There are two main types oflaminar flow hood design– Vertical Laminar Flow and Horizontal Laminar Flow.Laminar flow benches use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration system to clean the air. Commonly used in medical research laboratories,laminar flow benchesare used to prevent contamination by reducing airborne dust, dirt, and particulates.
Deciding whichflow hood designis best for your workspace, will depend on the level of protection required for the user, sample, and environment. The choice will also be determined by the specific needs and requirements of the workplace.
Vertical Laminar Flow HoodDesign
Vertical laminar flow hoods direct HEPA-filtered air down towards the workbench. Air then exits through holes in the surface or through an opening in the front of the enclosure.
The downward airflow and a protective sash help to limit exposure to contaminants. Since contaminants are pushed downwards, the vertical airflow also reduces cross-contamination. There is also less air obstruction, and therefore less turbulence when working with larger objects.
The vertical design also helps when there is limited space. Since the fan and filters are located at the top, this model requires less floor space and can be installed onto standard workbenches. This design also provides a taller workspace inside the flow hood.
Vertical flow hoods are taller and may not fit the space requirements of some laboratories. Workspace depth is also limited. The added height also makes it more difficult to change filters. A step-ladder will most likely be required.
The vertical airflow can make it difficult to place hands or items on top of other items since this obstructs the downward airflow. Vertical airflow can also create a turbulent effect as the air hits the work surface.
Vertical flow hoods should not be used when working with infectious biological materials, pathogens, or highly toxic chemicals.
HorizontalLaminar Flow Hood Design
The horizontallaminar flow benchdirects HEPA-filtered air horizontally, from back to front, across the work surface, and then out towards the worker.
Horizontal airflow ensures a higher level of protection for lab samples from airborne particulates. A horizontal flow also reduces turbulence on the work surface.
The horizontalflow hood designalso provides a workspace with greater depth. It’s also easier to work with equipment since there is no protective sash between the worker and the workspace.
Airflow is blown towards the worker’s face. Workers can, therefore, be exposed to contaminants.
The filter and fan unit is located at the back of the hood. The increased rear clearance requires a deeper workbench along with additional floor space. The whole unit will need to be moved in order to change the filter.
The horizontal airflow can also be disrupted when working with larger objects. It’s, therefore, best suited to tasks that involve small utensils and equipment. The direction of airflow may also result in the contamination of downstream samples.
Horizontal flow hoods should not be used when working with infectious biological materials, pathogens, or highly toxic chemicals.
RDM offers a wide variety offactory direct,quality designedlaminar flow hood types. All products areproudly manufactured in the USA. For more information about RDM’s Laminar Flow Benchesclickhere.