Evaluation of Pump Pulsation in Respirable Size-Selective Sampling: Part I. Pulsation Measurements
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Evaluation of Pump Pulsation in Respirable Size-Selective Sampling: Part I. Pulsation Measurements

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  • Alternative Title:
    Ann Occup Hyg
  • Description:
    Pulsations generated by personal sampling pumps modulate the airflow through the sampling trains, thereby varying sampling efficiencies, and possibly invalidating collection or monitoring. The purpose of this study was to characterize pulsations generated by personal sampling pumps relative to a nominal flow rate at the inlet of different respirable cyclones. Experiments were conducted using a factorial combination of 13 widely used sampling pumps (11 medium and 2 high volumetric flow rate pumps having a diaphragm mechanism) and 7 cyclones [10-mm nylon also known as Dorr-Oliver (DO), Higgins-Dewell (HD), GS-1, GS-3, Aluminum, GK2.69, and FSP-10]. A hot-wire anemometer probe cemented to the inlet of each cyclone type was used to obtain pulsation readings. The three medium flow rate pump models showing the highest, a midrange, and the lowest pulsations and two high flow rate pump models for each cyclone type were tested with dust-loaded filters (0.05, 0.21, and 1.25mg) to determine the effects of filter loading on pulsations. The effects of different tubing materials and lengths on pulsations were also investigated. The fundamental frequency range was 22-110 Hz and the magnitude of pulsation as a proportion of the mean flow rate ranged from 4.4 to 73.1%. Most pump/cyclone combinations generated pulse magnitudes ≥10% (48 out of 59 combinations), while pulse shapes varied considerably. Pulsation magnitudes were not considerably different for the clean and dust-loaded filters for the DO, HD, and Aluminum cyclones, but no consistent pattern was observed for the other cyclone types. Tubing material had less effect on pulsations than tubing length; when the tubing length was 183cm, pronounced damping was observed for a pump with high pulsation (>60%) for all tested tubing materials except for the Tygon Inert tubing. The findings in this study prompted a further study to determine the possibility of shifts in cyclone sampling efficiency due to sampling pump pulsations, and those results are reported subsequently.
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