Overview of Cleanrooms and Particle Testing
What is a Cleanroom?
Typically used in manufacturing or research, a cleanroom is a controlled environment that has a low level of pollutants such as dust, aerosol particles, and chemical vapors. Cleanrooms are used in many industries where small particles can negatively affect the manufacturing process including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, microelectronics, and automotive components.
ISO Cleanroom Standards: ISO 14644-1
The ISO 14644-1 cleanroom classification standard requires specific particle count measurements to classify the cleanliness level of a cleanroom. Good cleanroom design includes consideration for the materials used to construct the space, the ventilation and filtration of air within the space, and the different types of equipment that may be used within the space.
Benefits of Particle Emission Testing for Cleanroom Equipment
Cleanroom managers need to be confident that equipment and furnishings used within the cleanroom do not emit particles that will affect their ISO 14644-1 classification. The ISO 14644-14 standard provides a harmonized method for assessing particle emissions from equipment to determine suitability for use in cleanroom environments. The method includes evaluating the mode of operation and typical usage of the product.
Cleanroom Particle Emission Screening
A particle emissions screening is then conducted to determine the location around the equipment with the highest particle concentration. A comprehensive test is then conducted to determine the suitability of the equipment for use in cleanrooms. The UL test report will include a detailed description of the methodology used and a ISO 14644-1 Class Rating for the product.
Why UL for Cleanroom Particle Emission Assessments
UL’s cleanroom test chambers allow us to provide ratings as low as Class 5 which qualifies the product for use in the vast majority of cleanroom spaces. The test report can be used to support marketing claims and to assure cleanroom managers that your products will not emit particles that could negatively impact their rating.