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Volume 16, No. 1, January 2016, Pages 11-24 PDF(3.68 MB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2015.05.0295   

Size-Resolved Characterization of Particles and Fibers Released during Abrasion of Fiber-Reinforced Composite in a Workplace Influenced by Ambient Background Sources

Kirsten I. Kling1, Marcus Levin1,2, Alexander C.Ø. Jensen1, Keld A. Jensen1, Ismo K. Koponen1

1 National Research Centre for the Working Environment, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Department of Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark


  • Fibers were emitted from the sanding of a fiber reinforced composite.
  • Fibers were also found on samplers installed on persons, as well in far field.
  • The fibers in the respirable size range and are of glass and carbon.
  • The production site is strongly influenced by one or more ambient background sources.
  • We provide size-resolved chemical classification of emission particles and background.



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.



Keywords: Fiber mats; Particle identification; Epoxy; Production emission; HR-TEM.



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