A fume hood keeps employees safe from inhalation of dangerous gases, debris, mists, and vapors. In a standard fume hood, the front window of the cabinet is constructed from safety glass and can be moved. The hood draws in the air via the open window and exhausts it through the back and top of the cabinet towards a distant location. It keeps a secure work environment for the experiments and the experimenter.
There are seven major components that makeup laboratory fume hoods. The hood body, sash, face, baffles, exhaust plenum, work surface, and airfoil.
Various kinds of Fume Hoods:
- Fume hood with benchtop: These fume hoods with benchtops are resistant to practically all chemicals.
- Fume hood for acid digestion: Materials such as PVC that are acid-resistant are used to make the liners for such hoods. Polycarbonate materials comprise its sashes so hydrofluoric acid corrosion can be prevented.
- Walk-in hoods: Chemicals that are utilized in conjunction with huge laboratory equipment need the usage of walk-in hoods, which are floor-mounted.
- Fume hood with no ducts: Activated carbon is used in these hoods to absorb chemical vapors and gases without the need for ducting
Points to keep in mind when using a Laboratory Fume Hood:
- Put an immediate halt to operations if a problem is detected or if the airflow alert is triggered.
- Use only a laboratory fume hood intended for the use of perchloric acid when working with it. The exhaust system may get clogged with dangerous perchlorate salts, which might explode if released into the atmosphere.
- When conducting an experiment or operation under a fume hood, remove unnecessary materials.
- Avoid obstructing the movement of air via the baffles or slats.
- Place the equipment as far back as possible in the hood. At the hood's front, airflow is less effective than at the rear.
- A fume hood isn't a disposal, so chemicals and waste should not be kept under hoods.
- Before and during usage, make sure to monitor the airflow.
- The purpose of a fume hood is not to store anything. Numerous mishaps can occur due to the improper storage in fume hoods of incompatible materials.
- The sash should be closed to conserve energy.
- While fume hoods are effective in containing flames, explosions, and the like, a secondary blast shield should also be used if available.