Airlocks are a crucial part of protecting your cleanroom from contamination while maintaining the required ISO rating. By preserving pressure differentials between adjoining rooms, air locks prevent cross contamination when personnel, materials and samples are transferred between contiguous spaces. The pressure cascade created from the gowning room to the personnel air lock to the ISO-rated cleanroom acts as a safeguard against the accidental influx of particles, dust and microbial contaminants.
Air showers are chambers or tunnels used to decontaminate personnel via air jets as they enter or exit a cleanroom. By using pressurized jet nozzle air streams, air showers blow contaminating particles away from people or items that enter, then filter pollutants and redirect the clean air out of the chamber. The showers are placed at the entrances of cleanrooms or other controlled environments to secure the biggest potential containment breach, minimizing the danger to workers or products.
Cleanroom entrances present a significant potential for contaminant infiltration, so they must be managed with this in mind. Air showers are one way to minimize piggy-backing contaminants. They are enclosed chambers that use strong bursts of air to dislodge particulates from people or transport carts entering or exiting the room. Room entrances, and pass-throughs that incorporate an air shower, serve as a safeguard between critical and non-critical areas. Personnel are the greatest source of contamination in a cleanroom, so most of the methods of contamination reduction, including air showers, were developed to accommodate humans. Air showers range in size and construction, depending on the application, and are utilized by a diverse range of industries. So, how do air showers work? Find out below!
Air shower design and operation
Modular air shower chambers and tunnels use high-velocity streams of