In this article, we'll detail the similarities, differences, and applications for a broad spectrum of Terra pass-through systems. Perhaps you need a simple and economical option for general tasks in labs, healthcare, or pharmacy environments. Meanwhile, Terra's cleanroom and specialty pass-throughs are designed and customizable for virtually any pharmaceutical, semiconductor, medical device, surgical, or ICU environment. Below, we'll identify several models that cater to general and technical users, including economical ValuLine models, BioSafe® models with ultra-hygienic features, and Smart® models that enable modern electronic features including secured access, automatic doors, HEPA filtration, refrigeration, and more.
Pass-Through Chambers can be found in a variety of laboratory, healthcare, and cleanroom environments to facilitate the transfer of materials from one room to another. Importantly, transfer chambers allow this transaction to occur without requiring constant entry and exit from one area to another. Generally, most pass-through chambers include an interlocking chamber mechanism that allows access from only one side of the chamber at a time. Moving on, let's unpack some of the more specific features and product families that are designed for specific applications.
ValuLine™ pass-through chambers with automatic mechanical interlocks are suitable for non-sterile applications that do not require controlled air spaces. Chambers are offered in 304 stainless steel and several plastic materials including economical black acrylic, polypropylene for moderate chemical compatibility, and SDPVC for static-sensitive areas.
General-Use Pass-Through Chamber is suitable for any general-use application that requires moderate particulate control, but should not be considered suitable for sterile protocols. These configurations include wall-mount or floor-mount versions, and several material options including 304 stainless steel, powder-coated steel, economical clear acrylic, polypropylene, and static-dissipative PVC enclosures.
CleanSeam™ Pass-Throughs offer 304 stainless steel chambers with continuous welds, eliminating any intermittently welded gaps that harbor particulate and contamination. Continuous seam welding provides an uninterrupted, single-piece chamber to inhibit the entry or escape of contaminants from contact surfaces.
CleanMount® CleanSeam™ Pass-Through Chambers feature a hidden automatic door interlock and easy-to-sterilize 316L stainless steel for aseptic bio-pharma applications. An obstruction-free interior with lipless edges and radius corners supports easy cleaning. Flush-wall mounts allow for a 5-minute CleanMount installation, but other mounting positions are available including flush-floor, center floor, and center wall.
Smart CleanMount Pass-Throughs include automatic electronic interlocks with visual and audible notifications, coved radius corners, and a 5-minute CleanMount install. The double wall construction allows for a hidden circuit board that streamlines the integration of electronic add-ons including LEDs, UV, HEPA/ULPA recirculation, refrigeration, environmental monitoring, data logging, bar code scanning, hands-free door opening, and controlled access interfaces.
BioSafe® CleanMount Pass-Through Chambers feature 316L stainless steel double wall chambers with concealed interior automatic mechanical interlocks for easy wipe down and cleaning. Autoclave-safe doors and coved radius corners support critical applications in biology, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences.
When the concept of the pass-through chamber was first introduced to the market, its primary purpose was to streamline sample transfer areas and reduce cross traffic between various areas including acute care, ambulatory care, outpatient areas, and storage. This was an essential function, especially in environments like hospitals and labs where minimizing contamination risks is paramount.
Prior to Terra's CleanMount® Pass-Throughs, installing a pass-through was a messy process that required drilling, sawing, or cutting into the existing wall. As an advancement, the CleanMount® fastening system installs directly into a clean, finished opening in the wall (not a dirty, rough cut-out). The innovative design firmly clamps to a variety of wall thicknesses without penetrating or damaging the finished surrounding wall. After the wall is fully prepared, this video demonstrates how Terra’s CleanMount® pass-through chamber can be installed seamlessly, within 5 minutes.
With the further advent of the Smart Pass-Through, Terra Universal has broadened the horizons of what a pass-through chamber can achieve. Instead of merely serving as a conduit for sample transfer, this advanced chamber comes equipped with a suite of standard features and add-ons that can be integrated into any unit.
Smart® CleanMount® Pass-Throughs allow seamless integration of electrical add-ons including hands-free automatic doors, UV decontamination lights, load sensors, fingerprint/retina access, and more.
