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Thread: how is a metal auger made?
08-06-2009, 01:33 PM #1
how is a metal auger made?
seeing all these agricultural augers moving corn all over my new environment here in Iowa has me wondering... How are augers made?
Do they beat the hot metal into shape? Or does some kind of extrusion come out hot and it's then bent and shaped as it cools?
I'm thinking the overall OD must be pretty consistent to move small corn kernals and not crush them so the shape must have a fairly tight tollerance?
Any pictures of augers being made around?
08-06-2009, 02:19 PM #2
I don't know if we are on the same page on this, but we call them screw conveyors in the timber industry. We convey hog fuel, chips and sawdust with them.
Martin Gear & Sprocket has a catalog that shows them being fabricated. Sadly there is no video of this on their website. The 'screw' is cut from the appropriate plate with a CNC, optic or plasma torch and stretched to the required pitch of the item being fabricated then welded around the center shaft.
The sections can only be so long because you run out of 'stretch' so they have to be constructed in welded segments.
08-06-2009, 02:39 PM #3
The manufacturer cuts the appropriate sized circle out of plate..He then cuts the appropriate sized hole in the middle of that circle...they also cut the plate from the inside to the outside..
They then stretch the plate out starting at one edge where the plate has been cut from inside to the outside..
The manufacturers part is called auger flighting and each flighting only does just a bit less then one rotation, so you weld these over the inside pipe as many as you need to make up the required length..
08-06-2009, 03:14 PM #4
they cut an eliptical [slightly] plate with a corisponding eliptical hole in centre, slit it, ofset it [like a spring washer, weld the ends to form a [distorted] helical ribbon, slide over shaft, grip ends with puller, pull the ribbon [bout 40 to jack] as it elongates the inner closes round the shaft, weld [ see how its made on youtube re icrink resurfacer, shows one being made]
years ago a manual pair of forming blocks was available, cut a disk, slit drop over former and drop the top block on, press drawbolt or hammer down to form a 350 deg segment.
08-06-2009, 03:19 PM #5
How is an auger made?
You buy whatever length of whatever diameter and pitch you need from one of these guys and weld it along a length of pipe or shaft. If you want a precise diameter then you turn the OD.
08-06-2009, 03:45 PM #6
Nice try at explaining it, guys, but, not quite. The idea of cutting circles and pulling them results in variable rate flighting. The grain augers being asked about are made from flat stock run thru dies. The steel comes in coils eg:8" auger uses 3" flat with a 2" shaft. This results in the outer edge thinner than the centre and eventually wear at the edge.
The grain auger was invented in Canada and most mfg's are still located here: Brandt, Sakundiak, Bergen, Mayrath and Versatile-(both now gone).
PS-Grain augers are generally used for wheat and other small grains, corn and beans are moved with rubber conveyors nowdays.
08-06-2009, 04:15 PM #7
The heavy duty flighting is cut from plate like described. The continuous flighting for augers like powerglider is asking about is simply coiled from flat stock. The process of making the flighting thins the outside and thickens the inside. The problem with this is all the wear takes place on the outside, where the flighting is the thinnest.
There are a couple of companies who have came up with a solution for the thin edge problem. They start with coil stock that has a thicker edge on one side, and then they coil it with the thick side out.
As for belt conveyors, they aren't making much headway against screw conveyors (augers). Belts have less handling damage, but the handling damage from augers is well within acceptable limits for all but seed grains.
The top end of portable augers now are 16" diameter x 120+' long. Flow rates will approach 1,000,000#/hr, and a 200-250 hp tractor will be required.
There are also coreless augers available in sizes at least as small as 1 1/2", for 2" schedule 40 pipe. These augers can make bends, where cored augers must be straight.
08-06-2009, 09:28 PM #8
The belt conveyors have taken over in lentils, peas and beans as well as fertilizers here in western Canada.
08-07-2009, 06:14 AM #9
The original post was about the ag augers used in Iowa. This isn't about the large belt stuff used for loading barges and ships. This is about the 4-6" screw augers that you see all over the state being pulled behind pick-ups, tractors, and even 4 wheelers.
Here's a good example: http://www.falconindustries.com/
Welcome to Iowa. Enjoy the coolest summer on record.
08-07-2009, 07:30 AM #10
The "24 I was refering to is a farm screw-type grain auger.
Who said anything about loading barges and ships?
I guess its my mistake though and I appologize. I should have read closer about the "Iowa" part.
I forgot that farms and machinery are pretty small around there compared to what we run in Canada. A small farm here is 5,000 acres these days.
08-07-2009, 09:32 AM #11
JR, look a little closer. Most of the modern augers around you are 10"+.
Darin, Iowa farms may be a little smaller, but at 180 to 250 bushel per acre corn, I expect the average farmer moves more pounds of grain. I would have sure liked to have seen/heard/felt that auger with the Detroit. You just as well take it to market, in another 15 years it will be considered small.
