Glossary of Cleanroom Terms

Cleanrooms must meet many standards and regulations. By cleaning internal surfaces, controlling air within the facility, and operating the cleanroom within tight guidelines, contamination levels can be kept acceptable. However, the essentials don’t end there. From ordering cleanroom supplies to understanding terminology, being knowledgeable helps get the most out of your facility.

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Here are some terms you’ll need to know when using a cleanroom:

  • Adsorption: The process by which the atoms and ions of a liquid, gas, or solid material (absorbate) stick to and form a film on a surface (adsorbent). An absorbate’s molecules do not penetrate the surface of the material.
  • Airflow Uniformity: Measured in feet per minute, airspeed in different parts of the room should differ no more than 15% from a pre-determined mean value. Otherwise, higher discrepancies can cause air turbulence that suspends and distributes small particles.
  • Air Change Rate: Identifies how many times the air is replaced within a cleanroom over time. To calculate it, determine the total volume of air introduced over an hour and divide it by the room’s total volume.
  • Air Shower: A chamber where forced air removes particulates from a person or object before entering a cleanroom; an air filter captures any dust, pollen, or organic contaminant removed from the subject.
  • ARBS: Air conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services. In addition to being an acronym, ARBS is a biennial trade show event covering these services, as well as heating, ventilation, and other aspects of the building industry.
  • ASHRAE: The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers, an organization promoting sustainability, research, and continuing education in the HVAC and refrigeration industry. The organization drafts and publishes industry standards and educational resources.
  • Cleanroom Classifications: Cleanrooms are classified based on how many particles, and at what size, are permitted per cubic meter. A cleanroom classification ranges from ISO 1 to ISO 9. In the electronics industry, classes from ISO 3 to ISO 9 are required, while a sterile cleanroom used for pharmaceutical and biotechnology purposes must meet aseptic requirements and could range from ISO 5 to ISO 8 all extremely clean and controlled with similar practices although some are very different, example the change frequency of the gowns; also the methods and schedule of cleaning the cleanrooms.
  • Desiccators: Sealable air-tight enclosures containing desiccants or nitrogen gas, where reactions between moisture-sensitive substances/materials and atmospheric humidity can be prevented.
  • Differential Pressure: The change in air pressure from one spot to another. In cleanrooms, positive differential pressure prevents contaminants from entering through an opening; negative differential pressure means air pressure outside the room is higher to prevent harmful substances from leaving the space.
  • ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD): A friction-induced transfer of electric charge between two electrically charged surfaces, which may or may not be triggered by direct contact.
  • Softwall cleanroom: A permanent or temporary space with a steel frame, clear soft panels, and a strip door to create a controlled environment where lighting and HEPA filters must also be installed.
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  • Laminar Air Flow: Generally traveling along vertical flow lines, laminar airflow is of uniform velocity within the confined space of a cleanroom. The airstream first passes through a HEPA or ULPA filter to significantly reduce potential contamination.
  • Validation: Procedures that pertain to a facility’s compliance with applicable regulations and standards, including monitoring and documentation during design, construction, and operation.
  • Wafer Handling: The process in which silicon wafers are managed during microchip manufacturing; the cleanroom standards for equipment, apparel, and facility requirements are generally tighter than for most industries.

Order Cleanroom Supplies from Prudential Cleanroom Services

These are just some cleanroom terms you’ll need to know. For cleanroom uniforms, apparel, and laundry services, as well as other supporting services, you can trust Prudential Cleanroom Services. Call 800-767-5536 to learn more.