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Components of Cleanroom Equipment

In the previous blog, CleanroomsUSA laid out what the components of cleanroom equipment are. In this blog we go into detail on each.

Fume Hoods: Safeguarding Laboratories

Fume hoods, also referred to as fume chambers or cupboards, are ventilation systems designed to capture and contain toxic fumes, particulate matter, and vapors. There are various types of fume hoods, each tailored for specific needs: PVC ducted, carbon filter recirculating, laminar air flow, biosafety cabinets, clean benches, and snorkel exhausts.

The main purpose of fume hoods is to ensure the safety of the user, protect the integrity of the products being worked on, and maintain environmental standards. In environments like cleanrooms, where the testing and research involve hazardous materials and noxious chemicals, cleanroom fume hoods play a crucial role.

Laminar Flow Hood

A specialized type of fume hood is the laminar flow hood, which separates airflow into layers to cleanse it of contaminants. Similar to other fume hoods, a laminar flow hood is an enclosed workspace, but with added features to shield samples from airborne contaminants, creating a dust-free environment.

A laminar flow hood typically consists of a filter pad, fan, and HEPA filter. The fan draws ambient air through the HEPA filtration system, delivering purified air to the workspace. There are two types of laminar flow hoods: horizontal and vertical airflow systems.

Vertical laminar flow hoods direct airflow downward, utilizing gravity to sweep particles out of the enclosure, making them ideal for conserving floor space and preventing contaminants from lingering.

Horizontal laminar flow hoods force air across the work surface from back to front. They require more depth to accommodate the rear-mounted filter and fan unit, and additional clearance space.

Biosafety Cabinet

Another specialized form of fume hood is the biosafety cabinet, designed for handling contaminated materials or pathogens within a biologically safe environment. Biosafety cabinets use vertical laminar airflow to create a barrier against contaminants. They are classified into three categories: Classes I, II, and III, with Class III being the most stringent, suitable for handling highly contagious microbiological agents.

Vacuum Chamber

Vacuum chambers create a pressure and air-free environment for testing components. They come in various configurations to suit specific testing needs and can be made of acrylic, aluminum, or stainless steel, depending on the desired level of testing.


A desiccator is a closed container, often made of durable glass, used for storing items requiring a moisture-free environment. There are four types: standard, vacuum, automatic, and gas purge, each with its specific method of moisture removal.

Nitrogen Generator

A nitrogen generator extracts nitrogen from the air through pressure swing adsorption and membrane technology, providing a pure flow of nitrogen without the need for canisters. It's used in applications like desiccator cabinets, gloveboxes, and vacuum chambers.

Cleanroom Pass Thru

Mounted on cleanroom walls, pass thrus allow the passage of products and materials, reducing unnecessary traffic and potential contamination spread. Pass thrus come with various sealing locks and double door designs, depending on the cleanroom's ISO classification.

Cleanroom Door Swing

Cleanroom door swings, whether single or double, maintain a particle-free environment and provide security against contamination. Automatic door swings are becoming more common for better control and cleanliness.

Lab Oven

Laboratory ovens, designed for various thermal processing and testing needs, come in three types: forced air, gravity convection, and mechanical. Mechanical ovens, with blowers or fans, are most commonly used, offering better temperature uniformity.

Cleanroom Air Shower

A cleanroom air shower serves as a barrier between the outside environment and the cleanroom, reducing the introduction of contaminants. High-velocity air flow removes particulate matter from personnel entering the cleanroom.

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