All Terra Blogs

  1. What are the Benefits of Having an On-site Nitrogen Generator?

    What are the Benefits of Having an On-site Nitrogen Generator?

    Canned Obsolescence: Why Nitrogen Generators Belong in Your Lab

    Forget about renting nitrogen tanks — laboratory applications aren’t on the same level as buying helium for a kid’s birthday balloons. As far as the old-fashioned nitrogen delivery via tank and truck, why wait to have crucial laboratory supplies left on the cleanroom stoop like old milk bottles? Critical operations can’t wait for traffic. What happens when production stops because the gas supply has depleted, or when valuable experiments or products are ruined because of moisture exposure? How much time should personnel have to spend refilling each tank? And where in the space-starved facility should the bulky supplies wait for use?

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  2. Operator Nausea from Work Surface Vibration

    The Side Effects of Visual Disturbance

    Terra Universals Vibration-free PlatformSitting still can feel like a rocking ocean when staring through an unstable microscope — persistent viewing of blurry, shaky objects at high magnification causes nausea, headaches and fatigue. But the symptoms of motion sickness go beyond an upset stomach. 

    Headaches can cause visual disturbance. If it isn’t hard enough trying to view an unsteady slide, add minor loss of vision, ocular pain and photosensitivity to the equation and find out just how efficiently the observation goes—studying contents under a microscope requires the ability to see, after all.

    Nausea from motion sickness can cause sweating and vomiting, which halts production.

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  3. Air Shower Protection for Cannabis Grow Rooms

    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.

    Click here for more Information on Cleanroom Air Showers

    Stringent cleanliness requirements make air showers a standa

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  4. A Finishing Station for Your 3D Printing Projects

    A Finishing Station for Your 3D Printing Projects

    Additive manufacturing (AM), commonly called 3D printing, isn’t just for rocket scientists anymore. Its use has increased exponentially as companies and researchers discover useful applications and innovative methods. Availability of equipment and supplies for performing three-dimensional printing is becoming almost commonplace; it’s just a matter of time before retailers start to offer 3D printing services, or a few mavericks begin to do it in their homes (broken coffee cup? No problem; I’ll just make another one!).

    History

    3-dimensional printer creating object made of plastic

    Back in the late 1980s, single-production industrial prototyping was going from drawing board to reality. The first patent was issued in 1986 for the stereolithography apparatus (SLA), with the first commercial

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  5. Cleanroom Design that Terra Recommends

    Terra Universal will certify its cleanrooms to guarantee “as built” compliance with cleanliness standards. What matters, though, is how the cleanroom performs in real world applications—in your application, with your personnel and processing equipment.

    Careful consideration of these operating conditions will help you select the configuration that meets your requirements and fits your budget!

    Cost vs. Coverage: Evaluating FFU Placement

    The cleanest modular cleanroom incorporates filter/fan units (FFUs) in every 2' x 4' (610 mm x 1219 mm) ceiling bay. This near-100% ceiling coverage provides a laminar flow of filtered air to quickly remove contaminants from the cleanroom, meeting ISO 3 or ISO 4 (Federal Standard 209(E) Class 1 or Class 10) environments (depending on the filter types selected, HEPA or ULPA).

    Of course, 100% ceiling coverage requires substantial investme

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  6. FS209E and ISO Cleanroom Standards

    Terra Universal is the leading expert in the design and fabrication of critical-environment applications. We offer a complete range of equipment, furnishing and supplies for cleanrooms and laboratories. The following are the rigorous standards to which Terra Universal adheres.

    Before global cleanroom classifications and standards were adopted by the International Standards Organization (ISO), the U.S. General Service Administration’s standards (known as FS209E) were applied virtually worldwide. However, as the need for international standards grew, the ISO established a technical committee and several working groups to delineate its own set of standards.

    FS209E contains six classes, while the ISO 14644-1 classification system adds two cleaner standards and one dirtier standard (see chart below). The "cleanest" cleanroom in FS209E is referred to as Class 1; the "dirtiest" cleanroom is a

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  7. BioSafety Levels 1 & 2: What’s the Difference?

    BioSafety Levels 1 & 2: What’s the Difference?

    The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed guidelines to classify laboratory applications conducted with potentially hazardous biological microorganisms. These levels range from Biosafety Level 1 (the least hazardous) to Biosafety Level 4 (the most hazardous).

    In addition to specifying guidelines for the type of work that is classified under each Biosafety Level (BSL), the CDC also has guidelines for the types of precautions and protections needed to mitigate injury resulting from exposure to pathogens. These Biosafety Level protocols have been used by manufacturing companies as references for engineering controls such as biosafety cabinets and glove box enclosures. Creating a secure working environment is a critical goal of the CDC and individual employers.

    Continue reading to learn the specific differences between the CDC’s first two Biosafety Levels.

    Biosafety Le
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  8. Designing and Purchasing a Cleanroom, Oh My!

    Designing and Purchasing a Cleanroom, Oh My!

    Cleanrooms are a large investment, putting a lot of responsibility and pressure on the owner and project engineers. As with any large investment, the aspiration is to formulate the perfect design the first time. While those expectations may be high, facilities can reduce time and expenses with careful planning and strict project management practices. There are also many considerations to make in the cleanroom’s pre-planning stage. Such as?

     

    The first step in planning a cleanroom is to concretely identify the primary goals and applications. Often this depends on the industry for which the cleanroom will be used. There are several questions to answer: How will the cleanroom be used? What ISO cleanliness regulations must be met? What equipment is needed (e.g. hoods, gloveboxes, storage cabinets or packaging machinery)? What is the maximum number of workers that will be inside the room at peak time? A regu

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  9. Semiconductor Fabrication: Focus on Wet Processing Equipment

    Semiconductor Fabrication: Focus on Wet Processing Equipment

    What is a Semiconductor?

    “Semi-conductors,” also known as integrated circuits (ICs) or chips, are components with more electrical conductivity than insulators, but less electrical conductivity than conductors, as measured by the potential activity of charged electrons. They are ubiquitous in our society: anything with an ON/OFF switch contains an integrated circuit. Metalloid elements such as the abundant silicon (Si) are used as the chips’ substrate. When manufactured, impurities are deliberately added (a process called “doping”) to alter the conductivity characteristics, making them more suitable as electronic-device components. Common dopants are arsenic or boron, each with a different quantity of outer electrons that create positive or negative charges and electron “holes.” In a move away from electronic technologies such as vacuum tubes and crystal diodes in 1958, semiconductor components have allowed companies

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  10. Cleanroom Maintenance: One Step at a Time

    Cleanroom Maintenance: One Step at a Time

    Cleanrooms are used to perform clean processes, so it’s counterintuitive to think of maintenance and repair activities inside a controlled environment. Yet, they are very necessary and performed quite often. Protocol for crews working inside a cleanroom is different than the typical office space: personnel must gown and adhere to strict clean processes, just like lab technicians. The equipment crews bring into the cleanroom must also be compatible with the required ISO rating. Slow, careful movements and meticulous control over dust and other contaminants are critical to prevent complete shut-down and time-consuming recertification of the room.

     
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