Key outcomes:

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

Cleanrooms are used in many industries to ensure clean air and to minimise contamination due to dust, aerosols and airborne particulates. These industries include pharmaceutical manufacture, biomedical research, food processing, electronics and semiconductor manufacture, hospitals and medical laboratories.

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, while air is extracted from near floor level to prevent dust, microbes and other particles from recirculating over the patient.

CFD modelling offers the opportunity to optimise clean room HVAC systems, and validate the performance of systems prior to construction, providing confidence that air quality targets will be met. By applying CFD modelling Synergetics can examine the flow field, air velocity and “freshness” of the air in different regions 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.