Freeze and Frost Protection with Aqueous Foam— Field Experiments

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  • 1 Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • 2 Department of Bioresource Engineering, Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

Newly formulated aqueous foam was tested in the field. The foam demonstrated the longevity necessary for practical field use. Soil temperatures beneath an insulation layer of aqueous foam were measured to determine the effectiveness of foam as soil mulch. Leaf temperature within a canopy was monitored to observe the modification of plant leaf temperature, and to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of foam applied directly to the leaf canopy. Leaves were not damaged after being covered with the foam for two weeks. The foam-protected soil was effectively insulated, and the aqueous foam proved to be an effective radiation shield against the cold night sky. Temperature differences as high as 5 °C (9 °F) were measured between the foam-covered and uncovered copper metal plates, which were used to simulate plant leaves. The foam covered plates were ≈80% as effective as the aluminum foil covered plates in reducing radiation heat transfer.

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