Two different air filter test methodologies are discussed and compared for challenges in the nano-sized particle range of 10-400 nm. Included in the discussion are test procedure development, factors affecting variability and comparisons between results from the tests. One test system which gives a discrete penetration for a given particle size is the TSI 8160 Automated Filter tester (updated and commercially available now as the TSI 3160) manufactured by the TSI, Inc., Shoreview, MN. Another filter test system was developed utilizing a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) to sample the particle size distributions downstream and upstream of an air filter to obtain a continuous percent filter penetration versus particle size curve. Filtration test results are shown for fiberglass filter paper of intermediate filtration efficiency. Test variables affecting the results of the TSI 8160 for NaCl and dioctyl phthalate (DOP) particles are discussed, including condensation particle counter stability and the sizing of the selected particle challenges. Filter testing using a TSI 3936 SMPS sampling upstream and downstream of a filter is also shown with a discussion of test variables and the need for proper SMPS volume purging and filter penetration correction procedure. For both tests, the penetration versus particle size curves for the filter media studied follow the theoretical Brownian capture model of decreasing penetration with decreasing particle diameter down to 10 nm with no deviation. From these findings, the authors can say with reasonable confidence that there is no evidence of particle thermal rebound in the size range.
- Condensation particle counters
- Differential mobility analyzer (DMA)
- Filter test
- Occupational health
- Scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS)