The objective of a controlled cleanroom is to provide a contamination-free space in which to test or manufacture contamination-free products. However, contamination of various origins seems to find its way into even the most meticulous cleanrooms. Here are some more hidden causes of contamination, continued from our last issue:
Equipment and tools: It is important that all equipment brought into the cleanroom is inspected and cleaned. Since some tools generate gases, volatiles, and solid airborne particulates during use, it is important to evaluate all equipment and devise a plan to minimize the impact it will have on the cleanliness of your environment. It is also important when labeling and applying asset tags to equipment that cleanroom certified labels are used.
Raw material and product: Before any raw material or product is brought into the cleanroom it must be cleaned. The extent of cleaning depends upon the class of cleanroom, the destination of the raw material, and the possibility of any cross-contamination to other processes.
Cleaning products: Regular household or industrial cleaning products are not acceptable for cleanroom maintenance. Non-particulating wipes and mops must be used for all cleaning needs. Cleanroom vacuums must have a classification rating equal to or better than the cleanrooms in which they are used in order to avoid contamination.
Jennifer Nunes is with UltraTape, an adhesive tape and label company in Wilsonville, Ore. www.cleanroomtape.com