Product Comparator: Stainless workstations stand up to wet processes

by Laureen Belleville

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Air Control's Microvoid.

As with most equipment used in a cleanroom environment, the choice of workstation depends on the process for which it is intended. Does the process involve wet or dry chemistry? Are your concerns for product control, operator protection or, perhaps, both?

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Terra Universal's stainless steel workstation.

When comparing stainless steel to other materials such as plastic, consider the following: stainless steel doesn't burn, as does plastic, and stainless steel is non-shedding, important in maintaining the integrity of the cleanroom.

However, stainless steel is not as acid-resistant as are some plastics. One product from Air Control Inc. (Henderson, NC) offers UV/IR detectors installed in the work zone and the base cabinet to detect fire and signal the system controller to release CO2 from a remotely located cylinder, plus automatically shut down the power to the hood.

Surface type is another element to consider. When running a wet process, if there is no containment under the workstation, then a perforated top is recommended. If the workstation is equipped with a fume hood, again, typically the perforated surface is a better choice because it facilitates exhaust as contaminants are pulled away from the surface. The perforated surfaces of the tables from Advance Tabco (Englewood, NY) are punched with 3/4-inch holes on 1-inch staggered centers for maximum laminar airflow.

The following companies manufacture stainless steel workstations for cleanroom applications.

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Tables from InterMetro Industries Corp. (Wilkes-Barre, PA) and Terra Universal (Anaheim, CA) feature height adjustable legs. One even includes a “pre-set” button that adjusts the workstation to one of two pre-programmed heights.

The following companies distribute stainless steel workstations for cleanroom applications.

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This article was prepared with assistance from Kevin Leak, vice president, Jeff Rhoades, marketing manager, and Eliena Tipler, marketing manager, at VWR Scientific Products in West Chester, PA.


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