HardWall vs. RigidWall Aerospace Cleanrooms

HardWall vs. RigidWall Aerospace Cleanrooms

When it comes to the high stakes of the aerospace industry, the type of cleanroom you choose matters. Your cleanroom structure defines the layout of your space and determines the level of control you can achieve over environmental factors like temperature, humidity, static, and pressure — and therefore whether you’re able to meet your cleanroom classification. It could also mean the difference for product safety, project flexibility, energy efficiency, and manageable operating costs. 

In short, your cleanroom structure is, well, everything. 

For aerospace cleanrooms, the level of control needed can be met with a HardWall or RigidWall cleanroom. While both may reach the cleanroom classification your application requires, there are differences between the two cleanroom types that could make one a better choice for you.

HardWall vs. Rigidwall Aerospace Cleanrooms

The decision between HardWall vs. RigidWall cleanrooms boils down to a few main aspects. The first and most critical aspect is how well the cleanroom can comply with the required classification. If you can’t comfortably meet this fundamental requirement, it could sacrifice your entire project. Secondly, you should also consider the adaptability of the cleanroom design to meet your industry’s needs, including specific requirements for your application, such as the equipment you’re using and other special features that are important to you. Finally, we have to compare how well the cleanroom holds up over time — not only considering its strength and durability but also how it can grow with you as your work evolves.

In aerospace cleanrooms, all of these aspects are important to a successful operation. Let’s take a closer look at HardWall vs. RigidWall aerospace cleanrooms to determine which is the best fit for your application. 

HardWall Cleanrooms

HardWall cleanrooms are made of prefabricated, modular panels. Depending on your application’s unique requirements and your cleanroom classification, your HardWall cleanroom design will include everything you need to get your project up and running.

HardWall Cleanroom Classifications

HardWall cleanrooms can comply with any cleanroom classification, even the most stringent possible standards of ISO Class 1. This cleanroom type can achieve extreme environmental control beyond particle count and air changes. In addition to management of temperature, static, and humidity, HardWall cleanrooms can be pressurized for extra contaminant protection. This cleanroom type will be able to meet the needs of any aerospace application.

HardWall Cleanroom Design

HardWall cleanrooms can be freestanding or incorporated into an existing building structure. Made using a coated aluminum frame with a prefabricated panel, HardWall modular cleanroom panels are constructed with high-quality materials to ensure control over contaminants while not introducing any contaminants themselves. They can be also installed around mounted equipment, use light from your building’s windows, and can even connect to an existing HVAC system. This feature of adaptability is especially useful in aerospace cleanrooms where oversize elements can limit design options. In addition, the modular cleanroom panels are fully modifiable to meet your application’s specific needs and requirements.

HardWall Cleanroom Durability

Heavy-duty HardWall cleanroom panels are built to last. Because they’re modular, HardWall cleanrooms can be rearranged, expanded, or condensed as your project needs change. Modifying, reconfiguring, or reusing your HardWall panels will not sacrifice their quality. They will continue to perform to your classification requirements with little maintenance required beyond your regular cleaning protocols.

RigidWall Cleanrooms

Unlike the utilitarian HardWall panels, RigidWalls are sleek and minimalist. Flat, clear panels allow easier monitoring of the cleanroom while also creating an attractive frame to show off your work to investors.

RigidWall Cleanroom Classifications

While RigidWall cleanrooms are able to meet the needs of many cleanrooms, they’re best suited for those with ISO Class 5-8 standards.

RigidWall Cleanroom Design

With your choice of acrylic, static-dissipative PVC, or polycarbonate wall panels, a RigidWall cleanroom will house your operations in a transparent, attractive style. RigidWall panels can be customized in size with heights up to 7-14 feet, and come pre-wired with outlets and switches to control lighting, fans, and equipment.

RigidWall Cleanroom Durability

RigidWall cleanrooms have a durability comparable to HardWall cleanrooms, and can offer slightly more flexibility and layout options. RigidWalls can be modified with some effort, or easily stored if you need to free space for something else. Panels are suspended from a strong ceiling grid which, when fully-secured, means the panels will maintain their shape and integrity over time. However, due to their minimalist design, they have fewer available features than HardWall panels.

If you’re still unsure whether a Hardwall vs. Rigidwall cleanroom is best for your aerospace application, talk to an expert. Taking a close look at your cleanroom classification and your facility’s requirements, an experienced cleanroom designer can help create the ideal space for your application, complete with everything you need to make your work a success.

