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Scaled models have been used to examine the air circulation patterns created by a laminar downflow ventilation system in an operating theater. Quantitative flow visualization using laser light sheet illumination and particle image velocimetry (PIV) has enabled the detailed characteristics of the three-dimensional flow patterns to be determined. These flow characteristics are discussed in relation to the conditions in a full-size operating theater, noting that the ventilation system is expected to provide protection for both patient and staff against airborne pathogens and fugitive gases.

The paper presents a sample of the results obtained from a comprehensive experimental study. This has produced interesting findings relating to the significance of the alternative scaling parameters (e.g., geometrical scale, Reynolds and Grashof numbers). In particular, the experiments show how these parameters determine the flow behavior when the room size and the flow conditions are altered.

Paper from IAQ 2004 -- Critical Operations: Supporting the Healing Environment Through IAQ Performance Standards

Units: SI