What is a mobile cleanroom?

What is a mobile cleanroom?

And where are they most useful?

What is a mobile cleanroom, and where are they most likely to be used?

If we have seen anything in the last 24 months or so, it’s more dynamic and innovative expectations placed on cleanrooms. Cleanroom environments have had to adapt to a constantly evolving world with changing needs and requirements as we ourselves adapt to the requirements of a world gripped by a pandemic. 

The result has seen a massive advancement of cleanroom technology, and nowhere is this observed more than in the introduction of mobile cleanrooms to the Irish market. 

Each type of mobile cleanroom is fully configured to the needs of the end-user and the demands of the application”

What can a mobile cleanroom be used for?

If you have a need for a rapid response controlled environment or laboratory with the flexibility to move, reconfigure or place temporarily on a site then a mobile cleanroom is probably going to have an application to suit your needs. Some of the placements that we have supported have been:

 

  • Bio-safety laboratories (BSL 1, 2 & 3)
  • COVID19 testing stations (antigen or PCR) 
  • COVID19 diagnostic laboratories
  • Temporary cleanrooms (ISO 5, 6, 7 & 8)
  • Vaccine administration 
  • Rapid response laboratory / controlled environment requirements 

Box Vans

Modular Units

Shipping Containers

Box Vans: Totally mobile for rapid response

Box Vans provide modular cleanrooms and laboratories contained within the standard structure of road-ready vehicles. Typically these take the form of a 3.5 or 7.5 tonne van, but the configuration can be adapted to suit needs. The body of the vehicle receives an internal structural exoskeleton; which provides the framework for the attachment of the insulated steel-faced walls and ceiling composite panels, ensuring a rigid and roadworthy structure, with cleanable surfaces. The room can be positively or negatively pressurised with H14 filtered air supply and environmental monitoring systems can be used to track room performance. LED

lighting is provided ensuring a minimum of 500 Lux. Air con can be incorporated into the design.

Modular Buildings: Rapid placement for medium-term requirements

Modular Buildings are an ideal solution for Irish applications, and because they have offsite construction with onsite assembly; construction works are drastically reduced. These buildings allow for complete utilisation of exterior spaces and the modular nature allows for endless size or layout configurations. With this approach, we can achieve unrestricted cleanroom design, efficient M&E design and stunning internal fitouts.

Shipping Containers: Easily transportable to maximise space

Shipping containers allow for an easily transportable platform when hosting a lab or cleanroom. This solution is perfect for times where the unit needs to be moved frequently or where space is at a premium. Available as 20ft or 40ft high cube, vertical laminar flow and internal headroom of up to 2.4m, ISO5, 6, 7 & 8 as well as BSL1,2 & 3 configurations are all achievable. Temperature and humidity control, 1-ph 13-amp and 3-ph electrical power, data, compressed air and gas services, extraction, vacuum, furniture and equipment can all be accommodated and pre-installed.

If you want to know a little more about how mobile solutions might work for you, drop us a line today and chat with one of our expert team.

What is a Laminar Flow hood?

What is a Laminar Flow Hood?

And where are they used?

What is a Laminar Flow hood or cabinet, and where are they most likely to be used?

A Laminar flow hood or cabinet is a contamination-free work environment within an enclosed bench which utilises air filters and carefully circulated air to capture semiconductor wafers, biological samples, or any particle sensitive materials. The air is drawn through HEPA filters away from the operator and then blown downward in a smooth laminar flow towards the user. The aim of this airflow is to protect the sample from the user, while not protecting the user from the sample, so they are used in places where there is a need to preserve or protect the work environment. 

Laminar flow cabinets can be compared to biological safety cabinets as air is constantly circulating, but they main difference is that they circulate the air back towards the user, while in a biological safety cabinet both the user and the sample will be protected. 

Laminar flow is a physical principle that describes the movement of air in smooth, non-turbulent paths. You can imagine it like streamlined air moving gently across the surface of an area. This is the nature of the airflow in a laminar flow hood. HEPA filters will trap 99.9998% of all particles >0.12 μm in size, such as bacteria, fungi or other airborne particulates, safely trapping them within a filter pad and decontaminating the environmental air. The hood works on a basis of positive air pressure, so is contained on all sides with the front access panel being prevented from introducing contaminated air. This guarantees an ISO Class 4, particle-free working environment conform fully to BS EN ISO 14644 & BS EN 1822.

