A fire which broke out in a fume cupboard in the clean room of a University laboratory, caused serious smoke contamination to the rest of the equipment. The equipment played a central role in enabling and supporting UK University research and therefore needed to be back up and running as quickly as possible. In total there were 9 large pieces of equipment together with ancillary equipment such as fume cupboards. FDML were called in to undertake mechanical, electrical and electronic decontamination. At the same time, two other contractors were present in the laboratory, undertaking decontamination works to the walls, ceilings and ducting. Due to the severity of the incident, any further research and development by the client was forced to cease until such a time as all the machinery and equipment had been decontaminated.
To undertake mechanical, electrical and electronic decontamination to all the equipment, including partial disassembly and assembly of corrosion affected equipment. A specialist scaffolding contractor was brought in to erect scaffolding throughout the laboratory, in order to provide access to the ceiling and ducting. FDML were therefore required to work under and around the scaffolding, ensuring that each piece of equipment was securely covered following completion of decontamination works, thus preventing further contaminant.
Two teams of FDML technicians were deployed seven days a week, with one team working on the control panels and the other working on the exterior, in order to provide a thorough clean using specialist cleaning products. Each piece of equipment was then oiled to prevent any further corrosion, given the unusually high temperatures in the laboratory, as the air conditioning had been turned off to allow for decontamination works. The equipment was then covered until such a time as the scaffolding was removed.
All decontamination works were completed within the deadline and valuable equipment successfully saved, enabling the client to continue to carry out its research and development.