A clean room is a space that contains a minimal amount of airborne pollutants such as vaporized chemicals, dust, aerosol droplets, and microbes. The level of contamination within these rooms cannot exceed a predetermined value, usually measured in particles per cubic meter. In the United States, clean rooms are assessed by measuring the number of particles that are equal to and greater than 0.5 mm within one cubic foot of air.
Clean rooms are essential facilities in a broad array of industries, including aerospace, optics, semiconductors, biotech, pharmaceuticals, defense contracting, energy, and healthcare. By protecting products from common contaminants that could compromise them or endanger their users, these spaces help manufacturers prevent delays in production, meet safety standards, and guarantee the quality of the finished product.
What Makes a Clean Room Clean?
An effective clean room must be completely integrated into a manufacturer’s operation while remaining insulated against the pollutants found elsewhere in the workplace. Since a typical industrial facility presents many opportunities for contamination, manufacturers need to closely monitor every aspect of their clean rooms to protect them from these dangers as thoroughly as possible.
The most effective safety measure that users of clean rooms can take is to ensure that nothing within the room itself produces airborne pollutants. To that end, all surfaces within the room cannot produce dust or encourage the growth of microorganisms under any circumstances. They also must be easily cleaned and resistant to corrosion.
Since clean rooms are defined by the level of contaminants within the air, airflow within them must be strictly regulated. The air supplied to the room can be fresh or reused, but the volume should remain constant, and the air must be constantly filtered to eliminate any impurities in it before it enters the room. Regardless of the source, the ventilation system should constantly introduce air into the room so that clean air is always circulating.
Because a clean room is involved in the manufacturing process, manufacturers need to take some precautions to prevent contamination by pollutants produced during other stages of manufacturing. The room itself should be accessible only to qualified employees with appropriate attire that prevents users from introducing foreign contaminants or shedding skin, hair, or other sources of contamination produced by the body. The manufacturer should also constantly observe the air flow and filtration systems, conduct repairs and maintenance as needed, and clean the room as frequently as possible.
Metalex Solutions for Clean Rooms
A clean room is a particularly sensitive environment, requiring constant care from its users in order to function properly. With the proper materials, however, manufacturers can construct clean rooms that seamlessly fit into their operations without jeopardizing the safety and integrity of their products.
Most clean rooms benefit greatly from safety grating systems, which provide an effective safeguard against workplace pollutants by resisting corrosion and minimizing the risk of accidents. Expanded metal equipment offers similar protection against these threats, thriving in clean rooms subject to even the strictest regulations.
At Metalex, we’ve helped manufacturers in a variety of industries design their ideal clean rooms by supplying them with the equipment they need to enhance performance within these facilities without exposing them to contamination. Specializing in metals that can withstand heavy use and unforgiving environments, our safety grating systems are well-suited to any application. Our products include:
Open-Grip®Safety Grating, a round-hole system which features cold-formed raised, perforated buttons and 1.375-in. debossed openings that drain and filter any debris while preventing users from slipping or falling
Deck Span®Safety Grating, a lightweight one-piece system with high loadbearing strength and extreme slip resistance
Tread-Grip®Flooring, a system with cold-formed, closely spaced perforated buttons and circular tread that allows for high-adhesive friction
Metalex also offers expanded metal shelving and lockers for use in clean rooms. Because of their composition, these products don’t emit airborne pollutants while offering the strength, durability, and flexibility needed to excel in any clean room.
Since 1962, Metalex has helped manufacturers solve an array of operational challenges with perforated metals, expanded metals, and safety grating systems that enhance safety throughout the workplace without undermining productivity. With extensive experience in designing clean rooms, we’re equipped with the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure that the air in yours remains as fresh as possible. If you’d like to explore partnering with us, contact us today.