Clean Room Cleaning Supplies

Clean Room Cleaning Supplies are as varied and varied as their applications. There are tissues, sponges, mops and towels. Also grouped together will be disinfectants, wiping alcohol and acetone. Static clean room cleaning supplies include: tacky mat, tacky roller, and shoe cleaner. There is a category of supplies that falls under the equipment umbrella. For example: auto clave (sterilizer), steam cleaner and vacuum cleaner. The classic application for this cleaning agent is semiconductor manufacturing. Almost all semiconductor companies carry out their semiconductor processes in a clean room environment. The need for cleaning supplies depends on the specific environment itself.

Clean room cleaning supplies are only needed due to the spread of clean rooms everywhere. It is therefore necessary to understand and appreciate technology; at least with an image. Willis Whitfield was accredited with the invention of the modern clean room in 1960. As an employee of Sandia National Laboratories, he designed facilities based on a constant flow of filtered air. The constant flow pushes the air particles out of the facility and carries the air through a special filter. These filters are now known as High Efficiency Particulate Air filters or HEPA. This technology quickly became an integral part of semiconductor manufacturing processes worldwide and remains so today. Obviously this technology has been refined and improved over the years. One of the fundamental steps in development is classification.

Cleanroom classification has enabled semiconductor manufacturers to create facilities that fit their needs. Classification is denoted by the number of particles of a certain size in one cubic meter of space in the room. For example, ordinary room air has 1,000,000,000 particles 0.1 microns or larger per cubic meter while the ISO class 1 classification has only 10 particles 0.1 microns or larger per cubic meter.

Clean room cleaning equipment is selected based on its ability to perform the required ISO classification. For this purpose, the most important characteristic of cleanroom cleaning supplies is the non-particle generation, or, yielding of particles suitable for the existing classification. These special characteristics lead to the selection of the base materials used in the manufacture of cleaning products.

The materials used in the manufacture of cleanroom cleaning kits include a variety of materials from organic to synthetic. If we look at a particular group of cleaning products, such as wipes and sponges, we will find a well-focused list of ingredients. These include: paper, cotton, polyester, nylon, cellulose polyester blends, microfibers and more recently, molded plastics. Paper and cotton products produce the most particulates and are therefore best suited for less stringent conditions. Next are nylon, polyester and polyester blends. It is perfect for mid-range applications. For the most stringent cleaning supply requirements, products based on microfibers and molded plastics are usually preferred.

Another important characteristic of this clean room cleaning kit is its ability to absorb water and similar liquids. Typical activities that depend on this property are: cleaning up spills, removing contaminants from critical surfaces and cleaning maintenance of semiconductor process equipment. These activities are carried out on a scheduled basis, or as needed. Absorption is a function of the base material: sponge, rag, mop or towel. The least absorbent materials are paper and cotton. Also some of these products are single use only. The next most effective for absorption are products based on: a mixture of nylon, polyester and polyester. For the most demanding tasks, microfiber based products and molded plastics excel. Some of these products are even reported to be able to hold up to 600% water by weight.

Reasons to Call in an Expert About Cleanroom Systems

Despite its simple name, a clean room is more than just a sanitary room. In fact, to qualify as a cleanroom, it must meet strict sanitary requirements. Hospitals, pharmacies and companies in the biotech, electronics and food industries rely on the peace of mind provided by leading clean room systems to keep patients and their customers safe. They manufacture their products in the controlled environment of a clean room to eliminate possible contamination from particulate matter in the air.

One of the main sources of such contamination is walls, floors and ceilings. Cleanroom system walls and panels are a tool that manufacturers use to eliminate threats that lurk around them.

Some standards, usually Standard 209E, regulate the level at which contaminating particles must be kept from clean rooms. According to Staples Inc.’s “Basic Introduction to Clean Room,” Standard 209E “sets the air cleanliness standard class for the level of particulates in the air in clean rooms and clean zones.”

