Round vs Flat Drip Emitters: Which Type Is Right for My Business

Joey MezistranoMachinery & Equipments, Pipe Extrusion

flat vs round drippers

Many new manufacturer of drip irrigation pipe will be forced to decide between producing one of two main types of drip irrigation piping, round vs. flat drippers. The broad range and many advantages of micro irrigation has resulted in the development of various types of drip irrigation. This article focuses specifically on two types of drip irrigation, round drip pipe and flat drip tape. We take an overview into each type, analyze their characteristics, and go over how to select the type most suitable to your business.

Round Drip Irrigation Pipe
An Overview of Round Drip Irrigation Pipe

Round drip irrigation pipe is the most common type of micro irrigation pipe used. This thick walled, semi flexible tube is produced from Polyethylene (PE) in a continuous extrusion process and is sold in coils of long length. On the inside of the pipe, cylindrical shaped inline drip emitters such as the DRTS Monsoon round dripper, are inserted in fixed spaces corresponding to the distance of the crops plants.

Round Drip Irrigation Pipe Characteristics

PE drip irrigation pipe features excellent stability, long lasting performance, and offers multiple advantages for micro irrigation applications. Firstly, round drip irrigation pipe can accommodate almost any type of dripper, such as anti-clog, pressure compensating, anti-siphon, and non-drain. Moreover, it’s relative rigidity and durability make it suitable for use in subsurface drip irrigation applications. Lastly round drip irrigation pipe can last for many years, depending on the application’s conditions and the type of drippers used.

Flat Drip Irrigation Tape
What Is Flat Drip Irrigation Pipe?

Flat drip tape is a type of thin walled micro irrigation flat tubing, that serves as a low cost alternative of round drip pipe. Due to its shape, flat shaped inline drippers such as the DRTS Centra dripper, are inserted on the inside of drip tape. As with round drip pipe, drip tape is also produced in a continuous extrusion process and contains inline drippers in fixed spaces along the length of the tape.

Flat Drip Tape Characteristics

Drip tape can also accommodate both plain constant flow drippers, as well as the more specialized types mentioned in drip irrigation pipe. But that’s where the similarities between the two types, end. Compared to drip pipe, drip tape is a low cost micro irrigation proposition, as it uses a lot less material to manufacture, thus resulting in a much more affordable product. However, this affordability does come at a disadvantage since drip tape is a product for seasonal use and requires replacement each farming season.

Choosing Round vs Flat Types of Drip Irrigation

Choosing between the two types of drip irrigation, requires knowing the specifics of both the farming application, as well as budget planning. For example due to its characteristics, flat drip tape offers an excellent alternative for farmers looking for a low cost option to take advantage of the benefits, or wanting to simply test micro irrigation. In these cases, installing drip tape could make more economic and practical sense, compared to round drip pipe.

On the other hand, in the case of large farming fields with ongoing farming operations, the slightly higher upfront installation cost of round drip pipe can be quickly amortized. More so once we factor in the installation costs, the use of round drip pipe clearly becomes the best solution in those cases.

So if you want to try micro irrigation, require micro irrigation for just one season, or budget micro irrigation year by year, then drip tape is your best option. If you’re after a more permanent micro irrigation installation, looking to amortize its cost over a certain period of years, then round drip pipe is certainly the way to go.

Getting Help From the Experts

Get help with the details and specifics of each drip irrigation type and ensure selecting the best choice for your business. DRTS has over 35 years of experience in helping new and existing manufacturers produce quality drip irrigation pipe. Schedule a call with a DRTS expert to receive a free consultation focused on your needs and tailored to your budget.

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