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Research and development of a tecnology capable of installing corrugated drainage pipes underground without trench opening

Grant number: 20/00856-6
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: February 01, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical Engineering Design
Principal researcher:Henrique Frossard
Grantee:Henrique Frossard
Company:Techduto Indústria e Comércio de Máquinas e Artefatos de Plásticos Ltda
CNAE: Atividades de apoio à agricultura
Fabricação de máquinas e equipamentos para a agricultura e pecuária, exceto para irrigação
City: São José dos Campos
Assoc. researchers:Saulo Frossard


According to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), in 2019 Brazilian Agribusiness grew 1.4% and the projection for 2020 is to continue growing between 3.2% and 3.7%. In addition, historically Agribusiness is responsible for about 20% of national GDP (Agencia Brasil, 2020). One of the most important aspects that impact efficiency in agriculture is soil moisture control, which can be obtained with the help of underground drainage. It is important to highlight that several sources (CLIMATEMPO, 2020) report flooding in plantations that resulted in losses of several crops in 2019. One of the most useful and employed solutions for agricultural and urban drainage is the corrugated drainage pipe, installed underground, which is capable to withstand surface stresses such agricultural machines weight, for example, and is inert to chemical reaction and non-toxic. Techduto customers had flooded land prior to the application of the underground drains, which brought many costs, such as jammed machines, long time waiting for the land to dry, washing the soil and others. However, after the application of underground drains, excess moisture was quickly drained, recovering soil usability within a few days. The most common problems that comes with using this type of product are clogging caused by soil particles that end up being deposited inside the ducts. Historically, to solve this problem, drainage ducts have been enveloped with various filter media, such as geotextile blanket and gravel in ditches. However, this solution is expensive and time consuming, making it practically unfeasible for use in agriculture. Because of this, Techduto has developed a special corrugated drainage pipe, with holes cut in such a way that they act as small valves and only open under hydraulic pressure. This means that they have no clogging problem because only liquid is absorbed through the holes and eliminates the use of any filter media. The product has been in use for 2 years, with more than 150,000m of drainage pipes installed and have being closely observed in several plantations of Mato Grosso, without any clogging and maintaining the same drainage performance since installation. While the product developed by Techduto does not require the use of filter media such as geotextile blanket and gravel, it does not completely solve the problem of installation costs because ditching is still required. Because of this, this project aims to develop an agricultural machine capable of opening the soil and installing the drainage pipe at the same time, accounting for the slope required in the installation, without the need for a backhoe to open a ditch. This machine will be attached to a tractor and will have a device for tearing the soil while depositing the pipe. As the machine opens the soil and deposits the drain, the displaced earth falls back over the drain and then closes the tear. This way, the installation time of the drains will be drastically reduced, making the process cheaper for the agricultural producer and possibly benefiting thousands of hectares of productive land. (AU)

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