TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Numerical and Experimental Study on Inertial Impactors



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-3704-2
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-3703-5
TilaJulkaistu - 19 helmikuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


One of the most important physical properties that defines the behavior of an aerosol particle is its size. Size defines to a great extent how particles behave in physical and chemical processes. Applying experimental and numerical methods, this thesis studies the fundamentals of the operation of impactors, the instruments that are used to measure the size of aerosol particles.

The first part of the thesis develops a CFD simulation approach, which is suitable for low pressure impactors and their verification. The CFD model is then used to the study parameters that affect the shape of a low pressure impactor’s collection efficiency curve. The second part focuses on the applications of these findings by introducing two new impactors: a variable nozzle area impactor (VNAI), designed for detailed study of particle behavior in collisions, and a high-resolution low-pressure cascade impactor (HRLPI), used in combination with electrical detection to measure nanoparticle size distribution.

Simulations showed that the steepness of the collection efficiency curve depends on the uniformity of the impaction conditions in the impactor jet. Conditions were defined in terms of static pressure, velocity, and particle stopping distance profiles in the cross section of the jet. Uniform impaction conditions and a steep cut-curve were achieved at a short throat, low pressure impactor stage.

In the devised VNAI impactor, particles showed very uniform impaction velocities, a fact that was used to examine the critical velocity of the rebound of spherical silver particles. The critical velocities were several orders of magnitude lower than those for micron sized particles. This may be explained by a different material pair used in the experiments and previous studies. The HRLPI was designed based on instrument response simulations to gain maximum information on aerodynamic size distribution and to guarantee robust inversion characteristics in real-time measurement. This was achieved with roughly ten stages per size decade and with slit type, short-throat nozzles.

This thesis sheds light on some still unanswered questions in impactor theory and successfully applies the theory to practise by introducing new high resolution impactors for nanoparticle research.

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