Laminar Flow Cabinets for the Food Industry
Introduction to laminar flow clean bench
A laminar flow cabinet is defined as enclosed workbench which is used to create a contamination free work environment through installed HEPA filters that capture all the particles entering the cabinet. A laminar flow hood is used for work with substances which are not hazardous for the personnel health.
Desktop laminar flow chambers, also known as laminar flow clean benches, are similar to biosafety cabinets in the sense that they are equipments used to clean up the ambient air completely through a filtration process. Generally, laminar air flow is designed to prevent the contamination of semiconductor wafers, some sensitive materials, and even biological samples.
A laminar flow unit has an industry-wide usage and can be applied in quite a lot of industries such as medical, research, pharmacy, educational, аnd also in electronics, optics, micromechanics, plastic industries, etc. since they carry out processes that require a clean and sterile environment. A laminar flow hood is used for work with substances which are not hazardous for the personnel health, and it does not provide personal protection. The best usage of a clean bench is for working on certainly specialized experiments in the labs that require a clean environment to design products that are nontoxic. Laminar flow hood creates clean air for an individual environment, which is necessary for smaller items - for example, sensitive electronic devices. Hence, laminar flow can be tailor-made under the specific requirements of the laboratory.
How does a laminar air flow unit work?
A laminar flow unit is a workbench commonly used in research and medical laboratories that creates dust free abacterial air environment.
Air from the room passes through the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filters and is fed into the working chamber by a unidirectional vertical descending flow. From the working area and the workbench itself the air is moved back to the environment in the following way: partly – through the perforation in the bottom rear area of the cabinet, but most air – through the space between the working surface of the table and the protecting glass.
Flow hood involves a unidirectional exhaustion of air to the workplace and personnel whereby filtered air is discharged with a regular and fixed velocity.
Some of the basic components of a laminar flow chamber include UV light, glass shield, an air intake fan, a protection plate, windows, etc. Each of the components of a clean bench plays an important role in creating and maintaining sterile conditions. The laminar flow hood fan pulls the air through the filter pad where the dust is pinned down; then, the HEPA filter pulls out all airborne contamination to maintain sterile conditions.
Types of laminar flow hoods
The direction in which the air moves around the workspace and a clean bench is based on the specific cabinet that is being used. The type of cell culture hood needed depends very much on the requirements of the laboratory, the kind of airflow needed, working laminar air flow principle, and the type of operation. Two main types of flow hoods differ according to the functions they can perform: horizontal airflow hood and vertical airflow hood.
Horizontal airflow hood
The ambient air comes from the behind the laminar air flow bench, then it is projected through a blower towards the HEPA filter, and the filtered air is exhausted in a horizontal direction to the workplace environment and a clean bench.
Airflow that is parallel to the workplace cleanses the environment with a constant velocity. Horizontal laminar chamber needs a larger operational space and more depth to provide a germ-free environment and hence is more difficult to handle.
Vertical airflow hood
Our company specializes in the production of vertical airflow laminar cabinets, it is the most demanded product because of the advanced technology combined to remove all the impurities from the environment.
- The illumination block is taken out of the working chamber and does not initiate air flow turbulence inside the workstation.
- Coloring of the cabinet is made with the powder enamel resistant to disinfectant solutions.
- The control unit with LCD indicates the switching of the systems, their possible malfunctions, the operation mode chosen and devices technological timer.
- HEPA filter is held by springs providing filter leak tightness for the whole lifetime.
- The electronic shield panel provides easy operation and disinfection.
- The UV light module is used for disinfection of the working chamber and its surfaces.
- The working principle of a vertical laminar unit is quite different from a horizontal airflow hood because it consists of a fan which is placed on the ceiling of the cabinet and the contaminated air is taken in through that fan and directed from the bench top downwards in a vertical direction with a positive pressure.
- It is the responsibility of the operator to be aware of how to use a laminar flow hood, and to be familiar with the complete kit of laminar flow chambers.
- The operator should wear a lab coat and long gloves when working in the laminar flow hood.
- Before operating the cabinet and upon completion of work, sterilize the laminar flow cabinet with UV irradiation.
- Walls, tabletop and glass shields must be sterilized before start and completion of the work.
Usually, vertical airflow benches have a width ranging 0,9-2,4 m. With all these excellent machines, technologies and an economical system, vertical airflow hood is state-of-the-art. It provides greater protection from harm and uses less operational and floor space.
Horizontal versus vertical chamber
Lamsystems is one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of laminar airflow chambers based in Berlin, Germany. It is our responsibility to guide you to the best type of equipment to use by comparing both of them. A vertical airflow clean bench does not require as much depth and floor space as a horizontal airflow hood which makes it more manageable and decreases the chances of airflow obstruction or collection of contaminated air downstream.
Moreover, the safety level of the vertical laminar flow hood is comparatively greater because it does not blow the air directly towards the person carrying out the experiments. The front sash installed acts as a barrier against the fumes by preventing a direct attack on the person’s face. Also, in a horizontal airflow hood filter replacement needs moving of hoods and cabinets but in the vertical airflow chamber, filter replacement is much more rapid and easier, since the filter is placed at the top of the vertical module.
Lastly, vertical airflow clean bench have more unidirectional and less turbulent effects from the air streams projected through them on the products being processed. After knowing all these extra benefits, you have quite a lot of compelling reasons to choose a vertical airflow laminar unit.
Choosing a particular laminar flow workstation should be taken seriously, as it is important to find the right balance between quality and cost of the equipment. Besides, certain things need to be kept in mind. The standards of each type of laminar airflow cabinet are different according to the specific purposes they have. Whichever type of laminar flow you buy, the SOPs need to be considered. Some of them are discussed below:
For more information and prices on laminar flow hoods and other equipment, please contact our specialists.