Great care goes into the manufacturing and finishing of optical surfaces, and there are many challenges that can compromise finished product integrity. These optical devices include multiple applications, from consumer to industrial, in a variety of industries such as; automotive, electronic displays, sensors, mirrors, eye-glasses, solar cells, and more.
Typically, there are several process steps involved in the making of optical surfaces, including deposition of thin films, lamination of multiple layers, integration into device, and packaging. Virtually, any damage or defect results in total loss. Many types of contaminant may be present (manufacturing residue, fiber, oils, etc.), and most common materials would damage the exposed surface upon contact.
TekniPure has developed a family of microfiber wipe substrates ideally suited for these critical cleaning applications; as non-woven, woven, and knit. These products feature outstanding cleanliness and fiber retention with maximum surface area for effective scratch free cleaning of optical surfaces.
Mixed Weave Microfiber
Non-woven microfiber provides an exceptional barrier and cellulose free cleaning material for exposed optics at an economical cost. However, the best material for cleaning critical optics is our mixed weave microfiber wiper. The random textured surface is constructed extremely tight, yet is soft, and therefore provides excellent “pick-up” force, safe for use on any optical. This mixed weave microfiber wiper fabric provides safe handling, best cleaning yields, and peace of mind for management.
Our mixed weave microfiber wipers are available in many sizes and configurations, cleanroom laundered, pre-saturated, and with sealed edges or borders for maximum fiber retention. Use Teknipure microfiber wipes and swabs in any controlled environment (ISO 3-7) and watch your cleaning yields improve. We are the premier source for Knit, Woven, and Non-woven microfiber critical cleaning products. For more information about these Teknipure products or to request a sample, visit www.Teknipure.com or call 844-309-2376.
If you are looking for suitable wipers for contamination control and general cleanliness, you should think about choosing Kimwipes. These products are disposable task wipers which can be used on diverse surfaces, tools, devices and equipment.
They are suitable for use in industrial settings and labs as well pharmaceutical and medical operations.
These wipes are the perfect replacement for your paper towels which leave lint.
There are numerous advantages of using Kimwipes instead of alternative products. These wipers are manufactured using virgin wood pulp, and they are soft and non-abrasive. These properties make them ideal for cleaning delicate and sensitive surfaces.
The products do not leave lint; the cleaned surfaces will remain free of particles. In addition, there are different types of Kimwipes to match the specific needs of your operation and the unique applications.
If you are uncertain of the ideal wipes for your industrial, medical, lab or commercial applications, you should consider this short description of the different options.
These Kimwipes are soft and gentle and will not cause the abrasion of surfaces during cleaning and decontamination.
In addition, they come in a reliable popup dispenser.
The dispenser acts as a shield against static and lint build-up.
There are 280 delicate task wipes in each box, and you can purchase a case of sixty boxes for large-scale use.
Large Kimwipes Delicate Task Wipes
The large Kimwipes delicate task wipes are ideal for diverse cleaning processes. Their larger size makes these products ideal for handling liquids in addition to particles. Their soft texture ensures that they can be used on delicate devices and instruments.
Moreover, it is important to note that these task wipers are nonabrasive, and they do not deposit a lot of lint after cleaning.
The pop-up dispenser guarantees reduction of static electricity build-up.
The products come in a box of 196 wipes, and you can acquire a case of fifteen boxes for your operation.
Extra Large Kimtech Science Kimwipes
The Science Kimwipes are extra large and designed and made to guarantee optimal performance and cleanliness.
Like other innovative wipes from Kimtech, these products are low linting and non-abrasive for delicate cleaning.
However, these wipes stand out because they have a creped surface.
This design is reliable because it holds more dirt and oils. In addition, it absorbs more liquid.
These wipes are ideal for use on plastic, metal, wood and glass surfaces. You will find 160 Kimtech Science wipes in each box, and each case contains fifteen boxes.
A cleanroom is a controlled environment where various products are manufactured. They are maintained practically in every manufacturing environment where small elements can badly affect the production process. Cleanrooms can vary greatly in complexity and size.
Industries such as pharmaceutical, life sciences, optics, semiconductor manufacturing, biotech, etc. use cleanrooms extensively.
How do these industries maintain a controlled environment and document every process? It requires special equipment, accessories, and provisions to control various environmental parameters.
The clean deal:
In an environment where airborne particles are filtered through sophisticated systems, it becomes infeasible to use regular writing or printing accessories as they can contaminate the environment.
Cleanroom Documentation is one of the important processes that require commodity items such as cleanroom copy paper, notebooks, approved pens, ring binders, etc.
It is important for you to review your requirements for approving and taking documentation items into the cleanroom.
Recommended cleanroom documentation accessories
It has long been established that traditional documentation accessories are the major sources of particulate contamination in a sensitive manufacturing environment.
