Softwall cleanrooms serve to provide clean-enough enclosures, while also giving your budget a break. They are flexible in more ways than the obvious, as we’ll explore below. Applications within component manufacturing, device packaging, quality assurance testing, mobile forensics labs and other controlled processes are well-suited for these plastic enclosures that comply with ISO 7 cleanliness rating.
When cost is a real issue, modular softwallcleanrooms can be an acceptable alternative to modular hardwall or bricks & mortar rooms. Generally, you can expect a softwall cleanroom to cost about 70% of a typical hardwall room. Terra’s EZ-UP softwall cleanroom combines this cost-savings with design versatility and convenience.
Most modular rooms are considered “fast set-up” compared to permanent structures since they do not require intervention from general contractors or city building inspectors; the set-up process is relatively speedy (two or three days compared to two or three months). For the EZ-UP Cleanroom however, even a couple of days will seem like a long time since EZ-UPs can be installed and functional within a few hours. Keep reading!
A reinforced, power-coated steel frame gives the room its shape. The softwall panels are put in place and zipped together. How easy is that?! The zipper is industrial-grade; strong-enough to handle the weight and thickness of the flexible plastic panels. While the zipper’s elements (or “teeth”) are joined together in a compact line, the closure is not airtight or free of microscopic particles. Terra’s cleaner alternative is BioSafe® radio-frequency (RF) welded panels, a process that fuses panels together using electromagnetic energy to generate heat. The result is a smooth, crevice-free seam that’s easy to wipe-down.
Three Versatile Frame Types
- Internal Frame (Standard Cleanroom)
Use the EZ-UP as a standard cleanroom. It can be equipped with HEPA or ULPA fan/filter units to create a positive-pressure environment (isolation), or an air handler for negative pressure and safe exhaust (containment). A steel ceiling grid supports fan/filter unit and light modules for the free-standing room; the power distribution module above the grid makes sure power is distributed to all electronic components. The entryway into the room can be a standard-framed swing door, or less expensive 60-mil strip shields.
- Frameless (Isolation Bubble)
Working in the field? Or perhaps you need a temporary clean environment that’s easy to relocate and store. Lugging a steel frame from site-to-site is expensive and impractical. Use the EZ-UP frameless option (using RF-welded panels) as your controlled environment for mobile clinics, patient isolation or overflow processing when throughput increases. Simply connect the enclosure to a source of clean air, and you have instant cleanroom!
- Suspended Frame (Equipment Enclosure)
Since the softwall panels are lighter than hardwall or steel and can’t be easily damaged (or cause damage) by moving them, using The EZ-UP to protect processing lines or other large equipment makes sense. The panels surround the frame, which is suspended from the ceiling over the large footprint. Raise and lower as needed to access equipment for maintenance or repair, or install strip-shield entryways.
Softwall sheets in the EZ-UP are 40-mil thick and easy to sterilize with common cleaning agents. They comply with ISO 7 requirements, and are made of the following materials:
- Double-polished polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are “window clear” for optimal transparency
- Static-dissipative PVC is designed for working with processes sensitive to electro-static discharge. This material has a surface resistivity of 107 ohms/spare
- Fire-rated SDPVC has ASTM E-84 fire smoking rating to meet safety requirements
- Polyurethane doesn’t outgas, so contamination from chemical vapors is eliminated
The Bottom Line
EZ-UP softwall cleanroom stands up to its name: easy to install and maintain, easy to configure to your unique purpose, and easy on the budget. Click here for more information about Terra’s EZ-UP modular cleanroom.
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