Horizontal Laminar Flow

Vertical Laminar Flow

Laminar flow is a physical principle that describes the movement of air in smooth, non-turbulent paths. You can imagine it like streamlined air moving gently across the surface of an area.”

The space-saving Cleanroom alternative?

Laminar Flow Cabinets are designed as a low-cost alternative to a Cleanroom when funding and/or space is limited and providing protection for equipment within the working area from contamination. If you need to prevent dust particles or contaminants from attaching to or contaminating parts, products, samples or materials, a laminar flow is going to be an ideal solution.

Where are Laminar Flows most commonly used?

Medical Labs: Laboratories often require sterile environments to prevent airborne contamination. 

Medical Equipment Assembly:  Laminar flow workbenches are used in the manufacturing, assembly and packaging of medical equipment and devices.

Pharmaceutical Production: Laminar flow benches are used for experiments and tests that require a contaminant-free environment in preparation for the release of a new pharmaceutical product.

Tissue Cultures: – Laminar flow benches provide a contaminant-free environment for the study of the biology of cells from multicellular organisms.

Electronic Parts Assembly: Dust and other airborne particulates may be completely imperceptible to a user, but they can spell massive issues for an electronic production line. A laminar flow cabinet can be used in both the assembly and testing processes.

Lens Assembly: Old movies are remembered for black marks from dust and particles, this simply wouldn’t be acceptable by today’s standrds. Laminar flow technology ensures this is an issue left firmly in the past.

Food Processing:  Laminar flow benches are used for small-scale food processing, packaging and testing.  

Data Recovery: – Data recovery services use laminar flow benches to assist in file recovery from hard drives, flash drives or any other type of digital device.

If you want to know a little more about how laminar flow solutions might work for you, drop us a line today and chat with one of our expert team.

Horizontal or Vertical laminar flow?

Vertical and horizontal laminar flow cabinets.

How to know which hood is right for you.

Do I need a horizontal or vertical laminar flow hood?

As one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of laboratory equipment & clean air technology, our team is asked a lot of questions relating to the equipment we supply, the safe servicing requirements, the mechanics of lab equipment, filters etc. 

One question we are asked a lot is whether a vertical or a horizontal laminar flow is going to be the right fit for a specific laboratory environment. We’ve summarised the pro’s and con’s of each so you can make an informed decision.

“A LAMINAR flow system is vital in the control of particulate contamination. Laminar airflow can be described as an entire body of airflow with steady, uniform velocity.”

What is a Laminar Flow Cabinet (Hood)?

A LAMINAR flow system is vital in the control of particulate contamination. Laminar airflow can be described as an entire body of air flow with steady, uniform velocity. 

Within a Laminar Flow Cabinet air is initially drawn through an easy-change, high-quality EU4 pre-filter to remove all gross particulate. All air then passes through the fan system, before being pushed through a H15 ULPA filter which removes 99.9998% of all particles >0.12 μm in size. 

This in turn guarantees an ISO Class 3 (FED Class 1) for Vertical Laminar Flow (VLF) and ISO Class 4 (FED Class 10) for Horizontal Laminar Flow (HLF), particle-free working environment and provide the best product protection.

The cabinet is enclosed on three sides and constant positive air pressure is maintained to prevent the intrusion of any contaminated air.

Vertical Laminar Flow

Vertical Laminar Flow: Room air (in red) enters the system from above the HEPA filter; 99.997% particle-free air (in green) is forced downward toward the work surface.

  • Greater Operator Protection.
  • Cabinet not as deep: requires less floor/worktop space.
  • Suitable for compounding sterile products.
  • Safety: air will not blow directly at operator and sash provides a barrier.
  • Top-mounted filter ensures easy access.
  • Less turbulence from air striking large objects or equipment.
  • Less cross-contamination of items positioned on the work surface.
  • Extended overhead clearance means changing filters or servicing may require a step-ladder.
  • Cannot place items or hands on top of other items as this will obstructs airflow.
  • Increased turbulent effect of air striking the work surface.

Horizontal Laminar Flow

Horizontal Laminar Flow: Room air (in red) enters the system from behind the HEPA filter; 99.997% particle-free air (in green) is forced in a back-to-front direction across the work surface.