Therefore, to fix the issue, a range of stationary and documentation systems are manufactured to reduce contamination risks.
Did you know…
In cleanrooms, even the accessories that are taken for granted must meet the strictest requirements.
It is recommended to use cleanroom approved pens for taking notes and carrying out all the writing-related activities. These pens are special in a way that they obstruct particle generation and keep the critical environment safe.
You cannot just use any regular pen as they contain high sodium content which can lead to contamination. Therefore, use pens that are approved and specifically designed for these kinds of applications.
In cleanroom operations, a large amount of information is exchanged. It can be equipment manuals, machine performance data, staff information, consultation notes, drawings, etc.
You might be wondering:
What is clean room paper made of?
Cleanroom copy paper is special paper impregnated and coated with polymer formula that obstructs particulate generation. There are two major kinds of cleanroom paper: latex and latex-free.
Don’t bring regular, contaminant-ridden copy paper into your cleanroom! Write, print, and photocopy in clean environments. Without worry of paper particle or pen ink contamination. Maintain your clean environment by using paper products made for cleanrooms.
Clean room paper specifications:
Suitable for use in Class 10 to Class 1000 (ISO class 4 to Class 6) cleanrooms.
Your writing and prints won’t smear!
High opacity means good contrast.
Smooth heavy bond paper stands up to daily use.
Bagged in a cleanroom environment to retain quality.
Impregnated and coated with a latex-free polymer formula OR a latex coating.
Obstructs particles from generating when written on.
Available in blue, green, pink, yellow, and white colors (8.5”x11”, 11”x17”, or continuous paper).
Don’t leave a mark on your clean record, use cleanroom documentation in your cleanroom!
Designed for cleanroom equipment manuals, work instructions and operating procedures, cleanroom 3 ring binders are designed specifically to manage and organize documentation affairs in a cleanroom while preventing chemical exportation.
From cleanroom approved pens to clean room copy paper and ring binders, you can get all the accessories online. Cleanroom Binders are constructed of white static-dissipative .75 gauge, high-density polyethylene.
Transparent poly pockets on front & spine allow identification sheet insertions. (A4 is 210 mm x 297 mm). Dividers/Binder Tabs are impregnated and coated with a polymer that obstructs particles from generating.
Jot down a quick thought or leave a message for a coworker without fear of introducing contaminates into a sterile environment thanks to cleanroom sticky notes.
Specially-formulated adhesive strip along the top edge for quick application on any surface that won’t leave any residue or contamination behind.
Each note is made from a low-particulating cleanroom paper and is impregnated and coated with polymer to minimize particle generation. Prepackaged in a cleanroom environment so they arrive ready-to-use.
Cleanroom notebooks have either a college-ruled or engineering grid layout, so you can choose the style that best suits your needs.
The paper of these notebooks is coated with a latex-free polymer formula to give you unparalleled durability, prevent ink bleed-through and minimize particle generation. Choose from 3 sizes so you can find the right fit no matter where you plan to use them.
It is really hard to claim that a cleanroom is 100% contaminant-free. However, by observing strict adherence to defined procedures, room pressure requirements, and using appropriate cleanroom documentation you can minimize contamination risk.
There are a large number of factors and practices that can compromise the quality of your clean room environment.
Contaminants can originate from industrial cleaning products and writing supplies.
What’s the bottom line?
Special writing materials such as cleanroom approved notebooks, pens, copy paper, and ring binders should be used to document various cleaning and other operational activities while inside controlled environments.
Who should perform documentation
Documentation should be performed by the staff members who actually carry out the cleaning activities right after the cleaning or disinfection tasks are completed. Most importantly, a documentation process must be accomplished using approved cleanroom pens and notebooks.
To maintain a cleanroom and provide training to personnel, a large number of records and documents are produced and managed. There must be an effective mechanism for creating, approving, and revising documents.
Administration is one of the biggest challenges that use paper for preparing and processing information. Once processed and approved, documents can be properly stored using cleanroom ring binders.
Clean Room documentation using papers and other simple accessories is practical and effective in many manufacturing environments. Paper-based cleaning documentation logs are organized in cleanroom ringed binders in the main operational areas where every staff member can easily access, manage, and audit information.
No matter the area where you keep information, make sure the information is easily accessible to those who document their tasks on regular basis.
Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies is a rapidly growing online supplier where businesses can get premium quality cleanroom documentation accessories such as cleanroom copy paper, cleanroom-approved pens and cleanroom safe notebooks at surprisingly low prices.
Our clean room documentation also includes cleanroom ball point pens, cleanroom tapes, clipboards, and 3 ring binders.
Call us if you are not sure what kind of products will be ideal for your working environment. You can visit our online store to browse and buy clean room documentation.
A cleanroom bears its name for a reason: its very purpose is to stay sanitary and free of contaminants to maintain a stable work environment. Because employees handle sensitive equipment and components in these critical areas, keeping contaminants at bay is essential to everyday workflow, and ultimately, maintaining profitability.
