Facilities

WIND TUNNEL
  • Large scale wind tunnel, 3 m (W) x 2 m (H) x 10m (L), operating under controlled conditions, generating wind speeds up to 10 m/s.
  • Accommodates, dry or liquid applications of chemical tracers or active ingredients with containment of waste for safe disposal.
  • Single or multiple arrays of a wide range of nozzles on static or moving track sprayer simulating field conditions with forward speeds of up to 14 km/h.Modular flooring is removable to enable insertion of a range of plants, ditches, static or moving obstacles.
  • Can be used for quantifying deposits on a wide range of biological or man-made surfaces, representing target crops, non-target species, or capturing airborne or sedimenting spray with appropriate collecting devices.
  • Alternative uses include the monitoring of dry materials e.g. dust or spore releases and measurement of airborne and deposited material up to 7m downwind.
PHYSICS LAB - SPRAY CHARACTERISATION
Using laser based technology (laser diffraction and particle imaging) to characterize spray nozzles under various operating conditions, we can measure:
  • Flow rate
  • Droplet size distribution
  • Droplet velocities
  • Spray angles
  • Flux distribution
 
Our nozzle physics laboratory can handle active ingredients enabling the effect of product or formulation on nozzle performance to be studied and quantified.
ANALYTICAL LABORATORY
The analytical capabilities compliment other activities offering timely feedback of data to inform experimental decisions. The fate of released liquid chemicals or dry materials can be tracked using appropriate sampling strategies to capture airborne droplets, ground deposit or underground movement in soil. These are then extracted from a variety of sample types and quantified by:
  • UV visible Spectrophotometry
  • Spectrofluorimetry
  • Liquid chromatography with diode array detection
  • Atomic Absorption spectrophotometry
  • Gravimetric determination
  • Microbiology
 
Other laboratory investigations applying either recognised methods or developing new novel techniques include:
  • Formulation effects during handling as neat or dilute products
  • Droplet spread on foliage Leaf area index
  • Plant uptake studies
  • Soil classification
  • Cereal germination, bulk density and 1000 seed weight
  • Meteorological data capture and interpretation
SPRAY DRIFT MODELLING
The Silsoe Spray Drift Model for boom sprayers available for investigating in a cost-effective way the potential effects of various parameters on exposures as part of a risk assessment:
  • Nozzle design, and spray characteristics;
  • Environmental parameters, such as wind speed;
  • Sprayer operating conditions, such as boom height and forward speed.
 
The model can be adapted to simulate other similar situations, and has been used to simulate dust release, knapsack spraying and high-speed railway spraying.
For further information about contract tests we can undertake, visit the R&D Services pages