NEW REAL TIME TECHNIQUE FOR VISUALIZATION AND COUNTING OF FINE AIRBORNE PARTICLES
Keywords:Cleanroom, Airflow Visualization, Smoke Patterns, Vectors, Contamination Control, Particle Counting, Simulation, Industrial Ventilation, Occupational Health, CFD, Validation, Qualification, Detective work
Abstract:This paper explores the potential of a new laser-sheet airborne particle visualization and counting technology that analyses the cleanliness of real space. Historically, visualization of airflow and dissemination of particles has been limited to "smoke pattern" testing and observation. Also, particle counting has been limited to sampling at specific locations, transporting the sample to an instrument for counting. A new technique, has been developed (1) to investigate particle generation, dissemination, and concentration (counting) using a laser light sheet and image visualization and analysis. The technology was
developed initially to observe equipment generated particles in order to prevent damage to products and processes. The technology is now well developed, and can be used to visualize actual contamination events,
visualize airflow using a seeded particle source, and most interestingly count particles in real-time as they pass through a critical process plane. This paper explores the science of this novel technique, discusses
examples of its application, and explores the potential benefits for design and monitoring of critically controlled clean process environments.
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