How Can I Control Cleanroom Humidity?

How Can I Control Cleanroom Humidity?

Maintaining optimal humidity levels in your cleanroom is paramount to meeting regulatory standards and safeguarding the quality of your processes and products. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of cleanroom humidity control and provide insights and strategies to ensure your cleanroom operates at peak efficiency.

Understanding Cleanroom Humidity

Cleanroom humidity plays a crucial role in various industries, from semiconductor manufacturing to pharmaceutical production. If the humidity is too high, bacterial growth can flourish, metal products or equipment can corrode, photolithographic degradation can occur, and condensation and water absorption can occur. This can cause issues for processes with moisture-sensitive products, like semiconductor manufacturers.

If the humidity is too low, static buildup and discharge can become an issue, possibly causing shorts for products in electronics cleanrooms. Plus, poorly controlled humidity can make working conditions uncomfortable for your employees. Therefore, it’s essential to strike the right balance to mitigate these risks effectively.

What Factors Impact Cleanroom Humidity?

Various factors influence cleanroom humidity levels, each critical in achieving optimal conditions.

Factors impacting cleanroom humidity include:

  • Temperature: Lower temperatures reduce relative humidity, while higher temperatures can increase it. Maintaining precise temperature control is vital for regulating humidity levels.
  • Airflow: Proper airflow distribution helps to prevent moisture buildup and ensures uniform humidity throughout the cleanroom.
  • External Environmental Conditions: Factors such as outdoor humidity, weather changes, and nearby sources of moisture can impact cleanroom humidity levels. Monitoring and adjusting for these external conditions are necessary for consistent humidity control.

3 Methods for Controlling Cleanroom Humidity Levels

So, what are some of the methods you can use to control humidity in your cleanroom? The experts at Angstrom Technology are here to answer that question.

1. Air Conditioning and Mechanical Refrigeration

Humidity is relative, meaning that the lower the temperature is, the lower the relative humidity is. So it only makes sense then that lowering a cleanroom’s temperature will decrease humidity. 

When using air conditioning systems to dehumidify a space, the system reduces the temperature of a surface within the condenser unit to a temperature below the dew point of the airstream in the cleanroom. That surface is then exposed to the airstream in the cleanroom and the water vapor in the airstream condenses, subsequently dehumidifying the space. The air must be re-heated to the desired room temperature and piped back into the cleanroom.

2. Desiccants

Desiccant systems draw air through a desiccant medium, which absorbs moisture. The dehumidified air is then routed to the cleanroom. Consumer-grade desiccant systems collect condensate in a receptacle that must be emptied. 

On the other hand, commercial systems exhaust humid air through the ductwork out of the building. Vented systems can dehumidify to lower relative humidity levels at lower temperatures.

These systems are not mutually exclusive. In fact, where temperature control is also important, they work best when used in conjunction. Using a desiccant system in addition to air conditioning can also help reduce the load on the HVAC system, saving energy, wear and tear on the HVAC system, and, of course, money.

3. An Integrated Approach

An integrated approach to humidity control combines air conditioning with desiccant systems to comprehensively regulate temperature and moisture levels within the cleanroom environment. By integrating these systems, businesses can effectively address both temperature and humidity concerns, ensuring optimal conditions for processes and product integrity. 

This approach not only enhances energy efficiency by optimizing the utilization of both systems but also extends the lifespan of the HVAC system by reducing its workload and minimizing wear and tear on components. Consequently, businesses can benefit from lower maintenance costs and prolonged equipment longevity. 

Moreover, the integrated approach optimizes cleanroom performance by maintaining precise and consistent control of humidity levels, safeguarding sensitive processes and products. This strategy offers operational flexibility by providing redundancy in humidity control mechanisms, minimizing downtime and disruptions in cleanroom operations. 

Angstrom Technology: Your Cleanroom Solution Partner

At Angstrom Technology, we specialize in state-of-the-art cleanrooms tailored to your specific needs. Our expertise ensures compliance with ISO classifications and international standards, guaranteeing cleanroom integrity and performance. By implementing advanced humidity control methods and partnering with us, you can ensure optimal cleanroom performance and regulatory compliance.

Get in Touch for Your Dry Room Project!

Whether you’re embarking on a new cleanroom project or upgrading an existing facility, Angstrom Technology is your trusted partner. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and discover how we can elevate your cleanroom operations.

