The Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) in Winnipeg has completed an evaluation of a series of tractor parts based on hemp composites as an alternative to traditional glass.
The biocomposites were made from hemp and agave plants sourced from Manitoba and used to build a tractor hood, shields, fan shroud and fenders.
“We didn’t know if it would be possible yet or not, so we engaged industry to see if we could put our trial biofibre mat into a test tractor to see if it would endure the application it was meant to,” explained CIC project manager Andrea Kraj. The CIC partnered with Buhler, which manufactures Versatile farm equipment, and the Eastside Group of Companies to produce and test the components.
Kraj said the parts had performed well during the past harvest season and in testing on a ‘bump track’.
“The biotractor survived the environment and the conditions of the bump track, which is great because it shows that it can succeed in its application,” she said.