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Partic. vol. 40 pp. 70-79 (October 2018)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2017.11.008

Particle penetration in fiber filters

Norbert Rieflera,*, Martina Ulrichb, Marko Morshäuserb, Udo Fritschinga,c

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    • Particle penetration and separation in fiber filters were analyzed by μ-CT. • Coupled DEM–CFD simulations were made for filter structures with different fiber arrangements. • Particle deposition within fiber filters was simulated employing a mesh-morphing procedure. • The simulated and experimentally evaluated penetration depths were in good agreement. • Dynamic particle penetration depth and filtration efficiency were evaluated.


Particle separation from gases is an important unit operation in manifold industrial applications, such as those conducted in environmental protection. For analysis of particle penetration and separation in fiber filters, standard dust particles (Al2O3) were loaded in the gas flow of a filter test facility and deposited within new and uncharged fiber filters. The loaded filters were analyzed by micro-computer tomography and scanning electron microscopy. Three-dimensional tomograms of the samples show an exponential decay of the penetration depth of the particles. This dependency is confirmed by simulations conducted using the discrete element method coupled with computational fluid dynamics within unloaded and loaded fiber structures. Microscale processes of particle separation at the fibers as well as the filtration efficiency and time-dependent filtering process are derived from the simulations. Local particle clustering in the filter medium and partial filter clogging are thus identified.

Graphical abstract


Particle filtration; Fiber filter; X-ray microtomography; Computational fluid dynamics–discrete element method coupling; High-fidelity simulation; Transient mesh morphing