Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Yehia Y. Hammad, Sc.D.
Steven P. Mlynarek, Ph.D.
Rene R. Salazar, Ph.D.
Skai W. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Fluorescent Polystyrene Latex Spheres, Fluorometry, Turbulence Intensity, Velocity Profile, Wind Tunnel
Much of the aerosol research completed at the University of South Florida has revolved around evaluating industrial hygiene equipment and instrumentation in environmental chambers. Data collected during these studies has provided valuable baseline data on equipment and instrument performance under calm air conditions. A newly constructed wind tunnel now allows researchers to evaluate industrial hygiene instruments under moving air conditions. Because the wind tunnel is capable of producing wind velocities that a worker could encounter in the occupational setting, researchers may gain insight into instrument performance under simulated field conditions. Because aerosols can be introduced into the new wind tunnel testing section, researchers can also challenge industrial hygiene equipment and instrumentation with aerosols in sizes ranges that are of interest in public health.
The purpose of this dissertation research was to develop a new wind tunnel to be used for aerosol research at the University of South Florida. Three specific aims had to be met for this study to be successful. They included: (1) designing a wind tunnel based on best practice information outlined in scientific literature, (2) constructing an operable wind tunnel to be used for aerosol research, and (3) characterizing wind tunnel performance by examining the wind tunnel velocity profile, turbulence intensity, and aerosol introduction/collection. The actual wind tunnel was constructed to a length of approximately 20 feet, a height of approximately 2 feet at its tallest point, and includes an entrance filter housing, a settling chamber, a contraction, a testing section, a diffuser, an exit filter housing, a fan, and exhaust duct. All components were designed and constructed using guidelines and best practices reported in the scientific literature.
Velocity profile measurements were the first way that this wind tunnel was characterized. In order to successfully obtain measurements, the wind tunnel cross section was divided into 16 equal quadrants. Five measurements were taken for each quadrant at each wind velocity. Target wind velocities for this research were 0.5 m/s, 1.0 m/s, and 2.0 m/s. Actual average wind velocities of 0.48 m/s, 1.00 m/s, and 2.04 m/s. All were within established limits reported in the scientific literature.
Turbulence intensity measurements were the second way that this wind tunnel was characterized. In order to successfully obtain measurements, the wind tunnel cross section was divided into 16 equal quadrants. Five measurements were taken for each quadrant at each wind velocity. Wind tunnels are typically designed to have the lowest turbulence intensity possible, generally below 10%. The overall average turbulence intensities for this wind tunnel at wind velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.0 m/s, and 2.0 m/s were 9%, 10%, and 8% respectively. Overall turbulence intensity measurements were at or below 10%.
Isokinetic sampling was the final method used to characterize this wind tunnel by collecting and detecting aerosols traveling through the wind tunnel testing section. The wind tunnel was operated at wind velocities of 0.5 m/s, 1.0 m/s, and 2.0 m/s with isokinetic sampling flow rates of 15.4 L/min, 30.9 L/min, and 61.7 L/min respectively. Monodisperse fluorescent polystyrene latex spheres were used as the test aerosol because they are uniform in size and shape and can be detected by fluorometry. The Blaustein Multi-Jet Atomizer (BLAM) was used to generate monodisperse fluorescent polystyrene latex aerosol 0.5 µm and 2.0 µm particles from liquid suspensions. The Vilnius Aerosol Generator (VAG) was used to generate monodisperse fluorescent polystyrene latex aerosol of 6.0 µm and 12.0 µm particles from dry powders. Nitrogen gas was used for delivering test aerosols into the wind tunnel. Five experimental runs were completed for each particle size and wind velocity for a total of 60 experimental runs. Fluorescence was detected in all 60 samples with average mass concentrations ranging from 0.000050 ng/ml to 0.002703 ng/ml.
Based on velocity profile measurements, turbulence intensity measurements, and isokinetic sampling, the performance of University of South Florida wind tunnel was found to be excellent, indicating that it was designed and constructed appropriately. The wind tunnel can now successfully be used by researchers interested in evaluating industrial hygiene sampling equipment with aerosols ranging from 0.5 µm to 12.0 µm in moving air with velocities ranging from 0.5 m/s to 2.0 m/s.
Scholar Commons Citation
Garcia, Jason S., "Design, Construction, and Characterization of the University of South Florida Wind Tunnel" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.