Nozzles may be small, but they play a critical role in the application of chemicals. Selecting the proper size and type of nozzle is an essential step to determine the amount of spray applied to an area. Use the wrong nozzle, and you may over or under spray the solution which will result in an ineffective application.
A few questions that will help you make the best nozzle selection for your particular application include:
1. What's your application type? (i.e., agricultural, pest control, lawn & landscape, etc.)
2. What's the predetermined distribution pattern? (i.e., broadcast, banded, stream, etc.)
3. What's the recommended droplet size?
4. What type of nozzle material is needed to avoid corrosion?
Let's go over a couple of key elements you can apply to answer the questions above:
Application RateConsider nozzle orifice size, operating pressure, nozzle spacing and nozzle speed to determine the application rate. A couple of tips to keep in mind include:
- The smaller the orifice, the smaller the droplet size
- Small droplets are subject to more drift and evaporation than larger ones
- Dense areas require higher pressure for the droplet to reach its target
- Measuring pressure at the boom is the most efficient way to test actual pressure rate
- Take into account the angle of the spray tips and their height to space the nozzles at an appropriate distance
- The faster the speed of the application the less solution applied and vice-versa
The pattern distribution should offer accurate coverage when using the appropriate nozzle. The three most common nozzle distribution patterns are:
1. Flat fan pattern nozzles: Ideal for broadcasting application, flat fan are the most widely used pattern nozzles. Hypro offers a wide selection of flat fan pattern nozzles; browse our extensive inventory by clicking here.
2. Cone pattern nozzles: Best suited for banded application but can also be used for broadcasting application. Cone pattern nozzles are particularly useful when spraying crops as they provide better coverage.
3. Flooding nozzles: Perfect for applications where wind-tolerant nozzles are needed. Use flooding nozzles when spraying at lower pressures with a large droplet to minimize drift.
Nozzles come in a wide variety of materials such as polyacetal, ceramic, stainless steel or PVDF. Depending on their use and spray solution, nozzles will wear out at different rates. Always check the label of the chemical solution to check for compatible nozzle material. Also, pay close attention to any specific cleaning or maintenance requirement to keep nozzles clean.
Hypro and TeeJet are among our most popular manufacturers of high quality nozzles. They also have many educational resources that can help make the selection process a bit easier for you. Check out these two simple selection guides that will help you identify the correct nozzle:
If you are looking to learn more about nozzles and tips, please visit our previous post 3 Keys to Selecting the Right Spray Tip.