A laminar unit is a critical instrument that helps in the control of particular contamination. It moves the air at the same speed and direction simultaneously with zero to a minimum crossover of the air stream. On the contrary, turbulent flow creates eddies and swirls that lead to the particles’ random and unpredictable deposition on the surface. But most of the portable HEPA filtered laminar flow units or other flow units carefully sweep the different particles to give a clean and almost germ-free area.
There are mainly two types of directions, vertical airflow, and horizontal airflow. Both of them have their upper hand based on the clearance requirement, location of the experiment, working surface, and operator safety.
Vertical HEPA Filtered Laminar Flow Unit
A vertical laminar flow unit or hood is generally selected to show the resemblance of a fan or filter located on the ceiling. In this flow unit, the airflow is projected downwards. With the combined effect of gravity, the particles get swept out to the front access area. Microparticles might not have a lot of mass, but they eventually settle down on the work surface area like most contaminants. Hence, with the assistance of a vertical flow, they get there faster.
The unit is compact hence requires less floor space. It is recommended to place the filter at the top for quick access. Additionally, the sash provides a barrier in front of the operator’s face that prevents air from blowing directly in their face. This flow unit creates a less turbulent effect that minimizes contaminators and particles’ crossover on the working area.
Unfortunately, as the unit is placed overhead, you need to use a ladder for serving, cleaning, or changing filters. Due to this, regular cleaning and maintenance become a difficult task. Over that, you can use the upper region for storage, as that blocks the airflow.
Horizontal HEPA Filtered Laminar Flow Unit
In a horizontal laminar flow unit, the airflow is forced to move from the back to the front. Hence, in this case, the unit is placed behind the workspace. Note that this type of hood or unit requires additional depth for accommodating the rear filter and fan unit. This additional area is required for air to enter the unit. Due to this necessity, a horizontal flow unit requires more floor space.
If your work includes using liquids or minute components, the horizontal flow unit is the ideal choice for you. This unit eliminates the efforts in picking up these components off the floor. Additionally, this unit staggers sterile instruments and material on the work area close to the operator’s face. Furthermore, the hands and gloves of the operator are less contaminated as they are downstream of the materials.
Other than the requirement of additional space for placing the unit, there is a lot of obstruction in the airflow path. This blockage causes contamination of the downstream materials. Furthermore, without a sash, toxic and hazardous fumes or powers can blow on the operator’s face, which is risky and can impose severe health issues.
Consideration to keep in mind
There are times when you cannot use either vertical or horizontal laminar flow units. One of them is in the presence of any biohazards. You can use a portable HEPA filtered laminar flow unit which has been approved for any contamination system.
Before beginning with a critical experiment, ensure that you run your flow unit 15 minutes before, ensuring that all the contaminants are purged from the working area. Lastly, remember the sweeping direction is from clean to dirty. Clean the surfaces in a smooth and linear motion starting from the filter’s face and moving downstream in the sweeping direction. Make sure that you do any kind of particle forming operation like unpacking of materials and so on away from the filter.
Looking to purchase a portable HEPA filtered laminar flow unit?
It is better to opt for a portable HEPA filtered laminar flow unit as you can get the best of both the vertical and horizontal HEPA filtered laminar flow units. To purchase your portable HEPA filtered laminar flow units, ensure to contact Cleatech. Their laboratory equipment and cleanroom instruments are best for controlled-environment experiments. Cleatech provides top-quality products at a very competitive price, making them the most reliable brand in the market.
In addition to laboratory equipment , Cleatech also makes cleanroom equipment and controlled environment enclosures, both standard and customized. The company is developed on a foundation of innovation, performance, efficiency, and long-term dependability. All products are manufactured using smart technology that is environmentally friendly, safe, and reasonably priced.