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Sprayer

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2002 John Deere 4710 90 ft. Sprayer
Sprayers are commonly used on farms to spray pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and defoliants[1] as a means of crop quality control. There are many kinds of machine-operated sprayers, the most common of which are low-pressure, high-pressure, air-carrier, and fogger types.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Early Sprayers

Though methods of chemical pest control have been used for centuries, they were not always spread by machine; before the 1800s, most pesticides were applied by hand.[2] Early sprayers were most likely first developed to apply fungicides to the vineyards of Bordeaux, France.[3] Between 1850 and 1860, John Bean of California, D.B. Smith of New York, and the Brandt Brothers of Minnesota developed the hand-operated insecticide sprayer.[4] 1874 marked the year that knapsack sprayers first entered the U.S. market.[5] At the beginning of the following decade, the first commercial spraying machine was introduced. By 1887, the first spraying machine that did not rely on manpower was developed.[6] This traction sprayer was supplied with power by the machine’s wheels, and was horse-drawn. In 1894, the first steam-powered sprayer was produced.[7]

Advancements continued, and by beginning of the 20th century, the first gasoline engine powered sprayer was on the market.

[edit] Further Progression

As the chemical control market continued to develop, so did its machines. 1911 saw the introduction of a pressure regulator and air chamber; these were employed to achieve smooth, uninterrupted spraying. In 1914, Moses Rittenhouse began producing orchard sprayers for the fruit-producing region in Niagara, later founding M.K. Rittenhouse. Several years after the development of the row-crop tractor in 1925, tractor mounted sprayers were introduced. In 1944, dusting machines began to comprise attachments designed to inject water into the dust; this moisture supplied by this attachment enabled the dust to more effectively stick to dry leaves. The same year, low-volume, low-pressure sprayers were introduced. In 1945, 10,000 power sprayers were produced[8] – this year marked the beginning of a decade-long span during which the use of sprayers dramatically increased.[9] Two years later, 2,4-D (Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a common herbicide used today, was first applied using low-pressure, low-volume sprayers to weeds in cornfields in selected southern states; the weed-control results were successful.[10] In 1950, 75,000 power sprayers were produced.[11]

[edit] How it Works

Typical sprayers are comprised of the following basic parts: a tank, a pump, filters in the suction and delivery lines, a boom, and nozzles. Additional components include a nozzle pressure gauge, a control valve including anti-drip mechanism, and a relief valve to bypass excess material back to the tank. The most commonly used machine-operated sprayers for field application are low-pressure sprayers,[12] similar in operation to which are high-pressure sprayers. In addition to the above-mentioned types, commonly used sprayers are air-carrier models and foggers. These models are not operated in the same way as low- and high-pressure versions.

[edit] Tanks

Within the sprayers’ steel or plastic tank are agitators, either mechanically or hydraulically operated. If the agitators are operated mechanically, a horizontal shaft with flat blades is employed. Many manufacturers use hydraulic agitation rather than mechanical. In this case, a pump with a capacity of approximately 20 – 30 gallons (76 to 114 L) per minute is included on the apparatus; the pump’s full output circulates the contents in the tank.

2002 Ag-Chem 1254 100 ft. Sprayer

[edit] Pump

Among the most commonly used types of sprayer pumps, used to pressurize the spray solution, are diaphragm pumps, medium-pressure centrifugal pumps, and low-pressure rotary pumps, including gear pumps and roller pumps. Some machines also comprise high-pressure and medium-pressure piston pumps, but they are expensive and difficult to maintain. These pumps, formerly common in orchard sprayers, are no longer integral due to improved spray distribution methods.[13]

[edit] Booms

Typical ground crop sprayers are comprised of a boom between 15 to 40 feet (4.6 to 12 m) in length,[14] with nozzles fitted at various intervals. Often, booms are mounted in three sections, with the outer ends being hinged and therefore able to be folded for transport, while the middle section is fixed to the machine. Larger sprayers may have booms measuring up to 66 feet (20 m),[15] mounted in five sections to enable hydraulic folding. Light castor wheels or hoop skids are often used at the ends of a boom to avoid ground contact and resulting damage of the nozzles.

[edit] Nozzles

While some sprayers achieve atomization with a blast of air, this is not always the case. Nozzles that do not employ air can be divided into two categories: swirl nozzles and fan nozzles. In swirl nozzles, the fluid coming from the sprayer’s tank is propelled in a whirling motion, resulting in a cone-shaped spray when it emerges. These nozzles are outfitted with controls to adjust the spray volume, including the width of spray angle and size of droplets; they are normally used on high-volume applications. Conversely, fan nozzles are normally used in low volume applications with lower pressures; higher fan nozzle pressure can cause excessive drift.

[edit] Controlled Droplet Application

A significant development in sprayer application methods is controlled droplet application (CDA). In contrast to conventional nozzles that produce droplets that are widely variable in size, CDA technology produces uniform droplets using a rotary spray nozzle. In operation, the rotary nozzle accumulates spray solution at the bottom of a spinning cup. The centrifugal force of the cup creates spray droplets, which are forced up multiple grooves on the inside of the cup. From there, the solution reaches the top of the rotary nozzle, and droplets are projected in a circular pattern up to a six-foot (1.8-m) diameter. Droplet diameter is determined by the speed of the cup. CDA is seen as advantageous as less water is required per acre of spray: conventional sprayers use 20 to 30 gallons (76 to 113 L) per acre (0.4 ha), CDA technology uses one gallon (3.79 L) or less.[16] While some argue that CDA causes less spray drift and uses fewer pesticides, these claims have not been fully verified for all cases. Additional benefits may include savings in time and fuel, and less soil compaction.[17]

[edit] Low-pressure Sprayers

These sprayers are most widely used due in part to their relatively low cost. Low-pressure sprayer types include tractor mounted, high-clearance, trailer mounted, and truck mounted versions; they are typically operated hydraulically.[18] Low-pressure sprayers include an air chamber to level out the pump’s pulsations to provide a constant nozzle pressure, as well as pressure gages and regulators. Though booms are common on many sprayers, boomless power jet sprayers, with one to five nozzles on a single bracket, are also available.

