Volume 3, Issue 5 (May 2006)
Wind Tunnel Evaluation of Drift Reduction Potential and Spray Characteristics with Drift Retardants at High Operating Pressure
Although considerable research has been done on effectiveness of drift retardants for many years, answers to some questions are still unclear to applicators. Laboratory tests were conducted to evaluate drift potentials associated with off-target ground and airborne spray deposits discharged with a hollow cone nozzle spraying three different drift retardants at a high operating pressure and various wind velocities in a wind tunnel. Droplet sizes and spray widths were also determined with a laser imaging system and a portable spray patternator. At 1655 kPa pressure and 4.65 L/m flow rate, the volume median diameters of droplets from the hollow cone nozzle discharging spray mixtures containing water only, polyvinyl polymer, nonionic colloidal polymer and polyacrylamide polymer drift retardants were 201, 222, 239, and 210 μm, respectively. The major spray pattern width was not changed after drift retardants were added into the spray carrier. For the wind velocity from 1 to 5 m/s in the wind tunnel, the polyacrylamide drift retardant produced the highest airborne deposit among the three drift retardants, followed by polyvinyl, and then nonionic colloidal. Also, the polyacrylamide drift retardant produced the highest ground drift potential, followed by nonionic colloidal and then polyvinyl. According to the results from this laboratory study, both nonionic colloidal and polyvinyl polymer drift retardants reduced the drift potential compared to the spray carrier containing water only.