Don’t Be Grounded by Poor Aerospace Cleanroom Cleaning Services
Cleanrooms are vital to the quality manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft, including their hardware, electronics, optical devices, and other components. Proper maintenance of these regulated—and often high-security—cleanrooms preserves the integrity of the products. Cleanroom upkeep also requires an experienced cleanroom cleaning services provider.
Simply stated, a cleanroom is an artificial environment engineered to minimize surface and airborne pollutants that could interfere with the manufacturing process. In addition to controlling contamination levels and airflow, temperature, humidity, and pressure are also usually regulated.
Cleanrooms are classified according to the maximum concentration of contaminating particles allowed in the air. ISO 14644-1, the primary classification system in the United States, rates cleanrooms using a scale of 1 to 9. Class 1 permits the lowest concentration of contaminants, and Class 9 allows the highest, although a Class 9 room is still more sanitary than a regular indoor environment. The majority of aerospace and defense cleanrooms are ISO Class 7 or 8, although manufacturing settings for some sensitive products, such as microchips or sensors, may fall under stricter classifications.
Common Cleanroom Culprits
Among the most common contaminants that aerospace and defense cleanroom cleaners must remove are:
Airborne fibers. Airborne fibers from textiles, wipes, and other materials that leave behind lint can negatively affect the manufacturing process by landing on surfaces, parts, and equipment. Fibers can also create electrostatic reactions with other materials.
Improper humidity and temperature. Higher humidity levels and temperatures can allow bacteria and other pathogen growth. The ideal humidity level for aerospace cleanrooms ranges from 40% to 60% relative humidity, while the best air temperature ranges from 67 to 77 degrees F.
Liquids. Many manufacturing processes use water and liquid chemicals. These must be transported in cleanroom-approved containers. Distilled water should be used to clean and rinse equipment, surfaces, and other items.
Gases. Like liquids, gases are often used in the manufacturing process and must be filtered and carried in clean-room approved containers. Gases must also be confirmed to be compatible with everything in the cleanroom to avoid adverse reactions.
Small particulate. Tiny particles are light and can float in the air longer than heavier matter, allowing them to land unnoticed on parts, equipment, and other surfaces. Using a HEPA filter removes 99.99+% of these airborne particles.
Product and supplies. Raw materials, equipment, product parts, and other supplies can introduce contaminants to a cleanroom. Everything brought into the room should be in cleanroom-approved packaging and covered with cleanroom-approved material when not in use.
Personnel. Employees account for 75% to 80% of the total particulate matter and microbes introduced to cleanrooms, so it is best to limit the number of persons with access to the cleanroom. Anyone entering the cleanroom must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and be trained to don and remove it correctly. Employees, cleaners, and other personnel should also follow cleanroom hygiene best practices.
Facility. The facility the cleanroom is in may be a source of contamination, creating debris, dust, and dirt that can enter a cleanroom. Particulates can also enter through air conditioning units and poorly maintained equipment.
Cleanroom Cleaning Protocols
Experienced cleanroom cleaning services providers know that using inappropriate cleanroom products and protocols can significantly compromise the manufacturing process. Make sure the provider you choose observes the following best practices:
- Reserve cleaning supplies and tools for cleanroom use only and do not remove them from the room
- Use supplies and equipment rated for the specific ISO class, including cleanroom-compliant wipes, brooms, mops, and other cleaning products.
- Use distilled water for cleaning most surfaces; never use tap or other water that may contain minerals.
- Vacuum with HEPA filter equipped vacuums
- Wear appropriate PPE
- Follow all cleanroom safety and cleaning protocols indicated by ISO-14644-1 and other agencies with cleanroom mandates, such as OSHA.
Cleanroom Cleaning Services Near Me
If your cleanroom facility services provider isn’t following cleanroom best practices, discover the Servicon advantage. We have more than 48 years of aerospace and defense cleanroom cleaning expertise throughout California. We also have the stellar safety record and security-cleared personnel you need. Contact us today.