Laminar flow workstations


Larger facilities often require just a few “critical clean” areas, making laminar flow workstations an appropriate solution. It’s often more cost-effective to construct a cleanroom at a lower cleanliness class and supplement it with laminar flow workstations than it is to create a higher-class cleanroom. Here is a representative sampling of laminar flow products and services.

Compiled by Carrie Meadows

Trace contaminant testing for workstations and controlled environments

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Controlled environments are critical for sensitive processes and can include particle and molecular filters for added protection when needed. To keep within spec over time, tests of contamination levels are required for both particles and molecular contaminants. Balazs offers comprehensive services for testing both AMC and SMC on surfaces or substrates in laminar flow workstations, hoods, minienvironments, gloveboxes, purge boxes, tracks, steppers, equipment, and other controlled environments. Trace contamination is analyzed to limits specified for the semiconductor industry in the ITRS. Detection limits down to 10 ppt are available for air sampling. Surface detection limits using ion chromatography, GC-MS, ICP-MS, and other methods range from submonolayer to a millionth of a monolayer. Results can be reported in atoms/cm2, ng/cm2, or other appropriate units. Individual ions, metals, dopants, and organics are identified and quantified. Particles can also contaminate substrates in hoods due to process steps and are identified using SEM-EDX down to 0.1 ??m; if organic, they can be further identified by FTIR and/or Raman spectroscopy.

Air Liquide - Balazs Analytical Services
Fremont, CA

Laminar flow clean bench

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The Series 305 horizontal laminar flow clean bench features a stainless-steel table top with a white painted-steel shell, front access, and interior lighting. Models are available for Class 100 or Class 10 environments. Bench length and height will depend on the specific process intended; standard floor to table top height is 30 in. The overall cabinet width, depth, and height will depend on the size of unit chosen. The cabinet features “clean edge” construction that puts the hood and table top in shear with the media edge of the HEPA filter to reduce turbulence along the sides of the hood, improve laminar flow, and prevent contamination infiltration around the perimeter of the hood.

Clean Air Products
Minneapolis, MN

Table-top, stand-up, sit-down workstations

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A comprehensive line of laminar flow workstation models incorporates either HEPA or ULPA air-filtration systems. The units provide economical workspaces for use in pharmaceutical or hospital applications, conducting research, or isolating a manufacturing process. The company offers table-top, stand-up, or sit-down versions in a variety of materials for controlling airborne contamination within a small space. Customers can choose the combination that suits their particular applications, or the company can custom design a workstation.

Clean Rooms International
Grand Rapids, MI

Clean benches with vertical or horizontal flow

Innotech Products offers a complete line of clean benches for virtually any application. Vertical airflow or horizontal airflow with either free-standing or table-top installations are the most common models provided. In-flow units that capture powders and return HEPA-filtered air back into the room are available. Unique, low outgassing construction for use with sensitive optics is also offered. Class 10 models equipped with ULPA filters and ionization bars for static control are two of the many options the company can provide. Small single units or long, multi-unit assembly lines are easily accommodated.

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Innotech Products
Minneapolis, MN

EN 12469-compliant biosafety cabinet

The “Bluspace Luce” Class II biosafety cabinet (BSC) complies with EN 12469 for Class II BSCs. It has been developed to guarantee protection of the product, environment, and operator during the manipulation of biological material. It is targeted for microbiology, virology, hematology, tissue culture, and biotechnology laboratories to facilitate the working conditions of the operator with ergonomic solutions such as a sloping frontal screen to obtain a clear visual of the working space. The two lateral safety crystal windows and two fluorescent lamps give a total visibility with more than 1,100 lux brightness.

