Characterization of a Vortex Shaking Method for Producing Airborne Glass Fibers for Toxicology Studies

B.K. Ku, G. Deye, L.A. Turkevich
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), US

Keywords: glass fiber, vortex shaking, aerodynamic diameter, length


Current fiber measurement techniques arose primarily due to health concerns over asbestos exposure. Fiber toxicity appears to be mostly a function of fiber concentration, dimensions (diameter and length) and durability in the lungs. A fiber length classifier (FLC) was used to identify the toxicity of fiber length for an in vitro study (Zeidler-Erdely et al., 2006), but an important technological barrier to toxicological testing is the inability to generate large quantities of fibers in narrow length-classified size ranges (NIOSH Asbestos Roadmap, 2011). To improve the performance of the FLC for toxicology studies, it is necessary to generate well-dispersed (or less agglomerated) airborne fibers at high concentrations to the inlet of the FLC. A vortex shaking method has been used to aerosolize fibrous particles such as carbon nanofibers and carbon nanotubes in previous studies because it is simple and easy to use (Ku et al., 2006; Maynard et al, 2007). In this study we investigate characteristics of a vortex-tube shaking method for different initial batch amounts of glass fibers. Also, the effect of pre-shaking and concentration decay with time are investigated.