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Laminar Flow Workstations: An Efficacious Solution for Your Lab

Posted by adamsmith in Shopping on June 11th, 2018

Laminar flow hoods or laminar workstations are specially designed equipment that are developed to eliminate all sorts of contaminants from laboratories. Laboratory experiments often involve working with harmful chemicals and pathogens, including biological samples, particle sensitive materials, etc. Quite naturally, contamination is a major concern in laboratories, putting employees at risk of contracting diseases. To minimize workplace hazards, modern labs are furnished with functional lab workstations and furniture, and laminar hoods have become an indispensable part of every laboratory. By definition, vertical laminar flow hoods refer to the flow of fluids in parallel layers, mostly in one particular direction.  (Information credit: https://www.rdm-ind.com/laminar-flow-hood.htm)

Lab furniture items largely differ from regular furniture items, as the former are built with ergonomic materials to withstand tough external conditions. Generally, industrial-grade stainless steel is used for manufacturing these workbenches, offering protection from chemical spills and workplace related hazards. 

Components of Laminar Air Flow Workstations

Recognized for chemical resistant properties, stainless steel is often chosen as right material for manufacturing the workstations. However, many laminar hoods are built with a combination of more than one material. For instance, many manufacturers use wood laminate, plastics, and welded tubular steel. Some of the key elements of a standard laminar fume hood include:

  1. Plastic laminated work surface
  2. Polyurethane plates
  3. HEPA or ULPA filters
  4. Steel Frame construction
  5. Fully welded tubular steel frame connections

Expedient Features of Laminar Flow Hoods

Apart from eliminating contaminants from the air, laminar hoods go a long way in building a clean and healthy workspace. The following segments discuss some expedient features laminar workstations.

  1. Vertical laminar flow workstations come with optional base tables and removable work surface.
  2. Some common examples of laminar flow hoods include specially designed laboratory cabinets, clean workbenches, etc, as they are manufactured with enclosed structures to direct the HEPA filtered air.
  3. Some laminar workstations also prevent samples placed on the tables from contamination, while other variants protect the workers from direct exposure to the contaminated area.
  4. Laminar flow hoods are built in such a way that working with biological samples, semiconductors, and particle sensitive elements are not hazardous.
  5. Although the equipment with laminar flow principle can be traced back to 1960s, laminar workstations are incredibly relevant today and are found in a number of industrial settings. Conveniently enough, there are many types of such workstations available in the market.  Depending on the nature of operations, laminar workstations have multifarious applications, but there’s one predominant feature common to all; each flow hood use unidirectional airflow principle to ameliorate cross-contamination.
  6.   Laminar air flow workstations are manufactured with HEPA filters that boast an efficiency rate of 99%. Apart from HEPA filters, manufacturers also use ULPA grade filters to design the workstations. It goes without saying that there’s a solution for all types working conditions, as a variety of customized options are on offer to cater to the unique office requirements.
  7. While the most significant aspect of laminar workstation is decontamination of air, these workbenches are also deployed for many other applications, from circuit board manufacturing, medical departments to lab experiments.
  8. The workstations are also equipped with pre-filters that enable easy replacement and maintenance.

Applications of Laminar Workstations

Medical applications often include dealing with pathological wastes and chemicals, which can cause severe hazards to workers, especially if they are not controlled properly. That’s why, laminar hoods are a common element in hospitals and pathology labs, ensuring workplace safety.  Although popularly seen in research labs and clinics, fume hoods serve several other notable applications today.  Speaking of application of laminar workstations, mention must be made of botanical laboratories and manufacturing units. Essentially, laminar flow hoods and workstations are used for multifarious applications, pertaining to the electronics industry, medical facilities, semiconductor industry, as well as circuit board manufacturing.

Final Thoughts

Modern labs are much more than workplaces and most lab activities include tedious operations. A laboratory is as good as its furniture, so functional workstations are must-haves in any type of lab. Since working on lab experiments are impossible without chemicals and contaminants, workers are also at risk of contracting critical workplace-related injuries. Talking of quality lab furniture, which include stainless steel workbenches, lab cabinets and casework, laminar flow hoods are a significant part of modern labs. With a wide variety of options to choose from, laminar flow hoods are an efficacious solution for modern laboratories.

As the demand for quality laboratory furniture continues to grow, there are several renowned suppliers available in the market, offering industrial-grade furniture. With the market booming with furniture suppliers, choosing the right provider can be difficult. Since lab furniture and laminar hoods are valuable assets, installed as long-term solutions, they should be purchased from accredited sources. In any case, find out more about the essential features of laminar hoods to get the best for your company.

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