  • Greater Product Protection.
  • Reduced turbulent effect of air striking work surface.
  • No sash: easier to work and position equipment, but air blows directly on operator.
  • Hands and gloves are generally less contaminating since they’re downstream
    of the sample.
  • Large samples obstruct laminar air flow, may contaminate downstream samples.
  • Blows fumes and/or powders in operator’s face.
Most contamination-sensitive environments require laminar flow as it forces particles in a uniform direction, from the cleanest area under the filter face to the exit area, which is generally the working aperture. This design ensures that the cleanest area will always be the upstream area closest to the filter face. Work is generally done in this clean zone, as far as possible from obstructions that create turbulence.

The market leader in clean air solutions

Vertical Laminar Flow Cabinets are often chosen because they resemble, on a small scale, the design of a Cleanroom, in which fan/filter units are typically positioned in the ceiling. By directing the laminar flow downward, Vertical Laminar Flow reinforces the effect of gravity and sweeps particles out of the enclosure, generally through a front access area. Micro-contaminants may not have substantial mass, but most particles do eventually settle on a work surface or the floor of a room, and vertical flow helps get them there faster.

If sterile or particle-sensitive processes are performed in a clean, sterile zone midway between the work surface and the filter face, a Vertical Laminar Flow Cabinet is generally acceptable. One such operation is sterile compounding, in which injectable or sterile packages are prepared above, not on, the work surface. As long as hands and other contamination sources move up and down, not sideways above a sample, sensitive materials will remain clean.

Finally, consider the effects on operators of air exiting the Laminar Flow Cabinet. Although Horizontal Laminar Flow, with air travelling from the rear of the cabinet and exiting through the front opening, may not encounter large obstructions inside the cabinet, it does eventually encounter the person performing the work. Substances, such as soldering fumes or fine powders, may be blown into the operator’s face. While this collision may not compromise the laminar flow where work is performed, it may pose a health risk. In such cases, vertical flow is preferable as it offers greater operator protection.

Do you have a question relating to Laminar Flow cabinets?

If you have a question that we didn’t cover off here, drop a comment below and we would be thrilled to add it to our next FAQs post.

Class II Biological Safety FAQs

Class II Biological Safety FAQs

Explore some of our most frequently asked questions relating to these powerful pieces of laboratory equipment.

As one of Ireland’s leading suppliers of laboratory equipment & clean air technology, our team is asked a lot of questions relating to the equipment we supply, the safe servicing requirements, the mechanics of equipment, filters etc. Our customers are passionate about the equipment they use and ensuring their teams are safe, secure and working efficiently. So we’ve summarised some of the top questions we are asked relating to Class II Biological Safety Cabinets. 

“When used properly, Class II Cabinets are highly effective in the reduction of laboratory-acquired infections and/or hazardous drug exposure, the protection of product from outside contaminants, and protection of cultures from cross-contamination”

How does the class II provide clean air to the working chamber?

Unidirectional HEPA filtered air cascades downward into the chamber; Air is drawn into the vented base, then travels up the rear wall plenum to the internal fan. Air is then discharged upstream of a full face HEPA Filter and returned to the chamber.

Because the Class II uses UV light, do I still need to use a surface decontaminate?

UV light should not be relied upon as the sole decontaminating agent. 
Surface disinfection should be performed before and after every cabinet use.

Should I leave the UV light on at all times for optimal effectiveness?

The UV light should be turned on only when no one is in the room and the Safety Sash is completely lowered. Eyes and skin should not be exposed to this harsh light. The UV light bulb loses effectiveness over time and should be replaced when intensity drops below an optimal level.

How often should I have my biological safety cabinet serviced & certified?

An annual certification recommended, although some institutions’ protocols require a more frequent schedule. If filters are changed or the unit is relocated the cabinet will require re-certification.

Where is the best location within the laboratory for a biological safety cabinet?

The ideal location is a corner area of the laboratory, away from personnel traffic, vents, doors, windows and other sources of disruptive air currents.

What does HEPA filter stand for?

HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air or sometimes High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter. Its efficiency is rated at least 99.997% efficient on particles of 0.3 microns in size.

Is it recommended to have more than one person working in a biological safety cabinet at one time?

We do not recommend more than one user working through the front access opening of any Class II Biological Safety Cabinet. A risk assessment should be performed by the individual most familiar with the product being considered for use within the cabinet.
When used properly, Class II Cabinets are highly effective in the reduction of laboratory-acquired infections and/or hazardous drug exposure, the protection of product from outside contaminants, and protection of cultures from cross-contamination.

Do you have a question relating to Class II Bio-Safety?

If you have a question that we didn’t cover off here, drop a comment below and we would be thrilled to add it here to our FAQs.