A large amount of pollutants is released from the experiments conducted in various labs and industrial areas. To ensure the safety of the workers and researchers specialized equipment is required to be installed in a laboratory. With the advancement of technology, certain types of furniture have been developed that will eliminate the hazardous substances from a laboratory and prevent contamination of samples. Cabinets, laminar airflow hoods, and chemical flow hoods have thus become a part of the modern laboratory or industry.
Laminar flow hoods ensure safety in a laboratory environment by shielding the workers from being affected with microbial, bacteriological, and biological samples. The laminar flow workstation has thus become quintessential in the chemical, biology, forensic, and pharmaceutical labs.
How Laminar Flow Hoods Operate?
By using the mechanism of unidirectional air stream, the laminar flow cabinets ensure that the lab atmosphere is free of pollutants. Most of the laminar flow hood models consist of HEPA filters that regulate the air flow. The laminar flow workstations attract pollutants and other gaseous substances released during experiments and then pass them onto the HEPA filters. The system usually consists of two filters– pre-filter and HEPA filter. The pre-filter adds an extra layer of protection by channelizing the air through a secondary blower that is then passed through the HEPA filter. The process also states that the manufactured products are also safe from hazardous substances. The laminar flow workstations are designed to prevent release of air with possible pollutants. The hood surrounds on the lateral part and maintains the positive air pressure.
Types of Laminar Flow Workstations:
There are two types of laminar flow workstations basically, horizontal and vertical. The horizontal laminar flow workstation eliminates the filtrated air horizontally through the front of the hood while the vertical laminar flow workstation releases the air vertically through the holes at the bottom of the base. Both the types are designed to release the air away from the worker such that they do not inhale or come in contact with any hazardous substance.
Advantages of Working with Laminar Flow Hoods
- The laminar flow hoods do not use extra air to clean the contaminants, rather recycles the room air. The air is collected, treated and circulated. It is an on-going process. The saturated carbon filter is usually disposed at a landfill.
- Air flow units of laminar flow hoods do not require much maintenance. The filters only need to be replaced annually but the costs are not too high.
- As the laminar air flow hoods do not have any external connections other than the power cord, it can be easily shifted from one part of the room to another. The portable workstations can be easily shifted, unlike the HVAC ducted hood system that needs to go through relocation procedures that may last for some weeks before it can be used.
- The system also consists of monitoring units that check carbon and gas filter saturation. The LCD monitor system has alarms that are set according to the ACGIH standards.
The laminar flow hood cabinets are extremely popular in laboratories and industries where a hygienic environment is a necessity. The vertical laminar flow hood is used in tissue culture and stem cell therapy processing. It is also used in data recovery, projection lens assemblies, and other clinical applications. Choosing the right kind of laminar flow workstation can be a long-term investment. This is even if they are a little over the budget. High-quality lab furniture will ensures that frequent unusually high maintenance costs are not incurred. Thus, a laminar flow hood workstation protects the workers and secures a healthy working environment.