A method for the capture of small particles (tens of microns in diameter) from a continuously flowing suspension has recently been reported. This technique relies on a standing acoustic wave resonating in a rectangular chamber filled with a high-porosity mesh. Particles are retained in this chamber via a complex interaction between the acoustic field and the porous mesh. Although the mesh has a pore size two orders of magnitude larger than the particle diameter, collection efficiencies of 90% have been measured. A mathematical model has been developed to understand the experimentally observed phenomena and to be able to predict filtration performance. By examining a small region (a single fiber) of the porous mesh, the model has duplicated several experimental events such as the focusing of particles near an element of the mesh and the levitation of particles within pores. The single-fiber analysis forms the basis of modeling the overall performance of the particle filtration system. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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