Bon Ki Ku This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Gregory Deye1, Leonid A. Turkevich2 

1 Health Effects Laboratory Division (HELD), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA
2 Division of Field Studies & Engineering (DFSE), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA

Received: February 12, 2021
Revised: March 23, 2021
Accepted: March 25, 2021

 Copyright U.S. Government work. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Ku, B.K., Deye, G., Turkevich, L.A. (2021). Periodic Flow Purging System for Harvesting Fibers from Screens. Aerosol Air Qual. Res.


  • A flow purging system for harvesting long fibers from a mesh screen is developed.
  • Periodic backflushing purge system successfully removes fibers from the screens.
  • The purging flow system with screens can harvest long fibers from an aerosol.
  • The backflush purging with humid air can detach the longer fibers from the screen.


Fiber length is believed to be an important factor in determining various toxicological responses to asbestos and other bio-persistent fibers.  Length classification of fibers thus is crucial for toxicological assessment. Nylon mesh screens have been shown to be effective in separating fibers by length. In this note, we report development of a purging flow system for harvesting fibers from a nylon net screen, with the aim of separating airborne fibers by length. We evaluated the performance of this purging flow system by examining the lengths of glass fibers collected on a screen.  Fibers aerosolized by vortex shaking were provided to 10 µm and 20 µm mesh screens, and the fibers collected on each screen were purged periodically with a backflow. The length of the purged fibers was measured and compared to that of fibers washed from the screen. The mean length of fibers on the screen is larger than that of the fibers in the original test aerosol. The mean length of the backflow purged fibers is smaller than that of the fibers from the washed screen. The results indicate that the purging flow system with screens can harvest the longer fibers from the original aerosol.

Keywords: Glass fiber, Fiber length, Nylon mesh screens, Length separation, Purging system

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