Whitepaper: Dry room design guide for lithium battery manufacturing

DOWNLOAD OUR HANDY GUIDE:

 

 

dry room design guide
What’s the Difference Between Horizontal vs. Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods?

What’s the Difference Between Horizontal vs. Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods?

Laminar flow hoods play a crucial role in minimizing contamination for sensitive products. In this blog, we’ll compare horizontal vs. vertical laminar flow hoods, providing insights into their configurations, pros, and cons. 

Whether you’re working with IV solutions, tissue culture, optics, or microelectronics, understanding these flow hoods is key to a contaminant-free workspace. Join us as we navigate the differences to help you make informed decisions for your cleanroom requirements.

Understanding Laminar Airflow and Its Crucial Role in Cleanrooms

Laminar airflow is air that constantly moves at the same speed in the same direction. In cleanrooms, a vertical laminar flow room is an enclosure where 100% of the ceiling provides filtered air downwards from the ceiling. Because of the 100% filter coverage, it creates an ultra-clean environment. But it’s much easier to achieve laminar flow in a smaller space, as equipment, personnel, and movement in a room cause turbulence that disturbs airflow.

A laminar flow hood is a device or enclosure commonly used as an ultra-clean workbench in laboratory applications. Filtered air sweeps particles in a uniform speed and direction from the hood’s most treated area (the filter) to its exit area.

Cleanroom airflow uniformity and laminar flow hoods are essential to ensuring that sensitive products placed under the hood are always upstream and, therefore, suffer little to no contamination. 

Horizontal vs. Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods

Flow hoods come in two configurations: horizontal and vertical. Both designs provide an effective sweeping action through the work zone and meet ISO Class 5 cleanliness standards. Your application and needs will help determine which is better for your facility.

Horizontal Laminar Flow Hoods

As their name indicates, horizontal laminar flow hoods direct air horizontally. Air is pushed through a HEPA or ULPA filter positioned on the back wall and moves forward across the work surface until it exits the enclosure.

By sweeping the air across the work surface and towards the operator, horizontal laminar flow hoods provide the highest protection from contaminating particles. No turbulence is caused by vertical air striking a perpendicular surface or the hands of the operator since they’re always further downstream than the materials they are working on.

However, the hood’s size, the filter’s positioning, and the airflow’s direction can also result in some negative consequences. Below you’ll find a helpful list of pros and cons for these types of hoods:

Pros

  • Low turbulence on the work surface due to air flowing parallel to the work surface
  • Easy to position products and materials close to the filter on the work surface
  • Little contamination from hands or gloves due to the operator being downstream from products and materials

Cons

  • Requires hood repositioning to gain rear access for filter changes and servicing
  • Objects can obstruct the flow and contaminate anything downstream
  • Operators could suffer from fume or powder contaminants blowing at them if they don’t use the sash correctly

Vertical Laminar Flow Hoods

In contrast, vertical laminar flow hoods take air from above the unit, push it through the HEPA or ULPA filter, and then direct it down onto the work surface, where it eventually disperses and exits the enclosure out of a front access area. They resemble the model of a laminar flow cleanroom with fan filter units on the ceiling, just on a much smaller scale.

Vertical laminar flow hoods are popular because of their size, layout, and operator safety. Since the filter is at the top of the unit rather than behind, these flow hoods require less floor space but can be taller to fit larger products and materials. Also, since the laminar air isn’t blowing toward the operator, they are less likely to suffer any contaminants.

Vertical laminar flow hoods are an excellent choice for many applications, including handling sterile, non-hazardous drug compounding in research labs, pharmacies, and microbiology. Here’s a quick overview of their pros and cons:

Pros

  • Require less floor space
  • Increased operator safety
  • Easy access to filter changes and servicing
  • Less cross-contamination of items on the work surface due to no parallel airflow
  • A taller system that can accommodate tall and large products and materials

Cons

  • May require overhead clearance for changing and servicing the filter
  • Increased work surface turbulence due to vertical air hitting a perpendicular surface
  • Products and materials could obstruct airflow when stacked

Which Laminar Flow Hood Is Right for Your Application?

Both horizontal and vertical laminar flow hoods can be utilized for many applications involving sensitive products and materials, including (but not limited to):

  • Injectable drugs
  • IV solutions
  • Tissue culture
  • Optics
  • Microelectronics

While both types of flow hoods are optimal for reducing contamination in a workspace, a few applications lend themselves more toward one or the other. Usually, the most important factors to consider include process location, clearance requirements, size of materials, work surface design, and operator safety.

