The Evolution of Clean Room Technology: A Brief History

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1669954_Atlantic Technical Systems_ A Brief History of the Evolution of Clean Room Technology

Historical Inspiration

In the 19th century, Joseph Lister attempted to reduce postsurgical infections by applying carbolic acid to surgical instruments, patient incisions, and dressings. As you might expect, he had extremely limited success. Operating rooms continued to be plagued by contaminants and infections were still tremendously common. However, the desire to avoid infections and control contamination had been established.

Early Development

During World War II, early clean rooms were used to produce delicate and accurate sights for bombs. The first high efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters were developed to assist with the process. Postwar, gyroscopes, guidance systems, and sensitive electronics implemented clean rooms and HEPA filters as well. Early advancements by NASA owe much to the HEPA filter and clean room technology.

Technological Advancement

The 1960s and 1980s saw a massive boom in clean room usage and development. Laminar airflow became regularly implemented, and the first multiroom clean rooms were created. Semiconductors and pharmaceuticals relied on clean rooms for research and development. The fan filter unit (FFU) was introduced and brought into common use. Today, modular clean rooms are driving the industry forward. Replaceable FFUs and modular HVAC systems have enabled greater customization and control.


The experts at Atlantic Technical Systems (ATS) know there isn't always room for error. In these most delicate and demanding occasions, ATS is trusted to provide clean room solutions in mission-critical environments. By combining engineering expertise with contamination controls, ATS creates cutting-edge solutions for pharmaceutical, biotech, semiconductor, and microelectronic companies. The combination of training, experience, and professionalism sets ATS apart from competitors. At ATS, every technician appreciates big-picture implications, as well as the interactions and contamination problems facing controlled environments. If you'd like to learn more about the advances and innovations delivered by modern clean room technology, contact the experts at Atlantic Technical Systems.