# Optimization and Design of Disc-Type Furrow Opener of No-Till Seeder for Green Manure Crops in South Xinjiang Orchards

^{1}

^{2}

^{3}

^{*}

## Abstract

**:**

^{2}, respectively, and the backfill depth is decreased by 10.98 mm. The operation effect of a double-disc furrow opener with corrugated discs is enhanced by the high stability of the furrow depth, low working resistance, and small backfill depth. This study provides a theoretical foundation for the design and optimization of the furrow opener components of a no-till seeder for planting green manure between rows of orchards.

## 1. Introduction

^{2}at its zenith, and its development space is approximately 46 million hm

^{2}. The widespread practice of planting green manure plants in orchards for soil management purposes green manure can enhance the organic matter and structure of soil, as well as the trace element content of soil, the growth and development of fruit trees, and fruit quality [3]. In the no-tillage sowing of green manure, the furrow opener is one of the key components of a no-tillage seeder, and its performance impacts the quality of no-tillage sowing, which is the crucial link in green manure planting. It is necessary to further enhance no-till furrowing components in South Xinjiang orchards due to the unique sowing method and soil conditions.

## 2. Materials and Methods

#### 2.1. Determination of the Structural Parameters of the Corrugated Double Disc

#### 2.1.1. Determination of the Diameter of the Disc

_{P}is the center of the disc; O

_{J}is the center of the rapeseed stalk; v is the horizontal motion speed of the furrow opener, m/s; ω

_{P}is the angular velocity of the disc, rad/s; α is the pressure angle (°); F

_{T}is the force of the disk on the rapeseed stalk, N; F

_{N}is the support force of the ground on the rapeseed stalk, N; G

_{1}is the gravity of the rapeseed stalk, N; f

_{1}is the disk frictional force on the rapeseed stalk, N; f

_{2}is the frictional force on the rapeseed stalk from the ground, N.

_{1}, between the rapeseed stalk and the disc and the friction angle, φ

_{2}, between the rapeseed stalk and the ground surface, the joint (1), Equations (2) and (3) can be obtained.

_{1}= 21° is considered in the calculation. Considering the fact that the device is mainly used for no-till sowing and furrowing operations in arid areas where the surface soil moisture (about 13%) is low, the average friction angle, φ

_{2}, between the rapeseed stalk and the surface was determined to be 19°. A combination of the above parameters, from Formula (4), can be obtained from a disc diameter of D ≥ 230 mm.

_{AB}as the instantaneous cutting radius, to establish a mathematical model of rapeseed stalk cutting [13].

_{P}A; α is the pressure angle (°); ω

_{AB}is the instantaneous cutting angular velocity, rad/s, with point A as the circle center; v

_{B}is the instantaneous cutting linear velocity, m/s, with point A as the circle center.

_{AB}is the instantaneous cutting radius, mm.

_{P}, is certain, the instantaneous cutting line speed, v

_{B}, of the disc cutting rapeseed stalks is positively related to the diameter of the disc, D, i.e., the larger the diameter of the disc, the better the cutting effect of the disc on the stalks and the less the seed racking and seed drying phenomenon after the disc furrowing. As can be seen from Equation (2), when the furrowing depth and stalk diameter are definite values, the larger the disc diameter, D, the smaller the pressure angle, α. Increasing the disc diameter, D, is conducive to cutting off the rapeseed stalks covered by the ground; however, if the disc diameter is too large, this will limit the structure of the whole machine and the height of the frame, as the main function of the corrugated double-disc opener in the furrowing process is to bring the uncut stalks to the sides through the corrugation, with the design usually taken as 200–300 mm [14].

#### 2.1.2. Determination of the Location of the Gathering Point and the Width of Furrowing

_{0}, the position of the gathering point is indicated by β

_{0}and the double discs form an angle, φ

_{0}, the structural relationship of which is shown in Figure 4. The choice of the point of aggregation is determined by the radius of the double disc and the agronomic requirements of the sowing depth.

_{t}is the diameter of the disc, mm; φ is the angle between the two discs, °; β is the angle between the aggregation point, m, and the vertical direction, °.

_{t}= 125 mm, can be determined and the angle of the gathering point is 53°.

_{t}, and the angle, φ

_{0}, of the double discs. In order to ensure the opening passability of the corrugated double-disc opener and the working performance of the device, the opening width of the corrugated double-disc opener should be made as small as possible [17]. In combination with the installation structure of the seed rower and the furrow opener, the opening of the double disc should be sufficient to fit the drive parts of the seed rower so that the green manure seeds can fall smoothly into the opened furrow and the furrow width should meet the following:

_{max}is the maximum value of green manure seed width.

