Understanding Cleanroom HVAC Requirements

Understanding Cleanroom HVAC Requirements

Just as different cleanrooms have different requirements for class specifications, HVAC systems are not one-size-fits-all. Your cleanroom HVAC system might even have to be reconfigured to best suit the needs of your facility. 

If your cleanroom is the body that enables you to manufacture, test or create your products, the HVAC system is its lungs. When functioning efficiently, a cleanroom can control down to a minute detail the temperature, pressure, humidity, particles, and levels of contamination of its contents. To do this, the cleanroom must be able to change its air and filter particulates. If the cleanroom is unable to do this, it is essentially left breathless.

The process of changing air can happen from 10 to more than 600 times per hour. The less “clean” the room has to be, the less often the air will change. Conversely, the more stringent the cleanroom’s standards, the more often the air will have to be changed per hour. This is referred to as air-change rate or ACR.

 

Understanding Cleanroom HVAC Power Levels and Capabilities

HVAC systems differ in their power levels and capabilities. If your cleanroom has lower standards, it may not need a system with a high BTU (British thermal unit of heat required to raise temperature in a pound of water by one degree), and strictness in temperature regulation or relative humidity (rh) may not be necessary. Cleanrooms that require exactness in these levels and extremely fine particulate filtration, however, may need the investment of a powerful HVAC system, one that is capable of maintaining a consistent and controlled environment for employees and their work.

Different industries have different requirements, and therefore different cleanroom HVAC needs. To help break this down, we’ve divided cleanroom users into three broad categories: Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, and Laboratory. Of course, many exceptions exist. For a more specific consultation, reach out to our cleanroom design team.

 

Manufacturing Cleanroom HVAC Requirements

 

 

Cleanrooms used in manufacturing facilities are designed to meet a variety of standards, depending on the specific products they involve and the size of the particulates that need to be filtered. Most manufacturing cleanrooms meet ISO Classes 7 or 8, which translates to a maximum number of particles of .05μ or greater in the air ranging from 352,000 to 3,520,000. Since this type of facility does not typically depend on extreme control of temperature or a high ACR, they can be adequately maintained with the use of an HVAC system with an average to low BTU level. 

 

Pharmaceutical Cleanroom HVAC Requirements

 

 

Pharmaceutical cleanrooms will need much higher control over environmental variables and so will need a powerful HVAC system to help them achieve this. They will need to maintain a strict temperature range as set forth in all USP regulations in order to stabilize materials, meaning precise heating and cooling — especially if the cleanroom is located in a climate that experiences many temperature variations such as the Midwest. Pharmaceutical cleanrooms, on average, must comply with a minimum ISO 7 standard — Federal Standard 209 Class 10,000.

 

Laboratory and Medical Device Cleanroom HVAC Requirements

Laboratory work, especially the development and production of medical devices, requires an extremely controlled cleanroom environment that must comply with intensive standards. The majority of these types of cleanrooms comply with ISO 14644 standards. A powerful HVAC system with the necessary filters will restrict particulates in the environment to the acceptable level, maintaining the quality of the cleanroom’s air. In this environment, the air will need to be changed with high consistency, removing any contaminants before they interfere with the integrity of the work.

Depending on the size of the particles that need to be filtered, the importance of temperature or humidity to your products and the ACR rate needed to keep your environment clean, your system capabilities will need to reflect the type of work conducted in your facility. With the proper cleanroom HVAC system working in tandem with your perfectly equipped cleanroom, you will have complete control over your space and the products developed within it. It’s important to make sure your HVAC is able to filter and properly change the air of your cleanroom so it can breathe and function efficiently.

 

It’s possible that your current HVAC system may not be up to the task of supporting your new cleanroom. That’s where Angstrom Technology comes in. As expert cleanroom designers, we can help you determine what type of HVAC system you need, and help you make it happen, too. For help designing, installing, or servicing your cleanroom’s HVAC system, give our team of experts a call at 888-768-6900 or contact us online today.

5 Benefits of Softwall Cleanrooms

5 Benefits of Softwall Cleanrooms

You may already be familiar with traditional HardWall cleanrooms. They are what most of us think of when we imagine the typical industrial cleanroom setting. Have you considered the possibility of an alternative cleanroom style that maintains the quality and capabilities of a HardWall cleanroom with the additional benefits of an economic package? It might be time to start thinking about SoftWall cleanrooms.

 

What is a SoftWall Cleanroom?

SoftWall cleanrooms are made using a simple framework and clear panels that offer a more flexible alternative to heavy and industrial HardWall cleanrooms. Their lightweight construction makes them more cost-effective, easier to set up, reconfigure and customize, all while capable of meeting a large variety of class standards. 

 

5 Benefits of Softwall Cleanrooms

A SoftWall cleanroom is a better choice for some projects. A HardWall cleanroom will be more of an investment and its walls make it less flexible. The right fit matters, and while a Hardwall cleanroom is more complicated to install and takes up more real estate — a Softwall cleanroom is more streamlined and minimalistic, possibly making a better fit for the space and your business’s needs. Still not convinced? Here are 5 benefits to building your cleanroom with something a little softer:

 

Affordable

Softer walls are softer on the wallet — when compared to HardWall or RigidWall cleanrooms. Their minimalist design requires fewer materials and tools to build. Fewer workers are needed to get your cleanroom up and running, so you can get back to doing what you do best. 

Still very customizable, these cleanrooms can be built to your exact specifications so you aren’t compromising on quality. Despite their low cost, SoftWall cleanrooms can meet class specifications from 10 to 100,000. They are perfect for a business that is starting with a limited budget, but needs room to grow.

 

Easy to Assemble

This type of cleanroom can be installed much more quickly than others — think a few hours instead of a few days. Due to their simple and lightweight design, SoftWalls can be moved and arranged to your preferences with little effort. Additionally, many of the panels can be prefabricated, further reducing the time required to assemble. 

If you don’t feel comfortable building the cleanroom yourself, an experienced crew can set it up for you. SoftWall cleanrooms are ideal for projects that are developing, as they can be expanded and reconfigured with ease to meet your facility’s needs.

 

Durable

The SoftWall frame is made of sturdy aluminum alloy, finished with a powder-baked enamel. You can choose the curtain material that best suits your needs, whether it’s PVC, polyethylene or anti-static vinyl. Unlike some panels that will release contaminates with aging or damage, the frosted or clear sheets are easy to clean and maintain. 

SoftWalls might be for you if your facility is looking for something reliable and efficient, but isn’t hindered by stringent requirements of temperature and humidity control.

 

Customizable

SoftWall cleanrooms are the most versatile of all cleanroom types because they can be built to comply with whatever customizations your facility demands. They are capable of meeting most classification standards and are compatible with HEPA or ULPA filters as well as a variety of door types. 

Your SoftWall cleanroom can be configured in various ways, either suspended from the existing structure or freestanding. Its versatility is perfect for a business that needs a cleanroom that is multifunctional, or one that is highly specialized.

 

Space-saving

Limited space requires a compact and flexible cleanroom. The adaptability of the SoftWall design means it can fit almost anywhere. Don’t let a small space limit your facility’s goals. No matter the size of your facility, SoftWall cleanrooms are easy to accommodate. When you’re ready to grow or expand your processes, your cleanroom can grow with you.

 

There’s a reason SoftWall cleanrooms are such a popular choice. They work with any budget, are easy to configure and maintain, and can be designed to work in whatever space your facility has available. 

Think a softwall cleanroom might be right for your application? Get in touch with the team at Angstrom for more information about designing and installing the ideal softwall cleanroom for you.