A new alloy coating for dozer undercarriages from John Deere — SC-2 — provides the best combination of hardness, toughness, wear resistance and corrosion resistance properties of any coating on the market, according to the company. SC-2, it says, is so durable that an undercarriage featuring SC-2 coated bushings doesn’t need bushing turns to hold up over the long term.
SC-2 coated bushings are compatible with existing John Deere undercarriage designs, and will fit many other brands of dozers, as well. The new undercarriage features coated bushings that are the result of a patented process called GOPALITE developed by senior staff metallurgist Dr. Gopal Revankar. The process produces a water-based slurry from a heavy alloy-metal powder and several organic additives. The slurry formula suspends the alloy powder and is used to apply the coating to the part surface, producing a coating that’s uniform in both thickness and consistency. The ingredients and techniques used greatly reduce the slurry coating’s susceptibility to breaking when subjected to high impact.
“Our new process uses a much higher temperature than is typical, along with special atmospheres. This gives parts superior wear characteristics compared to chrome plating–and, like chrome plating, SC-2 is corrosion resistant,” said Revankar. “The process also is much more environmentally friendly than chrome plating — it doesn’t emit all the caustic carcinogenic vapors that the U.S. EPA frowns on.”
The coating also has been tested in the field for the past three years, running on dozers that work year-round with high-impact loads in extremely abrasive soil conditions, including fine sand. Each dozer had one chain with SC-2 coated bushings, and the other chain was equipped with normal production bushings.
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