicle functionality and comfort while driving production efficiencies on farms, LyondellBasell reports that it can bring agricultural advancements to the forefront.

Polymers enable vehicular autonomy

“Working closely with large agricultural equipment manufacturers, LyondellBasell is helping to improve performance across a variety of vehicle types including combines, tractors, and their implements,” said Deavron Farmer, LyondellBasell Manager, New Business Development for Agriculture. “From the strength and durability required on the outside to the cabin comfort and connectivity on the inside, polymer solutions from LyondellBasell are enabling these vehicles to take on autonomy, allowing farmers to focus on bringing fresh food from their farm to your table.”

When it comes to the exterior of a tractor and combine, polymers can have a major impact on pieces like body panels, rooftops, and hoods. These parts typically are exposed to constant UV exposure and other harsh environmental conditions, corrosion, and rough terrain, so it’s important that the material selected can withstand these conditions to keep its structural integrity and color.

Thermoset glass fiber sheet molding compounds (SMC) from LyondellBasell have become a material of choice for many manufacturers. Premi-SMC grades are formulated for strength, longevity, and aesthetics under any environmental condition. “With this broad thermoset portfolio and our technical expertise, we developed a lightweight material that offers durability while maintaining a premium surface appearance,” said LyondellBasell. “Furthermore, this portfolio offers a bio-based alternative, helping manufacturers achieve their sustainability goals.”

Cabin comfort a priority

Inspired by the automotive industry, tractor interiors now resemble the luxury look and feel of a high-end performance car. Ultimate cabin comfort is a key feature for many farmers. LyondellBasell’s Softell soft-touch polypropylene is a solution that enables a more comfortable and pleasant cab experience. This product family provides noise reduction along with unique special color effects, metallics, and overall haptics. The use of thermoplastics in tractor interiors also provides design flexibility in applications like control panels and electrical housings to help accommodate the rapid development of sensor technology, GPS, and analytic connectivity and automation.

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