Size-resolved characterization of particles and fibers released during abrasion of fiber-reinforced composite in a workplace influenced by ambient background sources

We demonstrate the use of high- to low-resolution microscopy and particle chemical analysis during normal vacuum and cryo-conditions to identify the nature and relative abundances of process-generated particles and fibers from sanding of a glass and carbon fiber epoxy layer-composite in a workplace influenced by both indoor and ambient background sources. The study suggests that a proper exposure characterization requires multiple techniques covering wide size ranges to reach a conclusion. Besides a rise in number concentration due to release of particles during the sanding, a significant contribution of ambient particles to the background in the production facility was observed in the sub-micron size range. Fibers are posing a dominant exposure risk in the micron size range, with carbon fibers dominating in count.

Source: Kirsten I. Kling, Marcus Levin, Alexander C.Ø. Jensen, Keld A. Jensen, Ismo K. Koponen. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, January 2016, Volume 16, No. 1, p. 11-24. 

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