ILVO’s Spray Tech Lab is the one of the only BELAC-accredited spray technology laboratories in the world. The lab first achieved the BELAC-accreditation (Certificate 259-T ISO 17025) in the spring of 2002.
This accreditation covers four specific tests concerning spray equipment, namely:
- the flow rate of individual nozzles at a given spray pressure,
- the liquid distribution of an individual nozzle or a short spray boom (up to 3 m) at a given spray height and pressure,
- the liquid distribution of a set of nozzles mounted on a standard spray boom at a given spray pressure, height and offset angle and
- the liquid distribution of a field crop sprayer at a given spray pressure, height and offset angle.
Apart from these four accredited measuring methods, the laboratory possesses a range of measuring and test devices to characterise sprayers and/or sprayer parts. Recent examples include a PDPA laser-based measuring set-up for the characterisation of spray droplets (5), a measuring set-up for the evaluation of the spray application of biological plant protection products and a fully automated spray unit (6). Moreover, the Spray Tech Lab has experience with different types of field experiments like spray drift measurements (7), deposition tests in different crops (8), operator exposure measurements (9), etc.
The laboratory performs these (accredited) tests on the one hand to support internal research projects with respect to spray application techniques and on the other hand to serve external customers: manufacturers of spray equipment and accessories, scientific institutes, governmental bodies, plant protection companies, etc.