[edit] Tractor-mounted

In a tractor mounted configuration, a tank ranging with a capacity ranging from 150 to 500 gallons (568 to 1,893 L) is mounted on a tractor. While the pump is attached to the power take-off shaft, it may be driven by a hydraulic motor. The sprayer’s booms can be located in the front, rear, or on the belly the tractor.

[edit] High-clearance Sprayers

These sprayers, derived from tractor mounted sprayers, are comprised of a tall frame that can clear corn, cotton, and tobacco, in addition to other tall crops. Additionally, high-clearance sprayers’ boom height can be adjusted depending on the height of the crop.

[edit] Trailer-mounted Sprayers

Trailer mounted sprayers, mounted on a trailer and towed by an agricultural tractor, comprise a tank with a potential 1,000-gallon (3,785-L) capacity. The pump, driven by the power take-off shaft or hydraulic motor, is mounted on the sprayer. These sprayers may have a boom measuring from 12 to 50 feet (3.7 to 15 m) in length. In addition, high-clearance trailer mounted sprayers are available.

[edit] Truck-mounted Sprayers

This design consists of a skid-mounted sprayer, powered by an auxiliary engine, placed in a pickup or flatbed truck. Flotation tires are included on larger units to aid the sprayer’s operation in wet conditions. These large models, including tanks that hold up to 2,500 gallons (9,463 L) and booms up to 60 feet (18.3 m) long, are most useful on expansive areas, or special applications.

[edit] High-pressure Sprayers

1996 Agrifac GN3024 Portable Sprayer
High-pressure application of chemicals is employed when spray needs to be driven through thick brush or tall trees. These sprayers, heavier and more expensive than low-pressure models, are able to operate under working pressures as high as 1,000 pounds per square inch (6,895 kPa). Aside from these differences, they are also hydraulically operated and consist of the same basic parts as low-pressure versions; they can be applied to the same tasks when outfitted with a boom.

[edit] Air-carrier Sprayers

These machines are often referred to as air-blast sprayers or mist blowers. Pesticides contained in air-carrier sprayers are transported in an air stream ranging in speed from 80 to 150 miles (129 to 241 km) per hour. Concentrated pesticides are used in these sprayers, as the air in which they are carried disperses and dilutes them considerably. The use of concentrated chemicals is therefore more efficient, as it takes little time to fill the tank when 80 percent less dilution water is required. A common type of air-carrier model is the orchard sprayer, used to spray to either one or both sides of a row of orchard trees. One type of air-carrier sprayer used in fields is mounted on a turntable to enable the spray to aim in either direction. Another type used on shade trees can spray up to 100 feet (30 m) high.

[edit] Foggers (Mistblowers)

Though these machines are used to distribute liquid pesticides, they are not actually sprayers. They are employed when an entire area such as a greenhouse or mosquito-ridden area needs to be filled with pesticides. Foggers apply chemicals them in clouds or fogs of very fine aerosol droplets that are formed by heat, fine nozzles, air blasts, or spinning discs. Foggers are either engine-driven or electrically powered. The former models release aerosol vapor through their exhaust. Electric foggers may use a 110-120 volt current, or may receive electrical power from a car, truck, or tractor. Some larger foggers are powered with a 12-volt, ¾ horsepower electric motor; their pumps are capable of developing pressure of up to 1,800 pounds per square inch (12,410 kPa) for a powerful spray. Foggers are not suitable to be used in windy conditions.

[edit] Common Manufacturers

[edit] Additional Photos

Spra-Coupe 233 Self-Propelled Sprayer
1990 Harman 833 80 ft. Field Sprayer
1994 Rogator 664 80 ft. Sprayer
Berthoud DPES300 Sprayer
Computorspray 647-2 60 ft. Field Sprayer
John deere 6500 Self-Propelled Sprayer
Melroe 220 50 ft. Spray Coupe

[edit] References

  1. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines for Power Farming. John Wiley and Sons, Inc: 1967.
  2. Pesticide. Madehow.com. 2008-09-09.
  3. Smith, Harris Pearson and Wilkes, Lambert Henry. Farm Machinery and Equipment. McGraw-Hill Inc: 1976.
  4. Smith, Harris Pearson and Wilkes, Lambert Henry. Farm Machinery and Equipment. McGraw-Hill Inc: 1976.
  5. Pesticide History. Clemson. 2008-09-09.
  6. Pesticide History. Clemson. 2008-09-09.
  7. Pesticide History. Clemson. 2008-09-09.
  8. Pesticide History. Clemson. 2008-09-09.
  9. Inventors. About.com. 2008-09-09.
  10. Stone, Archie A. and Gulvin, Harold E. Machines for Power Farming. John Wiley and Sons, Inc: 1967.
  11. Pesticide History. Clemson. 2008-09-09.
  12. Hughes, Harold A. Fundamentals of Machine Operation: Crop Chemicals. John Deere Service Publications: 1976.
  13. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada Publishing Limited: 1981.
  14. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada Publishing Limited: 1981.
  15. Culpin, Claude. Farm Machinery. Granada Publishing Limited: 1981.
  16. Controlled Droplet Application. Cornell. 2008-09-09.
  17. Controlled Droplet Application. Cornell. 2008-09-09.
  18. Smith, Harris Pearson and Wilkes, Lambert Henry. Farm Machinery and Equipment. McGraw-Hill Inc: 1976.