User safety is of paramount importance in a laboratory environment. A wide range of reactions and processes can be performed in a laboratory – most of which produce dangerous vapors and fumes. Since these fumes can represent an acute or chronic hazard to health, they must be contained and exhausted at the source.

Devices like fume hoods are commonly used to protect the user by containing the fumes in an enclosure and exhausting contaminants. A fume hood comprises a ventilated enclosure with baffles to control airflow and a glass door opening allowing the user to access the interior of the hood, while preventing the escape of contaminants (ANSI Z9.5 – 2012).

AIRFLOW CHARACTERISTICS OF FUME HOOD

The airflow characteristics of a fume hood are critical to ensuring proper function. Careful attention must be paid to the design of the fume hood. As part of the design process, the airflow patterns and containment effectiveness of the hood must be measured and tested. In the United States, several standards stipulate the procedures and criteria used for fume hood testing. ANSI/ASHRAE 110 – 2016 describes the testing procedure and ANSI Z9.5 – 2012 details the criteria for testing.

COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

Physical testing requires a controlled environment with an extensive testing apparatus, and a prototype to test. Therefore, it can be supplemented with computer simulation of the airflow. Computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, is a discipline that uses numerical methods to simulate fluid flow.

Since CFD is such a powerful tool to model fume hood testing, a simulated ASHRAE test was performed to show its application to fume hood airflow. Previous research by Sam et al. (2019) focused on airflow patterns in a slot hood. However, slot hoods are not tested to the same standard as fume hoods. They are used in an industrial setting rather than a laboratory where the threat to users will be greater.

COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS STUDY OF ASHRAE 110 FUME HOOD TEST

This study will help show how CFD can be used, to not just to simulate a test, but also improve the performance and consequently the safety of laboratory users. The methods and results are presented in the whitepaper.

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Whitepaper : Computational Fluid Dynamics Study of ASHRAE 110 Fume Hood Test

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Wilburn is an Industrial Hygienist & Product Designer at Kewaunee Scientific Corp.

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