That said, horizontal laminar flow hoods generally work best for applications that require minimal turbulence on the work surface and the highest level of object contamination control. If your application’s process is performed above the work surface, a vertical airflow configuration may be ideal; particles inside a vertical unit settle at the bottom of the work surface before exiting the enclosure. Vertical hoods are also a popular choice for any applications involving materials that could be especially large or dangerous to the operator.

Contact the Cleanroom Experts at Angstrom Technology

If your cleanroom requires laminar flow hoods, Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom that will seamlessly meet your classification and industry requirements. Our experienced design engineers are ready to collaborate with you to create a tailored solution that ensures optimal performance and adherence to industry standards. Contact us today to initiate the conversation and enhance the efficiency of your cleanroom environment.

 

cleanroom-classification-quiz-cta
Angstrom Technology Completes Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand™ Raleigh facility

Angstrom Technology Completes Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand™ Raleigh facility

Azzur Group appointed Angstrom Technology to build its latest Cleanrooms on Demand™ (COD) Raleigh facility in Morrisville, NC. Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand™ offers a hybrid early-phase manufacturing model. Early-phase manufacturers face specific challenges when starting up and scaling out. COD can remove barriers, such as the need for clinical manufacturing capability and lengthy facility design-build timeframes. Morrisville is minutes from the celebrated Research Triangle area of North Carolina, making it a prime location for this new state-of-the-art facility.

The 24,000 square foot Cleanrooms on Demand™ Raleigh facility features 24 independent cleanroom suites each with a Material Airlock (MAL), Personnel Airlock (PAL), Cleanroom and Exit PAL.  Shared entry and exit corridors provide easy access to and from each cleanroom via the locker room and changing area near one end of the cleanroom.  On the opposite end of the cleanroom, material airlocks provide a path for large equipment to enter the suites via the GMP warehouse.  All cleanroom suites are controlled and monitored by advanced systems which are tied into the building management system.

Azzur Morrisville cleanroom render

Cleanrooms on Demand™ locations

Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand™ Raleigh is the first COD facility Angstrom has completed for the Azzur Group and the 4th in the Azzur COD group. In June, Angstrom attended its grand opening ceremony.

Azzur Group plans to open additional Cleanrooms on Demand facilities in locations across the U.S. over the next two years. Our global structure allows us to project manage builds in multiple locations. Consequently, Angstrom Technology is also under construction on Azzur COD facilities in Devens, MA, and Alameda, California.

At Angstrom Technology, we have the capability to deliver exceptional cleanroom installations. Working with us across multiple facilities provides consistency in cleanroom design, specification, monitoring, and validation. This approach generates efficiencies and drives value. Equally important, it instills confidence in the performance and reliability of your controlled environments.

SPEAK WITH THE EXPERTS AT ANGSTROM TECHNOLOGY

Angstrom Technology partners with the world’s leading contamination control brands so we can design, build, and install high-spec, turnkey cleanrooms to meet your critical requirements across the US and around the globe. Using proven design strategies and quality build systems, you can trust that your work and employees will always be protected.

Request a cleanroom quote today, or contact our team for more information.

cleanroom-classification-quiz-cta
Global Cleanroom Expertise: Installation

Global Cleanroom Expertise: Installation

Angstrom Technology understands the importance of effective cleanroom installations that alleviate potential issues and reduce timescales for our global clients.

With our extensive experience and expertise, we can proudly say that we install cleanrooms across the globe. As cleanroom experts, we have high expectations for build quality and can deliver a consistent standard across multiple sites worldwide. We aim to provide our customers with reliable and efficient installations that meet their needs.

At Angstrom Technology, we take cleanliness seriously during the build process. We operate in a manner that minimizes dust and waste, ensuring minimal disruption for our clients. We understand that a clean environment is crucial for various industries, and we prioritize maintaining the highest cleanliness standards throughout the installation process.

Cleanroom build partners

Our experienced site superintendents and installation technicians deliver clean and precise installations for our cleanroom projects worldwide. We approach each project focusing on our customers’ needs, tailoring our installation methods accordingly.

