Cleanroom Products and Supplies

Why do cleanrooms require special supplies?

Cleanrooms are designed to minimise contamination. ISO-5 cleanrooms, for example, have a maximum of 3,520 airborne particles sized 0.5 µm or larger per cubic metre of air, compared with millions of such particles per cubic metre in a normal office. To get to that level of cleanliness, workers have to abide by strict rules of conduct, and the equipment and supplies used inside the cleanroom itself must be designed to release as few particles as possible. Everyday paper naturally produces fibres, writing with a pencil releases particles of graphite (a potential conductor), and normal pen ink is a potential source of ionic contamination. Everyday products have no place in cleanrooms, and so special cleanroom supplies should be used instead.

Using the right cleanroom products is essential for meeting both industry and ISO 14644-1 standards for a particular cleanroom class. Each of the nine ISO classes (with ISO-1 being the cleanest) has its own set of regulations, which determine how the cleanroom should be designed, which equipment should be used, and what the code of conduct should be to maintain its class’s level of airborne particles.

Useful cleanroom supplies for different ISO classes

HEPA Filter Leak Test of Technician Clean room

How is a cleanroom test conducted?

Once a cleanroom has been built, it is important for it to be tested periodically (annually or semi-annually) to ensure that it is being maintained to the standards of its ISO 14644-1 class. Cleanroom tests determine whether the air flow design and filtration systems work properly so that the amount of airborne particles do not exceed the specified maximum.

Cleanroom tests focus extensively on making sure the airflow system functions as it should. Not only should the air flowing into and out of the cleanroom be adequate, but it should also flow properly inside the cleanroom itself and from area to area.

HEPA and ULPA filters are also tested for leaks, and any leaks found are checked to make sure that unfiltered air is not entering the cleanroom.

Finally, the concentration of airborne particles is measured using particle counters that use a light scattering principle to measure both the size and amount of particles per cubic metre.

Depending on the industry requirements of a cleanroom, more tests will be conducted to ensure that it is up to standard, such as tests of the cleanroom’s temperature and humidity, as well as vibration, sound and light levels. If products are used in the specific environment they need to be tested as well. For example, edding’s 8011 cleanroom marker underwent testing on its outgassing and surface cleanability by an external institute. Regarding air cleanliness, the black colour was awarded class 2, and blue received class 3 according to the ISO 14644-1 standard. This kind of test also needs to be conducted for other cleanroom products.

More interesting topics to read about

edding 8011 cleanroom marker blue

edding 8011 cleanroom marker

This marker is certified for use in ISO-2 and 3 class cleanrooms. With its metal and label-free design and 0.6mm round nib, the edding 8011 releases a minimal particulate matter such as dust, is water and smudge-proof, and comes with a convenient cap with clip.

edding 8014 laboratory marker mark on glass

edding 8014 laboratory marker

Certified by the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV), this laboratory marker can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -183°C to +500°C, is waterproof and lightfast, making it a reliable tool for use in laboratory environments.