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SidePak Personal Aerosol Monitor AM520

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Product Details

The SidePak™ Personal Aerosol Monitor AM520 is a small, portable, battery-operated, data-logging, light-scattering laser photometer that provides real-time aerosol mass concentration readings of dusts, fumes, mists, smoke and fog within a worker breathing zone. Newly designed inlet conditioners increase the mass concentration capability and provide size fraction cut points for PM 10 , PM 4 (Respirable), PM 5 (China Respirable), PM 2.5 , PM 1 and 0.8 μm Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM). This monitor is the perfect solution for real-time, personal aerosol sampling in a variety of workplace environments, including but not limited to general industry, foundries, construction sites, chemical plants, refineries, petrochemical, power and utilities, transportation, aerospace, maritime, confined spaces and mining.

New Features 

  • Robust impactors for higher mass concentration range---MORE THAN EVER BEFORE!
  • Audible and visual alarms---THAT CAN TRULY BE SEEN AND HEARD!
  • 0.8 μm DPM impactor---THE FIRST OF ITS KIND!
  • PM 5 China respirable size fraction impactor
  • Color OLED display 

Features and Benefits

  • Real-time mass concentration measurement and data logging for "in-the-field" data analysis
  • Push button menu operation or programmable through newly improved TrakPro™ v5 Software
  • User-selectable alarm levels to alert workers to high aerosol concentrations
  • Newly designed robust impactors enable reliable size fraction measurements at higher aerosol concentrations over longer run times

Industry Applications

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Chemical
  • Construction
  • General Industry
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining
  • Petrochemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Power Generation
  • Transportation

Kits Include

  • Soft single-unit carrying case
  • 100-240VAC power supply
  • USB cable
  • Impactor kit
  • Dorr-Oliver Cyclone kit
  • DPM cyclone kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Micro USB cable
  • Zero filter
  • Sample tube
  • Calibration certificate
  • User guide
  • Quick reference card
  • 2-year warranty

Download Software

To download applicable software and/or firmware, please use the TSI Software and Firmware Selector

