Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Hooman Vahedi Tafreshi

Second Advisor

Gary C. Tepper

Third Advisor

Ramana M. Pidaparti

Fourth Advisor

P. Worth Longest

Fifth Advisor

Stephen S. Fong

Sixth Advisor

Umit Ozgur


While most filters are made of pleated fibrous media, almost all existing theories of aerosol filtration are developed for flat media placed perpendicular to the air flow. Expressions developed for flat sheet media do not provide accurate information directly useful for designing a pleated filter, and therefore, most progress made in developing pleated filters is based on empiricism. This study is aimed at establishing an enabling knowledge that allows for a better design and optimization of pleated aerosol filters. This study is focused on developing a predictive simulation method that accounts for the influence of a filter’s micro-scale geometric parameters, such as fiber orientation, as well as its macro-scale features, like pleat shape, in predicting the transient pressure drop and collection efficiency with or without the effects of dust loading. The dual-scale simulation method developed in this work is believed to be the only feasible approach for design and optimization of pleated aerosol filters with the current academic-level computational power. Our study is divided into two major tasks of micro- and macro-scale modeling. Our micro-scale studies are comprised of a series of CFD simulations conducted in virtual 2-D or 3-D fibrous geometries that resemble the internal micro-structure of a fibrous medium. These simulations are intended to isolate the effects of each micro structural parameter and study its influence on the performance of the filter medium. In detail, it is intended to propose a method to predict the performance of micro-structures with fiber size distribution. Also, the effects of micro-structural fiber orientation were investigated. Moreover, we offered methodology to predict the performance of noncircular fibers using available analytical expressions for circular fibers. It is shown that the circumscribed circle for a trilobal shaped fiber gives the best prediction for collection efficiency. In macro-scale simulations, on the other hand, the filter medium is treated as a lumped porous material with its properties obtained via micro-scale simulations. Our results showed that more number of pleats helps better performance of pleated filters, however, if the pleat channel becomes blocked by dust cake then this effect is no longer valid.


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Is Part Of

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Date of Submission

April 2012

Included in

Engineering Commons