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Analytical method using SEM-EDS for metal elements present in particulate matter generated from stainless steel flux-cored arc welding process
Journal of Hazardous Materials  (IF10.588),  Pub Date : 2021-10-06, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127412
Nobuyuki Kato, Maromu Yamada, Jun Ojima, Mitsutoshi Takaya

Welding fumes (WFs) can cause occupational pneumonoconiosis and other diseases in workers. WFs have complex chemical composition and morphology depending on the welding conditions. The WF surface is a key factor affecting those diseases. The objective of this study was to establish an analytical method focused on characterizing individual WFs and welding slags (WSs) formed during CO2 arc welding processes for knowledge acquisition of risk assessment. Especially, the characterization was focused on the elemental distributions near the surfaces obtained using fluxing agents and size of the WFs. WFs were collected using personal samplers. After welding, WS was also collected. The fluxing elemental distribution (e.g., Bi) near the surfaces WS and WFs were analyzed through scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. As a result, some of the micron-sized spherical particles (SPs) grew by incorporating nanosized primary particles composed of other metal species. The fluxing agents formed elemental distribution patterns on the SP surface. Bi were dotted in an agglomerate. Mn amount in WS depends on Mn amount in the WFs. These results obtained through the analysis of both the WS and WF surface as well as the particle sizes will facilitate the establishment of exposure assessment models.