Identification of deposited oil structures on thin porous oil mist filter media applying μ-CT imaging technique
C. Straube, J. Meyer, A. Dittler
Separations 2021, 8, 193, https://doi.org/10.3390/separations8100193 (open access)
The identification of microscale oil structures formed from deposited oil droplets on the filter front face of a coalescence filter medium is essential to understand the initial state of the coalescence filtration process. Using μ-CT imaging and a deep learning tool for segmentation, this work presents a novel approach to visualize and identify deposited oil structures as oil droplets on fibers or oil sails between adjacent fibers of different sizes, shapes and orientations. Furthermore, the local and global porosity, saturation and fiber ratios of different fiber material of the oleophilic filter medium was compared and evaluated. Especially the local and global porosity of the filter material showed great accordance. Local and global saturation as well as the fiber ratios on local and global scale had noticeable differences which can mainly be attributed to the small field of view of the μ-CT scan (350 μm on 250 μm) or the minimal resolution of approximately 1 μm. Finally, fiber diameters of the investigated filter material were analyzed, showing a good agreement with the manufacturer’s specifications. The analytical approach to visualize and analyze the deposited oil structures was the main emphasis of this work.