3 Offline, Drip Irrigation QA Tests that Save Money, Time & Improve Quality

Joey MezistranoPipe Extrusion

In order to provide consistent and quality drip irrigation piping to your customers, there are three major quality assurance tests that can improve pipe quality while saving you time and money. These tests are; dripper flow, PE pipe carbon black content, and max burst pressure.

In this article we will explore the advantages of in-house vs outsourcing quality control tests, and outline the three methods for checking these critical drip irrigation pipe quality indicators.

Advantages of In-House Quality Control
Effective Communication

Miscommunication is a fairly common issue when utilizing the services of external Quality Control (QC) services. Companies outsourcing their QC work often cite communication breakdowns, as a key problem in their production workflow. In-house QC guarantees fast and effective communication between quality assurance and production teams.

Agility & Quick Reaction

In case of an out-of-spec QC result, nothing can beat the quick reaction of an in-house quality control team. Instead of having to go through the hurdles of contacting a partnering QC service, keeping your quality control in-house grants you the ability to make decisions on-the-fly.

Rapid Testing Iterations

With in-house QC, you can develop an efficient workflow for testing new plastic pellet materials, be it from a new more affordable vendor, or even reground recycled material for use with a three layer die head. Having in-house QC radically speeds up the whole process, ensures only quality product is produced and cuts down on additional costs in the long run.

Dripper Flow Test

The flow testing of drip irrigation pipe is a process that is dictated by the quality procedures of the ISO 9261 standard, which gives mechanical and functional requirements for agricultural irrigation emitters and emitting pipes.

DRTS offers a dripper flow tester that can check and record up to 30 different pressures of up to ten drippers simultaneously while providing an accurate report of flow rates and statistical analysis within minutes. This testing machine can work for a wide range of testing parameters such as: pipe diameters, test pressures, and flow capacities. It is available with 5 or 10 weighing stations and can be used for both inline and online drippers.

Carbon Black Test
What is carbon black & why is it important?

Carbon black is a form of paracrystalline carbon, mainly used as a reinforcing filler or pigment in various plastics products. It is important because when plastics are compounded with carbon black, their tensile strength, wear resistance, and uv resistance is improved leading to longer pipe life and function.

Determining the carbon black content in PE pipes and fittings is usually done through a pyrolysis procedure testing, as described in the ISO 6964 and ASTM D1603 quality standards. The test is often used as a quality control measurement for black polyolefins, such as the black PE drip irrigation pipe, and requires a bit of laboratory equipment, such as a tube or muffle furnace, an analytical balance, and a flow meter.

In short, a sample of PE plastic of known weight is placed into a pre-weighed combustion container. The container undergoes a series of specialized pyrolysis steps, after which it is weighed again. The percentage of weight difference shows the carbon black content of the PE sample in question, which can then be assessed as an either acceptable or out-of-spec result.

Drip Irrigation Pipe Burst Test

The burst testing of drip irrigation pipe is a process that is overseen by the quality procedures of the ASTM D1599 standard, which provides a test method for the resistance to short-time hydraulic pressure of plastic pipe-tubing. A specified PE tube length is mounted onto a specialized testing device from both ends. The device then fills the pipe sample with water at an increasing rate of pressure. The pipe sample will then eventually burst at a specific pressure point, which is afterwards assessed as an acceptable or out-of-spec result.

DRTS Drip Irrigation QA Testing Machines

The use of quality control techniques allows the evaluation of the irrigation system capacity to maintain satisfactory levels of uniformity. DRTS can help supply you with quality drip irrigation pipe testing equipment to help ensure you only produce high quality drip irrigation piping. Contacts us for a free consultation.

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