The Staples report goes on to point out that “The only way to control contamination is by total environmental control.” And to achieve this “clean rooms are planned and manufactured using strict protocols and methods.”

Among the jobs required in the cleanroom program are taking out the trash, sweeping and mopping floors with a suitable cleaner, wiping down countertops and refreshment areas, cleaning walls and recycling cans. All these activities should be carried out every shift to remove possible contaminants. In addition, all walls and trim should be cleaned once a week.

Facilities that wish to keep the boredom of doing such work and adhere to those standards to a minimum would be wise to employ the services of a clean room system expert. That way they can guarantee that they meet all current clean room technology guidelines and standards. They can also ensure that the panels they install in their clean rooms are fire dispersion class 1/A, meet clean room class 10 guidelines, are fire resistant, resistant to chemical contamination and, perhaps most importantly, resistant to these properties for long-term.

Controlled Environment Magazine outlines a list of questions covering “The Essence of Buying a Cleanroom System.” Most importantly: “As a future owner of a clean room system, “what information do I need to provide a clean room contractor to ensure compliance with my clean room requirements and to obtain performance guarantees?”

To achieve such assurance, the publication recommends following these four basic steps when discussing the matter with a clean room system expert:

Prepare the temperature, humidity, pressure, and cleanliness requirements of your clean room.

Bring a 3D blueprint of your clean room area, with all your workflows, tools, and utilities laid out just right. This will ensure that the walls and panels of your clean room system match the way you work.

Consider whether air conditioning will be required for your operation.
Provide your cleanroom system provider with the final version of your user requirements specification (URS).
Armed with this information, you and your contractor can design a clean room system that’s right for you.

Cleanrooms Work

Cleanrooms are sterile places where certain products are manufactured, but unlike most manufacturing environments, cleanrooms must be monitored at all times for particulate matter in the air. If the particles in the air become too large, the clean room may be disrupted and product production must be stopped.

Contamination can be caused by a number of different sources including:

• Equipment

• People

• Manufacturing Process

Generally the standards required with the manufacture of a particular item, will determine the level of airborne contaminants that are allowed to be present in the clean room at any given time. Federal Standard 209E is usually used to define the standard. This document provides the different classes of air cleanliness that should be in a clean room depending on what is being produced.

Because clean rooms are closely monitored, there are always certain rules and procedures regarding entering a clean room, leaving a clean room, and how to behave while in a clean room. This is due to the fact that the only way to control contaminants in the environment is to completely control the level of activity in the environment.

Therefore, most clean rooms will require those who enter to do it a certain way and wear certain clothes. These clothes will help keep contamination at bay and by dictating how one enters the clean room, contaminants are once again kept at bay.

For example, a clean room may require all entering to cover their entire body and wear a respirator. This is due to the fact that a single strand of human hair, or even too much carbon dioxide released from human breathing can cause disaster in certain clean rooms. Certain cleanrooms will also limit the speed of movement within the cleanroom because too much movement can sometimes cause airborne particles that are too large to be in the cleanroom.

Other ways in which clean rooms are kept at certain levels of airborne contaminants are:

• Cleanroom Specific Pressure

• Cleanroom Specific Temperature

• Cleanroom Specific Humidity

• Specific Air Filtration of Cleanroom

Using such control factors will help keep the room as ‘clean’ as it should be and prevent too much contamination from getting in. Cleanrooms are also cleaned using very specific methods at regular intervals to keep all contamination away.

If the clean room is contaminated then it should be cleaned and sterilized once again. This is a long process that is also a bit expensive to do. Therefore, it is much easier for companies that have clean rooms to adhere to strict guidelines regarding their clean rooms and everyone who enters.

Cleanrooms are a necessity like many other manufacturing environments that exist today. However, unlike other manufacturing environments, not just anyone can enter a clean room because they require special care. For this reason, those who work in clean rooms are usually only a select few who can keep them clean and productive at all times.