Before you design an inertial separator: Measuring your dust's aerodynamic particle size
Predicting how dust particles will act in an air [or other gas] stream -- that is, their aerodynamic behavior -- is all-important for designing cyclones and venturi scrubbers. Both of these dust control units operate as inertial separators, which must be designed for a dust's aerodynamic particle size distribution to successfully separate the particles from air. After introducing some aerodynamic particle size basics, this article gives practical information on measuring your dust's aerodynamic particle size, correlating sizing results, and using the results to design your inertial separator.
Among the design data you need for engineering and operating any type of dust control equipment, one of the most important is your dust's particle size distribution. But this is also among the most difficult data to collect. Not only is it hard to remove a representative sample from your process or exhaust airstream for size analysis, you must choose the right sizing method to ensure that the final data is suitable for designing your equipment.