Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2002
Publication Date: 8/2/2002
Citation: Kincaid, D.C., Trout, T.J. 2002. Squeezer: A device for indirect pressure measurement in thin-walled microirrigation tubing. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 18(6):685-690. Interpretive Summary: The squeezer is a simple, non-invasive means of measuring fluid pressure in thin-walled flexible tubing. The primary intended application is for field measurement of pressure in drip irrigation systems. Drip irrigation using thin-walled plastic drip tape with integral emitters is increasing worldwide as a means of improving irrigation water use efficiency. Irrigation uniformity depends on maintaining pressure in drip laterals within acceptable limits. The devices would be used by drip irrigation farmers much like pressure gauges are used by sprinkler irrigators to check pressures at different points within their systems. No comparable device has been available for convenient testing of drip systems. The mechanical spring device intended for field use by farmers can be manufactured at relatively low cost (material cost approx. $10) and could be sold on the commercial market for $50 or less. The low cost and convenience should lead to widespread use. The device may prove to be useful in other industries or processes wherever thin-walled tubing is used, and the devices may be constructed to accommodate almost any size tubing or pressure range.
Technical Abstract: A simple device was developed for measuring pressure in thin-walled collapsible emitting hose in the field. The device, called a "Squeezer", senses pressure by measuring the force necessary to compress a short section of tubing between two parallel plates, to 50 percent of its original diameter. The force can be measured by either an electronic load cell or a spring balance, and output calibrated to read directly in pressure units. The device provides a convenient, non-intrusive and low cost means for irrigators to assess pressure variations within their microirrigation laterals without installing special fittings or puncturing the tubing.