Wednesday 14 April 2021

The Get In Labs by Réseau Curie, which is a federation representing professionals in the field of technology transfer and innovation, highlights the work carried out by the research teams of UniLaSalle's AGHYLE unit in its latest special edition devoted to agriculture.

The focus for the month of April is on the results of Matthieu Forster's doctoral thesis, carried out within the Agro-machinery & New Technologies Chair, under the direction of Michel-Pierre Faucon (UniLaSalle Beauvais research director, Dr. HDR associate professor in agriculture). HDR associate professor in plant ecology and agroecology) and the co-supervision of Carolina Ugarte (Dr. associate professor in soil science) and Mathieu Lamandé (Dr. senior scientist Aarhus University, associate professor in soil mechanics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences).

In concrete terms, Matthieu Forster's thesis dealt with the problem of soil degradation through compaction and the loss of soil function. Indeed, the passage of agricultural machinery over the land is not without consequences (reduced water infiltration capacity in the soil and reduced root development, etc.), which can have an adverse effect on crop yields.

During his research, Matthieu imagined a solution to reduce this problem of compaction: the shear box.

Designed and built at AgriLab, this innovation mimics the deformation of soils by the passage of machinery on soils with their roots, in order to measure the shear strength of soils with roots. The originality of the device lies in its dimensioning, which is designed to measure maximum shear stresses for various vertical loads of up to 200 kg (approximately 97.4 kPa) and for soil samples of sufficient size to allow the development of plant roots, i.e. 16 cm in internal diameter and 20 cm in height.

The shear box will continue to improve the understanding of the shear deformation process of soils in the framework of the AMNT Chair and the AGHYLE research unit.

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