Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Hooman V. Tafreshi


The goal of this study is to further advance the state of the art in developing self-sufficient methods to predict the performance of an aerosol filter. The simulation methods developed in this study are based on first principles and consequently, they do not rely on empirical correction factors. These simulation methods can be used to predict the instantaneous collection efficiency and pressure drop of a filter under dust-loading conditions. In the current study, 3-D micro- and macroscale CFD models are developed to simulate the service life of flat-sheet and pleated filters. These CFD micro- and macroscale models are also used to quantify the effects of a fiber’s cross-sectional shape on the performance of the resulting filter. As fiber manufacturing methods are rapidly advancing, these fibers are becoming more accessible. The filtration performance of trilobal fibers is compared with their circular counterparts under dust-loading conditions. Our results show that trilobal fibers do not outperform circular ones except in very limited conditions, revealing no advantage over circular fibers.

In addition, a fast but approximate 2-D model is developed to predict the filtration performance of flat and circular pleated filters. The predictions of the model are compared with predictions from the more sophisticated CFD models, as well as with experimental work in the literature. Our 2-D model developed in this study is aimed at providing the aerosol filtration industry with a fast but fairly accurate method of designing pleated filters. With a CPU-time of practically zero, the developed model allows one to conduct a broad parameter study, altering the parameters that affect the filtration performance of pleated filters. Using this model, predictive correlations for dust-loaded pleated filters are presented. These correlations allow one to estimate the instantaneous pressure drop and collection efficiency of pleated filters effectively.


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