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Key outcomes:

  • Clean, uniform flow achieved over surgery table
  • Performance requirements met

Many industries use cleanrooms to ensure clean air and to minimise contamination from dust, aerosols and airborne particulates. These industries include pharmaceutical manufacture, biomedical research, food processing, electronics and semiconductor manufacture, hospitals and medical laboratories. The cleanroom ventilation system provides a continuous feed of filtered air to maintain minimal levels of contaminants. Optimal design of the ventilation system is essential to quickly remove any introduced contamination.

Figure 1: Animation showing the flow field and air “residence time” in an operating theatre. A low residence time indicates that the air is fresh, and has entered the room recently.

Proper control of clean air flow in a surgical operating room is critical for minimising the risk of wound contamination and potentially deadly infections. Clean, filtered air is typically supplied from above the patient. Meanwhile air is extracted from near floor level to prevent dust, microbes and other particles from recirculating over the patient.

By using CFD modelling, it is possible to optimize HVAC systems in clean rooms, validate their performance before construction, and gain confidence in meeting air quality targets. Therefore Synergetics used CFD modelling to analyze the flow field, air velocity, and air freshness in different areas of the operating room.

The CFD simulations shown in the animation above, demonstrated that the ventilation system design met the required performance criteria, and that air passing over surgical staff would be unlikely to reach the surface of the operating table, thus minimising the risk of contamination and surgical site infection.

For more building ventilation see our building services page.