Testing Fume Hood Flow Dynamics using SF6 as a Tracer Gas
A safe laboratory environment requires an effective method for clearing toxic material from fume hoods. Since all handling of toxic materials is completed in these hoods, it is critical to have a procedure to evaluate their operation to assure adequate protection for laboratory workers. The InfraRan Specific Vapor Analyzer, factory calibrated for SF6, is an ideal instrument for measuring fume hood efficiency in accordance with ASHRAE and other standards. Manufacturers identify the flow dynamics (factors that affect air flow in the hood and performance with air) using the ratings AM (as manufactured), AI (as installed), and AU (as used). A fume hood evaluation conducted under its operational environment is critical, as these tests will indicate any installation shortcomings as well as direct workers in proper laboratory hood techniques.