Cleanroom Basics

What is a critical environment or cleanroom? An area in which the concentration of airborne particles is controlled, and which is constructed and used in a manner to minimise the introduction, generation, and retention of particles inside the room and in which other relevant parameters, e.g. temperature, humidity, and pressure, are controlled as necessary. Where does contamination originate? Particles can either be viable or non-viable. They come in different shapes and sizes, the most common are less than 10 microns, and are invisible to the naked eye. People are a major source of contamination through body regenerative processes, behaviour and work habits. The threat of contamination. Independent studies have revealed that 80% of contamination enters the clean room or critical area through entrances and exits mostly at or near floor level. Who needs a contamination free environment? The electronic, high-tech, semiconductor, pharmaceutical, aerospace, automotive, medical, hospital and many other industries depend on methods of reducing contamination. What are benefits of effective contamination control? In the electronics markets - benefits include enhanced stamper quality and reduced stamper-finishing times in CD/DVD Manufacturing, Improved PCB manufacturing and assembly process, reduced defects in wafer production, flat panel displays . In the life science markets, - Unbiased experimentation in laboratory setting, lower pathogen counts and reduced contamination in hospitals. Overall this results in improved product yield (lower rejection rates) , an Increase in product quality and reduced operating costs.

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Cleanroom classifications: ISO Classification Number N ISO Class 1 ISO Class 2 ISO Class 3 ISO Class 4 ISO Class 5 ISO Class 6 ISO Class 7 ISO Class 8 ISO Class 9 Definitions Micron: A unit of measurement equal to one-millionth of a meter: 0.00003937 inches Air Lock: A room attached to the Cleanroom. This room has interlocking doors and its function is to act as a buffer zone between the cleanroom and the outside atmosphere, during the transfer of material or personnel. It helps keep the cleanroom pressurized and free from infiltrating dirt. Fiber: Particle with a length-to-width ratio exceeding 10:1 and a minimum length of 100 µm. Pass Thru: A small enclosure that mounted through the cleanroom wall and allows product to be passed through efficiently. Pass thru's cut down on personnel traffic, hence reducing contamination. More resources at Maximum concentration limits (particles/m 3 of air) for particles of the considered sizes shown below >= 0,1 µm 10 100 1 000 10 000 100 000 >= 0,2 >= 0,3 µm µm 2 10 24 237 2 370 23 700 102 1 020 10 200 102 000 >= 0,5 µm >= 1 µm 4 35 352 3 520 35 200 352 000 3 520000 35 200 000 8 83 832 8 320 83 200 832 000 8 320 000 >= 5 µm 29 293 2 930 29 300 293 000

1 000000 237 000

Particle: Small quantity of solid or liquid material with definable shape or mass. Particle Size: Maximum linear dimension or diameter of a particle Peel-off/tacky mats: Are sticky mats are multiple layers of treated film with adhesive, aim to clean shoe bottoms before entering a critical environment.

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