skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Define and Quantify the Physics of Air Flow, Pressure Drop and Aerosol Collection in Nuclear Grade HEPA Filters

Objective: Develop a set of peer-review and verified analytical methods to adjust HEPA filter performance to different flow rates, temperatures and altitudes. Experimental testing will measure HEPA filter flow rate, pressure drop and efficiency to verify the analytical approach. Nuclear facilities utilize HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to purify air flow for workspace ventilation. However, the ASME AG-1 technical standard (Code on Nuclear Air and Gas Treatment) does not adequately describe air flow measurement units for HEPA filter systems. Specifically, the AG-1 standard does not differentiate between volumetric air flow in ACFM (actual cubic feet per minute)compared to mass flow measured in SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute). More importantly, the AG-1 standard has an overall deficiency for using HEPA filter devices at different air flow rates, temperatures, and altitudes. Technical Approach: The collection efficiency and pressure drops of 18 different HEPA filters will be measured over a range of flow rates, temperatures and altitudes. The experimental results will be compared to analytical scoping calculations. Three manufacturers have allocated six HEPA filters each for this effort. The 18 filters will be tested at two different flow rates, two different temperatures and two different altitudes. The 36 total tests willmore » be conducted at two different facilities: the ATI Test facilities (Baltimore MD) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos NM). The Radiation Protection RP-SVS group at Los Alamos has an aerosol wind tunnel that was originally designed to evaluate small air samplers. In 2010, modifications were started to convert the wind tunnel for HEPA filter testing. (Extensive changes were necessary for the required aerosol generators, HEPA test fixtures, temperature control devices and measurement capabilities.) To this date, none of these modification activities have been funded through a specific DOE or NNSA program. This is expected to require six months of time, after receipt of funding. Benefits: US DOE facilities that use HEPA filters will benefit from access to the new operational measurement methods. Uncertainty and guesswork will be removed from HEPA filter operations.« less
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY Radiation Protection; hepa, filter, aerosol