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An Introduction to Cleanrooms

The ISO Standard 14644 is an internationally accepted standard of Cleanroom and the associated controlled environments. ISO 14644 consists of the following parts:

It is clear that a cleanroom is a room that is clean. However, a cleanroom now has a special meaning and it is defined in the International Organization for Standarization (ISO) standard 14644-1 as:

A room in which the concentration of airborne particles controlled, and which is constructed and used in a manner to minimise the introduction, generation, and retention of particles inside the room and in which other relevant parameters, e.g. temperature, humidity, and pressure, are controlled as necessary.

The first two thirds of the definition is, in essence, what a cleanroom is. It is a room that minimises the introduction, generation and retention of particles. This is achieved, firstly, by supplying it with exceptionally large quantities of air that has been filtered with high efficiency filters. This air is units to (1) dilute and remove the particles and bacteria dispersed from personnel and machinery within the room and, (2) to pressurise the room and ensure that no dirty air flows into the cleanroom. Secondly, a cleanroom is built with materials that do not generate particles and can be easily cleaned. Finally, cleanroom personnel use clothing that envelops them and minimises their dispersion of particles and micro-organisms. These and other similar measures that minimise the introduction, generation and retention of contamination in a cleanroom are discussed on this site. Cleanrooms can also control the temperature, humidity, sound, lighting, and vibration.

Some Cleanroom Applications

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Industry Type Product In Manufacture/Process
Biotechnology Antibiotic production, genetic engineering
Electronics Computers, TV-tubes, flat screens
Food and Drink Brewery production, unsterilised food and drink
Medical Devises Heart Valves, cardiac by-pass systems
Micromechanics Gyroscopes, miniature bearings, compact-disc players
Optics Lenses
Pharmacy Sterile pharmaceuticals, sterile disposables
Semiconductor Production of integrated circuits used in computer memory and control
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Website last updated 19th August 2015