This manuscript describes the design, characterization, and operational range of a test stand and high-output aerosol generator developed to evaluate the performance of 30×30×29cm3 nuclear grade high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters under variable, highly controlled conditions. The test stand system is operable at volumetric flow rates ranging from 1.5to12standardm3min. Relative humidity levels are controllable from 5%–90% and the temperature of the aerosol stream is variable from ambient to 150°C. Test aerosols are produced through spray drying source material solutions that are introduced into a heated stainless steel evaporation chamber through an air-atomizing nozzle. Regulation of the particle size distribution of the aerosol challenge is achieved by varying source solution concentrations and through the use of a postgeneration cyclone. The aerosol generation system is unique in that it facilitates the testing of standard HEPA filters at and beyond rated media velocities by consistently providing, into a nominal flow of 7standardm3min, high mass concentrations (25mgm3) of dry aerosol streams having count mean diameters centered near the most penetrating particle size for HEPA filters (120160nm). Aerosol streams that have been generated and characterized include those derived from various concentrations of KCl, NaCl, and sucrose solutions. Additionally, a water insoluble aerosol stream in which the solid component is predominantly iron (III) has been produced. Multiple ports are available on the test stand for making simultaneous aerosol measurements upstream and downstream of the test filter. Types of filter performance related studies that can be performed using this test stand system include filter lifetime studies, filtering efficiency testing, media velocity testing, evaluations under high mass loading and high humidity conditions, and determination of the downstream particle size distributions.

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Analysis available from authors upon request.

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