Reducing PM Measurement Variability by Controlling Static Charge 2005-01-0193
PM (Particulate Matter) emitted by vehicles and engines is most often measured quantitatively by collecting diluted exhaust samples on filters that are weighed pre-and post-test. Static charge that builds on filters from handling can dramatically influence the measurement results, especially at low PM levels such as those produced when testing typical gasoline-powered vehicles or diesel-powered vehicles employing DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) technology. It was found that proper grounding of equipment, furniture, and floor was insufficient to mitigate the effects of static electricity when using the traditional method of weighing from a glass Petri dish in the presence of an ionizing bar. A stainless steel EDP (Electrostatic Discharge Platform), using commercially available ionizing bars, was developed and proven to successfully reduce filter measurement variability when weighing PTFE membrane filters on a 0.1 microgram balance. This paper reports hardware design, measurements, and comparative results quantifying the variability reduction achieved with the use of the Electrostatic Discharge Platform in a weigh room under tightly controlled conditions.