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Insights into the evaporation characteristics of saliva droplets and aerosols: Levitation experiments and numerical modeling

Lieber, Christian; Melekidis, Stefanos; Koch, Rainer; Bauer, Hans-Jörg

Abstract (englisch):
Understanding the transmission phenomena of SARS-CoV-2 by virus-laden droplets and aerosols is of paramount importance for controlling the current COVID-19 pandemic. Detailed information about the lifetime and kinematics of airborne droplets of different size is relevant in order to evaluate hygiene measures like wearing masks but also social distancing and ventilation concepts for indoor environments. However, the evaporation process of expiratory droplets and aerosols is not fully understood. Consequently, the main objective of this study is to present evaporation characteristics of saliva droplets. An acoustic levitator is utilized in conjunction with microscopic imaging for recording the temporal evolution of the evaporation of saliva droplets under well-defined ambient conditions. Following the evaporation of the water content, a saliva droplet reaches a final size, which remains stable in the timescale of hours. By investigating numerous droplets of different size, it was found that the final droplet diameter correlates well to 20% of the initial diameter. This correlation is independent of the ambient conditions for a temperature range from 20 °C to 29 °C and a relative humidity from 6% to up to 65%. ... mehr

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaerosci.2021.105760
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Thermische Strömungsmaschinen (ITS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0021-8502, 1879-1964
KITopen-ID: 1000128343
Erschienen in Journal of aerosol science
Verlag Elsevier
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 22.01.2021
Schlagwörter droplet, acoustic levitation, evaporation, saliva, airborne transmission, COVID-19
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