Machine Design

Scanning for Ideas: High-Tech Sprinkler for Lawn Care

The goal of the 5000 Plus Series of rotors or sprinkler heads from Rain Bird, San Diego (rainbird.com), is to keep customers’ lawns “greener using less water.”

The rotor uses water pressure — from 25 to 65 psi — to raise itself from being flush with the lawn to its full height, which can be from 4 to 12 in. It sends water from 25 to 50 ft, and range can be reduced by 25% without changing nozzles. It can be adjusted to mimic precipitation rates of 0.2 to 1.01 in./hr, which translates to 0.73 to 9.63 gpm. The rotor can cover from 40 to 360° and is said to get more range for the given water flow than any other sprinkler.

Inside the rotor, pathways for water are designed to minimize pressure losses and reinforced for sideload strength. O-rings and seals provide protection despite “gritty” water. And a pressure-activated wiper seal that is part of the rotor’s turret keeps out debris while ensuring positive rotor pop-up and retraction.

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