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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Aerial Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308822

Research Project: Aerial Application Technology for Sustainable Crop Production

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Title: Effects of spray adjuvants on spray droplet size from a rotary atomizer

Author
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item Fritz, Bradley - Brad
item Yang, Chenghai

Submitted to: American Society for Testing and Materials
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2015
Publication Date: 2/15/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62788
Citation: Hoffmann, W.C., Fritz, B.K., Yang, C. 2016. Effects of spray adjuvants on spray droplet size from a rotary atomizer. American Society for Testing and Materials. 35:52-60. doi:10.1520/STP1587201400992.

Interpretive Summary: Rotary atomizers are a type of spray nozzle used by applicators in a variety of spray applications, such as forestry sprays and mosquito abatement. This work involved a series of spray atomization trials to determine the effects of spray adjuvants, which can change the physical properties of a spray solution, on spray droplet size from a rotary atomizer for a fungicide spray. The different adjuvants affected droplet size up and down depending on the adjuvant type by less than 10 percent over the fungicide only spray solution. Understanding the role the different adjuvant types play in the final droplet size of the spray is key to successfully settings up and making applications with rotary atomizers.

Technical Abstract: Rotary atomizers are used in a number of aerial applications, such as forest pest spraying and mosquito control sprays. These types of atomizers have a rotating cage at speeds of 2,000 to 10,000 rpm through which a spray is emitted and atomized. Many applicators routinely add spray adjuvants to change the droplet size, reduce drift potential, or reduce evaporative effects of a particular spray solution; therefore, six commonly-used classes of spray adjuvants were evaluated to determine their effects on droplet size. If an applicator’s only concern was minimizing spray drift, the applicator could choose a polymer or high surfactant oil concentrate for helicopter speeds, and a polymer for fixed-wing applications. For applicator’s making applications under hot, dry conditions where evaporation is a concern, choosing an oil-based adjuvant to help get better coverage by creating smaller droplets from droplets that do not evaporate would be recommended. Understanding the role the different adjuvant types play in the final droplet size of the spray is key to successfully settings up and making applications with rotary atomizers.