Cleanroom facilities are essential in the research and manufacture of semiconductor and pharmaceutical products, as well as for biotechnology and other sectors that are extremely sensitive to contamination from the environment.
Clean rooms are divided into nine classes based on the number of particles per cubic meter and are designed to maintain an exceptionally low level of airborne particles.
Take, for example, an ISO 9 categorization. There are approximately 35,000,000 particles per cubic meter (size range 0.5 m and larger), compared to only 12 particles per cubic meter (3 m and smaller) in an ISO 1 classification.
Numerous factors must be considered to get a certain cleanroom cleanliness certification, but a particle counter is a critical instrument for monitoring, classifying, and diagnosing the source of pollutants in cleanroom activities.
In all clean rooms, a particle counter should be a standard instrument for measuring and maintaining the desired level of cleanliness.
What is a Particle Counter?
A particle counter, by definition, is a device that detects and counts physical particles. There are three types of particle counters: aerosol, liquid, and solid. When it comes to monitoring current environmental conditions, choosing the right monitoring gear is critical, but in the case of a clean room, an aerosol particle counter is suitable.
How Does it Work?
There are two types of aerosol particle counters: optical and condensation.
Particles in the air and liquids can be monitored using optical particle counters. When the light source is blacked out, particles are measured and counted using a high-energy light source.
To measure particles in the air, this specialized monitoring gadget employs the principle of light scattering. Using light-blocking, light scattering, and direct imaging methods, an optical particle can detect and measure particles.
A condensation particle counter enlarges entering particles up to 200 percent with isopropyl alcohol or butanol, allowing for easier detection by controlling the saturation levels as they fluctuate with temperature.
This monitoring gadget enables professionals to identify particles as fine as 2nm, which would otherwise be impossible to detect.
Technicians can use this monitoring gadget to identify particles as small as 2nm, which are too small to be detected by an optical particle counter.
These models, which are available in a hand-held format, are excellent for use in a cleanroom since they feature a reduced flow rate that allows for spot-checking and certification of smaller amounts of air.
A large portable condensation particle counter can be deployed in a clean room for round-the-clock monitoring of bigger volumes of air.
Consider the following before purchasing a particle counter:
- Flow Rate Capacity of Particles of Various Sizes
- Data Collection Methodology
- Whether it’s a little handheld device or a large portable device,
- Is it necessary to monitor your system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
Choosing a particle counter for a cleanroom can be a daunting task, but we hope that our article has provided you with enough information to assist you in purchasing the correct particle monitoring device for your cleanroom.
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