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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Device that Measures Pressure in Drip Irrigation Systems
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Pacific West Area
  Kimberly, Idaho

Patent Number: 6622565
Docket Number: 902
Serial Number: 10060467
Date Patented: 09/23/2003

Technology Description:

ARS scientists have developed a simple way to measure fluid pressure in thin-walled flexible tubing, typically used with drip irrigation systems. This invention senses pressure by compressing or flattening the tubing between two parallel plates. The device, called a "Squeezer," can use either an electronic load cell, or a simple compression spring to measure the force on the parallel plates, which is then converted to pressure units. Drip irrigation using thin-walled flexible tubing is increasing worldwide as a way to improve irrigation water use efficiency. To date, there has been no easy way to measure internal pressure in drip tubing in the field without puncturing the tube or installing special fittings. This low-cost device can measure pressure within about 5 percent accuracy. Farmers who use drip irrigation could use this device relatively the same way pressure gauges are used to check nozzle pressure in sprinkler systems. No comparable device is currently available for drip irrigation systems. This device can be manufactured at relatively low cost and could be sold commercially for probably $50 or less. The device may also prove useful in other industries or processes using thin-walled tubing. Pressure ranges measured depend on the tubing pressure rating and tube flexibility.

Companies that manufacture farm irrigation equipment or measurement instruments could develop this technology for commercial use. Farmers using drip irrigation systems will benefit from this technology.


Please refer to USPN 6,622,565, "Fluid Pressure Measurement by Mechanical Compression of Tubing," which issued on September 23, 2003.


Dennis C. Kincaid
Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research
Kimberly, Idaho 83341-5076
(208) 423-6503 / Fax: (208) 423-6555

Thomas J. Trout
Water Management Research Laboratory
Parlier, California 93648
(559) 596-2852 / Fax: (559) 596-2851




Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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