Aerodynamic Size Classification of Glass Fibers.
The objective of this research was to examine a technique by which fibers may be aerodynamically classified by diameter and/or length. In this study a system for fiber preparation and generation as well as an in situ fiber classifier were constructed and evaluated. A recently developed technique, the size classification of particles by opposing jets, was modified. The research set-up consisted of (1) a vibrating bed fiber generator, which also functioned as a preselector, (2) an opposing-jet classifier equipped with electrodes and high voltage power supplies to create fiber-aligning electric fields inside the classifier and (3) an optoelectric fiber sensor to measure the concentration and length of fibers. The classified fibers were also collected on filters for the counting and dimensional analysis of the fibers. Some flow instability problems were found during the initial tests of the classifier. They were attributed to random flow fluctuations in the nozzles caused by very small perturbations upstream of the nozzles. Within a critical range of flow Reynolds numbers the flow becomes "intermittent", i.e. it alternates in time between being laminar and turbulent in a random sequence. Small disturbances upstream of the point of consideration can "trigger" the changes from laminar to turbulent flow and the initial disturbance may be "amplified", sending a turbulent flash through the flow system. The classifier performed well with test aerosols after the nozzle flowrate had been decreased to correspond to a lower and less critical Reynolds number and after some modifications had been made to smooth the flow inside the classifier inlet chambers. The cut-off of test aerosols was sharp, but the loss of particles greater than 2.5 (mu)m in aerodynamic diameter was unsatisfactorily high. The classifier was able to classify fibers by aerodynamic diameter, but not as predicted through calculations. The results were difficult to interpret because of the high loss of fibers with large or very small aerodynamic diameters. Fiber separation by diameter was far more distinct than by length.
- Pub Date:
- Physics: Atmospheric Science