Why do I need a cleanroom?
The purpose of every cleanroom is to control an environment by limiting the presence of sub-micron particles and modifying inadequate environmental conditions. The level to which the environment is controlled is what separates one cleanroom from another. For instance, a Class 10 cleanroom has 10 particles of size 0.5 microns per cubic foot of air, where as a Class 100,000 cleanroom has 100,000 particles of size 0.5 micron per cubic foot of air.
The Need for Cleanrooms
The electronic, high-tech, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, aero space, medical and many other industries depend on cleanroom technology. As products such as cell phone circuit boards become smaller, the chance of contamination in manufacturing becomes higher. For pharmaceutical companies, clean, safe and contaminant-free products are imperative to manufacturing and distributing a viable product.
Personnel: The Greatest Threat!
The largest cause of contamination in a cleanroom is personnel. The following statistics have been taken from “The Austin Index” to illustrate personnel contamination. Personnel sampled were fully clothed in cleanroom garments and engaged in one of the following:
- Standing or sitting with no movement resulted in 100,000 particles/minute 0.3 microns or larger.
- Sitting or standing, light head, hand and forearm movement resulted in 500,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns and larger.
- Sitting or standing, average body and arm movement, toe tapping, resulted in 1,000,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns and larger.
- Changing positions, sitting to standing, resulted in 2,500,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns or larger.
- Slow walking (2 mph), 5,000,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns and larger.
- Average walking (3.57 mph), 7,500,000 particles/minute, 0.3 micron and larger.
- Fast walking (5 mph) 10,000,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns and larger
- Climbing stairs, 10,000,000 particles/minute, 0.3 microns and larger