Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Didcot, Oxfordshire. The facility – one of the most advanced in the world – is used by more than 3000 researchers across disciplines including structural biology, energy, engineering, nanoscience and environmental sciences.
The synchrotron machine speeds up electrons to near light speeds so that they give off a light 10 billion times brighter than the sun. These bright beams are directed off into laboratories known as ‘beamlines’. The light is used by a machine 10,000 times more powerful than a traditional microscope to study a vast array of subject matter.
Diamond Light Source required a secure laboratory in which experiments were to be conducted. This room needed to be secured to the level of LPS1175 SR4 and also, due to the nature of the work being carried out, sealed to Containment Level (CL) 3 – a standard set by the Health and Safety Executive, under guidance from the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP).
The room measured 15m x 6m x 5m with a secure hatch in the ceiling that was required to ensure maintenance of machinery. Secure doors and windows needed to be incorporated into the design.
The contractor, Interserve, engaged ACT, a long-standing Securiclad contractor, to install Securiclad’s LPS1175 SR4 panel system on the project. The SR4 rating means Securiclad can safeguard laboratories against experienced attempts at forced entry with tools including drills (12v DC), disc grinders (12v DC), gas torches, sledgehammers and jig saws (12v DC).
On completion, the lab was fully air tested and met all of Diamond Light Source’s containment level requirements. The target was that the laboratory should operate under negative pressure relative to the rest of the facility, ranging from -30 Pa to -50 Pa. Securiclad panels have been tested and proven to withstand pressure differences of 3500 Pa and so provided an appropriate solution for the client.
In addition, ACT was able to incorporate a bespoke LPS1175 SR4 rated maintenance hatch, LPS1175 SR4 rated doors manufactured by Stafford Bridge Doors Ltd and LPS1175 SR4 rated windows, manufactured by Fendor Ltd, into the enclosure.
Securiclad panels, when finished in WFSL, have a hygienic surface and are easy to clean – crucial in the construction of laboratory environments.