How Diaphragm Pumps Are Used In Florida’s Farms
By Space Coast Daily // June 21, 2022
Different pieces of equipment are needed to fulfill various industrial and farming applications. Farm tractors and pumps ensure proper irrigation and crop cultivation in the agricultural sector.
Located in the Southeastern portion of the United States, Florida is one of the food baskets in the country. The state isn’t only famous for its beaches and various agricultural products, including citrus, potatoes, peppers, and sugarcane, among many others. Dairy farms also abound in the area. Different types of pumps, such as these from KNF, are a common sight in Florida’s vast tracts of farm and dairy lands.
If you’ve been to the area, you’ve likely seen diaphragm pumps in action. These machines, also called membrane pumps or pneumatic diaphragm pumps, are often integrated into various tools used for farming and processing certain products. But what are diaphragm pumps, and how are they used on Florida’s farms? Discover the answers in this blog.
Understanding Diaphragm Pumps
There’s a wide array of pumps used in agricultural and industrial applications. If not used for extraction, pumps are often used to generate, transport, and manage different types of liquids.
Diaphragm pumps are categorized as positive displacement pumps, which operate using the principles of contraction and expansion. It works like a syringe, which uses pressure to either fill up or move fluids from the chamber and transfer them to another section, or more specifically, your veins.
A diaphragm pump works initially to suck in liquids through the vacuum created by the pumping chamber. These fluids are often positioned in the section where there’s less pressure. A one-way valve ensures that the content only flows toward and through its intended direction within one or two chambers.
Pressure is increased in the pumping chamber to push out liquids and transport them to their intended location or specific outlets. These contradictory functions of suction and delivery make one complete cycle or pumping period. Additionally, these pumps are often built to ensure that the volume sticks to the pre-set levels or remains the same regardless of the pressure applied.
How Florida’s Farms Use Diaphragm Pumps
Florida’s subtropical climate makes it conducive for cultivating multiple types of crops, from nuts, fruits and vegetables, and cotton. The state also boasts of a vibrant horticultural and dairy sector, a wood industry, and an expanding organic produce market on the side. Besides agricultural farms, other related entities such as processing, packing houses, and research facilities typically use pumps for various applications.
In the farming industry, diaphragm pumps are widely classified as low-pressure and high-pressure. Pumps with low pressure typically have up to 20 bars and are used as boom sprayers for crops grown on vast, open farms. Its bigger counterparts, which have about 50 chambers, are often utilized in products cultivated in more confined settings, including flower gardens, wineries, and olive farms.
Below are the specific uses of diaphragm pumps on Florida’s farms and other locations:
■ For administering fertilizers to crops, as mentioned in the previous sections
■ For spraying chemicals and other treatments aimed at protecting products, especially from pests
■ For delivering weed-killing solutions in Agri farms, vineyards, and orchards
Diaphragm Pumps’ Applications In The Dairy Industry
In the dairy industry, diaphragm pumps have multiple applications to ensure the integrity and cleanliness of animal produce. Florida’s Lafayette and Okeechobee counties are the state’s leading dairy producers, with each farm housing an estimated 150 to 5,000 predominantly Holstein cows. According to industry records, there are around 125,000 heads of dairy cattle in the Sunshine state, generating approximately 300 million gallons of milk annually.
Air-operated double diaphragm or AODD pumps are integrated into machines responsible for transferring raw materials, recirculating, filling, emptying drums, mixing, dosing, sampling, and processing fluids of various consistencies. Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and animal fats can’t be processed without these devices. So are other commodities like fruit purees and cream.
Other industrial applications
While common in agricultural and dairy sectors, other industries that require fluid transfer, removal, and general handling can also benefit from diaphragm pumps. Diaphragm pumps are also used in manufacturing processes that involve potentially hazardous compounds, dirty water, oils, solvents, and many other fluids.
Different processing stages in mining, electroplating, pulp and paper, ceramics, and chemical handling, also find diaphragm pumps highly valuable for liquid transfers, mold-filling, paint-spraying, and chemical dosing. Water and wastewater treatment also uses these types of pumps. Smaller pumps can be created for advanced healthcare applications with the proper technology.
Diaphragm pumps are precious in farms and related agricultural applications. They’re predominantly used in spraying chemicals and fertilizers to grow crops. The dairy industry is also relying on these pumps to process multiple products. Meanwhile, almost all industries that handle fluids, whether safe or potentially toxic, also use these devices because of their versatility.