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Air Pollution: Haze Particles Hard Enough To Cause Abrasive Damage On Industrial Alloys

First Posted: Oct 13, 2015 02:46 PM EDT
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Particular air pollution (haze) has a major impact on the rapid economic growth and urbanization in developing countries, thus researchers from Xi'an Jiaotong University investigated the mechanical properties of haze particles.  

The presence of haze has raised concerns worldwide since due to its impact on human health, visibility and climate change. There have been many studies on the chemical and physical properties of haze particles, but very little has been done to examine the mechanical properties of haze due to their tiny size.

By collecting representative samples, Professor Zhiwei Shan and his research team from Xi'an Jiaotong University were able to quantitatively investigate the mechanical properties of individual haze particles for the first time, according to a news release.

In their study, the researchers found that the compressive strength of a large portion of haze particles is high enough to generate abrasive damage on frequently used industrial alloys (steel and metal materials). The researchers claimed that once these particles get into the gaps of the precision parts, such as gears or pistons, (reciprocating engines, reciprocating pumpsgas compressors) they will cause significant abrasive damages and will reduce the service life of these parts.

"Considering the heavy air pollutions currently running rampant in developing countries, our findings suggest that appropriate preventive measures should be taken immediately to guard against the potential damage from haze, such as to assemble the precision parts in clean room, to seal the gap between sliding parts and to add special filter for air 'breathing' engines", Shan said.

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