08-07-2009, 10:37 AM #12
You see many of the smaller augers around here. The neighbor does tow one behind a 4 wheeler that's got an 8hp B&S on it. You don't see them like you used to, on farm storage has dropped in the last 20 years. Where I come from in Nebraska, everybody has 2 or more bins on the same place. The home place, which Dad and I rent out, has 2- 10K bushel bins, 2- 5K bushel bins, and a 5K drying bin. Long before they had the molded plastic tubs to auger out of, we had an old tractor tire and a tarp.
I'll bet if you do a land ownership survey in SK, there are many more owners with a half section (320 acres) or less than those that own more than that. There is a difference between farming 5,000 acres and owning a 5,000 acre farm. Nothing wrong with that, it's the way it is. It used to be that the oldest boy got the farm when dad died. No more, everybody gets a part of it or the land has to be sold 'cause everybody wants their money now.
08-07-2009, 03:21 PM #13
gbent- You are right about it being small in a few years. I wish I could keep up with all the changes. I'm not sure what we will end up for augers as the 400 plus hp tractors (4WD's) dont have pto's. Cant wait to see what the mfgs throw at us next!
JR-We havent seen 320 acre farm since this country was settled. The 1000 acre farms were gone by '70. Altogether different up here. Farmers never did pass their land down here either. And 5,000 acres is "small". The average size now is about 20,000 acres.-10-15 owned and the balance rented from 1 or 2 neighbours. Most run 4-4WDs w/60 ft airdrills, 2 high clearance sprayers, and 4 of the largest combines with a couple Super-B (double) grain trailers.
We grow 40 bu/acre springwheat/durum @ 60 lbs/bu on 20,000 acres=48,000,000 lbs.
So much for the "family farm"! Its gotten to be big business. Nobody is making anymore net-money than 20yrs ago because of all the equipment and hired help expense. Farmers are now having to hire fulltime year round help @ $20/hr to keep someone.
08-07-2009, 07:19 PM #14
Back in the late 70's to the mid 80's I was a welder in a factory that made grain augers among other things. The machine used to make the flighting had 2 cone shaped(around 12" diameter) dies that were powered by a 50 hp motor, These dies were independantly adjustable for pitch, diam and maybe other things. But basically, the cones sides were brought together with a pre-determined space between them, with the points of the cones almost touching, and the bases the farthest apart. Like was mentioned the metal is stretched to a very tall and skinny triangle in cross section, and the cones somehow forced the metal around and through this space and out comes the flighting. Made an un-godly squealing sound all the time it ran, and the cones made from some kind of tool steel would last maybe 6 months running most of a 40 hour week. The company had a hell of a time keeping operators for this job. Boring as hell, and ungodly noisy isn't a life long career ideal!
08-08-2009, 04:35 AM #15
great reading all the replies.
we own a 100 acre farm, but we only farm a small garden ourselves, the rest is leased out to a local friend/farmer. I think he farms a total of 400 acres, but he would like to farm another 200 if he could.
From what I see since I got here, I like it and hope to contribute with some machining and fixing/engineering abilities.
I don't know how to farm yet, but I drove my first tractor, and our first garden is putting out squash faster than we can eat it, so we trade for the neighbors peppers and eggplant.
I like the coolest summer on record, the heat of Florida was more than I like but I'm sure it will be missed once October comes around.
My #1 task is making a bracket to adapt a snowplow blade that went on a Ford truck so it works on a Chevy truck, having never worked with one before it's a learning experience. In my time growing up in Canada I just always used a shovel.
08-08-2009, 04:44 AM #16
Welcome to rural life. You will quickly learn you must lock your vehicles during the summer. Neighbors will put things like zucchini and tomatoes inside if you don't.
08-08-2009, 09:56 AM #17
I use to machine augers. I was impressed as to how close they could made these flights run after welding. These were 38 ft long and they never ran out more than .250 for the entire length. We would machine the flighting so they needed to be running fairly close.
08-09-2009, 09:40 AM #18
...J. King...I haven't been on the forum for awhile...come back to one of your BIG LATHE photos...always enjoyed them...keep up the good work!
08-09-2009, 12:38 PM #19
We build large screw pumps like in the photo J King published. Some of our pumps reach 90" diameter and 60-70' long. Depending on the size and material, we plasma out the required shape from plate and use a die with our 2000 ton press and press them into the helical shape required in 1/3 pitch sections usually and weld them into place and then the whole weldment is turned to make it concentric and the correct size. I can only assume that agricultural augers are a similar process, we use the same process to make about the same diameter auger 8-10" but usually only 6-12' long for another product we manufacture for the water treatment industry. I have been told that sometimes we use a roller in the process also. I have not seen this first hand as where I spend most of my time is in a seperate building making the endplates for those big screws and also all of the housings that support them in the pit. I'll see if I cant get a picture of our lathe like that, 108" swing and almost 100' between centers I believe