    Resource Center

    • Can I measure aerosol size fractions with the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      Yes . The SidePak AM520 Monitor is supplied with inlet conditioners (impactors) that allow sampling of the following cut points: PM10, PM2.5, PM1.0 and PM5 (Respirable cut point in China). Additionally, the SidePak AM520 is supplied with a 10 mm Nylon Dorr-Oliver Cyclone for respirable sampling with a 4 µm cut point. A 0.8 µm cyclone is connected to the Dorr-Oliver cyclone to measure Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) size fraction. The Dorr-Oliver Cyclone, 0.8 DPM cyclone and impactors are designed to operate at a flow rate of 1.7 L/min.
    • Can I measure respirable aerosol mass concentration with the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      Yes . The SidePak AM520 Monitor is supplied with a 10 mm Nylon Dorr-Oliver Cyclone which provides a particle size fraction cut-point of 4 µm (internationally accepted as the 50% cut-off size for respirable aerosol mass).
    • Can I use a different cyclone on the SidePak AM520 Monitor?
      Yes . The flow rate of the SidePak AM520 Monitor may need to be and can be adjusted to the rate specified with the new cyclone. The SidePak AM520 Monitor's flow rate can be adjusted between 0.7 and 1.8 L/minute. Therefore, the cyclone must operate within these flow rates.
    • Can I use the SidePak AM520 monitor outdoors?
      Yes . The SidePak AM520 Monitor has been used outdoors but it is not considered weatherproof. To clarify, it is not suitable for long-term, unattended operation in harsh environmental conditions (i.e., rain, snow, etc.).
    • Can I use the SidePak AM520 monitor to collect dust samples on a filter cassette?
      No . The SidePak AM520 Monitor is not designed to collect dust samples on a filter cassette. The pump inside this instrument is not designed to accommodate for the high pressure drops associated with aerosol buildup on filter media.
    • Does the SidePak AM520 monitor comply with the NIOSH analytical methods 0500 and 0600?
      No . NIOSH 0500 and 0600 are analytical methods for gravimetric collection and analysis of dust not otherwise categorized. The SidePak AM520 Monitor is not a gravimetric sample pump. It is a light scattering photometer that measures aerosol mass by light scattering compared to a calibration aerosol in real time.
    • Does the SidePak AM520 monitor have an audible alarm to warn workers of high dust levels?
      Yes . A 95 dB audible alarm sounds and visible red LED lights on the face of the instrument blink when the alarm level is reached.
    • How do I calibrate the SidePak AM520 monitor in the field?
      Performing a daily zero check with the included Zero Filter to ensure the instrument reads zero when no aerosol is present is the only daily calibration check required. It is very difficult to generate a known aerosol concentration for a "bump test" in the field without very sophisticated equipment. With use of multiple SidePak AM520 Monitors, running them side by side after conducting the zero check is a good way to determine functionality. If all instruments are within 20% of each other, they are all functioning properly. 
    • How do I maintain the batteries on my SidePak AM520 monitor?
      LiOn batteries must be recharged after each use.Recharge the batteries at least every 6 months when instrument is not being used.Remove the battery from the instrument for long-term storage to prevent power drain.Store batteries in a cool, dry place.
    • How do I set alarms on the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      Five preset alarm levels can be selected from the set up screen on the instrument. TrakPro™ Software can be used on a computer to set alarm levels from 0.001 to 999 mg/m 3  to be loaded into the instrument.
    • How long does it take the battery to charge?
      Battery charge time is 4 hours.
    • How often does the impactor need to be cleaned?
      The impactor should be cleaned prior to each use. Remove the impactor inlet and blow out any residue from the inlet. Use a light solvent (not water) to remove any accumulated aerosol from the impactor disk. After impactor disk is try, apply two drops of impactor oil and reinstall.
    • If the instrument range is 0 to 100 mg/m3, why can I program an alarm setting for 999 mg/m3?
      The full scale reading of the instrument can change based on the calibration factor being used. A calibration factor of 2.0 changes the maximum full scale reading to 200 mg/m 3 . Calibration factor from 0.1 to 10 can be used. A Cal Factor of 10 will extend the full scale range to 1000 mg/m 3 .
    • What are the general guidelines for making measurements in water?
      Because water is a conductive liquid, it is necessary to use probes made especially for use in such liquids. TSI offers many of its film-sensor probes with a "W" added to the model number (such as Model 1210-20W) to designate their suitability for use in conductive liquids. These probes are easily recognizable because they have a red coating applied to the exposed electrically conductive portions of the probe. This coating provides electrical insulation for all portions of the probe, leaving only the sensing element exposed to the flow. When using these probes, it is important to follow a few general guidelines:It is recommended that you use only in distilled or de-ionized water. The impurities in tap water are not consistently controlled. We have had instances in which water sensors simply could not operate in tap water in some U.S. municipalities, due to the impurities present in the water. If you are operating in a recirculating flow, be certain to have a high-purity filter upstream of the probe. Never operate a "water" probe in air. Always have the sensor completely submerged in the liquid before applying power to the sensor. In order to get the longest sensor life possible, remove the sensor from the water between measurements. Do not leave the sensor in the water overnight, for example, between tests. Be sure to turn off power to the sensor before removing it from the water. Clean the sensor periodically (as frequently as needed to keep contaminants from building up on the sensor). This can be done by simply swishing the sensor around in a beaker of isopropyl alcohol. If you are careful, you may also use a soft-bristled artist's detail brush dipped in alcohol to gently wipe contaminants from the sensor surface. Be sure that the power to the probe is OFF when performing a cleaning operation.
