Laminar flow hoods go by a few different names, including laminar flow cabinets, laminar flow workstations, or laminar flow clean benches. They are used in various fields when the main goal is to protect the work surface, product or equipment on the work surface from particulate contamination. These hoods rely on laminar, or constant, non-turbulent, airflow that moves unidirectionally. This controlled airflow purges and prevents airborne particulate accumulation in the work zone, maintaining a sterile environment for process and sample protection.
Horizontal Laminar Flow Hoods vs. Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods Airflow
Laminar flow cabinets rely on either horizontal laminar airflow or vertical laminar airflow. For horizontal laminar flow hoods, the HEPA/ULPA is located on the back wall. Positive pressure streams of the filtered air move through the work zone, parallel to the work surface, before exhausting out the front of the cabinet.
In vertical laminar flow cabinets, the HEPA/ULPA filter is located above the work surface. The positive pressure filtered air then moves down vertically, striking the work surface and exhausting out the cabinet front. On some laminar flow hoods, perforations located on the back wall also allow air to exhaust, reducing work surface turbulence.
When an operator needs to work directly over equipment on the work surface, horizontal airflow is best as it is less likely to be disrupted by hands entering the workspace. Larger equipment can lead to airflow blockages or create turbulence in horizontal airflow, so it should be used in hoods with a vertical flow pattern.
Regardless of the airflow pattern, laminar flow hoods are intended for non-hazardous operations as the air that passes across the work surface is not filtered again before being recirculated into the room. Applications that require operator and environmental protection from hazardous or potentially hazardous materials on the work surface instead rely on biological safety cabinets (BSCs).
Air Science® Laminar Flow Hoods
- Purair LF Laminar Flow Cabinets are available in vertical and horizontal configurations with various sizes and options for a total of 36 models to choose from in 6 different widths.
- Purair FLOW Laminar Flow Cabinets use vertical laminar airflow with HEPA/ULPA filtration to protect materials inside the cabinet from particulates.
- Purair PCR workstation enclosures provide a safe, energy-efficient, contamination-free environment during PCR amplification. It is designed to provide flexible access to thermocyclers while protecting against cross-contamination.