The Mechanism of Clogging of Road Vehicle Combustion Air Filters by Road Dust

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Author(s) Albert K. Sunnu | Emmanuel A. Sarsah | Felix A. Uba
Pages 763-769
Volume 2
Issue 11
Date November, 2013
Keywords Air filter, engine speed, dust load, pressure drop.

Road vehicle combustion air filters utilized for the removal of dust particles from air entering the internal combustion engine for combustion are subjected to clogging. The behavior of the filter medium during blockage by road dust has been studied. We also show the effects of different dust loading rates (0.08 g/s and 0.14 g/s) on the vehicle combustion air filters; this was related to the engine performance. Three filters (two foam filters and one paper filter) of different but comparative parameters were used for the study. Inflated dust from an unpaved road (Dr. Brobbey Junction, Kotei) in Kumasi between 10 February and 17 February, 2011 was collected using four polyethylene sheets and used for the study. It was found that dust particles accumulated near the downstream side of the filter. This shows that filters get clogged first downstream and gradually moves upstream of the filter. Filtration of solid particles causes deposits to remain on the surface of the filter medium resulting in an increase of the filter’s resistance or pressure drop. It was found out that with higher dust loading rate, the pressure drop across the filter medium increases significantly and can cause clogging of the filter within a short period. We further found out that filters made of foam with longer length and smaller pore sizes have better performance characteristics. The present study will help transport yards in Ghana and in elsewhere to reconsider their routine maintenance on their vehicles especially during the Harmattan season, as maintenance schedules are only carried out based on the distance covered by their vehicles.

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