ILVO’s Spray Tech Lab is one of the only accredited spray technology laboratories in the world specialised in the characterisation of sprayers and spray nozzles. Apart from the accredited tests, the laboratory has the experimental facilities to develop spray application systems and to evaluate them in field or laboratory conditions. Recent examples include a PDPA laser-based measuring set-up for the characterisation of spray droplets and a fully automated spray unit.
Current research priorities are greenhouse spray applications, spray drift, spray nozzle characterisation, orchard spray spray applications and the application of biological plant protection products. ILVO’s Spray Tech Group has a team with established experience in spray application technology and is responsible for the mandatory inspection of sprayers in Flanders.
The Spray Tech Lab is since spring 2002 BELAC-accredited (Certificate 197-T–ISO 17 025). This accreditation covers four specific tests concerning spray equipment, namely
- Determination of the spray distribution of a spray boom under standardised conditions (working pressure, angle, height) (ISO 5682-2)
- Determination of the spray distribution of a set of nozzles under standardised conditions (working pressure, angle, height) (ISO 5682-2)
- Determination of the spray distribution of an individual nozzle or a short spray boom (up to 3 m) in function of working pressure, offset angle and working height (ISO 5682-1)
- Determination of the flow rate of an individual nozzle or a set of nozzles in function of the working pressure (ISO 5682-1)
The laboratory performs these (accredited) tests on the one hand to support research projects and on the other hand to serve external customers: manufacturers of spray equipment and accessories, scientific institutes, governmental bodies, plant protection companies, etc.