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A new method for the electrostatic atomization of oil-based agricultural products was introduced in ASTM's Fifth Symposium on Pesticide Formulations and Application Systems. This atomization method involves the direct injection of charge (electrons) into the flowing spray fluid within the spray head and immediately prior to the exit port. The highly charged fluid, on exiting, forms a self-dispersive charged droplet plume. Preliminary test data obtained using a prototype charge injection device, the Spray Triode atomizer, have shown that this method offers promise for the effective, precise, and predictable dispersal of oil-based agricultural fluids.
As a result of additional test characteristics, coupled with an available analytic, predictive model of Spray Triode atomizer operation, a number of design improvements have been instituted. Operational characteristics, including droplet size distribution data, are presented for various hydrocarbon oils. The data indicate that Spray Triode devices have a range of inherent capabilities that meet some agricultural product application needs. The assistance of formulators and applicators in defining these needs is solicited.
pesticides, electrostatic atomization, charged droplets, plumes, sprayer
Director of engineering research and development, Parker Hannifin Corp., Cleveland, OH
Senior research engineer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