Containment Chambers and Glove Boxes: What Role?
Containment chambers and glove boxes are the most reliable and flexible method of containing hazardous products. In the manufacturing process and production of products, it is necessary to go through different phases. In some cases, these products may involve chemical or mechanical processes, or both. These products need to be contained, especially when they present risks to the environment or are hazardous to humans. The same applies when contamination of a sterile process must be avoided.
Glove boxes and engineered containments thus play the role of a protective device by ensuring a safe working environment. This equipment must therefore comply with current safety standards. In concrete terms, the containment enclosures and glove boxes have two main functions:
- Protection of the environment and operators: glove boxes and containment enclosures isolate products or substances that expose operators to the risk of dangerous phenomena or accidents. For example: radioactive elements, chemical compounds, metals, etc.
- Process protection: containment enclosures and glove boxes protect products and substances that are sensitive to atmospheric conditions by confining them. For example, R&D on lithium batteries, 3D printing, laser or titanium welding, etc.
Engineered Containments and Glove Box Features
Glove boxes and engineered containment enclosures ensure optimal protection during applications. Generally, their structure is made of stainless steel and consists of transparent faces where handling gloves are attached. The operator has access to the protected area from the outside.
The internal conditions of the containment and glove boxes can be controlled and regulated. To maintain containment, these devices also have ports and connecting tunnels so that equipment can pass between different work areas. They also allow the transit of the elements to be protected, the instruments to be used and the products to be handled. A safety system is also integrated into the equipment. This is automatically triggered in the event of any anomalies or accidental leaks.
The choice of the equipment can be made according to its application. For a highly specialized industrial process with specific constraints, a custom-made and personalized glove box and containment should be used.
For the protection of a process or products, the glove box in overpressure is the best choice. If the equipment must allow the protection of the environment and personnel during routine processes, an engineered containment chamber / glove box in depression is the most appropriate equipment.