Plastics Used in Drip Irrigation System

Polyethylene pipe, 1/2 or 1/3 inch in diameter with emitter devices inserted in the line in accordance with the plant spacing is used. A simple emitter consists of a heavy walled length of diameter tubing (0.036 inch ID), which is inserted into a punch hole in the PE pipe. The length of tubing that is inserted in the downstream direction determines the rate of flow of water. These lengths may be from 24 to 48 inches.

Another type of perforated wall type of drip irrigation was pioneered by Chapin Watermatics of Watertown, New York. Plastics including HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE are used in these applications.

About 2 million hectares are under irrigation with low-diameter pipe made of LDPE/LLDPE in Europe. Higher diameter (>32 mm) tubes are usually made in HDPE or PVC. Western Europe used 100,000 tonnes of rigid PVC pipe for drainage and 65,000 tonnes/year of flexible PVC hose piping [45]. Apart from these materials, corrugated PP pipes, fittings, and accessories are also used worldwide.

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