Let’s take a look at two of the most common types of cleanroom wall systems: post-and-panel and seamless.
Post-and-Panel vs. Seamless Wall Systems: What’s the Difference?
First, some definitions. Learn more about what post-and-panel and seamless wall systems are, and how they differ below.
What Is a Post-and-Panel Cleanroom Wall System?
A post-and-panel cleanroom wall system utilizes a series of non-progressive posts and panels that are joined together to create a modular enclosure. The posts and panels are “stitched” together with a corrugated roof deck that keeps them in place.
The end result? A modular enclosure that’s self-supporting, reconfigurable, and isolated from its surrounding environment. It stands alone and is separate from the existing building structure.
What Is a Seamless Cleanroom Wall System?
A seamless cleanroom wall system utilizes studless, flush wall or liner panels to create a modular enclosure. These wall panels can be either progressive or non-progressive but are tightly sealed so that no seams are exposed. They also have coving (a curved covering that connects a wall to a ceiling) on both horizontal and vertical intersections.
A seamless cleanroom wall system can be tied into steel stud walls and/or the existing building structure that surrounds it. It also typically features a flush, walkable ceiling. Its seamless design allows for durable performance and sleek aesthetic appeal for the most stringent applications.
Pros & Cons of Post-and-Panel Cleanroom Wall Systems
Now let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of these cleanroom wall systems, specifically highlighting distinguishing factors between each type. We’ll start with post-and-panel.
The main advantages of post-and-panel cleanroom wall systems are:
- They can be reconfigured easily. Due to their non-progressive nature, post-and-panel wall systems are the easiest type to reconfigure. The-two piece stud post allows removal and replacement of a wall panel without disturbing adjacent panels. They also accomodate quick and easy vertical installation of electrical, data, and communication lines in the raceways, which are accessible from the removable cover plate. If your facility is expecting growth or changes in the future, this is an important benefit to consider.
- They’re self-supporting. Post-and-panel wall systems can stand alone. The structural-grade, extruded aluminum acts as a structural column on spaces with long clear spans or load bearing roofs. The stud system will accommodate steel tube inserts for additional load bearing capability. They don’t need to be integrated into an existing building structure, giving you a bit more versatility with placement and layout.
The main disadvantages of post-and-panel cleanroom wall systems are:
- They’re harder to clean. Because they’re not fully seamless (the panels will fit within studs creating an ⅛” protrussion or less) and have no coving integrated into their system, post-and-panel wall systems can be more difficult to clean. There are more seams and crevices where particles can accumulate.
- They’re not FM-approved. Post-and-panel wall systems are Class A non-combustible, but they’re not FM-approved. This may be a deal breaker for certain applications, depending on industry-specific requirements.
Pros & Cons of Seamless Cleanroom Wall Systems
Now for some advantages and disadvantages of seamless cleanroom wall systems — which are basically the opposite of what we mentioned about their post-and-panel counterparts.
To start, the main advantages of seamless cleanroom wall systems are:
- They’re easy to clean. Seamless wall systems have tight, chemically cold-welded uPVC seams and coves so there are no crevices for contaminants to build up in or air leakage. This makes them much easier to clean, wash down, and fumigate. For higher ISO classifications with stringent cleaning requirements, this is the best option.
- They feature a floating flush ceiling. Their floating flush ceiling offers the same fine line seams and finishes as the modular wall system. The flush ceiling platform utilizes 5’ x 10’ ceiling panels and 5’ x 10’ hanger spacing, allowing the installation of FFUs and lights without changing the ceiling panel orientation. Interior wall panels are attached to the bottom surface of the ceiling panels and wall/ceiling covings can be run at any location making it integral to the cleanroom system. The walkable ceiling is capable of supporting a wide variety of mechanical systems and accommodating components and small equipment.
- They’re FM-approved. Seamless wall systems are both Class A non-combustible and FM-approved, meaning they offer the considerable level of fire resistance that some cleanroom applications require.
The main disadvantages of seamless cleanroom wall panels are:
- They’re not as easy to reconfigure. While it’s definitely not an impossible task, reconfiguring a seamless cleanroom is a bit more difficult. This is especially true if it’s built with progressive wall panels where replacement is done through the use of rotating splines.
- They can’t stand alone. Seamless cleanroom wall systems aren’t self-supporting. They must tie into the existing building structure, or you’ll have to build a steel superstructure for support.
- They’re a bit more expensive. Since the system isn’t structurally sound on its own and must be supported by a steel superstructure or existing building, seamless cleanroom wall systems are generally the more costly option.
What Type of Wall System Is Best for My Cleanroom?
Both post-and-panel and seamless cleanroom wall systems are great options that can meet varying specifications you need them to, so there’s not really a “wrong” answer to this question. A better way of looking at it is there might be one option that’s better for you than the other. That can vary for you based on a few factors, including:
- Your industry and application (seamless is geared more towards pharmaceutical, life science, and semiconductor applications)
- Your cleanroom classification and other standards you’re required to meet
- The size and layout of your existing building
- Your cleanroom cleaning protocol and capabilities
- If you have any needs to reconfigure in the future
Our recommendation is that before deciding anything, you should connect with a cleanroom specialist. They’ll be able to listen to your unique needs and recommend a solution that will work best for you.
Start Your Cleanroom Design & Build Project with Angstrom Technology
Thinking about installing a new cleanroom in your facility? We can help! At Angstrom Technology, our cleanroom specialists have extensive experience designing, building, and installing cleanrooms with high-quality materials.
From deciding which type of cleanroom wall system is best for your application to ensuring you have enough air filters and handling units to maintain a controlled environment, we’ll help you work through the details of your project. Then we’ll make your vision come to life!
To get started working with us, give us a call at (888) 768-6900 or contact us online.