A Study on the Drift of Spray Droplets Dipped in Airflows with Different Directions
The European Directive concerning pesticide sustainable use establishes regulations to reduce the environmental drift throughout treatments to agricultural crops, particularly in nearby sensitive areas, such as water bodies, natural reserves and urban areas. The drift represents the fraction of mixture delivered by the sprayer that is not caught by the crop, and is the clearest cause of environmental pollution. Anti-drift nozzles are usually employed, and buffer zones are also maintained along
... o maintained along the edges of the sprayed field to reduce drift production. The aim of this work was the theoretical study of the motion of the spray droplets delivered by a nozzle, dipped in downwards and/or lateral forced air flows. A mathematical model has been developed, consisting of a system of 2nd order differential equations, to simulate the motion of water droplets of different diameters within simultaneous different directions of air flow. The graphs, obtained by means of the numerical solution of the model, allow us to analyze the level of the droplets' drift, according to their diameter and to the speed of the lateral and the downward air flows, respectively. A lateral airflow at a speed of 5 m · s − 1 produced a drift in its direction until 1.70 m for droplets from 100 to 500 μm in diameter. For larger drops, the impact of the downward airflow is not very significant. The results obtained by the numerical solution of the mathematical model have been compared with the results of experimental tests carried out to evaluate the drift of spray produced by different nozzles.