Cleanroom construction can be complex, and involves a lot of planning, questioning, and thought. Here are 5 common questions about cleanroom construction, answered. For any others, reach out to your local cleanroom experts!
How much space does an aerospace cleanroom take up?
The size of your aerospace cleanroom matters, so it’s always best to work with an experienced cleanroom designer to develop the ideal cleanroom to meet your desired footprint. Aerospace cleanrooms will need as much space as it takes to comfortably contain your equipment, personnel, and cleanroom systems, but they shouldn’t be built bigger than necessary, as this creates more air that needs to be filtered and controlled, increasing energy expenditures and costs for your business.
If you are concerned you don’t have enough space to build your new cleanroom, know that some cleanroom types, like SoftWall cleanrooms, are ideal in condensed spaces. Their flexible, lightweight construction means they can be put almost anywhere, and easily expanded, reconfigured, or picked up and transported to a new location if your project needs change.
Can I build a cleanroom in my existing building?
You absolutely can, as long as the space meets your cleanroom size and height requirements and is accessible for cleanroom construction.
Cleanrooms can be built in a wide range of spaces, and will take up as much or little space as your project needs demand. They can be designed to be freestanding, connected to existing walls, or suspended from a reinforced ceiling grid, so where you install your cleanroom is up to you.
Cleanrooms built in existing structures might be able to integrate with the building’s own HVAC system or use light from existing windows. Talk to your cleanroom designer about how your unique space could align with the needs of your cleanroom.
How long does cleanroom construction take?
Cleanroom construction times vary depending on the size of your facility and the customizations you need to make your cleanroom design a success. However, building a cleanroom using modular cleanroom panels can reduce this time significantly.
Also, some cleanroom types, such as SoftWall cleanrooms, may only take a day or two to complete, where a HardWall aerospace cleanroom that needs to meet an ISO Class 5 or lower classification may take longer to design and install. Your cleanroom design expert can help you understand how long the total cleanroom construction will take, depending on the specifications of your project.
Cleanroom Construction Process
The majority of the time building a cleanroom is spent planning and designing the cleanroom to meet your project needs. Considering your aerospace cleanroom classification and other requirements specific to your application, a cleanroom designer will create a comprehensive plan for your new cleanroom, considering the ideal layout, airflow pattern, and combination of materials that will offer the best performance over its lifetime.
Once the cleanroom design is complete, the modular cleanroom panels are fabricated and delivered to your site. Your cleanroom can be assembled with detailed instructions or with the help of an experienced installation crew to set up your cleanroom so it’s ready to operate.
What components do I need in my aerospace cleanroom?
Every aerospace cleanroom will look a bit different, depending on the work that you do. Typically, however, most cleanrooms contain the same basic components: cleanroom wall panels, a cleanroom HVAC system, and the filtration system. You’ll also have things like lighting, windows and pass throughs, flooring, and furniture, but the main three deserve the most attention.
Aerospace Cleanroom Wall Panels
The modular cleanroom panels that make up the structure of your aerospace cleanroom do more than just define the space. They are also customized and outfitted with wiring, insulation, and any other features that your application demands. Modular cleanroom panels cut the cleanroom construction down considerably, and allow you to have a specialized facility designed uniquely for your work.
Aerospace Cleanroom HVAC
Any top performing aerospace cleanroom will need a powerful cleanroom HVAC system to move and treat air within the controlled environment. Depending on your aerospace cleanroom classification and other industry-specific requirements, you may have very strict standards to reach for air temperature, humidity, and pressure. The cleanroom HVAC system is responsible for keeping your employees comfortable and their work safe.
Aerospace Cleanroom Filtration
Proper cleanroom filtration is vital to achieving optimal control over the air quality within your cleanroom, and essential for reaching stringent cleanroom classifications. You’ll likely address filtration by installing powerful filter/fan units, or FFUs, in the ceiling grid of your aerospace cleanroom. Combined with an expertly designed airflow pattern, your cleanroom filtration system should be more than capable of removing large numbers of particles of various sizes from the air. With many, many air changes per hour, you can reach the acceptable particle count designated by your ISO Class.
Beyond those, you’ll need to account for your industry-specific equipment, personnel, and ample space for both to move around. If you work with oversized components, make sure to include plenty of space in your cleanroom design for things to be maneuvered without creating more obstacles in your cleanroom. Non standard ceiling heights, as well as oversized windows and doors can help you accommodate everything you need, safe and sound.
How clean does my aerospace cleanroom need to be?
Understanding cleanroom classifications can be complicated. The International Standards Organization publishes documents that define the levels of cleanliness required for different Classes of cleanrooms, 1-9, where Class 1 is the cleanest possible environment and Class 9 is equivalent to room air. Many aerospace cleanrooms are at a minimum ISO 14644-1 Class 7. Your aerospace cleanroom classifications will vary depending on your application and could include other industry-specific standards, such as ASTM International or NASA.
Depending on your Class standards, your aerospace cleanroom will need to achieve a certain level of cleanliness defined by particle count, air changes, and ceiling coverage. To help you design a cleanroom that meets all your requirements, talk to an expert cleanroom designer.
Have more questions about designing and building a cleanroom for your space? Give the experts at Angstrom Technology a call! We’d be happy to walk through your specific requirements and help you get the best cleanroom installed in your space.