Materials get transferred into and out of cleanrooms all the time. The value of pass-through chambers is well-known, and labs count on them for continuity of their workflow and certification status. Without an efficient method of clean movement between rooms of different classifications, some facilities would be out of business.
While personnel can enter and exit the room through designated doorways, it’s not feasible for them to bring samples, supplies, carts and equipment with them. Besides the cleanliness problem of excessive object handling, the donning and doffing of garb would be time-consuming and expensive.
The Value of Pass-Through Chambers
Terra pass-through chambers come in many formats, but some of the basic features are the same. For example, interlocks prevent both doors from being open simultaneously. Why is this important? If both sides of the pass-through are open, contaminated air can freely flow into the classified space. This inter-mixing of air will compromise the room’s ISO rating.
Transfer hatches mounted in walls are quite common. They are typically placed at an average height that is ergonomically comfortable for the arm-reach of most people. While wall-mounted chambers come in a variety of sizes to accommodate both small and large objects, they are not suited to carts or heavy equipment. That’s where floor-mounted models add value.
To solve the issue of large item transfer, facilities with cleanrooms have floor-mounted pass-throughs installed. Two door designs are available: swing and roll-up. Swing doors require some room clearance as they are opened out from the pass-through. Doors can be up to four feet wide, and if you consider the space necessary for a technician and a cart, that could mean a clearance demand of eight feet or more. Not all rooms can spare that amount of open space.
Roll-up doors are the second style of floor-mounted pass-through chamber opening. These doors do not swing out, but rather roll up using motorized lifters and segmented doors. This design is a space-saving feature for cleanroom facilities with limited “free” area. The simple push of a button triggers automatic up/down operation. Some clearance may be required if the chamber is very deep, which facilities would need if they mean to transfer large-footprint equipment or long carts. Having a roll-up door transfer chamber makes this possible.
Roll-Up Door Pass-Through Features
Like other Terra pass-throughs, roll-up door chambers are equipped with door interlocks in order to preserve the cleanliness of the classified space. With pressure differentials between rooms, if the openings were not controlled in this manner, air would quickly rush from the high pressure space into the low pressure environment. This mingling of air, not to mention the turbulence it would create, is not acceptable cleanroom protocol. As a convenience, the interlocks can be disabled for periodic cleaning or maintenance.
Roll-up chambers feature safety elements to protect personnel and equipment. The first is a pressure-sensitive safety circuit that detects objects in the path of the door; the door will stop and reverse direction if it senses something in the way. The second safety feature is an emergency stop button on the control panel, halting door action when needed.
The door’s roll-up/down mechanism is a bi-directional motor. Disc brakes ensure smooth, complete stops. To comply with ISO cleanliness protocol, the motorized parts are isolated behind non-contaminating housing. This ensures that any particles generated by moving parts are contained. The doors move smoothly in tracks, and lasers mounted in the pass-through ceiling monitor door position for interlock operation.
Keep your room clean with roll-up pass-through chambers. No outward door clearance is needed that may require inconvenient manipulation of carts and room furnishings. A clean motor rolls doors up and out of the way into a compact coil, giving you unencumbered space to place or remove equipment. Read more about Terra’s Roll-Up Pass-Through Chambers.
Latest posts by Terra Universal (see all)
- Designing and Purchasing a Cleanroom, Oh My! - November 14, 2016
- Semiconductor Fabrication: Focus on Wet Processing Equipment - October 24, 2016
- Cleanroom Maintenance: One Step at a Time - October 3, 2016