Influence of secondary aspiration on human aspiration efficiency

K. R. Anderson, T. Renee Anthony

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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to evaluate the contribution of secondary aspiration to human aspiration efficiency estimates using a humanoid model with realistic facial features. This study applied coefficient of restitution (CoR) values for working-aged human facial skin to the facial regions on the humanoid CFD model. Aspiration efficiencies for particles ranging from 7 to 116. μm were estimated for bounce (allowing for secondary aspiration) and no-bounce (CoR=0) simulations. Fluid simulations used the standard k-epsilon turbulence model over a range of test conditions: three freestream velocities, two breathing modes (mouth and nose breathing, using constant inhalation), three breathing velocities, and five orientations relative to the oncoming wind. Laminar particle trajectory simulations were used to examine inhaled particle transport and estimate aspiration efficiencies. Aspiration efficiency for the realistic CoR simulations, for both mouth- and nose-breathing, decreased with increasing particle size, with aspiration around 50% for 116. μm particles. For the CoR=0 simulations, aspiration decreased more rapidly with increasing particle size and approached zero for 116. μm compared to realistic CoR models (differences ranged from 0% to 80% over the particle sizes and velocity conditions). Differences in aspiration efficiency were larger with increasing particle size (>52. μm) and increased with decreasing freestream velocity and decreasing breathing rate. Secondary aspiration was more important when the humanoid faced the wind, but these contributions to overall aspiration estimates decreased as the humanoid rotated through 90°. There were minimal differences in aspiration between uniform CoR values of 0.5, 0.8, 1.0 and realistic regionally-applied CoR values, indicating differences between mannequin surfaces and between mannequin and human skin will have negligible effect on aspiration for facing-the-wind orientation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-80
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aerosol Science
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Coefficient of restitution
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Human aspiration efficiency
  • Inhalability
  • Particle bounce


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