The Airflow Control of Cleanrooms

11 Aug 2017

The Airflow Control of Cleanrooms

Many professionals around the globe make the best use of cleanrooms in order to standardize their production and research processes. At a glance, the outer appearance of cleanrooms may look normal and similar to the conventional rooms that have glass walls, doors, and windows. However, in the context of functionality, cleanrooms are quite different from the other rooms. The most significant characteristic associated with cleanrooms is the strict airflow control.

When it comes to a standard office room, they have HVAC units that can generally carry out up to ten air changes each hour. However, when it comes to a cleanroom setup, they have twenty to six hundred air changes every hour and that is a pretty intense figure. In simpler terms, far more amount of air is moved inside cleanrooms in order to withstand various types of contaminations effectively.

Since cleanrooms require far higher air volume, they are equipped with High-Efficiency Particle Air Filters (commonly known as HEPA Filters). HEPA filters are effective enough to capture all the micro-size particles in the air that enter the cleanroom; this is a vital step to assure a cleaner and particle-free environment inside. However, some cleanrooms demand immaculate cleanliness and this is when you need to install Ultra Low Particle Air (ULPA) filters. Such filters can assure a superior level of purity inside the dedicated area.

As per the standard mechanism, the air in the cleanroom goes through the HVAC system, gets purified and flows back to the room. Airflow in a cleanroom environment may exist in various forms. However, the most commonly found airflow system is laminar flow. As per the laminar flow, the air is directed toward the flow from the ceiling in the form of layers. These layers of air hit the floor and will be subsequently absorbed by the floor level grilles in order to send to the purification cycle. Nevertheless, the rooms that have low or high air pressure might demand more advance equipment to assure a faultless airflow within the room.

Compared to the conventional rooms we see every day, clean rooms have pretty different surfaces too. In general, all the measures should be taken to reduce particle emission inside the cleanrooms; the surface of the room should support this process. That is why the surfaces of these special rooms are designed to emit zero particles and easy to clean. Usually, the surfaces (walls, floor, and ceiling) come without designs.

Despite the perfectly clean airflow and the easy-to-clean characteristics, it is a common practice for cleanrooms to have special entrances and air showers as an added precaution. These air filters will provide further protection to the room by eliminating all types of particles from the bodies before entering the room and make the surrounding a completely safe for whatever the process. Depending on the type of the process goes inside, people who work inside cleanrooms wear different types of protective gear that might vary from full-body covers to gloves. To make a good cleanroom environment, all these aspects should be combined with efficient air purification system.

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