Investigation of the aerosols produced by a high-speed, hand-held grinder using various substrates

Anthony T. Zimmer, Andrew D. Maynard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Mechanical processes such as grinding are classically thought to form micrometer scale aerosols through abrasion and attrition. High-speed grinding has been used as the basis for testing the hypothesis that ultrafine particles do not form a substantial component of mechanically generated aerosols. A wide variety of grinding substrates were selected for evaluation to represent the broad spectrum of materials available. To characterize the particle size distribution over particle sizes ranging from 4.2 nm to 20.5 μm, the aerosol-laden air collected from an enclosed chamber was split and directed to three aerosol instruments operated in parallel. Transmission electron microscope samples of the various grinding substrates were also collected. The results demonstrate that ultrafine particles do have the potential to form a significant component of a grinding aerosol for a number of substrates. It appears that the ultrafine aerosols were formed by the following processes: (i) from within the grinding motor, (ii) from the combustion of amenable grinding substrates and (iii) from volatilization of amenable grinding materials at the grinding wheel/substrate interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-672
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Grinding
  • Particle size distribution
  • Ultrafine aerosols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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