Polymers have become increasingly popular in agriculture during the last 25 years, particularly in irrigation, greenhouses, and mulching.
Plastics and polymers have played a key influence in expanding the market size for pressure irrigation (Sprinklers/drip) since the products created are more easily accepted by farmers.
In the year 1930, the first impact sprinkler was designed in metal, although acetyl sprinklers (plastic) have grown increasingly popular in recent decades.
Similarly, the sprinkler pipes which used to be of aluminum have been replaced by pipes made of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) and now its market share is more than 85% especially in Asia & Europe. In Drip irrigation, the main pipes used are PVC whereas lateral pipes are of plastic polymers like LDPE & LLDPE.
The sprinkler with a 3/4″ inlet is the most common sprinkler used in agriculture. It can be used both with portable sprinkler sets as well as permanent irrigation systems.
Disadvantages Of The Sprinklers Made With Brass/Gunmetal For The Farmers
- Corrosion due to poor quality of water
- Prone to theft, being used in open fields
- Fertigation not possible as it leads to corrosion of metallic sprinkler
- Nozzles are threaded tightened on sprinklers, need tools to change the nozzle
or even to remove debris stuck in its aperture
- Abrasion caused by sand particles in water, particularly in bore-wells, causes nozzles to grow in size after 1-2 years of operation. This leads to inequitable& poor water distribution
- The cost of sprinklers has increased due to the growing use of metals, particularly brass/gunmetal
- As water levels in the good decline, the operating pressure of sprinklers decreases, affecting the uniformity and droplet size of brass sprinklers. For optimal uniformity and coverage diameter, a brass sprinkler requires at least 2kg/ cm²(2 bar) pressure at the nozzle
Farmers are constantly under pressure to increase yields and quality per unit area of crop grown.As a result, the production equipment they use must be both cost-effective and long-lasting. Plastics in agriculture would help to enhance the use and adoption of new technology and also make them more affordable.
The above issues lead to the invention of Plastic Sprinkler which in India was launched by the name of “Saaras”. For nearly 18 years, it had been a ground-breaking innovation in the micro irrigation category, benefiting millions of Indian farmers.
Key Features Incorporated Into Saaras Plastic Sprinkler
- Corrosion and weather-resistant engineered plastic is used in its construction
- The components are exceptionally precise because of the usage of the excellent quality of molds and cutting-edge injection molding technology
- Quite economical as compared to brass sprinkler and almost 50-60% as compared to metallic
- Due to the plastic and black colour, there are no theft issues
- Fertigation is possible, and unlike metallic sprinklers, there is no risk of corrosion
- Bayonet Nozzles: Nozzles can be removed and reinstalled easily by hand hence no tool is required
- Bayonet nozzles come in a variety of sizes, allowing farmers to customize their irrigation needs
- Nozzles are made of non-abrasive materials; nozzle sizes do not deteriorate over time, and sprinkler uniformity is maintained for many years
- Can easily operate at 1 to 1.5 kg/cm²pressure with better distribution uniformity
- It complies with Indian BIS standards and is also ISI-marked
- More appealing than a metallic sprinkler in terms of aesthetics
- Because of its light weight, it is easy to install and move
- Low cost of spare parts as compared to metallic sprinklers