Advancements in Laminar Flow Hood Technology

Laminar flow hoods, also known as clean benches, are essential tools in laboratory settings for maintaining a sterile environment and protecting workers from hazardous substances.   

In this blog, we will explore the limitations of traditional laminar flow hoods, the innovative technologies available today, their benefits, considerations for implementation, case studies, and potential future trends. 

Traditional Laminar Flow Hoods: Limitations and Challenges  

Traditional laminar flow hoods use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to remove airborne contaminants from the environment. However, these hoods have several limitations and challenges, such as:  

  • Limited protection: Traditional hoods provide limited protection to workers from hazardous substances that can escape from the hood’s edges and filter gaps. 
  • High energy consumption: Traditional hoods consume a lot of energy to maintain the required airflow rate. 
  • High noise levels: Traditional hoods produce high noise levels, making it challenging to communicate effectively in the laboratory environment. 

Innovative Technologies in Laminar Flow Hoods  

Innovative technologies have been developed to address the limitations and challenges of traditional laminar flow hoods. Some of these advancements include: 

Advancements in laminar flow hood design 

These designs include the incorporation of better sealing mechanisms to prevent contamination escape and improved airflow distribution for better particle capture. 

  • Smart laminar flow hoods: These hoods come equipped with sensors that can detect and adjust the airflow rates according to the usage requirements. 
  • Low-flow laminar flow hoods: These hoods have a lower airflow rate than traditional hoods, reducing energy consumption while maintaining the same level of protection. 
  • Energy-efficient laminar flow hoods: These hoods come equipped with adjustable fan speed and airflow rates to reduce energy consumption. 

Advancements in laminar flow hood operation 

  • Automatic sash positioning: Automatic sash positioning systems can optimize the opening of the hood to maintain the required airflow while reducing energy consumption. 
  • User-friendly controls: These hoods have user-friendly controls that allow laboratory workers to easily adjust the airflow rates and fan speeds. 
  • Remote monitoring and control: These hoods come equipped with remote monitoring systems that can alert laboratory workers in case of any malfunctions. 

Benefits of Innovative Technologies in Laminar Flow Hoods  

The innovative technologies in laminar flow hoods have several benefits, including:  

  • Improved safety for laboratory workers: Innovative technologies in laminar flow hoods provide better protection to workers from hazardous substances. 
  • Increased energy efficiency and cost savings: Low-flow and energy-efficient laminar flow hoods consume less energy, resulting in cost savings on energy bills. 
  • Reduced environmental impact: Energy-efficient laminar flow hoods reduce energy consumption, resulting in a lower carbon footprint. 
  • Improved laboratory efficiency and productivity: Smart laminar flow hoods can detect and adjust the airflow rates, resulting in optimized airflow and a better laboratory environment. 

Implementing Innovative Technologies in Laminar Flow Hoods  

When considering implementing innovative technologies in laminar flow hoods, some important considerations include:  

  • Upfront costs and return on investment: Upgrading to new laminar flow hood technologies can be expensive, and laboratory managers need to assess the return on investment before making any purchases. 
  • Compatibility with existing laboratory equipment: Laboratory managers need to ensure that the new laminar flow hood technologies are compatible with the existing laboratory equipment to avoid any technical difficulties. 
  • Training requirements for laboratory staff: Laboratory staff may require training to operate and maintain the new laminar flow hood technologies effectively. 
  • Maintenance and servicing considerations: Laboratory managers need to consider the maintenance and servicing requirements for the new laminar flow hood technologies to avoid any unplanned downtime. 

Future of Laminar Flow Hoods: Emerging Technologies and Trends  

As technology advances, so do the possibilities for improving laminar flow hood design and operation. Some emerging technologies and trends in laminar flow hoods include:  

  • Improved filtration technology: The filters used in laminar flow hoods are critical components for ensuring clean air. As new filter technologies become available, laminar flow hoods can become even more efficient at removing contaminants from the air.
  • Automation: The integration of automation technology into laminar flow hoods can help to improve accuracy and efficiency in laboratory settings. For example, automated sash positioning can help to ensure that the sash is in the correct position for the level of protection required for a particular task.
  • User-friendly interfaces: User-friendly interfaces can help to make laminar flow hoods more accessible to laboratory staff. This includes touch screens and intuitive control panels that make it easy to adjust settings and monitor performance.
  • Integrated monitoring and control: Remote monitoring and control of laminar flow hoods can help laboratory managers to ensure that the hoods are operating at peak efficiency, and to quickly identify and address any issues that arise. 


Laminar flow hoods are a critical component in laboratory safety and efficiency. Traditional laminar flow hoods have limitations and challenges, but innovative technologies have made significant advancements in design and operation.   

These advancements have resulted in benefits such as improved safety for laboratory workers, increased energy efficiency and cost savings, reduced environmental impact, and improved laboratory efficiency and productivity.   

Laboratories considering implementing innovative laminar flow hood technologies should carefully consider factors such as upfront costs, compatibility with existing laboratory equipment, training requirements for laboratory staff, and maintenance and servicing considerations.   

Additionally, emerging technologies such as improved filtration technology, automation, user-friendly interfaces, and integrated monitoring and control will continue to shape the future of laminar flow hoods. By staying informed and adopting these innovative technologies, laboratories can ensure that their laminar flow hoods are providing the highest level of safety and efficiency possible. 

Kewaunee, the global leader in total laboratory solutions, empowers organisations to achieve competitive advantage through safe, efficient, and contemporary laboratories. In existence since 1906, Kewaunee powers the laboratories for over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

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