The objective of this research was to identify the influence of applied force (AF) and the compressive strength (CS) of concrete on particle exposure concentrations during concrete cutting processes. Five cutting conditions were selected with AF varied between 9.8 and 49N and CS varied between 2500 and 6000psi. For each selected cutting condition, the measured total dust concentrations (Ctot) were used to further determine the corresponding three health-related exposure concentrations of the inhalable (Cinh), thoracic (Cthor), and respirable fraction (Cres). Results show that particle size distribution was consistently in a bimodal form under all selected cutting conditions. An increase in CS resulted in an increase in coarse particle generations leading to an increase in the four measured particle exposure levels. An increase in AF resulted in an increase in exposure concentrations with a higher fraction of fine particles (i.e., Ctho and Cres) However, for particle exposure concentrations with a higher fraction of coarse particles (i.e., Ctot and Cinh), an increase in AF resulted in an initial increase, followed by a decrease in concentration. Finally, the above inferences were further confirmed through the use of fixed-effect models to determine the influence of both CS and AF on the four exposure concentrations. These results provide a reference for industries to initiate appropriate control strategies to reduce the exposure levels encountered by workers.
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