Project Files: Experimenting with Diffusers
Company: Superior Laboratory Services Inc. (Pasadena, Texas)
Customer: An undisclosed Corpus Christi, Texas, chemical processing laboratory
Installation: LabSox® textile diffusers manufactured by DuctSox Corp., Peosta, Iowa; air-balancing blowers by Central Blower Co., Industry, Calif.; and 80-fpm draft hoods by Labconco, Kansas City, Mo.
Objective: Install textile air diffusers and new fume hoods to solve the laboratory’s cross-draft, high-velocity ventilation challenges, which included temperature and relative humidity swings of 10°F and 30 percent, relatively, in its laboratory area.
Work Completed: For each supply-air diffuser and hood replacement’s correct sizing and output, Rick Meyer, president of Superior Laboratory Services Inc., calculated the lab area’s total cfm, replacement fume-hood velocities, supply air cfm, number of supply outlets, distance between diffusers and hoods, ceiling height, and other factors helping maintain the negative pressure required in lab ventilation. Instead of a drop-in 2-by-2-foot textile replacement, Meyer chose a 2-by-4-foot model with an aluminum face frame that installed easily to the lab’s suspended T-Bar ceiling configuration. Instead of the open-louvered, 100 fpm (or more) design of 2-by-4-foot metal diffusers, the supply air now flows through the textile facing at a rate near 30 fpm. The larger size increased the textile surface area to ensure a gentle flow that minimizes cross drafts and scale and balances, skewing high-airflow velocities. Meyer also chose the MetalPan model allowing a flexible metal-to-flex connection adaptor from the HVAC supply to accommodate the lab’s tight ceiling clearances.
Quote: “The LabSox textile diffusers’ anti-microbial treatment and the fact they act as a secondary air filter is also advantageous because it minimizes microbial and particulate contamination that can affect lab tests.” -- Rick Meyer, president, Superior Laboratory Services Inc.
Publication date: 5/6/2013