Clean Air Fume Cupboards at the heart of Royce Discovery Centre

Clean Air fume cupboards are at the heart of a new, cutting-edge research facility. After a stringent tender process, Clean Air’s High Performance Radius Profile fume cupboards and plastic extract system were deemed ideal for the state-of-the-art, specialist laboratories in the Royce Discovery Centre.

The prestigious centre, located at the University of Sheffield, is set to transform the discovery of new materials for industry. Its researchers will be protected from fumes by an advanced extract system including fume cupboards and ductwork designed, manufactured and installed by Clean Air.

Clean Air and the Henry Royce Institute 

The Henry Royce Institute is the UK national institute for advanced materials research and innovation. It operates on a hub and spoke model with facilities located at universities and organisations which specialise in specific areas of materials science.

Clean Air has supplied over 100 fume cupboards for new Royce facilities. These include the Royce Discovery Centre at the University of Sheffield; the Materials Innovation Factory at the University of Liverpool; The Henry Royce Institute Hub at the University of Manchester; Royce at Imperial at Imperial College London; and The Bragg Centre at the University of Leeds.

Sheffield’s Royce Discovery Centre houses the very latest technologies in 3D additive manufacturing, digital manufacturing and nanocharacterisation.

The brief for the Royce Discovery Centre

The Royce Discovery Centre required 9 fume cupboards sized between 1000 mm and 1500 mm and one 1800 mm walk-in unit.

With a focus on early-stage, fundamental research into the discovery of new materials and processing, the facility boasts the very latest in state-of-the-art equipment. The fume cupboards need to match this world-class status. In addition, they had to demonstrate:

  • Excellent levels of containment
  • Energy efficient VAV technology
  • A track record of reliability and toughness
  • Cost-effective benefits

For the extract system the supplier needed to demonstrate:

  • Detailed ductwork drawing capability
  • Design, installation and commissioning ability
  • Specialist connection design capacity

The Clean Air fume cupboard solution

Renowned for its pioneering materials research, the University of Sheffield already has a large number of Clean Air fume cupboards across its sites. Its fume cupboard of choice has long been the Clean Air High Performance Radius Profile model.

This tough unit is an essential piece of lab equipment. It has excellent containment capability and is engineered to outlast contemporary fume cupboards.

Its robust design makes it ideal for projects with large quantities of mechanical and electrical services.

The Royce Discovery Centre also required a walk-in fume cupboard to house larger apparatus for experiments. Once again the Radius Profile fits the bill, available as a walk-in model in a range of widths.

Radius Profile Performance & Safety

Clean Air’s priority is safety. The Radius Profile is designed to meet the requirements of the British Standard for fume cupboards, BS EN 14175.

It has a smooth, curved inlet proven to eliminate air eddies in the internal chamber. Its design delivers ultra-containment.

Independent testing has confirmed the highest level of containment currently claimed by any fume cupboard manufacturer. The High Performance Radius Profile has a Robustness of Containment Protection Factor (PFR) of >4,500,000 for all widths at 0.5 m/s face velocity.

Royce Discovery Centre Applications

The fume cupboards are located in the Basic Characterisation, Advanced Characterisation, Materials Chemistry and X-Ray laboratories.

The units fulfil a variety of tasks. They will keep researchers protected from fumes from potentially dangerous and highly toxic chemicals including mercury. They will also store different types of chemical and solvent. The substrates onto which magnetic thin films are grown will be cleaned in the fume cupboards too.

In addition, they will support the wet chemistry analysis of materials in the liquid phase and the sieving of chemical powders. They’ll accommodate apparatus such as hot plates and hot presses.

The clean air fume cupboard in the X-ray facility will be used to extract the potentially noxious fumes produced whilst making fused beads for X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.

Variable Air Volume (VAV) energy efficiency

Clean Air VAV fume cupboards feature energy saving technology to reduce the volume of air pulled through the unit. Each unit has its own damper to control air flow.

Laboratory air is conditioned – either heated or cooled. Reducing the amount of air that needs to be conditioned to replace air extracted by the fume cupboards saves on energy, reducing bills and the facility’s carbon footprint.

VAV fume cupboards can achieve energy savings of up to 70% based on design velocity and sash opening.

The Clean Air ductwork and extract system

To ensure that the fume cupboards extract fumes as they to their highest capability, a compatible ductwork system is essential.

The Clean Air team has ductwork experts with decades of experience in air management systems.

A comprehensive site survey was carried out, and detailed ductwork drawings produced to match the client’s design and general arrangement drawings.

Royce Discovery Centre ductwork 

The ductwork for the fume cupboard extract system was fabricated in-house from fire retardant polypropylene, a tough, long lasting thermoplastic that withstands corrosive fumes.

The project required around 150 meters of various sized rectangular and circular ductwork across two floors.

The Clean Air fabrication team manufactured fully welded, rectangular ductwork in flanged lengths. These included radius bends, tapers and connections.

A HEPA filter and housing is incorporated into each individual extract duct serving the various laboratories. An opposed blade volume control damper is sited in each branch duct to control air flow.

Our experienced team installed all the ductwork and assisted with the installation of the strobic fans.

The fans connection

The exhaust for the system was provided by two strobic fans, one internally and one externally located.

To connect the ducting to the fan units, Clean Air fabricated two 3000 mm x 1000 mm blanking plates, each made in two halves, complete with a mounting flange.

These were installed onto the inlet plenum of each of the strobic fans. The blanking plate incorporated a flanged inlet connection which our extract ductwork connected to, ensuring a strong seal.

We designed the ductwork to the external fan with a support system which protects the roof.  It spreads the load and requires no drilling for physical fittings. As a result, no unintentional damage is caused.

A successful track record

Clean Air has worked with the University of Sheffield for two decades. Since 2011 alone, 40 of its units and 37 Clean Air ductwork extract systems have been installed. We have also relocated and removed fume cupboards for the university.

‘At the Henry Royce Institute in Sheffield, our world-leading facilities and innovative equipment enable us to drive forward our vital research into advanced materials development and manufacturing.

‘Clean Air has successfully supplied hard-wearing fume cupboards and accompanying fume extract systems to the University of Sheffield for 20 years.

‘Through a rigorous tendering process managed by our building contractor, Clear Air was chosen to install its units within our brand new, state-of-the-art Royce Discovery Centre. We’re confident that they will meet our needs and contribute to the safety of our research associates and students.’

Dr Corinne Howse, Project Manager, Henry Royce Institute

Find out more about the exciting work being undertaken at the Henry Royce Institute

 

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