To provide cost-competitive and qualified installation services worldwide, we have established strategic partnerships with local labor forces across the globe. This approach allows us to leverage local expertise while ensuring that our knowledgeable site superintendents and staff provide supervision and maintain our high standards.

Our robust approach to project management and installation caters to our customer’s needs:

  • Project Management: We provide comprehensive project management services, taking responsibility for installation, trade work coordination, and subcontractor management. With our expertise, we ensure a seamless and efficient installation process.
  • Full Turnkey Solution: Our experienced site team handles all aspects of the build, ensuring minimal disruption to your team. We take care of every detail and hand over the keys when the installation is complete.

At Angstrom Technology, we have the capability to deliver exceptional cleanroom installations globally. With our installation flexibility, focus on cleanliness, and dedication to customer satisfaction. We are your trusted partner for cleanroom projects around the world.

SPEAK WITH THE EXPERTS AT ANGSTROM TECHNOLOGY

If your facility needs a new cleanroom, Angstrom Technology can design, build, and install one that meets your specifications. Using proven design strategies and quality build systems, you can trust that your work and employees will always be protected.

Request a cleanroom quote today, or contact our team for more information.

cleanroom-classification-quiz-cta
Global Cleanroom Expertise: Effective Project Management

Global Cleanroom Expertise: Effective Project Management

Today, we’re delving into the world of project management. Specifically, good project management! Its impact on the outcome of cleanroom projects cannot be overstated. So, let’s explore why good project management is so important!

Smooth Sailing for Project Delivery

Imagine a cleanroom installation where everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Deadlines are met, communication is seamless, and everyone’s happy. That’s the power of good project management! Angstrom Technology appoint a dedicated project manager for each cleanroom build. It’s their job to make sure that the delivery of your project is as smooth as possible. From start to finish, your project manager will be your go-to person, ensuring that the entire build comes together perfectly.

Your Personal Project Concierge

Ever had a question or a concern about a project but didn’t know who to turn to? Not with Angstrom Technology! Your project manager is like your personal concierge. They will be there to answer any queries you may have. Whether it’s about timelines, resources, or any other aspect of the project, just reach out, and your project manager will provide you with the support and information you need.

Prompt and Professional Communication

Communication is key, and we take it seriously. Angstrom Technology understand how important it is to always keep you in the loop. That’s why we will be responsive and maintain a professional manner in all our interactions. With every update, your project manager will ensure that you’re well-informed about the progress and any potential challenges that may arise. You can trust that we pay attention to every detail and keep you confident in our project’s success.

Overcoming Challenges with a Positive Attitude

In every cleanroom build project, obstacles are bound to come up. But here’s the thing, we see them as opportunities, not stumbling blocks. Challenges are meant to be conquered, and we’re here to tackle them head-on. By identifying and addressing potential issues in real time, your project manager will navigate through the hurdles to keep our project on track. So, no need to worry when unexpected roadblocks arise—we’ve got the solutions!

Information Platform for Transparency

Transparency is crucial in project management, and we’ve got you covered. Your project manager will provide you with an information platform that keeps you in the loop every step of the way. Monthly programs, two-week lookaheads, and weekly progress reports are just some of the tools I’ll use to ensure clear visibility of the project’s status. You’ll always know where we stand, and together, we’ll make informed decisions to achieve our goals.

Beyond Project Completion

Our commitment to you doesn’t end when the cleanroom project is delivered. We’re here for the long haul, ready to address any concerns, queries, or additional requirements you may have even after the handover. You can count on us to remain accessible and responsive, whether it’s through email or phone. Your satisfaction is our priority, and we’re here to support you even beyond the project’s completion.

So, that’s the power of good project management! From providing a seamless service to being your personal support system, a professional project manager from Angstrom Technology will ensure your project’s success. With open communication, a positive mindset, and a commitment to your satisfaction, we’re ready to turn any cleanroom project into a triumph. Let’s embark on this journey together, and together, we’ll achieve greatness!

Remember, we’re just a call or an email away, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Here’s to a successful cleanroom build!

 

SPEAK WITH THE EXPERTS AT ANGSTROM TECHNOLOGY

If your facility needs a new cleanroom, Angstrom Technology can design, build, and install one that meets your specifications. Using proven design strategies and quality build systems, you can trust that your work and employees will always be protected.

Request a cleanroom quote today, or contact our team for more information.

cleanroom-classification-quiz-cta