CASE STUDY – Cleanroom in a UK Laboratory

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Cleanroom integrity is key to ensuring the efficient operation of the ventilation systems and maintaining the correct pressures. Airtight integrity is often compromised at the entry points. Doors and Cleanrooms must be checked for air leaks regularly to comply with regulatory standards and more frequently for peace of mind.

Coltraco Ultrasonics were invited to test the Portascanner® AIRTIGHT at a cleanroom in a UK Laboratory.

In particular, the testing focussed on two main areas of the cleanroom; 

– the inner-entrance door and 

– a subsection of the cleanroom used for moving equipment in and out of the cleanroom without compromising the integrity.

These are both very important areas to test, as they are key access areas that will be frequently opened and so ensuring a good degree of airtightness is crucial

The Portascanner® AIRTIGHT found substantial leakage around the latch on the secondary entrance door to the cleanroom, as well as across the top and right-hand side of the door to the equipment room. 

Some minor leaks were also detected in the equipment hatch, including in the wall panel into which the hatch is built. This latter leak site was notable, as upon closer inspection, there was a small amount of visible damage to the taping on the panel at this point.

If a small but significant amount of airflow is concentrated in one area, this can cause a problem in the maintenance of a cleanroom environment. To maintain a cleanroom environment, it is crucial to locate and measure the physical size of leaks and to have some idea of the potential air flow rates and air permeability that result.

The Department Manager of the cleanroom stated:

“As we are only end users for the cleanroom, we would find the report very useful when recommissioning the cleanroom and would definitely share the information with any future contractors working in that area.” 

“I think that the equipment you have used is quick, clean and causes minimal (if any) disruption. I think that given the level of accuracy it can provide coupled with images of the leak locations it is a very useful piece of equipment for anyone wanting to gather more information on the integrity of their facility and a cost-effective tool for any contractor.”

The Portascanner® AIRTIGHT is a world-first instrument that is able to:

– Non-disruptively identify leak sites with a microscopic level of accuracy, and

– Measure and quantify their cross-sectional area, and

– Determine the air flow rate through each leak under any range of conditions, as well as

– Calculate the room’s overall air permeability, while

– Storing photographic and quantitative data to generate traceable, exportable reports.

Using the Portascanner® AIRTIGHT is an intelligent, accurate and prognostic tool to keep cleanrooms airtight.