Title: Evaluation of occupational exposure to aerosol emitted from die sinking electrical discharge machining process

Authors: Jose Mathew, S.P. Sivapirakasam, M. Surianarayanan

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli – 620015, India. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli – 620015, India. ' Cell for Industrial Safety and Risk Analysis, Central Leather Research Institute, Adyar, Chennai, India

Abstract: Emission of toxic gases and aerosols is a critical occupational threat in the die sinking Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) process. The present study is focused on the concentration of aerosols in the breathing zone of the EDM operator at various process parameters. Peak current, pulse duration, dielectric level and flushing pressure were the process parameters considered in this study, and the experiments were planned using a statistical tool known as Design of Experiment (DoE). The results of the experimental investigation indicated that the concentration of aerosol exceeded the Threshold Limit Values (TLV) specified by ACGIH for respirable particulates at higher values of peak current and pulse duration. The results obtained using DoE were helpful in correlating the characteristics of each variable of the process with the concentration of aerosol. The control measures to reduce the risk of aerosol exposure are also discussed in the paper.

Keywords: aerosols; occupational exposure assessment; gravimetric analysis; respirable dust; die sinking EDM; electrical discharge machining; electro-discharge machining; green manufacturing; kerosene; TLV; threshold limit values; DoE; design of experiments; Box–Behnken design; breathing zone; occupational health; peak current; pulse duration; dielectric level; flushing pressure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2010.033031

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2010 Vol.4 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Published online: 06 May 2010 *

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