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AEC and its affiliates have 35 years of experience controlling contamination through the application of engineering controls. The engineering controls techniques developed by AEC for pharmaceutical API control and radioactive particulate control are directly applicable to the nanomanufacturing industry. Localized extraction using capture-velocity ventilation applications, in conjunction with work methods and procedures, have been proven to significantly reduce both airborne and surface contamination levels. As recommended by both OSHA and NIOSH, engineered controls increase worker protection by reducing airborne nanoparticulates and increase operational efficiency through a reduction in the various levels of administrative controls and protective clothing used by the workers (see http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_FS-3634.pdf).
AEC has developed a Downflow booth designed specifically for control of particulate contamination generated by the nanomanufacturing processes.
Click on the images to the right to enlarge.
Workers engaged in nanomanufacturing may come into contact with contaminated air. The design airflow path in the AEC Downflow booth directs any airborne particulate away from the workers' breathing zone and into HEPA filters. Clean supply air emanates from the booth ceiling and flows down through the workers' breathing zone into the bag-in/bag-out HEPA filters at floor level. Contaminants are removed by the HEPA filters and the clean airflow continues through the fan and into the booth ceiling plenum. The air then cycles back through the booth. About 5% of the air volume exits the ceiling plenum and an equivalent amount is drawn into the front of the booth, balanced to maintain a slight negative pressure which precludes any particulate contamination from escaping the booth. In addition to the increase in worker safety provided by the booth, operational efficiency is increased by the reduction in PPE and other restrictions.
Contact John Kremer for additional information.