Here, FirstMats discusses what makes a cleanroom ‘clean’, and what can be done to eliminate threats coming from underfoot.

In some areas of the manufacturing industry, having a cleanroom on your premises is vital. It can be an essential  reduce the possibility of contaminants entering any products being manufactured.

Making sure that a clean room is ‘clean’ is not, however, just about keeping it clean from contaminants. It is also about making sure that the room is constructed in the right way in order to help you achieve that from the very start.

WHAT IS A CLEANROOM? A cleanroom is a highly controlled environment in which any number of different types of products can be manufactured. Cleanroom facilities are vital in a wide variety of industries where even the smallest amount of contaminant can adversely affect the quality of any end product that is being produced. For example: in the production of pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, or products for the aerospace industry.

It is important that in any cleanroom the concentration  controlled limits, set under ISO 14644. These limits are determined by the type of industry and therefore the product that is being manufactured.

Airborne contaminants can occur as a result of the manufacturing process itself, or can be generated by people, the facilities or even the equipment being used. In order to maintain the approved contaminant levels, the constant removal of these microscopic particles must be kept up through a variety of measures.

CONSTRUCTION Cleanrooms are carefully constructed self-contained spaces that are often built within a much larger room. Provisions are made during the construction process to ensure that particulate contamination is kept reduced and that other environmental parameters – temperature, humidity and pressure – are also kept at appropriate levels. Even the materials that cleanrooms are made from are chosen carefully to ensure minimum contamination.

 component that’s used in a cleanroom to trap any particles in the air 0.3 microns or larger. In certain cases where more stringent cleanliness performance is needed, Ultra Low 

MAINTENANCE Maintaining a cleanroom is also very important, and the personnel who work in them undergo extensive training to make sure that the cleanroom is kept ‘clean’. Entering and exiting a cleanroom is done via airlocks, air showers or even gowning rooms.

The personnel who work in cleanrooms also wear special clothing that, due to its design, traps the natural


contaminants that are produced by the skin and the body, and also does not release particles into the air. The different type of garments that are worn will vary depending on what is being produced within the cleanroom.

ADDED EXTRAS In addition to the special consideration given to the training personnel receive and the clothes they are required to wear, there are also products that can further help to reduce the risks of contaminants entering the cleanroom. It is important to remember that the sole of the shoe, or indeed wheels on any equipment used to move supplies,  contamination into any production facility. So in order to keep a cleanroom clean, special consideration should be put in place to reduce this.

Placed at the entrance to a cleanroom, Tacky Mats or Sticky  particles that are transported on the shoes, trapping them and helping to maintain a maximum dirt-free environment.

Not only are these mats specially designed to pull contaminants off the shoe’s surface on contact, but they also keep them there to stop them entering the air again.  surface so that the layer with the dirt and particles can easily be peeled away and disposed of. This leaves a fresh new surface easily and instantly with the minimum of disruption.

It is clear that the build and maintenance for a cleanroom has to be carefully thought out before construction, to avoid wasting time, effort and funds on a space that does not do the job it is intended for.


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