National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Aerosol Science and Technology, 45:327–335, 2011


U.S. Government Work


A magnetic filter system has been constructed, and its performance has been investigated, to measure the magnetic property of monodisperse γ -Fe2O3 particles in the size range from 100 to 300 nm. In the system, SS 430 screens are placed in the magnetic filter element and exposed to a strong external magnetic field generated by an electric coil. The high magnetic field gradient resulted frommagnetized fine wires enhances the collection of magnetic particles in addition to the particle collection via the diffusion mechanism. The particle concentrations at the upstream and downstream of the magnetic filter element were measured by an Ultrafine Condensation Particle Counter (UCPC, TSI model 3025A). Particle penetration obtained in the experiment is a function of particle size, particle magnetic property, and wire magnetization. To retrieve the magnetic property of characterized particles from the measured penetration data, a numerical model was further developed using the finite element package COMSOL Multiphysics 3.5. In this modeling, a single mesh screen is assumed to be represented by unit cells. The flow, the magnetic fields, and particle trajectory were solved in a unit cell. The relationship between particle penetration and magnetic property can then be obtained via this model for the given particle size, aerosol flowrate, and external magnetic field strength. The numerical model was first validated by comparing the experimental penetration with the simulation results for the case of 100, 150, and 250 nm γ -Fe2O3 particles having the magnetic susceptibility characterized by Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM). The magnetic susceptibilities of other sizes from 100 to 300 nm were then derived from this model according to the measured penetration data.