Looking for a top-quality HardWall or RigidWall cleanroom for your aerospace application? Talk to a cleanroom design expert at Angstrom Technology.  Our RigidWall and HardWall modular cleanrooms are high-performance cleanrooms that give you full control over your environment. Angstrom Technology cleanroom design experts can work with you and your cleanroom requirements to design the best modular cleanroom for your work. 

3 Benefits of Positive Pressure Cleanrooms for Aerospace and Defense Industries

3 Benefits of Positive Pressure Cleanrooms for Aerospace and Defense Industries

Pressurized cleanrooms are used in a range of industries and applications. Varying levels of pressure determines the way air naturally moves in a space. High and low pressure, or positive and negative pressure, can be used as a tool in cleanroom environments to protect against entering contaminants (in positive pressure cleanrooms) or contaminant leakage (in negative pressure cleanrooms). 

We’re going to focus on positive pressure cleanrooms, how they work, and the benefits they offer to aerospace and defense cleanrooms

 

What are Positive Pressure Cleanrooms?

 

Positive pressure cleanrooms have greater air pressure in the cleanroom than the outside environment. In a positive pressure cleanroom, clean, filtered air is consistently pumped into the room through the HEPA filtration and cleanroom HVAC system. In the event that a door or window was opened in the cleanroom, air would rush out into the outside environment. 

This positive pressure ensures that in the event of a breach or leak in the cleanroom, the products and processes within the cleanroom are protected. Because the cleanroom has positive pressure, the air is forced out of the cleanroom, preventing contaminated or unfiltered air from seeping in. 

Positive pressure cleanrooms are most commonly used in applications where the cleanliness of the air within the cleanroom is more important than the air quality outside the cleanrooms. For highly technical applications like microelectronics, aerospace, and defense, where the tiniest particle can damage the quality of the manufactured product, a positive pressure cleanroom affords a number of benefits. 

 

3 Benefits of Positive Pressure Cleanrooms for Aerospace and Defense Industries

 

Positive pressure cleanrooms are beneficial to a wide range of applications. For microelectronics, they afford the cleanliness standard required to minimize damages to electronic components like microchips. For hospital and healthcare applications, positive pressure cleanrooms provide the controlled environment healthcare professionals need to keep patients safe. 

But outside these common applications, positive pressure cleanrooms also provide a wealth of benefits for other industries. Let’s look at three benefits of positive pressure cleanrooms for aerospace and defense industries:

#1 Maintain Cleanroom Classification

 

One of the key benefits of a positive pressure cleanroom for aerospace and defense industries is the cleanroom’s ability to maintain its classification. Because clean, filtered air is constantly being pumped into the cleanroom, it’s very difficult for contaminants or particles to enter. Particles must work against the flow of air to enter a positive pressure cleanroom, which helps to keep your cleanroom at its required classification. This ensures your cleanroom is able to regulate itself with ease, with minimal maintenance or upkeep from your staff. 

#2 Keep Out Debris and Particles

 

For aerospace and defense cleanroom applications, debris and particulate can be exceptionally damaging. When you’re working to manufacture sensitive products like microchips, defense products, aircraft, or even spacecraft, the smallest particle can affect the quality of the manufactured product. 

Positive pressure cleanrooms work to assist aerospace and defense applications by making it very difficult for debris and particles to enter the cleanroom. Even when an employee is entering a cleanroom or opening a pass-through, the positive pressure of the cleanroom forces the excess air in the room out, minimizing the potential for contaminated air or particulate to enter the cleanroom. This is particularly useful in research and manufacturing applications where a highly controlled environment is key to the success of the project or process. 

#3 Protect Sensitive Work

 

Many aerospace and defense applications deal with sensitive electronics and sensors and navigation system calibration. This type of work requires a well-controlled environment. Even the smallest particle can disrupt sensitive navigation systems or compromise the quality of a sensor or microchip. 

For aerospace and defense applications like this, a positive pressure cleanroom provides the necessary level of protection from contaminants. A positive pressure cleanroom is first developed to meet the application’s classification standards, and provides an extra level of protection thanks to the nature of positive pressure. 

In addition to meeting cleanroom classifications, the positive pressure cleanroom makes it much more difficult for debris and particulate to enter the cleanroom, protecting even the most sensitive aerospace and defense research, calibration, and manufacturing processes. 

 

Positive Pressure Cleanrooms Benefit a Variety of Aerospace and Defense Applications

 

Positive pressure cleanrooms are the ideal choice for a variety of aerospace and defense applications. From electronics and microchip manufacturing to aircraft and spacecraft production to navigation system calibration, there are a number of processes that can benefit from the extremely controlled environment a positive pressure cleanroom provides. 

