Mining Publication: Particulate Penetration of Porous Foam Used as a Low Flow Rate Respirable Dust Size Classifier
Porous foam has been used as a material for classification of particulate matter into various size fractions. The penetration characteristics of a nominal 90 pores per inch porous foam were studied at various flow rates, face velocities, and foam plug diameters and compared to the aerosol penetration of a 10 mm Dorr Oliver cyclone operated at 1.7 L/min. Poly-dispersed triethanolamine spheres were classified through porous foam plugs and the resulting penetration was determined using an aerodynamic particle sizer. Results showed that for a given plug diameter, as face velocity increased from 26 to 39 cm/sec, the 50 percent cut point decreased from 4.5 to 3.8 microns. Furthermore, as the diameter of the plug increased from 4 to 12 mm, the 50 percent cut points were similar to other plug diameters at equivalent face velocities. The best match to the 1.7 L/min cyclone penetration characteristics occurred at a flow rate of 250 ml/min through a 25 mm by 4 mm diameter section of 90 pore per inch foam. Because of the need to provide short-term or real-time estimates of worker respirable dust exposure, porous foam may be a viable classification media for a low flow rate, disposable respirable dust sampler for use in the coal mining industry.