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Ventilation in cleanrooms

24/05/2023 Yves Vinck

Ventilation and indoor air quality are always important aspects of a building. In some areas, they are even essential for maintaining the functionality of the space.

Ventilation in cleanrooms
What is a cleanroom?

Cleanrooms are specialized environments designed to maintain extremely low levels of particulate and microbial contamination. They are widely used in industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics, and aerospace, where even the tiniest contaminants can have a significant impact on product quality, safety, and performance.
The primary objective of a cleanroom is to control the concentration of airborne particles, usually measured in terms of particles per cubic meter. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established standards such as ISO 14644-1 to classify cleanrooms based on the maximum allowable particle concentration.
Cleanrooms achieve their high levels of cleanliness through a combination of engineering controls, strict protocols, and specialized equipment.
The following key components are typically found in a cleanroom:

1.    Air Filtration Systems: Cleanrooms are equipped with advanced HVAC systems that use a combination of filters to remove particles from the air. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are commonly employed to capture particles as small as 0.3 micrometers.
2.    Positive Pressure: Cleanrooms are maintained at a higher pressure compared to surrounding areas, which prevents contaminated air from entering. This is achieved by ensuring that the supply air from the HVAC system exceeds the exhaust air.
3.    Controlled Airflow: Cleanrooms are designed to have a controlled airflow pattern, typically a unidirectional or laminar flow. Unidirectional flow moves air in a single direction, while laminar flow moves air in parallel, minimizing the chance of particles settling on surfaces.
4.    Cleanroom Garments: Personnel working in cleanrooms are required to wear specialized garments, including cleanroom suits, gloves, masks, and shoe covers. These garments prevent the shedding of particles and microbes from their bodies into the cleanroom environment.
5.    Cleaning and Disinfection: Regular cleaning and disinfection protocols are followed to maintain the cleanliness of surfaces, equipment, and tools within the cleanroom. Specific cleaning agents and procedures are employed to minimize the introduction of contaminants.
Cleanrooms are classified into different ISO classes, ranging from ISO Class 1 (the cleanest) to ISO Class 9 (relatively less clean). The classification depends on the maximum allowable particle concentration per cubic meter of air.

In addition to particle control, cleanrooms also address other factors like temperature, humidity, electrostatic discharge, and noise levels, which can affect the quality and integrity of the products being manufactured or researched within the cleanroom.
Overall, cleanrooms are critical in industries that require stringent environmental control to ensure product quality, safety, and compliance with regulatory standards. Their design, operation, and maintenance are carefully executed to provide a controlled environment that minimizes the presence of contaminants, making them indispensable in various cutting-edge fields of science and technology.

How can Sentera help to keep these rooms clean?

1.    Our latest new development is an air filter monitoring device. With our FIM you can monitor one or 2 filters and receive a warning via email or sms to inform you that the filters need to be cleaned and/or replaced. Via the local Wi-Fi network or a LAN-cable – depending on which version you choose – you can connect the device to SenteraWeb. Via SenteraWeb you can monitor the values, change parameters, log data and schedule ahead the maintenance or replacement of the air filter(s).
2.    To control the airflow and positive pressure in the cleanroom you can rely on our differential pressure sensors and differential pressure controllers. The sensors will transmit the measured value (pressure or air flow) proportionally via the analogue output. The controllers can be used to ensure a constant airflow under changing conditions. The output signal can be used to directly control an EC fan or motorised damper or to control an AC fan via a speed controller or frequency inverter. The output is again based on the measured differential pressure, airflow or air velocity. All settings can be adjusted via Modbus RTU. The sensors and controllers are available with or without small display.

For further information, do not hesitate to contact us.
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