_{max}= 5.80 mm. Coupling (10)~(12), it can be obtained that the double-disc clamping angle, φ

_{0}> 8.32°; thus, it can be determined that the double-disc clamping angle, φ

_{0}= 9°.

#### 2.2. Discrete Element Soil Particle Movement Analysis

#### 2.2.1. Analysis of Soil Particle Movement Law

^{3}, Poisson’s ratio at 0.3, shear modulus at 7.97 × 10

^{11}Pa, and other contact parameters as shown in Table 2. Additionally, the furrow depth into the soil was set at 80 mm, forward speed of 4 km/h, and rotation speed of 5 rad/s [20].

#### 2.2.2. Analysis of Soil Particle Movement Patterns

#### 2.3. Simulation Test Method

_{1}; backfill depth, y

_{2}; and working resistance, y

_{3}, were utilized. The simulation stroke was 2.2 m, the forward speed was 4 km/h, and the direction was along the negative y-axis. Each group of experiments was conducted five times, and the average of the results was calculated. The levels of the test factor are shown in Table 3.

#### 2.4. Soil-Bin Validation Experiment

#### 2.4.1. Test Conditions and Apparatus

^{3}, and the soil moisture content (0–150 mm) was (13 ± 1)%.

#### 2.4.2. Experiment Method

## 3. Results and Analysis

#### 3.1. Analysis of Simulation Results

_{1}; the depth of soil backfill, y

_{2}; and the working resistance, y

_{3}[22].

_{1}, first increases and then decreases as the number of corrugations increases. This is because the corrugated disc fails to effectively remove the seed furrow soil when the number of corrugations is low. The soil disturbance coefficient in the seed furrow is low because the corrugated disc effectively loosens the seed furrow soil as the number of corrugations increases, and the furrow depth becomes more stable. When the number of corrugations is excessive, the disturbance domain of the corrugated disc is large, and the quantity of backfill is large and irregular, which reduces the furrowing depth’s stability. When the number of corrugations remains constant, the stability of the furrow depth increases prior to decreasing as advancing speed increases. The reason for this is that when the advancing speed is low, the furrow type is stable following the operation of the corrugated disc. As the advancing pace increases, the quantity of backfill decreases, and the depth stability of the furrow increases. However, when the present advancing pace is excessive, the bottom of the furrow is raised and the furrow type varies, resulting in a decrease in the depth stability. In the interaction between the number of corrugations and forward motion, the number of corrugations has the greatest effect on the stability of the furrow depth.

_{1}, initially increases and then decreases with the number of corrugations; when the number of corrugations is held constant, the stability of the furrow depth, y

_{1}, increases with the corrugation width. The reason for this is that as the width of the corrugation increases, the amount of soil pushed out by the corrugated disc increases and the amount of backfill decreases, thereby enhancing the stability of the furrowing depth. In the interaction between the number of corrugations and the width of corrugations, the width of corrugations has the greatest effect on the stability of the furrowing depth, y

_{1}.

_{2}, increases slowly with the increase in corrugation width because the disturbance domain of the corrugated disc expands as it advances, resulting in an increase in the backfill amount. Conversely, when the corrugation width remains constant, the depth of the back soil decreases as the number of corrugations increases. With an increase in the number of corrugations, the corrugated disc can more effectively eject soil during the operation, resulting in a reduction in the back soil depth.

_{3}, increases gradually with the number of corrugations. The reason for this is that as the number of corrugations increases, the disturbance domain of the corrugated disc grows in the forward process, resulting in an increase in the forward resistance; when the number of corrugations remains constant, the forward resistance decreases initially and then increases as the forward speed increases. With an increase in forward speed, the corrugated disc is able to dislodge the soil in the furrow during the furrow operation, and the resistance decreases marginally after increasing the soil disturbance coefficient appropriately. When the forward speed is excessively high, the quantity of soil flung out by the corrugated disc during the forward process increases, resulting in an increase in forward resistance.

#### 3.2. Parameter Optimization

#### 3.3. Soil-Bin Validation Experiment Results and Analysis

^{2}(CDDFO) and 1258 mm

^{2}(TDDFO), which is an increase of 14.79%; and the depths of soil backfill were 26.39 mm (CDDFO) and 39.92 mm (TDDFO), which is a 33.90% decrease.

^{2}(CDDFO) and 1328 mm

^{2}(TDDFO), which is an increase of 16.57%; the soil backfill depths were 25.58 mm (CDDFO) and 36.56 mm (TDDFO), which is a decrease of 30.03%.

