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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 #308892

Research Project: Aerial Application Technology for Sustainable Crop Production

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Title: Response surface method for evaluation of the performance of agricultural application spray nozzles

Author
item Fritz, Bradley - Brad
item Hoffmann, Wesley
item ANDERSON, JENISE - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: American Society for Testing and Materials
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/2015
Publication Date: 2/15/2016
Citation: Fritz, B.K., Hoffmann, W.C., Anderson, J. 2016. Response surface method for evaluation of the performance of agricultural application spray nozzles. Pesticide Formulation and Delivery Systems: 35th Volume, American Society for Testing and Materials STP1587, G.R. Goss, ed., ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA. pp. 61-76. doi:10.1520/STP158720140100.

Interpretive Summary: Proper selection and setup of agricultural spray nozzles is critical to the success of any agrochemical application. Scientists with the Aerial Application Technology Research Unit in College Station, TX and Texas A&M University, College Station, TX developed and conducted a series of structured experimental treatments to develop computational droplet size models for a series of ground application nozzles. All models developed provided extremely good fits to independently collected droplet size data. The final models were incorporated into an easy to use spreadsheet based user-interface provided to the public which allows applicators a quick method of determining droplet size from their spray application.

Technical Abstract: Droplet size, being one of the critical factors that influences spray performance and drift, must be considered when selecting spray nozzles and operational setups. Characterizing a spray nozzle for droplet size is typically completed by evaluating arbitrary nozzle type, size and spray pressure. However, this does not provide for a detailed understanding of droplet size across the complete operational space. This research proposes a structured, experimental design that allows for the development of computational models for droplet size based on any combination of nozzles potential operational settings. Nine nozzles with two operational settings (orifice and pressure) and one with three (orifice, pressure and tip) were evaluated using a response surface experimental design. All models showed high levels of fit to independently collected droplet size data. The computational models were integrated into a spreadsheet based user interface which allows convenient droplet size predictions for a given nozzle setup. The developed models also allowed for a detailed analysis of each nozzle’s entire operational space providing for a user screening tool based on desired droplet size classification. The use of the proposed experimental design provides for efficient nozzle evaluations which can be used to determined droplet size and classification for any combination of operational settings.