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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Public Health
Division of Environmental Health Sciences

PI: Peter C. Raynor

Supercomputer Modeling of Airborne Particle Filtration

Fibrous filters are important tools for controlling exposure to potentially hazardous particles. New synthetic fibers with irregular cross-sectional shapes may improve filter performance beyond the capabilities of filters made with conventional fibers. The objective of this project is to determine how much fibers with irregular cross-sections can improve filter performance. The specific aims are to: develop flow fields for air moving past two-dimensional arrays of irregularly shaped filter fibers; model the movement of particles through the flow fields; and calculate the efficiency of particle collection by the fibers. The researchers use the computational fluid dynamics software program FIDAP on the supercomputers for this work.

This research will provide the first analysis of the possible advantages of using irregularly shaped fibers in filters. With this new information, filter manufacturers may be able to produce filters that can protect people better than is possible now. The initial project will also serve as a basis for obtaining funds to extend the research.

Group Member

Seung Won Kim, Graduate Student