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Metals 2015, 5(2), 1045-1060; doi:10.3390/met5021045

Submicron Particles during Macro- and Micro-Weldings Procedures in Industrial Indoor Environments and Health Implications for Welding Operators

1
DIT, INAIL Research Area, via IV Novembre 144, Rome I-00187, Italy
2
Rheinmetall Italia S.p.A., Rome I-00100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hugo F. Lopez
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 3 June 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
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Abstract

One of the emerging risks in the engineering and electronic industries is the exposure of workers to ultrafine particles during (micro-)welding operations, i.e., processes used for joining two metal parts heated locally, which constitute the base metal, with or without addition of another metal which is the filler metal, melted between the edges to be joined. The process is accompanied by formation of metallic fumes arising from the molten metal as well as by the emission of metal fumes of variable composition depending on the alloys welded and fused. The aim of this paper is to investigate the number, concentration and size distribution of submicron particles produced by (micro-)welding processes. Particle number size distribution is continuously measured during (micro-)welding operations by means of two instruments, i.e., Fast Mobility Particle Sizer and Nanoparticle Surface Area Monitor. The temporal variation of the particle number size distribution across the peaks evidences the strong and fast-evolving contribution of nucleation mode particles: peak values are maintained for less than 10 s. The implication of such contribution on human health is linked to the high deposition efficiency of submicronic particles in the alveolar interstitial region of the human respiratory system, where gas exchange occurs. View Full-Text
Keywords: welding; micro-welding; submicron particles; indoor; occupational; FMPS; ultrafine particles; deposition; lobar; dose welding; micro-welding; submicron particles; indoor; occupational; FMPS; ultrafine particles; deposition; lobar; dose
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Avino, P.; Manigrasso, M.; Pandolfi, P.; Tornese, C.; Settimi, D.; Paolucci, N. Submicron Particles during Macro- and Micro-Weldings Procedures in Industrial Indoor Environments and Health Implications for Welding Operators. Metals 2015, 5, 1045-1060.

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