How to control the cleanroom environment

March 29, 2018

Cleanrooms are widely used in scientific research and manufacturing. They act as a place to minimize airborne contamination, while strictly controlling factors like temperature and humidity.

This makes them a crucial space for a number of industries such as pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, electronics, and micro-mechanics – where cleanliness and precision are vital.

Cleanroom classification

With this in mind, there are increasing regulations for cleanrooms to ensure production remains safe and free from contamination.

Basically, cleanrooms are classified by how clean the air is. Air is constantly filtered and recirculated through filters to maintain its quality.

As the sole entry and exit point for most contaminants (i.e. people), doors are crucial to meeting international classification standards. The right door goes a long way to minimizing potential variables.

 Airtightness

The first question to ask is: are the doors well sealed? Effective doors should be as secure as possible, with near impermeable seals. Many laboratories even use airlock systems for entry and exit.

 However, the process of air filtration moves air around within the room – we need to breathe after all. Cleanrooms tend to maintain high air pressure, which occurs when slightly more air is being put in than taken out.

This means the excess air looks to escape, so any airflow around the door when it’s opened and closed will be moving outwards, restricting the access of external contaminants.

Door speed

Another key component of keeping a cleanroom…well, clean, is the speed of the door. Generally speaking, the faster the better.

Doors with fast opening and closing speeds regulate air exchange and reduces the risk of contaminants such as draughts, moisture, dust and dirt. The less time a door is open, the easier it is to maintain stable air pressure.

Specialized doors can’t be treated as an afterthought. They must fit their purpose – in this case, maintaining a clean, controlled environment to ensure testing and manufacturing processes are as precise and efficient as possible.

 

Learn more about ASSA ABLOY Entrance Systems range of certified high-performance cleanroom doors.