    • What custom calibration factor (k-factor) should I use for the aerosol I am sampling at my location?
      Factory calibration with a Photometric Calibration Factor (PCF) of 1.0 is the best starting point. The factory calibration to A1 Test Dust represents most industrial dust. A PCF of 0.38 should be used for ambient aerosol present in the urban environment. 
    • What is the battery run time for the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      The battery is a 5400 mAH Li-On battery that provides 20 hours of run time. Impactors and cold temperatures will reduce the battery run time.
    • What is the difference between the 4 µm respirable cyclone and the PM5 cyclone for china respirable dust?
      The cut points are designed to cut out 50% of the particles larger than the designated cut point. U.S. OSHA refers to respirable aerosol as having a 4 µm cut point. China defines a respirable cut point at 5 µm. The impactors work the same way by cutting out particles at 4 µm vs. 5 µm size fraction.
    • What is the effect of relative humidity (%RH) on the performance of the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      Several research studies are published that discuss the effect of humidity on photometric aerosol mass measurement. In humidity above 50%, many aerosols will swell in size. These larger aerosols scatter more light inside the photometric instrument. Often times a photometric instrument will overstate the mass of an aerosol compared to its gravimetric weight due to humid conditions. "Characterizing Indoor and Outdoor 15 Minute Average PM2.5 Concentrations in Urban Neighborhoods."  Gurumurthy Ramachandran, 1 John L. Adgate, 1 Gregory C. Pratt, 2 and Ken Sexton 1 .1 Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.2 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul, Minnesota.Aerosol Science and Technology37 :33-45(2003)
    • What is the efficiency rating for the impactors?
      See application note EXPMN-012-"SidePak AM520 and AM520i Personal Aerosol Monitor Cyclone and Impactor Penetration Efficiency Curves" for cyclone and impactor penetration efficiency curves.
    • What is the lowest priced probe available?
      TSI offers the VALUPLUS™ line of single-sensor probes at a substantial savings compared to conventional probes. Featuring the standard 50 micrometer-diameter platinum film sensor, the performance of the Model 1201 VALUPLUS probes is comparable to TSI's Model 1210 series of probes. With stainless steel needles and the probe body made of glass-filled ABS plastic, the VALUPLUS probes are disposable. It is actually more economical to simply replace the probe than to replace a broken sensor. These probes are designed to be fully compatible with standard TSI probe supports and all TSI anemometer systems. They are perfect for applications where people are first learning to use an anemometer system, and are likely to break a few sensors in the process. The VALUPLUS probes are sold in packages of six or twelve probes at a price that can reflect a 50 percent or greater savings over conventional probe prices. They also give the and peace of mind of having a spare probe immediately available.
    • What is the measurement range of the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      The mass concentration range is 0.001 to 100 mg/m³. 
    • What is the warm-up time of the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      When the SidePak AM520 Monitor is first turned on, it takes about a minute for the instrument to settle down to a stable reading. After warm-up, stable readings can be obtained in 10 to 15 seconds.
    • What logging interval should I use?
      This depends on how stable the process is you are measuring and how much data you want to collect. The SidePak AM520 Monitor takes a sample every second. Logging intervals can be set using the up and down arrows to 1 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 15 min or 30 min.For sample runs less than 1 hour, a 1 second logging average is recommended.For sample runs between 1 and 4 hours, a 1 minute logging interval is recommended.For sample runs longer than 8 hours, a 5 minute or longer logging interval is recommended.
    • What particle size does the SidePak AM520 monitor measure?
      The particle size range is 0.1 to 10 µm. 
    • What readings does the set alarm level follow?
      The alarm level is based on the readings on the display, or the time constant. A time constant is a rolling average. Setting the time constant to 30 seconds will display a rolling 30-second average on the screen that is updated with new data every second. Any alarm set will activate when the time constant reaches the alarm set point.
    • What type of device is the SidePak AM520 monitor?
      The SidePak AM520 Monitor is a light-scattering laser photometer. The sensing mechanism consists of a laser diode directed at the aerosol stream. Scattered light is collected with optics and a photo detector at 90° to the light beam. The intensity of the scattered light is a function of the particle mass concentration.
    • Why are the ends of the hot-wire sensor plated?
      There are three main reasons for plating the hot-wires: 1) Plating isolates the sensing portion from the support needles. This defines the sensing area better and reduces flow interference from the needles. 2) Plating reduces the heat conducted from the sensor to the support needles. 3) Plating results in a more uniform temperature distribution along the sensor length.

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