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Cleanrooms: The Basics

Mar 22nd 2015

What is a cleanroom and what are the essential elements that one needs to know about a cleanroom? I came to the realization that there may be some of you who don’t know what a cleanroom is exactly. I want to inform, educate, and perhaps be able to add some clarity for you on this topic.

In a nutshell, a cleanroom is a controlled environment where products are made and manufactured. In a cleanroom, the airborne particles must be controlled and contained at very specific limits depending on the standards required for the equipment. The only way to stabilize the contamination is simply to have control over the whole environment. Particles are moved, pushed, and shuffled around by slight movements on air pressure, temperature, and even humidity. Even a single particle that is just 100 times smaller than a human hair can disrupt an entire cleanroom!

Contamination can come from the facility itself (walls, paints, room air, leaks etc.), people (skin, hair, makeup), tools (vibrations, brooms, emissions), fluids ( bacteria, chemicals), and even from the products themselves (debris, flakes, chips). So you can see how cleanrooms’ must be completely planned out, down to the hair (pun intended!), from the beginning architecture stage, to the humans operating inside of the cleanroom.

People are one of the biggest contaminants in a cleanroom environment. Just standing alone, up to 100,000 particles are produced a minute! One must be cautious of their movement as well as their skin in a cleanroom. Cosmetics release vast amounts of particles into the air. Even just wearing cologne or perfume can disrupt an entire cleanroom,

What about ESD? Well ESD stands for Electrostatic Discharge. It is when two surfaces rub together and an electrical charge is created. There are specific materials and products that are made ESD safe in order to protect materials and prevent damage from ESD.

I hope that this was helpful in helping some of you to understand the basics, necessities, and complexity of a cleanroom. It is because of all of these complexities and many other components about cleanrooms and its’ equipment that always keeps my job interesting!

About Cleanroom World:

Cleanroom World is a cleanroom specialist in Centennial Colorado