Clean environments like biosafety cabinets, laminar flow cabinets, and clean rooms require a controlled environment free from dust, particles, and contaminants. 

HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) and ULPA (ultra-low particulate air) filters are commonly used in the air filtration systems for delivering a controlled environment. 

How does HEPA & ULPA compare?

HEPA ULPA
What is it used for? Trapping very small particles & contaminants by forcing air through a fine mesh. Trapping very small particles & contaminants by forcing air through a fine mesh.
How does it work? As air particles pass through the air filter, they are caught by three mechanisms: diffusion, interception, and impaction. As air particles pass through the air filter, they are caught by three mechanisms: diffusion, interception, and impaction.
What can they filter? Can remove 99.97% – 99.99% of airborne particles that are larger than 0.3 microns in size. Can remove 99.999% of airborne particles that are larger than 0.12 microns in size.
What ISO Class? ISO Class 5 ISO Class 3
Where are they used? More broadly and commonly used for most biological & healthcare applications, including Laminar flow cabinets and biological safety cabinets. Used for specialised applications – microelectronics, semiconductor manufacturing, or pharmaceutical work

 

Additionally, in ULPA the airflow reduces by 20% to 50% for filters of the same dimensions. The cost of ULPA is typically higher by 25% to 35%, and life span of ULPA is 5-8 years compared to HEPA’s ~10 years.

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