Smart Refrigerated Pass-Throughs provide a stable temperature down to 5°C to preserve sensitive samples awaiting transfer to the lab or cleanroom. Variants include small and large capacity dimensions to accommodate jobs of any size, scope, or throughput requirement.
Smart UVC Disinfection Modules for Pass-Throughs offer an added layer of protection against bacteria, viruses, and spores. UV-C sanitizing modules with germicidal UV-C lights denature microbial DNA after short, intense exposure at 254 nanometers. UV-C lighting will ensure your pass-through box is fully sterilized and does not impact the bio-burden of your cleanroom.
Pictured above, ValuLine™ Pass-Through for Pharmacy Cleanrooms offer an economical, chemical-resilient polypropylene option for clean material transfer. Polypropylene withstands harsh cleaning agents. A lucky horseshoe is hung outside the cleanroom to attract good fortune. Rated for ISO 7+ cleanrooms ValuLine models support a broad array of applications in retail pharmacies, drug testing labs, blood banks, and walk-in clinics.
Smart Pass-Throughs are configurable with 90-degree corners and integrated HEPA filtration modules. Standard features include electronic interlocking doors with LED status light indicators. Pictured above, this unit is designed for an anti-tumor therapy incubation room. It features a 90-degree corner design with re-circulating HEPA filtration.
Lead-Lined Passthroughs are designed for specific clinical environments that host radioactive substances. 1/4" thick double-wall construction and a QQ-L-201F Certified Grade B lead lining ensure a functional barrier, and include clear leaded glass windows for Increased x-ray protection, or to support hazardous clinical applications
Terra’s pass-through chambers are UL-rated, CE-marked, and leak-tested. Specialty models meet USP <797> and <800> requirements, cGMP standards, UL-B fire ratings, and BSL 1 and 2 criteria. If you’re installing a pass-through into a regulated space, talk to your Terra product specialist to find a model that fits your application.
Smart® pass-through chambers can be configured as a “T” or “X” shape to connect multiple rooms. This 3-door configuration for an in-patient pharmacy interconnects the USP 800 room (negative pressure), chemo room (negative pressure), and ante areas.
For any sterile or aseptic environment, Smart models offer countless add-on capabilities for aseptic workflows including integrated HEPA filtration, LED / UV lights, automatic doors, access security systems, load presence sensors, cameras, wireless door alerts, and more.
Hands-Free Access Doors for Smart Pass-Throughs include motion-sensor activation, commonly initiated by a wave of the hand, which minimizes the potential for contamination. This is crucial in environments where sterility and cleanliness are non-negotiable variables.
Hygienic Glass Doors feature a full tempered glass structure that is strategically engineered for sectors requiring stringent hygienic measures, such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Aesthetic longevity is achieved via a rear-positioned, scratch-resistant black faux border.
Sloped Chamber Tops are available on any Terra pass-through system. This aseptic-friendly add-on reduces the number of flat surfaces, which tend to collect and harbor particulate. The angled surface makes the surface easier to inspect, reach, and wipe down. Moreover, streamlined aerodynamics reduce drag, and mitigate eddies or turbulence that would otherwise disrupt top-to-bottom laminar airflow.
Terra’s Refrigerated Pass-Throughs meet USP 797 requirements for sterile pharmaceutical cleanrooms, and pharmaceutical storage standards to ensure compliant storage of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Electronic interlocking doors allow only one door to open at a time. The built-in shelf-rack system is fully removable for complete sterilization.
Certain CGMP, GLP, and USP-rated environments require sterile-grade airflow to support the transfer of sterile preparations, injectables, sterile packaging, and sterilized tools or equipment.
Smart Recirculating HEPA/ULPA Pass-Throughs are designed for applications that demand a high degree of sterility assurance. Terra's filtered pass-throughs are configurable with integrated HEPA or ULPA filters that evacuate and scrub the chamber air between door openings. These designs integrate a stainless steel fan filter unit that emits a continuous flow of HEPA/ULPA-filtered air to protect transferred material from particle contamination.
For Terra pass-throughs that include integrated electronics are designed and built to the highest standards required by defense and semiconductor industries, which ensures long-term reliability and protection against damage, injury, and electrical hazards.
Terra offers several pass-through chambers with ESD-safe materials and add-ons catered for static-protected environments. Add-ons include static-neutralizing ionizing bars, grounding terminals, and static dissipative PVC (SDPVC) viewing windows.
