An experimental study of indoor and outdoor concentrations of fine particles through nonisothermal cracks

  • Lai A
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It has been shown that a substantial proportion of indoor exposure is from particles originating outdoors. Idealized cracks have been used to study penetration under laboratory settings and all previous studies assumed isothermal conditions. There can be 10?20°C difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures even in mild climate zones. This is the first study to investigate the influence of thermophoresis on the penetration of particles through cracks. A sandwich design consisting of two chambers (each 0.325 [W] ? 0.125 [L] ? 0.11 [H] m3) and a crack module was used to measure indoor-to-outdoor particle concentrations under practical indoor and outdoor conditions. An idealized aluminum smooth crack of 90 mm crack length was tested under three different pressures ranging from 4 to 8 Pa. Submicron sodium chloride particles were generated and a scanning mobility particle sizer was used to scan the concentration in outdoor and indoor chambers. To mimic summer and winter conditions in temperate climatic zones, two sets of temperature differences (indoor?outdoor) were used: +18°C and ?10°C. I/O ratio and relative difference of I/O ratio compared to the isothermal condition were calculated. Inferring from the results, it can be observed that the I/O ratios under the winter scenario are substantially higher than those under the summer and isothermal scenarios for particle sizes less than 100 nm and the influence of temperature on I/O ratios diminishes with increasing particle sizes. Copyright 2013 American Association for Aerosol Research

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  • Alvin C.K. Lai

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