Experimental DLC-coated tools after use with the improved coatings after the same plowing distance shown on the right (Image: Felizitas Gemetz/Fraunhofer IWM)
DLC-coated plowshare (Image: Martin Horner/Fraunhofer IWM)
Plows are one of the most basic agricultural implements and have been in use for thousands of years. In that time they’ve evolved from simple ox-drawn scratch plows consisting of a frame holding a vertical wooden stick dragged through the topsoil – which are still used in many parts of the world – to tractor-mounted plows that can have as many as 18 moldboards. The evolution of the humble plow looks set to continue with Fraunhofer scientists working on diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated plowshares that would slide through the soil like a hot knife through butter, thereby requiring less fuel.
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