Benefits of Modular Cleanrooms
What is a clean room?
Clean Rooms are enclosures designed to facilitate very sensitive research, fabrication, and any other operation that must take place in the absence or near absence of dirt, dust, moisture and other atmospheric conditions.
Cleanrooms are not intended to be totally sterile environments; the concern of most professionals is reducing the dust molecules to the barest minimum.
What is a modular clean room?
Modular Clean Rooms are one of the most popular types of cleanrooms. Clean room manufacturers design them and construct their pre-cut parts at the factory, then ship them to the customer. Then, either the customer assembles the pieces on-site using an installation kit, or assembles them with the help of a technician from the equipment manufacturer.
What are some modular clean room applications?
Modular clean rooms have countless applications in industries ranging from semiconductor to agriculture. Some examples of cleanroom construction applications include: powder coating enclosures, oil mist enclosures, painting enclosures, and plant cultivation rooms.
Why do customers choose modular clean rooms?
Customers choose modular clean rooms because of the many benefits and advantages that they provide, like those we’ve listed below.
- Modular cleanrooms can be assembled for use and disassembled after use.
- They are easy to build, easy to adjust and, easy to update for the best Air Pollution Control.
- They allow their users to study highly sensitive materials and technology without comprising them.
- By eliminating concerns associated with impurities like dust and moisture, they allow operators to make accuracy and efficiency the priority.
- Modular cleanrooms offer a potential tax advantage for businesses.
- With them, researchers can create a micro or mini-environment around their product. For example, they can contain leaks by creating an environment of constant positive pressure.
- Modular cleanrooms reduce overall costs by reducing design, engineering and construction time. They also use low cost materials.
- Modular cleanrooms are very flexible, especially in comparison to other cleanrooms.
- All the air handling and filtration equipment modules are built into the modular room ceiling.
The pioneer cleanroom design was created in 1960 by an American physicist named Willis Whitfield, who worked for Sandia National Laboratories. The cleanroom that had been in use before Whitfield’s invention had some troubles with particles and the airflow was unpredictable. Once the modern cleanroom was invented, users were now able to strictly control environments and flush out impurities using constant, highly filtered airflows.
We can divide all modular clean rooms into two major groups: soft wall modular clean rooms and hardwall (hard wall) modular clean rooms. Note that both types contain only filtered air that they pull from outside and send through a HEPA filter.
Soft Wall Modular Clean Rooms
Softwall clean rooms are portable, expandable and easy to relocate as needed. For walls, they use pressurized polymer curtains, like vinyl curtains, instead of hard panels. Usually, the curtains are supported by a tubular steel or aluminum frame with a ceiling grid, but they can also be freestanding. Note that these frames do not require the use of bolting hardware.
So that workers can enter and exit without causing contamination, the soft walls feature a resealable entrance. To make them more specific to your application, manufacturers can design for you softwall modular cleanrooms with different additional features, like: castors for easy movement, adjustable ceiling heights, anti-static curtains, non-outgassing curtains, and more.
Hard Wall Modular Clean Rooms
Hardwall modular clean rooms feature walls made from solid panels, which may be made from a variety of materials. Instead of being supported by a frame, hard wall panels support the frame (including the ceiling grid and roof).
Examples of materials from which manufacturers often make hard wall clean rooms include: high pressure laminate, reinforced plastic, polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, pre-painted steel, structural aluminum, aluminum honeycomb, pre-painted aluminum, plastic honeycomb, paper honeycomb and vinyl covered gypsum board.
Each material offers something different. Aluminum, for example, works well with electronic applications because it does not combust, shed particles, release gas or create static. Different types of plastics, on the other hand, work well with pharmaceuticals because they are easy to clean and durable.
We can also group modular clean rooms according to the max number of particles sized (.5 microns or larger) that they contain per cubic foot. Note that half a micron is miniscule; the average strand of human hair measures in width between 75 and 100 microns.
Examples of clean rooms classified by max particle number include: class 100 clean rooms, class 1000 clean rooms and class 10,000 cleanrooms.
Class 100 Cleanrooms
Class 100 clean rooms permit up to 100 particles per cubic foot. Class 100 clean rooms correspond with ISO 5 standard cleanrooms.
Because they permit so few particles in their space, class 100 cleanrooms are perfect for applications in electronics, semiconductor fabrication, food packaging and nanofabrication.
Usually, before entering this type of clean room, technicians must put on special shoes, where a body suit that covers them from head to toe, and take an air shower (at the entrance).
Class 1000 Cleanrooms
Class 1000 clean rooms allow up to 1000 particles per cubic foot inside at a time. Their ISO equivalent is ISO 6. Class 1000 clean rooms are not as strict as class 100 clean rooms, but they are still very effective at restricting particles from sources like: dust, lint, human hair, human skin, paint, lubricants and air conditioning machines.
Class 1000 modular clean rooms are popular for use in a wide range of industries, such as: electronics, lab research, industrial manufacturing, semiconductor, medicine and food processing. Operators use them for applications such as: laser micromachining, non-contact integration tools, flip-chip integration, product inspection and film deposition.
Class 1000 clean rooms require a fairly high level of technician cleanliness. Usually, before entering, they have to don a full protective suit that covers all of their hair and skin.
Class 10,000 Cleanrooms
Class 10000 clean rooms permit the entrance of 10,000 particles per cubic foot. They are the same as ISO 7 clean rooms. Because they allow so much contamination, they recycle out old air and pump in new filtered air between 40 and 60 times an hour.
Though they are much less clean than some other clean rooms, class 10,000 clean rooms work well for the fabrication and construction of a number of sensitive products, such as electrical parts and electronics. Also, as long as they meet FDA requirements, operators can use them during lab research, scientific experimentation and pharmaceutical chemical and drug processing.
To support these applications, manufacturers typically make the walls/panels of these clean rooms from materials like stainless steel, polycarbonate, aluminum or white acrylic.
When working in Class 10,000 cleanrooms, technicians must wear protective gear like lab coats, safety glasses, shoe covers, hair necks and gloves. These will keep particles from their bodies from contaminating anything. They do not, however, have to wear full body suits.
Modular clean rooms are very important for the manufacturing of products that cannot be made in an environment with particles. If you purchase a modular cleanroom, make sure to take care of it and clean it regularly with an appropriate cleaning solution.
If you are searching for modular cleanroom suppliers, you can find various cleanroom suppliers the IQS Directory modular clean room page. We look forward to your visit.
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