SIZE DISTRIBUTION AND RATE OF PRODUCTION OF AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER GENERATED DURING METAL CUTTING

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Description

During deactivation and decommissioning activities, thermal cutting tools, such as plasma torch, laser, and gasoline torch, are used to cut metals. These activities generate fumes, smoke and particulates. These airborne species of matter, called aerosols, may be inhaled if suitable respiratory protection is not used. Inhalation of the airborne metallic aerosols has been reported to cause ill health effects, such as acute respiratory syndrome and chromosome damage in lymphocytes. In the nuclear industry, metals may be contaminated with radioactive materials. Cutting these metals, as in size reduction of gloveboxes and tanks, produces high concentrations of airborne transuranic particles. Particles of ... continued below

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38 pages

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M.A. Ebadian, Ph.D.; S.K. Dua, Ph.D., C.H.P. & Hillol Guha, Ph.D. January 1, 2001.

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Description

During deactivation and decommissioning activities, thermal cutting tools, such as plasma torch, laser, and gasoline torch, are used to cut metals. These activities generate fumes, smoke and particulates. These airborne species of matter, called aerosols, may be inhaled if suitable respiratory protection is not used. Inhalation of the airborne metallic aerosols has been reported to cause ill health effects, such as acute respiratory syndrome and chromosome damage in lymphocytes. In the nuclear industry, metals may be contaminated with radioactive materials. Cutting these metals, as in size reduction of gloveboxes and tanks, produces high concentrations of airborne transuranic particles. Particles of the respirable size range (size < 10 {micro}m) deposit in various compartments of the respiratory tract, the fraction and the site in the respiratory tract depending on the size of the particles. The dose delivered to the respiratory tract depends on the size distribution of the airborne particulates (aerosols) and their concentration and radioactivity/toxicity. The concentration of airborne particulate matter in an environment is dependent upon the rate of their production and the ventilation rate. Thus, measuring aerosol size distribution and generation rate is important for (1) the assessment of inhalation exposures of workers, (2) the selection of respiratory protection equipment, and (3) the design of appropriate filtration systems. Size distribution of the aerosols generated during cutting of different metals by plasma torch was measured. Cutting rates of different metals, rate of generation of respirable mass, as well as the fraction of the released kerf that become respirable were determined. This report presents results of these studies. Measurements of the particles generated during cutting of metal plates with a plasma arc torch revealed the presence of particles with mass median aerodynamic diameters of particles close to 0.2 {micro}m, arising from condensation of vaporized material and subsequent rapid formation of aggregates. Particles of larger size, resulting from ejection of melted material or fragments from the cutting zone, were also observed. This study presents data regarding the metal cutting rate, particle size distribution, and their generation rate, while using different cutting tools and metals. The study shows that respirable particles constitute only a small fraction of the released kerf.

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38 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00793521

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jan 2001

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  • Report No.: FG21-95EW55094--01
  • Grant Number: FG21-95EW55094
  • DOI: 10.2172/793521 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 793521
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc742913

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  • January 1, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • March 28, 2016, 9:09 p.m.

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M.A. Ebadian, Ph.D.; S.K. Dua, Ph.D., C.H.P. & Hillol Guha, Ph.D. SIZE DISTRIBUTION AND RATE OF PRODUCTION OF AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER GENERATED DURING METAL CUTTING, report, January 1, 2001; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc742913/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.