Laboratory flow hoods, also known as laminar flow hoods, are common entities in scientific labs these days. With a broad range of hoods on offer, each flow hood comes with a specific set of benefits. While the primary purpose of a laminar flow workstation is checking the contamination of scientific samples, the equipment also plays a huge role in ensuring the accuracy of lab research, experiments and testing. In many cases, especially in microbiological labs, the experiment area is often alienated from the rest of the lab, shielding the workers against potential contaminations. At any rate, flow hoods have become a prerequisite component in kinds of scientific labs, from chemical labs to clinics. This article explores some of the essential aspects of laminar flow hoods, shedding light on the purpose and applications of these efficacious solutions.
The Purpose and Working Principles of Laboratory Flow Hoods
The most important purpose of flow hoods is to draw air across the lab to ensure maximum accuracy of results. Simply put, a laminar hood acts as a safety valve for the working area that shields the operators from contamination while working with bacteriological, microbial, and biological samples. With the objective of drawing air, most of the laminar hoods use HEPA filters to regulate the air flow. Depending on the model, the air flow may be horizontal or vertical.
The standard design of a laminar flow hood is an electrostatic filter that regulates the flow of air in the laboratory area. There’s also a provision for channelizing the pre-filtered air through a secondary blower which is routed to the HEPA filter to produce Class 100 air standards for laboratory operations. Discernibly, there are two major variants of laminar flow workstations, Class I and Class II. The classification is mostly made on the basis of the degree of protection offered by the hoods. This means the Class I category offers a fairly reasonable amount of protection to the workers. If the lab operations include working with hazardous elements, Class II is recommended.
Applications of Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods
Laminar flow hoods are seen in laboratories and workplaces which demand a hygienic working environment. Essentially, there are two major applications of these workstations, protecting the workers conducting the experiments from contaminants and shielding the experimental samples against contamination. The vertical flow hoods, which are the most common form of flow hoods, have a number of significant applications. Some of the notable applications of vertical flow hoods include:
- Tissue Culture
- Clinical applications
- Stem Cell Therapy Processing
- Data Recovery
- Projection Lens Assemblies
With the market booming with lab furniture providers, finding the right source can be quite tricky, especially when you consider complex workstations like laminar flow hoods. While there are no standard rules for selecting a furniture line, factors like the design of the workstation, the nature operations, materials, the quality of HEPA filters can help buyers make a valuable investment. Since flow hoods are a long-term investment, it is essential to consider all the essential parameters before finalizing the decision. After all, nothing matters more than the health and security of the employees and a healthy working environment is the key to great research work.