First let us make some basic fabric assumptions.
- It needs to be effective.
- It needs to be economical.
- It needs to be durable in your environment
These assumptions seem basic, but actually there are some subtleties which should be addressed first.
- Effectiveness. Wind fences slow the wind and control dust. These are not absolutes. Even in outer space there is a solar wind and there is dust. Clearly “effective” really means a level of control that meets some pre-set standards. These in turn are linked to environmental conditions such as base levels of dust or reference wind speeds.
- Effectiveness may also be linked to cost as in “I want the most control I can get for $X”. The reverse is “I want the least expensive option that will be Y% effective in these situations.”
Note that cost may not just be capital cost. It should include maintenance costs and it should also include the monetary value of the various benefits. The benefits might include the value of the fugitive dust, the reduced maintenance costs on plant and equipment, increased operating time and so on. To evaluate if a solution is economical one should consider all these permutations.
- For fabrics, how long does a fabric need to last to be considered durable? If the fence is a temporary fence erected for the control of construction dust, perhaps not long at all. On the other hand if it should get hit by a storm and fail, then construction could be held up until it was replaced, so durability is also a function of appropriate strength.
With these basic assumptions in place we can address the original question with a step-wise series of questions.
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