1987 - Volume #11, Issue #1, Page #32[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
LP Spray Gun Blasts Chemicals OntoPlantsA gas-powered spray gun developed in Australia and soon to be available in the U.S. can cut chemical rates as much as 75% for specialty applications.
Inventor Alan Murphy told FARM SHOW the first-of-its-kind spray gun is powered by LP-gas carried in a small backpack-transported cylinder. "The gas is at about 150 psi. A high-pressure hose transports the gas from the regulator to the gun. The gas passes through a control valve, activated by the trigger, into a chamber behind the chemical plunger. The pressure forces the plunger forward and, as the trigger is released, the gas is expelled through the control valve, out the bottom of the gun handle into the air. Springs return the plunger and the front chamber charges with chemical," explains Murphy.
What's the advantage of using LP-gas to power the sprayer versus pressurized air?
"If you filled our cylinders ù 10-in. long by 3 in. in dia. ù with air at 150 psi you would only be able to shoot 10 times. If you use LP-gas at 150 psi, you can spray more than 1,000 shots of chemical because LP is liquid at low doses, and therefore has 100 to 200 times more volume when compressed. So you only need a small cylinder to contain a large volume," says Murphy.
Gas escapes in small quantities out the base of the gun handle after each shot. "If you hold a match to it you hear only a small pop because there's so little gas used. It's very safe," notes Murphy.
In one day's spraying you would use 1 or 2 gas cylinders at 1,000 shots apiece. You can carry a chemical supply on your back, since the gun uses spray at just ? the rate of most sprayers, or shoot from a tractor or ATV-carried spray tank.
The spray gun, which has been on the market for 2 years in Australia, has caught on fast for use on specialty crops and in orchards. Murphy says it also works great to de-lice livestock as well as for foresters who use it as a dye marker when thinning trees.
"Because of the blast effect of the gun you can use much less water when spraying and get more effective control," says Murphy, who's awaiting U.S. government approval of the sprayer before he can begin North American exports. The gun sells for about $500 including gun, regulator, two gas cylinders, nozzles and spare parts kit.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ag-Murf Engineering, P.O. Box 481, 17 Siren St., Dubbo 2830 N.S.W. Australia (ph 068 82 4366).
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