Mechanical 12 - Silica Analyzer

Student Team: Brett Bollier, Tim Nicholes, Thomas Grant
Advisor: Dr. Rob Gerlick
Sponsoring Organization: NIOSH
Liaison: Dr. Arthur Miller

The purpose of the Silica Analyzer project is to prove the viability of using a single wavelength of IR radiation (SWIR) for measuring the mass of silica particles deposited onto PVC filters. Coal miners have the highest risk of developing silica related respiratory diseases; thus the reason for a simple silica detection device. The main focus is to prove the efficacy of a SWIR system and provide a solid foundation of knowledge so that a prototype may be developed in future years. This project is a purely research based utilizing student designed/built testing apparatus and testing procedure in order to determine whether or not it is possible to produce meaningful reading from an IR beam passing through a semi-solid medium. It is our hope that the findings from this research can save future lives in the mining industry.


502 E. Boone Avenue
Spokane, WA 99258-0026
Phone: (509) 313-3523
Fax: (509) 313-5871

Dr. Stephen E. Silliman
Phone: (509) 313-3522