Is a positive pressure cleanroom right for your application? Let the Angstrom Technology team know. We design, manufacture, and install cleanrooms for custom applications in the aerospace and defense industry and beyond. If you’re looking for a cleanroom that fits your unique application and cleanroom classification, we can help. Give us a call at 888-768-6900 or contact us online today for more information.

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HVAC System Requirements for Aerospace Cleanrooms

HVAC System Requirements for Aerospace Cleanrooms

Aerospace cleanrooms require a high level of control. They can range from an ISO 14644-1 Class 5-7, which have vastly different requirements. At a minimum ISO Class 7, the cleanroom will require about 60-90 air changes per hour and need to filter out a range of particle sizes, including all but 352,000 of microns 0.5 or larger per cubic meter. The cleanroom’s filtration system, airflow pattern, and ceiling fan coverage all work together to reach these stringent cleanroom classifications. In addition to these components, there’s another system that is integral to maintaining control and supporting other factors of cleanroom design: the cleanroom HVAC system.

The aerospace cleanroom HVAC system effectively controls temperature, humidity, and ventilation within the space. It helps make sure all processes run smoothly and helps keep the cleanroom clean and efficient. Let’s explore the basic cleanroom HVAC requirements for environmental control of temperature, humidity, and ventilation, and how these three factors can play an important role in aerospace cleanroom operations.

 

Aerospace Cleanroom HVAC Temperature

A cleanroom HVAC system is crucial for controlling temperature within your aerospace cleanroom. It’s important to manage temperature, not only to keep employees comfortable but to maintain a stable environment. Some processes within aerospace cleanrooms generate significant heat and need to be balanced with proper cooling to prevent both staff and equipment from overheating. 

Temperature fluctuations could affect cleanroom operations if some equipment, parts, or materials are temperature sensitive. Some sensors or electronics will not function effectively in an unstable environment. Also, expanding and contracting as a response to temperature changes could affect manufacturing equipment or products and lead to failure.

The cleanroom HVAC system can fine-tune temperature to optimal levels and make adjustments as needed depending on operating needs and project requirements. NASA recommends an optimal temperature of 67-77°F in aerospace cleanrooms ISO Class 5-8. For less restricted aerospace cleanroom applications, higher temperatures up to 80°F are allowed.

 

Aerospace Cleanroom HVAC Humidity

Humidity can affect aerospace cleanroom operations from minor to major ways, from changes to paint drying time or consistency to the disruption of fine electrical parts or sensors. At a minimum, humidity in aerospace cleanrooms should be controlled to prevent condensation on surfaces, which could not only affect the performance of hardware within the cleanroom but also could attract surface particulates and contaminate products.

The HVAC system is responsible for regulating appropriate humidity levels within the controlled cleanroom environment. Humidity in an aerospace cleanroom should be 30% at minimum, and not exceeding a maximum of 50%.

 

Aerospace Cleanroom HVAC Ventilation

Proper ventilation is key to meeting stringent air change or air velocity requirements in an aerospace cleanroom. Optimal and consistent ventilation is essential for supplying the cleanroom with clean air, and is the foundation for all other systems to function effectively. Proper ventilation powers the cleanroom airflow pattern, limits airborne particles with the support of filters, and prevents surface particles from settling and contaminating the cleanroom environment.  

Airflow also creates a pressure differential. Positive pressure in aerospace cleanrooms helps prevent contaminants from entering the controlled environment, especially through small spaces in the structure around doorways, between panels, or other weak points. To achieve positive pressure, the cleanroom HVAC system will push more air into the cleanroom than is allowed out. Only a slight degree of pressurization is needed to achieve positive results.

 

Choosing the Right Cleanroom HVAC

Depending on your application, your aerospace cleanroom will have to meet a classification as well as specific industry requirements. These also stipulate control over environmental factors that could interfere with cleanroom operations. In addition to proper filtration and ceiling coverage of FFUs, your cleanroom HVAC system is important to maintaining a controlled environment. Establishing complete control over environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and ventilation, your cleanroom’s HVAC is a vital part to achieving project success. 

Depending on your application’s unique needs and cleanroom classification, a more powerful HVAC system might be required. Your capabilities within your cleanroom are determined by your collective systems’ ability to manage the environment, effectively change the air, and consistently remove particles to keep the space clean and contaminant-free. 

Is your existing cleanroom HVAC system powerful and efficient enough to meet your needs? Whether you’re shopping for a new HVAC or looking to update your existing one, Angstrom Technology can help! We understand aerospace cleanroom HVAC requirements and can help you get the most out of your system for full temperature, humidity, and filtration control. To have our experts assess your HVAC or go over your requirements for a new system, give us a call or reach out online.