International Pbi S.p.A.
Milan, Italy

Workstations available with various accessories

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JST Manufacturing offers process stations enclosed within a laminar flow minienvironment and workstations with HEPA filters and blowers built in. The workstations are designed to meet customers’ specific requirements. Materials of construction are 304L stainless steel and plastics (FM4910 and non-FM4910 materials as well as a combination of both). Workstations can be populated with a variety of process baths, utility sinks, and solid work surfaces, as well as static-dissipative or vibration-isolated surfaces. Vacuum wands, DI water handsprays, N2 handsprays, hot plates, ovens, and other workstation accessories are available

JST Manufacturing Inc.
Boise, ID

Class II biosafety cabinet

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Purifier® Logic™ Class II biosafety cabinets provide personnel, product, and environmental protection and are suitable for work with agents requiring BSL-1, -2, or -3 containment. An LCD information center alerts users to current cabinet conditions. Operating parameters are constantly displayed, including the percent of filter capacity remaining. Purifier Logic Series cabinets utilize intelligent motor technology to maintain precise, safe airflow. The motor is more powerful, quieter, cooler, and 60 percent more energy efficient than other cabinets. Ergonomic benefits have been enhanced with easier work surface and airfoil removal and greater access below work area. The BSCs are available in 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-ft benchtop models and are NSF listed.

Labconco Corp.
Kansas City, MO

Start-to-finish installation projects

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LM Air Technology, Inc. fabricates acid-resistant polypropylene fume hoods, laminar flow workstations, and casework. The company will provide initial consultation, engineering and design, manufacturing, project management and installation, certification and testing, and maintenance services, working closely with architects and project managers to ensure that all lab equipment is manufactured to stringent standards and delivered within an aggressive timeline.

LM Air Technology, Inc.
Rahway, NJ

Vertical laminar flow station

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Pacific Environmental Technologies, Inc. manufactures a full line of vertical laminar flow (VLF) units designed to meet ISO Class 5 (Class 100) cleanliness levels. The VLF systems can be provided with either an integrated work surface or with an independent workbench (as pictured) for vibration-sensitive applications. Standard features include PVC side panels and hinged sash, integrated lighting with on/off switch, pre-filter, power cord, and three-speed switch to increase or decrease HEPA airflow across the work surface. Among the options are all stainless-steel construction (304 or 316 stainless steel), ULPA filtration (99.9995 percent efficient at 0.125 ??m), and stainless steel or laminated (std. or conductive) work surfaces and benches, as well as integrated sinks and other needed utilities. Custom sizes and configurations are available upon request.

Pacific Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Corona, CA

Cleanroom airflow monitoring sensor

The new SCHMIDT® flow sensor SS 20.415 is a specialized sensor for laminar (unidirectional) flow monitoring in cleanrooms. The housing is a thin, stainless-steel pipe measuring 9 mm (dia.). The complete microprocessor-based electronics are located inside the pipe. A metal chamber protects the sensing element against impact. Two digital outputs to indicate the flow direction and that flow reaches a pre-selected switching level. As there is no separate electronic module, mounting or dismounting can be done within seconds. The mounting adaptors are offered in versions fitting to all standard cleanroom ceiling systems. The sensor housing is completely sealed and can be sterilized during operation with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

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SCHMIDT Technology GmbH
St. Georgen, Germany

HEPA/ULPA filtered VLF stations

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Terra Universal’s vertical laminar flow (VLF) station incorporates fan/filter modules with either 99.99 percent efficient HEPA or 99.999 percent efficient ULPA filters to provide a contaminant-free work environment. Fabricated of powder-coated or 304 stainless steel, the cleanroom-compatible system includes transparent side panels that restrict the laminar flow to ensure an effective wash of HEPA-filtered air over the entire work surface. Front sash options further contain airflow, including a motorized shield operated by a touch-screen control panel. In the up position, the system provides more than 25 in. of vertical clearance above the work surface for removal of large process equipment. In the closed position, the shield lowers to within 3 in. of the work surface. An ionization module safely neutralizes static charges throughout the work area. Work surfaces are available in materials including 304/316 stainless steel, conductive cleanroom laminate, and chemical-resistant polypropylene, as well as modular wet processing benches. Terra also manufactures many other laminar flow systems, including horizontal flow stations and economical benchtop units.

Terra Universal
Fullerton, CA