Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Industrial and Agricultural Technology

First Advisor

Steven J. Hoff

Second Advisor

Jay D. Harmon


The current filter testing standards for filter efficiency and resistance are based on the operational conditions for use in conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, while the application of filters in swine buildings have unique conditions in comparison. While testing filters for swine buildings these differences create both technical and economic burdens that could hinder proper testing. Thus, addressing such issues must be accomplished for effective filter testing programs specific to swine building applications. The major technical issue is the difference of rated filter airflow and resistance. HVAC applications are rated for much higher airflow and resistance conditions, while swine applications are lower due to equipment restrictions. While testing for filter resistance in swine applications, using a standard test duct, the uncertainty for the lower airflow is significantly higher than compared to the rated airflow uncertainty. The economic burden is due to the large number of filters needed for typical building sizes, requiring a larger representative sample for testing. To address these issues, a mobile air filter testing laboratory (MAFT), was developed for swine building applications. The airflow range is much lower than that of a standard test duct and only meant for filter resistance testing. The test duct was calibrated and validated with an ASHRAE 52.2 certified laboratory. The deployment of MAFT to a swine site allows for filters to be removed from the system, tested, then re-installed into the system reducing the overall cost of filter testing by eliminating the expense of filter replacement. Through a field study of commercial sow farms, the key factors impacting airflow reduction rates are related to the site layout and filter types. A field study comparing two pre-filtering materials (3-D vinyl screen and a fiberglass media) was completed on a site with high dust loading potential near a grain handling facility. It was found that the pre-filter materials significantly reduced the airflow reduction rate. Overall, this thesis will be of use to the swine industry by providing accurate filter resistance testing equipment and methods, as well as forming the foundational research into filter lifespan.


Copyright Owner

Benjamin Carl Smith



File Format


File Size

113 pages