Workplaces like laboratories, which are closely related to scientific research are required to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. A laboratory stores sensitive items such as biological samples; test results and often times hundreds of chemicals too. So, it’s crucial to keep it free from contamination. Many labs embrace the use of laminar flow hoods, which are used in conjunction with laboratory workstations in various laboratories for ensuring a sterile environment. Air is filtered from the germs and clean air flow is constantly circulated towards the researchers within the laboratory.
Types of Laminar Flow Hoods
Based on the way a laminar flow hood functions, it can be categorized into two types:
Vertical Laminar Flow Hood:
Vertical laminar flow hoods are placed above the workstation. Polluted air is drawn from the top of the area, and after filtering, clean air is released through the base of the hood. The lab workers and equipment are protected by these flow hoods.
Horizontal Laminar Flow Hood:
The direction of the air flow is from back to front in the horizontal laminar flow hoods. As they release clean air in the front, they ensure the protection of the test samples on the workstation. So, these flow hoods are placed on the wall in front of the workstation.
Beneficial Factors of Using Laminar Flow Hoods
With the installation of laminar flow hoods, the laboratory stays clean and contamination free. Using the HEPA filter, polluted air is cleaned, and smooth air flow is constant in the laboratory. This environment is ideal for laboratory samples and equipment as well as the researchers working there.
Laminar flow hoods do not require much maintenance after they are installed. Their filter needs to be replaced after providing a long-term service which is available in affordable price ranges. Moreover, these hoods are easy to ship to different locations, so the shipping cost is not much either.
Safety of the people working in the laboratory is assured and the samples are not compromised with laminar flow hoods. Apart from filtering the air, they have a monitoring system that is able to detect carbon filter overload and gas. Visible and audible alarms are flashed on the LCD monitor of a flow hood to alert people around it.
No extra air is required for laminar flow hoods to keep the workplace sterile. These hoods can recycle the air present in the room and continue to circulate it with the help of a carbon filter.
Laminar flow hood units do not have external connections so transporting them from one place causes no hassle and it can be done fast. More workplaces are preferring to use these flow hoods due to this easy transportability.
Various Applications of Laminar Flow Hoods
The two major purposes of laminar flow hoods are filtering the air and protecting scientific substances. Apart from laboratories, these features come in use in various industries including,
- Research regarding plants.
- Cleaning industries.
- Recovery of data.
- Clinical applications.
- Stem cell therapy.
- Designing and manufacturing projection lens.
- Tissue culture.
Mechanism and Function of Laminar Flow Hoods
- The contaminated air enters through the flow hood and gets to the filters.
- Laminar flow hoods use two types of filters; the pre-filter, and HEPA filter.
- The air is channelized through a secondary blower by the pre-filter. Thus, it is a safe process.
- After that, it is passed through the HEPA filter.
- The air is cleaned through the process, leaving the samples of the laboratory safe from pollutants.
Using either vertical or horizontal laminar flow hoods the right way ensures the positive air pressure in all scientific workplaces.