Laboratories, along with certain manufacturing and research facilities demand specific environments so that their experiments, testing or manufacturing can be conducted flawlessly. These environments vary based on the types of processes utilized and the outcomes sought. The highest levels of experiments, testing and manufacturing require the most stringent environments and to create and maintain these environments, clean rooms are used.
Description of a Clean Room
Clean rooms are specially designed and maintained environments most often utilized in the scientific research, medical, manufacturing aerospace, semiconductor and engineering industries. They are built to contain a low level of environmental pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors creating a “clean environment for the desired processes to occur. If you check the modular clean room manufacturers listings, you will see that clean rooms come in two specific styles, stationary and modular.
Clean rooms carry a certain specification that must be met in order for them to be certified. Certified clean rooms must have a controlled level of contamination that is lower than a specified number of particles per cubic meter at a specific particle size. Clean rooms come in many different classifications with the best being an ISO 1 cleanroom that allows no particles in that size range and only 12 particles per cubic meter of 0.3 μm and smaller. The lowest level clean room, an ISO 9, is the equivalent of room air which contains 35,000,000 particles per cubic meter in the size range 0.5 μm and larger in diameter.
Clean rooms vary from very small room to an entire facility. Facilities may have one or more clean rooms with each serving a different specific purpose. The biggest clean rooms are the size of a factory and have dozens of people working within them.
The air entering a clean room is tightly controlled. All air entering from the outside is outside is filtered to exclude dust and other contaminants. The air inside the clean room is constantly recirculated through high-efficiency particulate air and/or ultra-low particulate air filters to remove internally generated contaminants.
Clean room staff wear protective clothing on their heads, faces, hands and bodies and enter and leave through controlled airlocks which may require some type of equipment is placed in a clean room it is similarly decontaminated and all equipment in a clean room is specifically designed to cause minimal contamination to the clean room air. Similar with any furniture entered into a clean room. It must produce a minimal amount of dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors.
When operated properly clean rooms create the near contaminant-free environment required for certain processes and experiments.
Modular Clean Rooms
Most clean rooms are stationary and require workers to make their way to their locations. However there are a class of clean rooms that are both modular and portable allowing for their movement to on-site locations. Modular clean rooms offer advantages over stationary clean rooms:
- Versatile: Modular clean rooms can be assembled and disassembled on-site and relocated to new locations as needed.
- Reconfigurable: Modular rooms can be reconfigured to different shapes and are comparatively inexpensive to retrofit and upgrade as cleanliness or other requirements change.
- Airflow control: Center-mount bracket system maintains room pressure; along with adjustable IsoVent™ wall vents, cleanrooms isolate released air to minimize particle swirling, aggregation and deposition on clean surfaces
- Inexpensive Panel Modifications: Simple on-site panel modification or replacement accommodates pass-throughs or custom air release vents, which draw clean air toward a work station or sensitive process.
- Cost and Lead Time: A modular clean room gives you a customized clean environment at a fraction of the cost and time associated with a conventional cleanroom.
For these reasons, modular clean rooms are a much better choice when purchasing a clean room.