Axiom Week: Day 2

FAQs, Myths, Fabrications & Misinformation about the Type C1 Purifier Axiom - Part 2


What is different about the Axiom?

Just about everything. It is designed to bridge the gaps in safety, flexibility and engineering that exist among current BSC types.

MYTH: The proposed Type C1 is basically a B1 BSC in terms of airflow pattern.

TRUTH: If you compare the B1 and Axiom in cross section and in internal airflow patterns, yes, they are similar as seen here - 

However, that is where the similarities end. The Axiom has 2 distinct design differences:

  1. The internal exhaust blower makes the Axiom far more dynamic in laboratory installation and operation
  2. The air is segregated differently.

FABRICATION: The Axiom requires specific use work instructions to assure that users work in the exhaust portion of the work zone (Chem-Zone)

TRUTH: The Type B1 is actually the only cabinet that requires specific and special training/user work instructions, to assure that users work in the appropriate area of the BSC’s interior. For the A2, A2 with canopy, B2 and C1 – users simply work inside the dished work surface.

BENEFITS: In a B1, the air behind the invisible moving smoke split is directly exhausted. When using chemicals, this is where the operator MUST work – an operational requirement sure to cause fatigue, mistakes and injuries.

In an Axiom, the air entering the Chem-Zone – a full depth, perforated, single pass exhaust airflow work surface – is directly dedicated to being safely exhausted from the BSC.



MYTH: Cleanability at the grille, work surface and sump under the work surface is negatively impacted with the additional plenum in comparison to traditional BSCs with one large work surface and no obstacles underneath.

TRUTH: The Axiom’s three-piece work surface breaks up one large monolithic stainless steel structure into smaller, lighter & easier to handle sections. 

BENEFITS: The plenum under the Chem-Zone can easily be removed for cleaning by using the lift knob. A back wall mounted latch can be used for hands-free assist by holding the Chem-Zone work surface out of the way during cleaning.



Can the Axiom be used without exhaust?

Yes, the Axiom uses paired internal exhaust and supply blowers to provide proper inflow, down flow and positively pressurized exhaust that is similar to a Class II Type A2; therefore, it can be used as a room recirculating BSC.

FABRICATION: Since the Axiom has an internal exhaust motor blower, there is risk of fire or explosion when using vapor forming volatile chemistry inside the BSC.

TRUTH: The Axiom has a motor blower in the airstream of the BSC, unlike Type Bs. However, the large volume of the air moving through the exhaust system keeps most chemical applications in a BSC well below ignition levels.

The Type B cabinets that are suggested to be safer for use with volatile chemical vapors have electrical outlets on the BSC interior, at the source of evaporation, where air is moving at a much slower rate. This poses a higher risk to be assessed than diluted concentrations through ductwork. 

BENEFITS: The internal exhaust blower in the Axiom alleviates one of the most significant risks posed by Type B BSCs in regards to handling hazardous chemistry & microbiology. During a remote exhaust failure the Axiom can protect an operator for up to 5 minutes while they complete shutdown procedures and secure their laboratory assets.

During a remote exhaust failure, Type B BSCs must detect an exhaust remote failure within 15 seconds. During this time the BSC is pressurized and the user is in the path of air from the work area back into the laboratory, characterized as “puff-back” – as defined by NIH/CDC in the BMBL 5th edition.



MYTH: No volatiles may be used in the Axiom when installed in Type A (recirculating) mode.

TRUTH: With all applications handling hazardous materials a risk assessment must be completed. For the purpose of selecting the correct BSC type, this risk assessment must determine one thing: is the chemistry being used hazardous or not? This does not mean that hazardous chemicals are being used; rather that the chemicals being used are of a concentration and volume that would require a chemical fume hood. If yes, then the BSC selected must have single pass airflow (either a type B or C). If no, then an A2 can be selected.

NOTE: Applications involving significant volumes/concentrations of volatile chemicals that would necessitate a Class I Division 1 or Class I Division 2 fire-rated facility should never be used in a Class II BSC – the need for an Explosion Proof BSC should never exist as no BSC meets the requirements of NFPA 45. None of the Class II BSC types can ever replace the need for an EP fume hood.

BENEFITS: Before the Axiom, selecting Biosafety Cabinets followed this risk assessment process of determining the difference between hazardous chemicals and hazardous chemistry. Now, the Axiom or any other future type C1 simplifies this process.

If a laboratory is using chemistry of any reasonable level with its microbiology now or in the future, the C1 should be selected. Chemical and biological risks are addressed with the chemical containment of a type B, the flexibility of a type A and remote exhaust failure dynamic protection exclusive to the Axiom.



FABRICATION: The unique recessed area in the center may restrict the use of equipment and other procedures commonly done in a BSC that require a flat work surface.

TRUTH: All manufacturers of Class II BSCs use dished work surfaces in the interior. This is done to contain spilled liquid in the BSC. The dished or recessed Chem-Zone provides the same containment for the same reason. Furthermore it localizes it to the area of the cabinet that is directly exhausting any evaporated hazards due to a spill or normal work.

BENEFITS: Besides simply containing spills, the Chem-Zone, as demonstrated by Biological Safety Officers at ABSA, provides visual cues for organizing and maintaining the interior work zone of a Class II BSC.

Additionally, following the practices of human factors design (ergonomics), the Chem-Zone is optimally calculated to provide sufficient working space, keeping non-essential equipment out of the way. This empowers the use of equipment and other procedures commonly done in a BSC in a safe, productive and efficient manner.



Watch our video to learn more about C1 Technology and the Chem-Zone airflow pattern.

Return to to learn more about the Type C1 every day this week.

This is Day 2 of Axiom Week, see our post for: Day 1 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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