Summary: Laminar airflow cabinets can help maintain sterile conditions. But there’s more to these hoods than meets the eye. Find out what you ought to know.
If you have been struggling hard to protect semiconductor wafers, biological samples, or other particle sensitive materials against contamination, then you are in for a treat. Once you have a laminar air flow cabinet, there will be nothing to worry about. This enclosed bench comes equipped with a HEPA filter, which as you may already know, is designed to get rid of airborne contamination and can maintain favorable yet sterile conditions. Here are five lesser known things that you should know about laminar air flow cabinets, before you invest in one:
- Any such cabinet has a variety of applications. It could be used in a hospital or at a microbiology lab. In fact, path labs and plant & tissue culture labs could also put this equipment to some good use.
- There are two variants available, and before zeroing in on one, it is important that you tread carefully. For starters, you need to give some serious thought to user safety. Now, both horizontal and vertical cabinets score big on safety, but then, you need to be sure what you want. Then there’s space availability. Let’s say you have less space at your disposal. In such a scenario, it is highly recommended that you go for the vertical one for obvious reasons. Last but not least, clearance requirement could also be one of the major deciding factors.
- Now, both horizontal and vertical cabinets or hoods have their fair share of pros and cons. Take the horizontal one, for example. It’s easy to work with and is less likely to lead to the contamination of hands and gloves. But then, if you are the operator yourself, be wary, for it could blow fumes as well as powders in your face. Coming to the vertical variant. Again, pros galore, and to an extent, they outweigh the cons. As already mentioned, it won’t take much of your space, thanks to its not-so-deep hood. However, this one could lead to a somewhat increased turbulent effect, which, by the way, is well taken care of, if you go for a horizontal laminar air flow cabinet.
- Irrespective of the cabinet that you decide to invest in and get hold of, do keep in mind that when you get down to using it, you will have to run it at least 15 minutes prior to beginning a critical operation. The inability to do so could cause hindrance as the particles will then not be able to purge from the enclosure.
- Finally, if you ever get down to cleaning a hood, make sure that your motions are smooth and linear in nature. You could start off by cleaning the filter face and then go downstream as you proceed. And speaking of cleanliness, it is equally important that you do not unpackage samples or do any activity that could take a toll on your cabinet’s filter.
When you do decide to get one, make sure the manufacturer is willing to take care of every aspect, right from maintenance and installation to commissioning.
Read more about Ultra Low Freezer and Muffle Furnanceby Yatherm scientific manufacturer of scientific equipment.