When it comes to keeping employees and equipment safe and laboratories or production lines hygienic, traditional vented enclosures and hoods are being challenged to provide increased protection for personnel working with the products produced within the workstation. Flow Sciences’ Contained Environmental Systems provide ideal environments for handling a variety of potent powders and mixtures from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) to carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials, across the scope of laboratory, production line and research settings.


The Contained Environmental Systems line consists of four enclosure types that are ready for bench top applications in standard sizes; and can be customized to fit industry- or task-specific needs and standards. Each of these systems features ergonomically designed glove ports with Bag-In Bag-Out HEPA filtration (as appropriate) and come in a range of sizes to make maximum use of available bench top space.


Enclosures in the series include:

Temperature and Humidity Contained Environment (THCE)

Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment (VACE)

Controlled Atmosphere Contained Environment (CACE)

Hybrid Isolators – available in two configurations; one which uses make-up air from the room and the other which uses HEPA filtered make-up air.


THCE – Temperature and Humidity Contained Environment

The THCE features patented LFBC (Lateral Airflow Bio Containment) technology. A unique Bag-in/Bag-out HEPA filtration system protects employee breathing zones and prevents environmental contaminants from entering the chamber and keeps potent APIs, nanomaterials and other matter from exiting the chamber and causing health and safety concerns within the laboratory environment.


Flow’s design team not only considered safety when designing the THCE, but also employee comfort. Glove ports allow users to reach any part of the THCE while staying protected from potent powders, and LED lighting provides adequate in-chamber illumination with little heat and little energy use.


Included are a touch screen interface and data-logging software, both designed for ease of use and to accommodate a variety of data recording. A temperature and humidity sensor allows users to monitor in-chamber conditions and adjust them to the ideal conditions for work.


Flow Science’s THCE conforms to ASHRAE 110-95. Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) is available to validate the performance and guarantee that each unit meets client containment standards.


VACE – Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment

The Vented Atmosphere Contained Environment from Flow Sciences features lateral airflow and in one configuration utilizes positive air pressure to reduce the risk of product contamination. Ideal for analysis and dosing of bottling liquid or solid APIs, handling nanomaterials, the VACE draws ambient room air through HEPA filters, providing a non-contaminated, gentle airflow across the work air.  Out-flowing HEPA filters prevent materials from contaminating the work surface environment.


VACE units are customizable to meet industry-specific needs and safety specifications. Options include stainless steel or phenolic work surfaces and various configurations of HEPA filters, and are available in a range of sizes and configurations designed to accommodate laboratory and production-line equipment. Glove ports are also available in a range of sizes.


Each VACE unit is equipped with glove ports and large acrylic windows to allow users to easily see and access the chamber while safely and comfortably completing work tasks, cleanup and routine maintenance. Alternate materials of construction along with Factory Acceptance Testing are available.


CACE – Controlled Atmosphere Contained Environment

CACE units allow operators to control the atmosphere within the chamber, creating the ideal low-oxygen or inert gas environments as their applications require. Inlet and purge valves make it easy to adjust the makeup of the atmosphere within the chamber, while pressure gauges and probe connections allow for effective monitoring of the chamber.


Each CACE unit features wide glove ports and can be made from a variety of materials including all-acrylic body construction and work surfaces made from stainless steel or chemically resistant phenolic with or without stainless steel insets.



Hybrid Isolator

As new, highly potent APIs and nanomaterials continue to enter the workplace, Flow Sciences Hybrid Isolators are available to ensure the safety and hygiene of workers and work environments. The hybrid isolator was designed to protect workers from exposure by fully-encompassing equipment and products used during research and development; weighing, loading and distributing powders; and other manufacturing processes. Ideal for powder handling, housing sensitive equipment and a host of other applications units are available for customer customization.


Hybrid Isolators are equipped with directional LED lighting, acrylic construction (for increased in-chamber visibility) and air plenums designed to ensure the proper air speed and flow within the chamber. Glove ports from 8”-10” provide workers with ample room for a comfortable work environment, and a removable face allows for easy instrumentation setup and teardown. Standard units come equipped with dual HEPA filters and Bag-In Bag-Out filtration and ante-chamber. Customizable to fit industry- and task-specific laboratory apparatus FAT and Surrogate Powder testing are available to ensure containment for the process.


Jason Frye produced this story with the assistance of Steve Janz, VP Marketing and Business Development for Flow Sciences Inc., which produces containment systems for laboratories, pilot plants and manufacturers. These products are designed to protect operators or product from exposure to hazardous particulates and vapors while performing delicate operations.