Cleanrooms: What They Are And How To Keep Them Clean

Many industries require a place that is squeaky clean to perform certain functions where even a little bit of dust or dirt can disrupt the operations. This is especially important in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, and biotech industries where any type of contamination can shut down the operation until the contaminants are removed from the room.  Here is an overview of a cleanroom Austin industries use in the manufacturing processes of different materials and how to keep them clean.

Contamination Ratios

A cleanroom doesn’t mean it is completely free of contaminants as that is practically impossible to achieve. Instead, it means the number of contaminants in the air in a cleanroom is kept below a certain threshold. Cleanrooms are classified by U.S. Federal Standard 209 and the International Standards Association according to the maximum amount of particles in the air. For example, a regular open room is a class Federal Standard 1,000,000 or an ISO 9 room. This means there are approximately 1,000,000 particles of contaminants per cubic meter of air in the room. A cleanroom Austin industries use can have a rating as low as 10 particles of contaminants per meter of air.

Where Contaminants Come From

Contaminants come from everywhere. Air conditioners, wall paint, people, tools, bacteria, and flakes from milling down quartz or silicon all add to the number of particles in the air. A cleanroom is constantly invaded by contaminants.

How to Control Contaminants

A system has to be put in place to remove and control the number of contaminants in the room. There are different methods used to control contaminants, including:

HEPA Filters: HEPA, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters, are used in the HVAC equipment used to heat and cool the cleanrooms. These filters can remove almost 100{4348bc372134b33f547a4abc8ca54ec2607be38c3666d40c870df9bbc4170cc9} of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the room.

Laminar Flow: The design of the cleanroom is done is a way that maximizes the laminar flow of air through the room. Laminar flow means that the air flows uniformly through the room and out the vents without any disruptions. Any disruptions in the air flow can cause turbulence that can send particles up into the air.

Filtration Hoods: Filtration hoods are placed over tables and areas where items are being worked. If the items send up any flakes, chips, or dust, the particles will get pulled up into the filtration hoods so they are removed from the air.

Cleanroom Uniforms: Cleanroom uniforms consist of coverall suits, goggles, gloves, face masks, and shoe and head coverings. The purpose of the uniforms is to encapsulate the bodies of the workers so they don’t carry contaminants into the room.

If you need help keeping your cleanroom clean, give us a call and we can show you how.

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