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Rotational and translation-free polishing of granite: surface quality and dust particles emission and dispersion

Abstract

Reducing workers’ exposure to crystalline silica dust is currently a major challenge for granite manufacturing industries. In North America, occupational health regulations are becoming increasingly severe and demanding with respect to quartz dust particle exposure among workers. Of all granite transformation processes, dust control during polishing is the most difficult to realize. During the process, the rotary motion of the tool influences the dust particles, making it harder to capture them. This paper aims to investigate the surface quality, as well as fine particles (FP) and ultrafine particles (UFP) emission and dispersion during dry, rotational and translation-free granite polishing. This research was intended to gather data that could be used to validate dust dispersion simulation results when polishing granite. It was found that workers remain exposed to high concentrations of FP and UFP during this polishing process. In addition, dust particles were found to uniformly contaminate the workspace.

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Acknowledgments

This research work is part of a global project on polishing granite (REF 2010-0047) funded by the Institut de Recherche Robert-Sauvé en Santé et Sécurité du Travail (IRSST) entitled ‘Caractérisation et contrôle de la poussière de silice émise par l’opération de polissage à sec et humide dans le secteur de la transformation du granit et autres matériaux contenant du quartz’. The authors also acknowledge A. Lacroix granit (Saint-Boniface, QC, Canada) for donating samples used for experiments.

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Correspondence to V. Songmene.

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Saidi, M.N., Songmene, V., Kouam, J. et al. Rotational and translation-free polishing of granite: surface quality and dust particles emission and dispersion. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 98, 289–303 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-018-2247-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-018-2247-8

Keywords

  • Rotational granite polishing
  • Surface quality
  • Fine dust particles
  • Ultrafine dust particles
  • Emission and dispersion
  • Statistical analysis