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One of the most common questions we receive from facilities engineers who have little experience with biosafety cabinets is whether it is possible to connect multiple Class II Type A2 cabinets using an exhaust manifold

The simple answer to this question is yes, but there are a couple points to consider for this particular type of biosafety cabinet exhaust system.

Exhaust Flow Variation Through a Canopy Exhaust Connection

Of course, all Class II Type A2 biosafety cabinets that are exhausted directly to the outdoors must have a properly-functioning canopy exhaust connection (CEC), per NSF/ANSI Standard 49. (Sometimes this is called a “thimble” connection.) CECs are an essential component of biosafety cabinet exhaust systems, because they help maintain proper cabinet performance when exhaust flow fluctuates. The minimum and maximum exhaust flow variation that can be tolerated by each connected cabinet needs to be considered in the exhaust system design. This range can differ from unit to unit, even among cabinets of the same model. The best biosafety cabinet manufacturers can give you this information for the specific cabinets that you want to connect.

Ensuring Personnel and Product Protection with Constant Volume Valves

When more than one A2 biosafety cabinet is connected by means of a manifold, you must analyze what effects the activities performed within each cabinet will have on the others. For example, opening or closing a view screen on one cabinet can affect all the others within the manifold system. This can be a potential hazard to all other cabinet users or the product inside the other cabinets. Installing constant volume valves above each biosafety cabinet connection can minimize this hazard and provide the constant exhaust airflow and static pressure required.

An Energy-Saving Canopy Exhaust Connection

FlexAIR™ is a uniquely-designed canopy exhaust connection that provides constant air intake velocity and ensures personnel and product protection – while decreasing total exhaust volume and operating costs. To see how it works, watch the FlexAIR video.