Cleanroom supplies are all of the equipment, components, and constituent parts that make up cleanroom systems. Air filters, sterilization chemicals, and application tools, fans, vents, work surfaces, building materials, and all other components related to the structural and functional properties of cleanrooms fall under the category of cleanroom supplies.
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Cleanroom Design and Customization
A cleanroom's design and equipment affects its performance. Properties like structural design, air filter and vent position, air filter and vent composition, and all other properties related to a cleanroom’s configuration affect decontamination capacity. The higher the decontamination standard, the more vigorously controlled each of a cleanroom’s properties must be. Portable and modular cleanrooms, for example, are generally not capable of generating the extremely low decontamination levels that are possible in permanent cleanrooms. For this reason, they are less likely to employ light-scattering particle measurement equipment or any of the other kinds of advanced equipment installed in more advanced cleanrooms. But as the decontamination standard of a cleanroom rises, the impact that all cleanroom supplies have on performance also increases. Infectious disease research laboratories, which require highly controlled testing environments, make use of harsh sterilization chemicals. Work surfaces in those environments must be corrosion-resistant so as not to contaminate test samples with vapors or particulates generated by corrosion. Stainless steel, for example, can corrode if exposed to bleach.
Cleanroom Standards and Classifications
Cleanroom supplies must be selected carefully because of the strictness of the standards set for cleanroom operation. The United States government, the ISO, and other international standards-setting organizations assign ratings and classes to cleanrooms depending on their capacity for decontamination. US FED STD 209E standards rate cleanrooms based on how many 0.5 micrometer-sized particles per cubic foot are considered acceptable within a given cleanroom. Class 1 cleanrooms contain no more than one 0.5 micrometer-sized particle per cubic foot. This is an extremely low contamination level. To achieve it, no fibrous building materials, furniture, or cleanroom clothing can be brought into the enclosure. Even certain kinds of paper cannot be brought into Class 1 cleanrooms because of some paper varieties’ fibrous qualities. Some cleanrooms are equipped with adhesive mats designed to pick up particles on the floor that may have been tracked in by workers. Such advanced cleanrooms employ complex combinations of filters, monitoring equipment and other methods of keeping contamination low, but every factor contributes to the capacity of a cleanroom to become decontaminated.