5 Benefits of Hardwall Cleanrooms for the Aerospace Industry

5 Benefits of Hardwall Cleanrooms for the Aerospace Industry

Aerospace cleanrooms often require high levels of control, regulated by high cleanroom classifications. To achieve stringent standards, while allowing flexibility for project changes and environmental adjustments, some of the best cleanrooms for the aerospace industry are HardWall cleanrooms. Let’s look at five benefits HardWall cleanrooms can offer your aerospace projects.

 

HardWall Cleanrooms Are Stable

When working within a cleanroom environment, having control over environmental variables can make or break a project. That’s why a stable cleanroom is so important for all cleanroom applications, but especially for those with higher cleanroom classifications. At best, instability can make your work unpredictable and unproductive; at worst, someone could get hurt. To avoid these scenarios, you need a cleanroom you can trust to keep your products and people safe; one that will allow you to control your environment and limit contamination by unwanted forces or particles as much as possible.

HardWall cleanrooms offer the most stability of any modular cleanroom. Particularly for higher classification and specialized aerospace cleanrooms, this cleanroom type offers more control across a wide range of requirements. The sturdy floor-to-ceiling panels create a fully sealed space for total power over environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and pressure. If your cleanroom needs the ability to control minute differences effectively and conveniently, a HardWall cleanroom is the best choice for your project.

 

HardWall Cleanrooms Are Customized

The best cleanroom for any project is one that is uniquely suited to your application, yet also versatile enough to adapt to your needs as your work develops. With HardWall cleanrooms, you can have both. HardWall modular cleanroom panels are fully customizable for your application, equipment specifications, and cleanroom classification. The panels are hardwearing for heavy use and can conform to your desired level of control as you need it. 

In the aerospace industry, the customization is particularly valuable. If your project requirements change from development to manufacturing to assembly, your cleanroom can be modified to meet new standards. If you need to change your layout to accommodate larger equipment or hardware, HardWall cleanrooms are easy to adapt, add to, reconfigure, or even relocate to a new space. All cleanrooms are an investment, but with a Hardwall cleanroom, you get the most out of your money.

 

HardWall Cleanrooms Are Convenient

If you need to set up a project quickly, or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of building a cleanroom from the floor up, you won’t find a better quality or more convenient option than a modular HardWall cleanroom. Each modular panel is built to your specifications offsite to later be assembled with ease at your desired location. Working with an expert cleanroom designer, you can choose the ideal layout for your cleanroom and decide on important design features ahead of time. Modular cleanroom panels arrive prewired for efficiency, with insulation already built-in, so you can get your new aerospace cleanroom up and running as soon as possible. 

Once installed, HardWall cleanrooms are easy to maintain and clean. The stationary wall design is more convenient to sanitize than a flexible one, so you can feel confident in your cleaning results. Made of non-particle shedding and non-off gassing materials, your HardWall cleanroom will protect your work with little effort required, for as long as you need it.

 

HardWall Cleanrooms Are Durable

In the aerospace industry, the products you develop and manufacture are designed to endure some of the most extreme conditions. Shouldn’t your cleanroom be just as durable? HardWall cleanrooms are constructed with heavy-duty frames that can either be attached to the floor or suspended from a reinforced ceiling grid. The modular panels won’t sag or bend over time and are guaranteed to be a long-lasting, secure, and chemically-resistant solution.

Designed to stand up in the toughest environments, HardWall cleanrooms are perfectly suited for aerospace applications. With this kind of durability, your work and investment will be safe and well-protected.

 

HardWall Cleanrooms Are Adaptable

A major benefit of modular HardWall cleanrooms is that they are incredibly adaptable. Modular panels can be arranged and installed almost anywhere. If you want your cleanroom located within an existing room or structure, a HardWall cleanroom can be easily installed, no new build required. HardWall cleanrooms can either be freestanding, suspended from a strong ceiling grid, or attached to an existing building structure.

HardWall cleanrooms can adapt to your space seamlessly, with either a separate HVAC system or integration with your building’s existing systems. Your cleanroom can also utilize light from existing windows and be designed around mounted equipment and utilities. If your project requirements change, the modular panels can be reconfigured, expanded, or condensed to meet new classification requirements or accommodate new equipment or hardware.

These modular cleanrooms are so versatile and reliable, they have us wondering: What can’t HardWall cleanrooms do? If you’re looking for a top-quality cleanroom that will give you full control over your space with the added convenience of prefabricated modular panels, this cleanroom type is the best choice for your aerospace project.

Time to install a HardWall cleanroom in your facility? Let us know! Our team can help design and install the cleanroom that’s perfect for your application. To get started on your project, give us a call or reach out to us online.

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