A recently completed research project "Snow Plow Cutting Edge Cost Effectiveness" (SD89-04) recommended the purchase of Kennametal cutting edges or the equivalent. The department purchased cutting edges for the winter of 93-94 using the recommendations from the study. The manufacturer that obtained the contract provided blades that did not meet the required specification. The cutting edges required replacement sooner than anticipated. When compared to the performance of the Kennametal cutting edges it was obvious that there were substantial differences in the material properties.
The cutting edge specifications for snow plows, motorgraders and underbody blades are not generic but based on a specific manufacturers product. There is a need to evaluate these specifications to determine if they can be rewritten so that they are generic but specific enough to ensure the product purchased under the specification meets the states desired durability requirements. Product properties called for in the specification must be readily testable using readily available testing equipment and procedures.
The Department does not have a procedure to use that allows for the quick evaluation of new cutting edge materials. The last cutting edge study, SD89-04, took several years to complete thus delaying the purchase of more durable cutting edges. Field testing is not a practical alternative because of the time required for testing. Therefore, the SDDOT desires a procedure which can be used under laboratory conditions which would allow quick evaluation of new cutting edge materials.