Fans for School Fume Cupboards

School and University laboratories with a lot of activity generally contain several fume cupboards which helps in providing a fume free workspace. Laboratory environments in educational establishments that handle hazardous materials require specialised ventilation equipment.

During school science experiments and demonstrations, it is commonplace to use fume cupboards. Fume cupboards capture and remove any harmful substances generated and reduce the exposure to a safe level. These include harmful gases, vapours, aerosols and particulates. Older students sitting exams may be required to complete certain hazardous studies to understand how chemical reactions work, this may involve the production of substances such as sulphur or hydrogen, so it is imperative that all health and safety regulations are met. 

Choosing the correct fume extraction fans for school fume cupboards is crucial for reducing the user’s exposure to hazardous substances during the experiments and demonstrations as the educational setting has a duty of care to protect every student from harm. School and university fume cupboards act as a physical barrier between reactions and the classroom or laboratory. This provides a degree of protection against inhalation exposure, chemical spills and fires. There is always a risk of accidents happening where there is a large variety of chemicals stored or where there are ongoing operations producing vapours and corrosive gases.

Fume cupboards prevent potentially dangerous vapours being released into the classroom in two main ways; through ducting or through filtered, recirculated air. Ducted fume cupboards draw air through the sash opening over the working area and through ducting to the outside of the building, most often the roof. This method is widely used as it suitable for extracting more toxic vapours than recirculating filtered fume cupboards. The latter is more suited to experiments using much less hazardous substances. Additionally, school fume cupboards act as a physical barrier between reactions and the classroom or laboratory. This provides a degree of protection against inhalation exposure, chemical spills and fires.


Reducing fan energy consumption by up to 20%

Fume Cupboard efficiency can be increased with the integration of EC polypropylene fans for maximum efficiency. Improving the energy efficiency of laboratory systems can contribute to the overall BREEAM status of a laboratory. Our EC range of corrosion resistant fans can reduce fan energy consumption by up to 20% without affecting performance. Due to the chemical composition of the substances used in schools and universities, the fume cupboard extract fans need to be able to handle the corrosive air without risk to the operation. Axair offers specifically designed polypropylene fans for this type of application as the material properties allow the fan to operate in the corrosive air stream. 


Why are SEAT fans suitable for education?

SEAT fume cupboard extract fans are particularly popular in educational facilities, not only because of their resistance to chemical impairment, but also due to their minimal noise emissions, simple control & monitoring, and their easy installation. 


Complete Fume Extraction Fan Pack

Our complete fan pack is custom made to suit your requirements and contains a fume extraction polypropylene fan to match your system specifications along with the necessary components required to ensure your fume cupboard system is safe and efficient. The fume fan pack is designed to saves you time, money and enabling a quick and easy installation makes it the perfect solution. We also offer laboratory airflow controls and monitors for use with fume cupboards and chemical cabinets, available in A and C versions.


The Risks Posed with an Inefficient System

If a ventilation system in a laboratory is not set up correctly or malfunctions it poses a serious health risk and can lead to short and long-term illnesses consequently. Fumes and dust can cause respiratory disease or aggravate a person’s existing condition such as Asthma. A publication by the Health and Safety Authority explains how poor fume extraction design and/or maintenance may lead to pollution exposure in a laboratory rather than preventing it.  A poorly designed, installed, misused and incorrectly maintained system can become an expensive waste of school funds and may give a false impression of hazard control.  Many employers and employees overestimate the effectiveness of the different types of local exhaust ventilation and have a poor understanding of the types of conditions that could lead to a reduction in or depletion of its effectiveness. The exhaust system needs to be kept clean and free from other surrounding electronics and items should never be stored in the cupboards as it can block the airflow and interrupt an operation. Chemicals should be stored safely in the correct cabinet or storage room with safe ventilation. Fume cupboards need to be regularly checked to make sure they are clean, that there are no blockages in the hood which could restrict airflow and any spills should be cleaned up immediately. Fume extraction systems should be serviced annually to ensure continuous safe operation.

Case Study

A fire started in a small domestic refrigerator and caused over £100,000 worth of damage to science equipment and rooms at a Preston based college. The specialist ‘Plant & Soil science’ laboratories were rapidly refurbished in order to get them ready in time for the start of the new college year and this included the installation of a number of SEAT fume extract fans from Axair. The SEAT S35 models were applied to the extract hoods over the laboratory furnaces. Supplied complete they were delivered with weather pedestals, flexible connectors, anti-vibration mounts and flanges. We also supplied an S20 fan for use with a small specto-analyser. View more corrosive fume extraction case studies. Our team of technical sales engineers are happy to help with fan selections for your application whether you are a consultant, M&E contractor, installer or end user. Contact us for more information on 01782 349 430 or email [email protected].

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