Importantly, Terra specialists can assist you with configuring and specifying a pass-through system for electronically protected areas and ANSI/S20-20 compliant programs.
Terra offers an array of factory-integrated rack and shelving systems for its pass-through chamber families. Preconfigured racks are configurable with several Terra pass-through families including General Use, CleanSeam, CleanMount, and CleanMount / CleanSeam combinations.
Pictured here, Terra's General-Use Polypropylene Pass-Through is wall-mounted in an aeronautics lab for convenient item transfer between rooms. The system includes a mechanical interlock and filtered air blower mounted on the top to clean out contaminating particles from the ambient air.
In any environment, pass-through chambers reduce traffic and contamination by streamlining the transfer of materials, documents, samples, or products. All Terra pass-through chambers include an automatic, mechanical interlock system that minimizes the risk of cross-contamination by allowing only one door to be open at a time.
Terra manufactures several pass-through systems for general manufacturing and high-throughput processing environments. These environments may include an array of adjacent spaces, both classified and non-classified. Importantly, pass-through systems help to confine and control factors that would allow the escape of fumes, aerosols, and particulate matter from one area to the next.
Economical general-use pass-throughs feature a single-wall design and are available in 304 stainless steel, static-dissipative PVC, clear acrylic, polypropylene, and powder-coated steel.
Floor-mount pass-throughs with wheel ramps simplify the passage of carts, equipment with casters, pallet jacks, and other wheel traffic.
For extra-large equipment, Terra's High-Speed Roll-Up Doors feature interlocked polyvinyl-coated fabric doors that open or close in under four seconds, reducing chamber exposure to airborne contaminants and speeding up the transfer.
Terra's Large Format Roll-up Pass-Throughs include roll-up doors in standard and high-speed configurations. Integrated features include PVC viewing windows, photoelectric obstruction sensors, and touch panel controls with emergency stop and door lock-down functions.
Smart® CleanMount® Fire-Rated Pass-Throughs, rated for UL 10B compliance, denote a 90-minute fire exposure capability, making it ideal for 2-hour wall ratings. The fire-rated doors incorporate 2" of insulation and a paddle-style pull-latch.
General Use Pass-Throughs accommodate non-sterile applications and moderate particulate control requirements. By using only non-shedding materials, the risk of contamination originating from the door itself is minimized. Notably, latches, hinges, and seals tend to be the first point of failure for certain pass-through systems. Therefore, Terra enlists stainless steel doors, latches, and hinges to mitigate corrosion and extend service life. UL-certified leak-rated doors promote maintained pressure differentials from room to room. Access control is maintained by FirmLok mechanical interlocks, which allow only one door at a time to open.
Terra’s General-Use Pass-Through Chambers are suitable for any general-use application that requires moderate particulate control, but should not be considered suitable for sterile protocols.
In laboratory and healthcare environments, interlocking chambers and viewing windows ensure the streamlined exchange of currency, credentials, raw materials, documents, and equipment. Windowless versions ensure maintained cleanliness, dignity, and privacy when administering and retrieving collection devices that contain stools, urine, blood, or bodily fluids.
Cleanroom Cart Pass Throughs facilitate the transfer of cell cultures for drug development. The automatic door interlocks minimize contamination exposure
Fire-Rated Specimen Pass-Through Cabinets include UL 10B-rated doors with 90-minute fire exposure on the "clean side" door for installation on two-hour fire-rated walls. On the non-fire-rated access door side (the "dirty side") an SDPVC viewing window allows for visual inspections without needing direct access. 304 stainless steel mounts and 20-gauge steel doors ensure longevity and performance.
ValuLine™ Pass-Through Chambers are configurable with economical black acrylic, polypropylene, and 304 stainless steel to provide a design that is both cost-effective and robust. These designs are well-suited for various hospital, laboratory, and pharmacy environments that require moderate environmental control.
Polypropylene Sliding Windows allow for the convenient transfer of finished products, materials, and documents between rooms. The windows feature a polypropylene frame and shelf, a 3/4" sliding glass door, and 316L stainless steel hinges/handles. This design is well suited for various hospital, laboratory, and pharmacy environments that require moderate environmental control.
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