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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Study of airborne particle generated by free falling powder

Marjorie JACQUELIN, doctorate thesis of the Science faculty (faculté des sciences) of Créteil of Paris XII – Val de Marne University; Fields: universe and environment sciences (sciences de l’univers et de l’environnement) - Aerosols physics; 280p, defended on the 18th October 2007

Summary

This study comes within the general framework of industrial facilities’ safety research. Indeed, industrial processes, notably in the nuclear field, handle hazardous materials in powder form and can produce large quantities of fugitive dust. The study of the particles resuspension from powders is of interest of first order in order to estimate the consequences of this source term of contamination on the operator, the neighbouring installations and, if necessary, the environment.

Up to now, there are very few reliable data in the scientific literature on the particulate emission in case of a scenario with an accidental free fall spill of powder. The powder dustiness evaluation is carried out using coefficients obtained in experiments, or using empirical correlations.

The objective of the present work is to study the influence of some parameters involved in the airborne particles production by a free fall of powder. For that purpose, experiments are carried out in order to study the influence of parameters such as the type of dischargement, the powder nature, the type of surface on which occurs the powder impaction , the system diameter used for discharge, and the falling mass.

The results of mass fractions and number concentrations obtained highlighted the dominating parameters according to the type of discharge employed. Thereafter, the comparisons between our results and the empirical correlations available in the literature showed that those led to an undervaluation of the powder dustiness. This thus led us to develop, starting from the whole of experimental data, empirical correlations taking into account the various parameters studied as well as the interactions.


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