^{2}(CDDFO) and 1758 mm

^{2}(TDDFO), which is an increase of 14.51%; and the backfill depths were 25.84 mm (CDDFO) and 46.62 mm (TDDFO), which is a decrease of 44.57%.

## 4. Discussion

- (1)
- A corrugated disc has a diameter of 250 mm, which is comparable to Ahmad Fiaz et al.’s [7] investigation. The smaller the diameter of the disc opener, the lower the working resistance, which satisfies the agronomic requirements for sowing green manure.
- (2)
- The simulation output of soil particle trajectories indicates that the source of force for soil particles under the action of the furrow opener is primarily due to the extrusion of the furrow opener and surrounding soil. Under the action of the corrugated double-disc furrow opener, the majority of soil particles are inclined above the furrow opener in the direction of the resultant force and movement, which increases the rate of soil disturbance but effectively separates the soil in the furrow to ensure the furrow type. The direction of the resultant force and the movement speed of soil particles in the upper half of the upper furrow is inclined behind, whereas the direction of the resultant force and movement speed of soil particles in the lower half of the upper furrow is downward along the furrow wall, resulting in backfill. The result is comparable to Sun Jiyu et al.’s [25] study. Zhao Shuhong et al. [27] stated that the backfill quantity was adequate for seed implantation. Sun Jiyu et al. [25] demonstrated that the quantity of backfill after the double-disc furrow opener destroyed the putative planting depth and the furrow depth of seeds was not conducive to seed germination. Additionally, Zhao Shuhong et al. [27] explained that the quantity of backfill was adequate for seed implantation.
- (3)
- Through simulation testing, the structure of the double disc can be optimized further, and it can be determined that the diameter and quantity of corrugations are the most influential factors in enhancing the performance of furrowing. The results of the soil furrow experiment indicate that the working resistance of the double disc is relatively low and that the design effectively reduces the backfill depth and increases the furrowing stability coefficient while maintaining a comparable working resistance.

## 5. Conclusions

- (1)
- Based on the agronomic requirements of planting green manure in orchard rows, a corrugated double-disc opener was designed to address the problems of a traditional double-disc opener for green manure in orchards, such as the tendency of the bottom of the furrow to bulge and the poor stability of the depth of the furrow, as well as the theoretical analysis and calculation of the structural parameters, such as the diameter of the disc, the position of the gathering point, and the position of the gathering point.
- (2)
- This study used a discrete element numerical simulation to analyze the operation process of the furrow opener, with the goal of improving the stability of the furrowing depth, reducing the depth of soil backfill, and determining the corrugation width and the number of corrugations for the corrugated double-disc furrow opener as the primary factors by analyzing the soil movement law during furrowing operation. After optimization, the corrugated double-disc furrow opener achieved the greatest overall simulation performance when the number of corrugations was 16, the forward speed was 6 km/h, and the corrugation width was 17.5 mm.
- (3)
- According to the agronomic requirements of green manure planting in orchards, the average furrowing stability increased by 3.54%, the working resistance and the average soil disturbance area increased by 26.16 N and 220 mm
^{2}, respectively, the soil backfill depth decreased by 10.98 mm, and the straightness of furrowing significantly improved under the operating conditions of an 80 mm furrowing depth. Through the corrugation of the discs, the corrugated double-disc furrow opener devised in this paper can effectively remove soil from the seed furrow, thereby reducing the backfill depth and increasing the stability factor of the furrow opener depth. As discs are not conventionally planar, the effective contact area with soil can be enhanced, thereby increasing forward resistance.

## Author Contributions

## Funding

## Institutional Review Board Statement

## Data Availability Statement

## Acknowledgments

## Conflicts of Interest

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**Figure 8.**Illustration of the direction of force on soil particles under the action of different openers.

**Figure 9.**Schematic diagram of the direction of velocity of soil particles under the action of different furrow openers.

**Figure 10.**Effect of furrow opener on the velocity of soil particle movement and total kinetic energy of soil particles. (

**a**) Corrugated double disc. (

**b**) Double-disc furrow opener.

**Figure 11.**Soil trough comparative validation test environment. (

**a**) Test area. (

**b**) Schematic diagram of the stand.

**Figure 13.**Effect of factors on furrow opener performance. (

**a**) Response surface of factors A and B to y

_{1}. (

**b**) Response surface of factors A and C to y

_{1}. (

**c**) Response surface of factors A and C to y

_{2}. (

**d**) Response surface of factors A and B to y

_{3}.

