The analysis and redesign of the spraycam sprayer to incorporate fibre composite pultrusions

Rackemann, Benjamin (2011) The analysis and redesign of the spraycam sprayer to incorporate fibre composite pultrusions. [USQ Project]


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The University of Southern Queensland along with other centre’s around the world are at the leading edge of fibre composite research. Many studies have been conducted into the properties and applications of fibre composite and it is the purpose of the research project to apply these findings to a real world design problem.

This project aims to analyse and redesign the current SprayCam rig. SprayCam is a selective weed spot spraying system used within the agricultural industry. This technology uses a series of cameras operating in the visual spectrum to identify the weeds within fallowed paddocks. These cameras operate solenoids which subsequently spray only the weeds and not the entire field which occurs during conventional spraying techniques. The SprayCam rig is the mechanism that supports the cameras and the other technology and allows them to operate safely and efficiently.

The current design is large and heavy for both its size and also its intended use as a selective weed spot sprayer. It is the belief that the current design overuses materials leading to an over engineered product which also increases manufacturing cost. This project contains two essential facets, the first being the analysis of the current rig design to determine the structural integrity while the second is to investigate the use of fibre composite pultrusions as a means of redesigning the spray rig wing.

In order to complete the analysis of the current SprayCam rig it was first necessary to re-produce solid models of the current wing design to create an accurate basis for finite element analysis (FEA). Considerable research was directed into the appropriate loading constraints which have been identified and discussed in full within the report to ensure the validity of the results. A thorough finite element analysis was conducted on current spray rig design which found that the original wing was indeed over engineered for its use as an agricultural sprayer. The loads which the rig could withstand were much greater than those which it will be subjected to within the field. This result shows an inefficiency of the use of materials within the wing design leading to increased manufacturing cost. Therefore a more appropriate design needs to be developed if the product is going to be competitive in the current market.

In redesigning the spray rig, investigation of all possible avenues would have required significant time and effort. With the University of Southern Queensland at the leading edge of fibre composite research, it was agreed that fibre composite pultrusions would be investigated as a means of both significantly reducing the weight of the spray rig and overcoming existing design flaws. There is currently a great deal of research conducted into the properties of fibre composite pultrusions and it is the purpose of this project to apply this research to a design situation.

Many issues including costing and joining techniques needed to be overcome so that a possible design could be completed. Through use of finite element analysis it has been shown that fibre composite pultrusions are a feasible alternative to the original steel design. Significant weight savings have been shown to be a possibility with only a minimal increase in cost.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Epaarachi, Jayantha; Hogan, Luke
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2013 03:04
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: spraycam, fibre composite pultrusions
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified
09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090905 Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4017 Mechanical engineering > 401799 Mechanical engineering not elsewhere classified
40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401304 Photogrammetry and remote sensing

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