What is a Clean Room?

January 8, 2014


cleanroomClean rooms play a key role in the billion dollar manufacturing industry. Still, some remain clueless of what it really is and what happens inside a clean room. In a nutshell, a clean room is a controlled medium where materials are fabricated. The concentration of airborne elements present in this room is controlled in precise limits. Any fluctuations beyond these preset standards are unacceptable. Eradicating sub-micron particles in the air is really a painstaking process of control. These contaminants are produced by humans, procedures, facilities, and machinery. They must be constantly eliminated from the air.

The degree to which these components need to be eliminated vary on the standards the company is using. The most regularly exercised policy is the Federal Standard 209E. This document builds classifications of air cleanliness on an airborne particulate scale in clean rooms and areas and is used as a benchmark of some of the largest manufacturing companies that exist today. Stringent policies are practiced to avoid contaminating any fabricated products. Failure to comply with these standards can induce severe consequences in the workforce as is the potential consequences if the clean room is breached and the manufacturing process is contaminated. Millions of dollars worth of product may be flushed down the drain in an instant, a horrifying situation any company in the right mind will try to avoid at all costs.

The only means of controlling contamination is to manage the environment entirely. Air flow speed, direction, temperature, humidity, pressurization and specific filtration are heavily considered when controlling the environment. Their particle sources are also eliminated whenever possible. Clean rooms are planned and fabricated using special methods. These zones are mostly found in manufacturing plants of electronics, medical devices, and pharmaceutical companies.

Contrasted with a typical office setting, monitoring of air in clean rooms are much quicker. In the former setting, air is comprised of particles anywhere between 500,000 to 1,000,000 in number per cubic feet of air. Class 100 clean rooms are calibrated to enable more than 100 particles per cubic feet of air. Meanwhile, Class 1,000 and 10,000 clean rooms enable a maximum of 1,000 and 10,000 particles respectively. Let’s use this with an example. Take a human hair, which is around 75 to 100 microns in diameter. A particle 200 times less the size of a human hair can create major problems in a clean room. If the area is breached, resolving the contamination can significantly increase the expenses of the company. After the foundation of a clean room, it must be maintained at all times within the same high standards it was built on. Let AES Clean Technology Inc help you with building and maintaining your clean room today!

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