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.

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