Cleanrooms are spaces that must be kept clean and sterile to ensure the safety of the people working inside them. They’re used for testing new drugs, manufacturing products for use in space, and preparing biological samples for research.
There are many different types of cleanroom flooring available to choose from, but if you don’t know what will work best for your space or how to keep it looking pristine over time, this guide is here to help.
What Is a Cleanroom?
A cleanroom is a room or space designed, constructed, and operated so that all airborne particles are kept to a minimum. There are different types of cleanrooms, but they all have the same goal, to keep contamination outside so the equipment inside can remain free of contaminants.
Cleanrooms are used in aerospace and electronics manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. They are classified based on two standards, which are US FED STD 209E and ISO 14644-1.
The classification is done based on the particle limit allowed in the air. This particle limit determines how clean the cleanroom will be. Hence, if you plan to build a cleanroom or even use one, knowing the classifications of cleanrooms is essential.
If you can build a suitable cleanroom based on the classifications, you can use it for various applications. Due to this wide range of applications, cleanroom technology is gaining much traction. According to data from Grand View Research, global cleanroom technology is predicted to hit $5 billion by 2028. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% over the forecasted period.
Cleanroom PVC Flooring
PVC flooring is a good choice for cleanrooms, as it’s easy to clean and resistant to chemicals. However, it does not hold well under high humidity or heavy traffic. If your facility has either of these elements, consider an alternative type of flooring instead.
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It’s a thermoplastic polymer widely used in construction materials due to its durability and resistance to water damage. PVC is also easy to maintain and can be disinfected with bleach or other common cleaners.
Moreover, one of the major challenges of using PVC flooring is now slowly getting resolved. Manufacturing PVC materials can cause adverse environmental impacts. Additionally, it was also almost impossible to recycle PVC. However, new studies show that new ways are generated and considered to recycle PVC.
A study published in the MDPI journal reviews the process of recycling PVC. It concludes that high recycling possibilities to recycle PVC are available. Also, many new projects and intensive work are underway to develop more ways to recycle PVC.
Cleanroom Epoxy Resin Flooring
Cleanroom epoxy resin flooring is an excellent option for cleanrooms. This type of flooring can be used in manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and medical industries that require a sterile environment.
Epoxy resins are resistant to chemicals, oils, and acids, making them ideal for cleanrooms because they deter tracking dirt onto the floors while also resisting damage from any spills that may occur on the surface. Additionally, they are also resistant to corrosion.
A recent study published in the Hindawi journal shows that polyepoxides already have anti-corrosive properties. But you can also apply corrosive coatings on the surfaces to make them more anti-corrosive.
The durable nature of epoxy resins also makes them perfect for high-traffic areas such as offices or classrooms where there’s a lot of foot traffic throughout the day. Cleanroom epoxy resin flooring is easy to clean. Simply sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and debris before mopping with warm water mixed with mild soap if necessary.
Cleanroom Methyl Methacrylate Flooring
Cleanroom MMA flooring is a high-performance material that provides a smooth, resilient floor with excellent impact and abrasion resistance. Cleanroom MMA has good chemical resistance to a wide range of fluids, including acids and alkalis. It’s also non-porous, so contaminants cannot penetrate the surface to harm the underlying substrate or affect processes in the room below it.
The surface finish on cleanroom MMA floors can be designed to meet specific color requirements while providing superior anti-slip properties for safe movement around sensitive equipment or areas where chemicals are present.
Cleanroom Urethane Flooring
Cleanroom urethane flooring is an excellent option for cleanrooms due to its durability and low-maintenance qualities. The urethane material is highly resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and impact, making it an ideal choice for cleanroom environments.
Additionally, the material is easy to clean and maintain, as it is non-porous and does not require waxing or polishing. Urethane flooring is also slip-resistant, creating a safe working environment for personnel. Lastly, the material is available in various colors and styles, allowing for customization to fit the needs of any cleanroom.
Urethane flooring is not ideal for places with high-foot traffic or heavy machinery work. For example, a study published in the ScienceDirect journal shows that improper use of urethane flooring can lead to damage. Hence, using forklifts on flooring is not an ideal choice. But when it comes to cleanrooms, urethane floorings can be excellent.
Tips for Choosing Cleanroom Flooring
- Durability is key. Cleanrooms are high-traffic areas that see a lot of traffic, so choosing flooring that can withstand the wear and tear of constant foot traffic without cracking or warping over time is essential. You also want to ensure your flooring is easy to clean, as you’ll need to scrub it regularly to keep contamination levels down.
- Maintenance should be easy and effective. Cleanroom floors need to look neat for longer than standard office floors, so you’ll want materials that will hold up well under daily cleaning methods like vacuuming or mopping with disinfectants.
- Lightweight is better than heavy-duty when it comes to clean room flooring materials. Not only will lighter materials cost less, but they’re easier on the building’s structural integrity as well, and they’re usually easier on workers’ backs too.
As you can see, many different types of flooring work well in cleanrooms. We recommend looking at these options before deciding on a suitable material for your space. By choosing the right kind of flooring, you’ll ensure that your cleanroom is safe and secure against spills and other accidents.