Drip tape is a type of thin walled dripperline used in drip irrigation. The first drip tape, a product known as "Dew Hose", was developed in Watertown, New York, in the 1960s by Richard D. Chapin of Chapin Watermatics (now Jain USA) in the United States.
Drip tape is made of polyethylene and is sold flat, on reels containing several thousand feet. The wall thickness typically ranges from 4 to 25 mils (0.1–0.6 mm). Thicker walled tapes are commonly used for permanent subsurface drip irrigation and thinner walled tapes for temporary throw-away type systems in high value crops. Water exits the tape through emitters / drippers. Typical emitter spacing ranges from 6 to 24 inches (150–600 mm). In some products, the emitters are manufactured simultaneously with the tape and are actually formed as part of the product itself. In others, the emitters are manufactured separately and installed at the time of production. Some of these manufacturers claim that their product is not a tape, but a thin walled dripperline, but in popular parlance, both types of products are called tapes. Typical tape diameters are 5/8", 7/8", and 1-3/8", with the larger diameters more commonly used on permanent installations with longer runs.
Drip tape is a recyclable material and can be recycled into viable plastic resins for reuse in the plastics manufacturing industry.
Notable manufacturers of drip tape include:
- Namkyung Co., Ltd, South Korea ( www.irrigation.kr)
- Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (India, U.S., UK, South Africa)
- SEOWON Co., Ltd. (Korea, www.seowonco.com/eng)
- Grupo Chamartin (Spain)
- Netafim (Global)
- Plastro Irrigation Systems (Israel)
- Roberts Irrigation (California, U.S.)
- T-Systems International (California, U.S.)
- Toro Ag (California, U.S.)
- Valplastic USA (California, U.S.)