The design and evaluation of a bench scale aerosol test chamber capable of introduction of a stable, uniform aerosol concentration into quiescent air were described. Design criteria included small size, uniformity of airflow and aerosol concentration, adequate size to test respirators mounted on manikin heads, quiescent air flow (velocity less than 5 centimeters per second vertical), constant maintenance of aerosol concentration, good visibility and access, capability to control chamber pressure from slightly negative to slightly positive, and ease of use. The constructed chamber had overall dimensions of 0.6 by 0.6 by 1.5 meters and fit easily upon a standard laboratory bench. The chamber itself consisted of three sections: a top mixing section, a honeycomb flow laminator section, a 52 liter transparent plastic aerosol test section, and a bottom exhaust plenum. Uniform aerosol dispersal was achieved by means of opposed jet mixing within the top mixing section. Aerosol concentrations within the test chamber were reproducible and easily maintained to within a constant accuracy of plus or minus 15 percent. Equivalent stability (to within plus or minus five percent) was achieved using 12 and 24 micron monodisperse test particles. Chamber pressure was variable from slightly positive to slightly negative, depending upon experimental conditions. Quiescent air flow was achieved (approximately 4 centimeters per minute), making the test volume essentially equivalent to still air. No significant buildup of aerosol liquid has occurred during testing despite routine use with aerosol particles ranging from 0.1 to 12 microns in size.
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