When a global speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies organisation needed a safe fume cupboard solution to manage high heat loads it turned to Clean Air. The specialist in containment, fume cupboards and extract systems designed customised high heat load fume cupboards for Johnson Matthey’s Technology Centre in Reading, UK. These bespoke fume cupboards exceeded the proposed Band 1 requirements for BS EN 14175 Parts 3 and 6.
The analytical team at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre regularly prepares samples using strong acids to achieve dissolution and enable precise and accurate determination of the sample composition. Large industrial hot plates are located in their fume cupboards and the heat from these disturbs the airflow in a standard fume cupboard, compromising containment.
“The safety of our scientists is of premium importance to us,” says Martin Allwright, Technology Centre Site Services Manager. “We’re creating the sustainable technologies of the future. The research, development and quality control we conduct in our laboratories often involves boiling solutions and evaporating concentrated acids.
“We needed a solution that would protect our scientists, offer them safe, generous working space and contribute to a healthy laboratory environment.”
The Clean Air solution
Applying its considerable industry experience and technology expertise, the Clean Air design team created a solution that offers excellent fume containment. Modifying the premium APEX-2 fume cupboards to contain any potential leakage caused by buoyant hot air, the combination sash option was incorporated for added operator protection and flexible access.
Representatives from the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre were invited to Clean Air’s in-house type-testing facility to witness the testing of their bespoke fume cupboards. Their own industrial hot plates were used during many of the tests to ensure the conditions in their laboratories were accurately replicated.
The results of the fume cupboard type-testing exceeded the proposed Band 1 research laboratory requirements of BS EN 14175 Parts 3 and 6 when tested both at ambient temperature and at high heat load. The key Robustness of Containment Protection Factor (PFR) reading was 926,000 at 5kw, and 674,000 using the Technology Centre’s equipment.
“Working with us, Clean Air designed fume cupboards to address our needs and deliver evidence-based safety assurance,” adds Martin. “Our scientists have confidence that they are operating in safe conditions in a potentially hazardous environment. The choice of combination sashes has provided an improved operator experience with more flexible and safer access into the working space and contributes to lowering our energy consumption. The system as installed has also reduced noise levels over the previous installation.”
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“Working with us, Clean Air designed fume cupboards to address our needs and deliver evidence-based safety assurance. Our scientists have confidence that they are operating in safe conditions in a potentially hazardous environment.”
Martin Allwright, Johnson Matthey Technology Centre Site Services Manager