Cleanrooms are essential to specific types of manufacturing and scientific experimentation. If you’re utilizing the benefits of a cleanroom but struggling with exactly how to keep it clean in the little details, here are some tips on cleanroom management
The Basics of Cleaning a Cleanroom
There are two basic types of essential surface cleaning of materials: wet cleaning and dry transfer. Wet cleaning is just as it sounds like. A liquid cleaner is used on materials, sometimes in conjunction with wiping it down. There are a wide variety of liquid cleaning options with different compositions, different types being more compatible with certain materials. With dry transfer cleaning, an absorbent cloth is used to wipe down a surface or material. People have to be careful to use cleaning cloths that won’t drop or deposit particles behind on the materials, meaning things like a simple paper tissue would be a bad idea.
Know Your Specialized Cleaning Equipment
As the nature of a cleanroom design is unique to its needs, so there are certain special pieces of equipment that are more uniquely up to the task of caring for a cleanroom. Cleanrooms sometimes require an antiseptic environment, and in those cases ultraviolet light is a great way to sterilize a large space. This ultraviolet light can destroy the DNA of microorganisms, which includes dangerous pathogens. An autoclave can be used to sterilize laboratory supplies and parts on specific equipment. This works by a pressurized enclosure that raises the water temperature within it high enough to produce microbe-killing steam. These are just a couple of types of specialized equipment that can help make the most of cleanroom space. In the case that submicron particles need to be removed, they’re really sensitive to moisture and an effective treatment is in using non-abrasive dry ice blasting to nick off contaminants, but the cleaning must be performed in a nitrogen-rich environment.
Some Key Tips
Cleaning is as high a priority in cleanroom practices as every other aspect of the day, be it computer chip assembly or research. If employees spend the same degree of attention on maintaining the cleanroom status of the space, then that prevents any problems. Also, one can avoid a great deal of issues by making extra sure that items being brought into the cleanroom space from outside are properly disinfected and ready to be introduced into the space. If the cleanroom space doesn’t have vents or fans incorporated into its system, you should consider adding them to the cleanroom design so as to prevent the settling of particles onto surfaces or products over time. Also, for things like mopping the floors, its best to do wet cleaning in the direction of airflow in the room. That way, particles get stirred up that aren’t captured in the wet cleaning are still picked up by the airflow and caught in air filters of your cleanroom HVAC that should be installed for your cleanroom system.
There’s so much to proper cleanroom management that can help one run a better system, and many of these tips and tricks just take a small adjustment here and there to make a big impact.