**Figure 14.**Comparison of soil bin test data. (

**a**) Average stability of furrowing depth, (

**b**) working resistance, (

**c**) area of soil disturbance, (

**d**) depth of soil backfill.

Parameters | Numerical Values |
---|---|

Poisson’s ratio | 0.38 |

Density (kg·m^{−3}) | 1850 |

Shear modulus (MPa) | 1.24 × 10^{6} |

Soil interparticle recovery factor | 0.2 |

Coefficient of static friction between soil particles | 0.4 |

Rolling friction coefficient between soil particles | 0.3 |

Bonding radius (mm) | 9.24 |

Critical tangential stress (Pa) | 6.8 × 10^{4} |

Critical normal stress (Pa) | 2.0 × 10^{5} |

Normal contact bond stiffness between soil particles (N·m^{−1}) | 3.4 × 10^{8} |

Tangential contact bond stiffness between soil particles (N·m^{−1}) | 1.5 × 10^{8} |

Parameters | Numerical Values |
---|---|

Steel—soil static friction coefficient | 0.65 |

Steel—coefficient of dynamic soil friction | 0.11 |

Steel—soil recovery factor | 0.60 |

Code Value | Factors | ||
---|---|---|---|

Number of Corrugations L1 | Forward Speed L2 (km/h) | Corrugation Width L3 (mm) | |

1.682 | 17 | 9 | 19 |

1 | 16 | 8 | 17.5 |

0 | 14 | 6 | 15 |

−1 | 12 | 4 | 12.5 |

−1.682 | 11 | 3 | 11 |

Test Serial Number | Factors | Indicators | ||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Number of Corrugations L1 | Forward Speed L2 (km/h) | Corrugation Width L3 (mm) | Depth Stability of Furrowing (%), y_{1} | Depth of Soil Backfill (mm), y_{2} | Working Resistance (N), y_{3} | |

1 | −1 | −1 | −1 | 89.44 | 34 | 469.70 |

2 | 1 | −1 | −1 | 84.15 | 26 | 683.87 |

3 | −1 | 1 | −1 | 81.96 | 31 | 531.43 |

4 | 1 | 1 | −1 | 80.43 | 29 | 819.83 |

5 | −1 | −1 | 1 | 89.84 | 45 | 726.96 |

6 | 1 | −1 | 1 | 86.86 | 32 | 699.68 |

7 | −1 | 1 | 1 | 85.48 | 35 | 701.03 |

8 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 87.45 | 25 | 861.29 |

9 | −1.682 | 0 | 0 | 90.36 | 38 | 542.12 |

10 | 1.682 | 0 | 0 | 81.14 | 20 | 786.75 |

11 | 0 | −1.682 | 0 | 88.64 | 41 | 660.92 |

12 | 0 | −1.682 | 0 | 81.45 | 35 | 861.72 |

13 | 0 | 0 | −1.682 | 87.69 | 25 | 415.93 |

14 | 0 | 0 | 1.682 | 91.46 | 35 | 512.60 |

15 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 89.24 | 32 | 491.78 |

16 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 90.17 | 33 | 486.99 |

17 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 90.56 | 31 | 495.94 |

18 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 89.89 | 34 | 549.90 |

19 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 90.03 | 35 | 563.67 |

20 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 89.25 | 31 | 546.40 |

21 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 91.07 | 30 | 488.99 |

22 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 86.98 | 31 | 520.22 |

23 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 89.56 | 32 | 488.16 |

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## Share and Cite

**MDPI and ACS Style**

Ye, R.; Ma, X.; Zhao, J.; Liao, J.; Liu, X.; Xi, L.; Su, G.
Optimization and Design of Disc-Type Furrow Opener of No-Till Seeder for Green Manure Crops in South Xinjiang Orchards. *Agriculture* **2023**, *13*, 1474.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081474

**AMA Style**

Ye R, Ma X, Zhao J, Liao J, Liu X, Xi L, Su G.
Optimization and Design of Disc-Type Furrow Opener of No-Till Seeder for Green Manure Crops in South Xinjiang Orchards. *Agriculture*. 2023; 13(8):1474.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081474

**Chicago/Turabian Style**

Ye, Rui, Xueting Ma, Jinfei Zhao, Jiean Liao, Xinying Liu, Linqiao Xi, and Guangdong Su.
2023. "Optimization and Design of Disc-Type Furrow Opener of No-Till Seeder for Green Manure Crops in South Xinjiang Orchards" *Agriculture* 13, no. 8: 1474.
https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13081474