Modular cleanrooms (or “clean rooms”) are most often used in manufacturing and research facilities, but are evolving into new industries every day. Any industry or application where small particles can adversely affect manufacturing, production, or packaging processes can benefit from the use of modular cleanrooms.
What Makes A Cleanroom A Cleanroom?
By definition, a modular cleanroom is a controlled environment with a low level of pollutants such as dust, airborne microbes, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors. To be exact, a cleanroom maintains a controlled level of contamination, which is specified by both particles per cubic foot and allowable particle size.
Modular cleanrooms are used in clean-critical processes across a broad spectrum of industries, including:
- Semiconductor manufacturing
- Biotech & medical device manufacturing
- Military & aerospace
- Automotive manufacturing
- and countless others
Given that modular cleanrooms are contained spaces where provisions are made to reduce particulate contamination, HEPA filters are their key components. All of the air delivered into modular cleanrooms passes through these High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, which trap any particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. Certain applications that require even greater cleanliness utilize ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filters that trap particles as small as 0.12 microns.
Filtered air is supplied from overhead and, in most cases, passes out of the cleanroom via low wall vents. Single pass designs simply pull air in through the ceiling and exhaust out; recirculating designs recycle the exhaust air back into the filter in a process of continuous circulation. Each design provides different benefits, and can impact other environmental parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and pressure.
The Modular Cleanroom Experts
At Cleanrooms By United, we put cleanrooms first. Because different industries and applications require cleanrooms of varying size and complexity, we offer custom modular cleanrooms designed and manufactured to your specific requirements. Our custom modular cleanrooms provide:
- HEPA filtration
- Temperature control
- Humidity control
- Monitoring systems
Every application is unique—as such, Cleanrooms By United offers different wall finishes to cater to different needs. For example, our standard vinyl wall finish, with its non-shedding and easy-to-clean surface, is ideal for most modular cleanrooms up to ISO-7.
However, thanks to its chemical resistance for sterile wipe downs, an FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) finish is better for modular cleanrooms in pharmaceutical applications and other environments where microbials may be present.
For applications involving human tissues or implantable medical devices, modular cleanrooms with smooth, aluminum-clad wall finishes are recommended to reduce the presence and/or growth of microorganisms.
Benefits of Our Modular Cleanrooms
Modular cleanrooms from Cleanrooms By United are less expensive than standard sheetrock construction, and can be installed in just a fraction of the time.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of our modular cleanrooms is that they can be modified or even relocated with minimal expense and downtime. Our prefabricated modular cleanrooms are almost 100% reusable.
Our cleanrooms come factory-cut, with prewired UL-classified raceways, which provide a flush interior surface for electrical outlets and phone/data wiring. They can also be used as a service chase to house deionized water, compressed air, or nitrogen. Built-in raceways eliminate the mess of cutting and sanding drywall on site and minimize construction time and facility disruption.
Our 4” insulated wall system provides a thermal barrier which improves the efficiency and performance of the cleanroom’s mechanical system. This reduces energy costs and maintains temperature levels far better than non-insulated systems.
Depending on the classification level or function of a cleanroom, entry and exit through anterooms and/or gowning rooms may be required. Our modular cleanrooms include accommodations for these rooms to reduce contamination from external environments. Airlocks, air showers, and pass-through boxes can also be integrated so that personnel, products, and materials can be safely brought into and out of the cleanroom space.
Types of Cleanrooms
- Modular Cleanrooms
- Hardwall Modular Cleanrooms
- Softwall Modular Cleanrooms
- CMM Enclosures
What is Contamination?
Contamination is a process or act that causes materials or surfaces to be soiled with contaminating substances. There are two broad categories of surface contaminants: film type and particulates. These contaminants can produce a defect in a miniature circuit ultimately destroying it. Film contaminants of only 10 nm (nanometers) can drastically reduce coating adhesion on a wafer or chip.
Sources of Contamination
The most commonly known contaminants that can cause problems in some cleanroom environments are generated from five basic sources. The facilities, people, tools, fluids and the product being manufactured can all contribute to contamination. Review this list to gain a better understanding of where contamination originates.
Key Elements of Conatmination Control
- Cleanroom Design: Cleanrooms are designed to achieve and maintain a airflow in which essentially the entire body of air within a confined area moves with uniform velocity along parellel flow lines. This air flow is called laminar flow. The more restriction of air flow the more turbulence. Turbulence can cause particle movement.
- High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA): These filters are extremely important for maintaining contamination control. They filter particles as small as 0.3 microns with a99.97% minimum particle-collective efficiency.
- Filtration: In addition to the HEPA filters commonly used in cleanrooms, there are a number of other filtration mechanisms used to remove particles from gases and liquids. These filters are essential for providing effective contamination control.
- Cleaning: Cleaning is an essential element of contamination control. Decisions need to made about the details of cleanroom maintenance and cleaning. Applications and procedures need to be written and agreed upon by cleanroom management and contractors (if used).
- Cleanroom Garments: People are typically this biggest cause of particulate while in a cleanroom so proper gowning is very important. The requirements for cleanroom garments will vary based on the classification level and industry you work in. Lower classified cleanrooms (ISO 7 & 8) typically require smocks, show covers, gloves and hair net while more stringent cleanrooms (ISO 6 and up) will require full bunny suits.
- Electrostatic Discharge (ESD): When two surfaces rub together an electrical charge can be created. Moving air creates a charge. People touching surfaces or walking across the floor can create a static charge. Special care is taken to use ESD protective materials to prevent damage from ESD.