It may come as no surprise that your employees are the most common source of contamination in your cleanrooms. What you may find surprising, however, are the simple steps you can take to minimize contamination risks. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective tips, below.
1. Practice Good Hygiene
Humans naturally produce particles. Our bodies shed contaminants, producing detritus like skin flakes and particles from hair products, cosmetics, and lotions. Thus, while good hygiene can limit the level of contaminants spread in the cleanroom, it’s also important to consider ways in which certain steps of getting ready might be skipped or altered for the purpose of limiting contaminants. Even perfume and cologne, for instance, can produce contaminants. Since 75-80% of particles found in cleanroom inspections are produced by personnel, it’s a good idea to establish a set of hygiene recommendations for your employees to follow.
2. Be Especially Mindful of Hands
A good portion of cleanliness violations result from bare hands touching surfaces, then transferring these particles onto garments before they enter the cleanroom. To make sure your employees aren’t contaminating anything that will be worn inside your critical environments, consider installing no-touch sensors in the areas where your employees don their cleanroom gear. This will allow them to still wash their hands without picking up any excess particles in the process. Cleanroom Gloves are used in areas that have specific requirements for low contamination risk.
Cleanroom Gloves are disposable gloves designed and clean-processed for contamination control and sterility required work environments including cleanrooms, laboratory and ESD work areas. Minimize sub-micron particle contamination by using gloves designed and manufactured for Cleanrooms.
3. Don Gear Properly
The way your employees put their disposable apparel on is just as important as the garments themselves. Because particles are also impacted by the pull of gravity, donning procedures should start at the top. Employees can then work their way down. While each company’s donning procedures may be unique to its specific needs, it’s a good idea to adopt a head-to-toe procedure to prevent contaminants from falling and settling on clean shoe covers.
4. Limit Speaking
A quiet cleanroom doesn’t just boost productivity; it also has the power to reduce contaminants. Consider the fact that loud speaking of just 100 words (less than a minute of normal conversation!) can produce up to 250 particles of saliva. Of course, there are also some contaminants which may not be avoided, such as coughs and sneezes, which produce roughly 5,000 and 1,000,000 saliva particles, respectively. What’s a simple way to limit contamination from saliva particles in your cleanroom? Wear a face mask designed for Cleanrooms.
5. Designate “Cleanroom Only” Supplies
Taking a pen from outside the cleanroom into the critical work environment might seem harmless, but employees who do so will also unintentionally bring a plethora of contaminants inside with it. Not only should you have cleanroom pens, cleanroom notebooks, and any other tools or instruments designated specifically for cleanroom use only, but you should also make sure they’re compliant with your standards. In other words, the supplies you’re using should also have been produced in a cleanroom environment.
Cleanroom paper packaged in class 10 cleanrooms, for instance, is considered safe for use in class 10 cleanrooms or higher. Cleanroom paper products are impregnated and coated with a polymer. This keeps the paper from generating tiny particulates when written on. Keep your area clean of paper contaminants by using documentation designed just for Cleanrooms.
6. Take Care When Entering & Exiting
After employees enter and exit cleanrooms, encourage them to take an extra moment to ensure doors are tightly shut. It’s a good practice to make sure the door leading to the changing room is also closed before the cleanroom door is opened to prevent additional particles from making their way into the buffer area. In fact, you can further eliminate the spread of contaminants by separating your gowning room into three distinct areas. One for the non-sterile space directly outside of the room, where employees can keep personal items and clean shoes. The second space is the sterile “dirty” area, where employees prepare for gowning. Finally, the last space should be designated for gowning and taking final preparations before entering.
7. Move Slowly
The more rapidly movement occurs inside the cleanroom, the more particles will be given off. To combat excess contamination, employees should move slowly and deliberately as they approach work stations. They should also be encouraged to enter and exit cleanrooms slowly.
By incorporating these tips into your cleanroom protocol, you might be able to significantly reduce the number of contaminants inside. You can find cleanroom documentation, cleanroom disposable apparel, and more supplies suitable for cleanroom use online through Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies. If there’s a specific item you need help with, a product specialist will be happy to assist you.
Maintaining a cleanroom or controlled environment requires the use of products and tools designed specifically for these areas. When spills and contamination occur in these critical environments, your employees should be able to have cleanroom wipes within reach for the most effective and convenient cleaning possible.
Here, we’ll provide a basic overview of cleanroom wipes to help you determine which type your organization needs most.
Why Are Cleanroom Wipes Needed?
To understand why it’s imperative for cleanroom wipes to be used in certain environments, it’s helpful to first have an understanding of cleanrooms. A cleanroom is any sensitive environment in which the amount of pollutants must be monitored and kept to a minimum. Pollutants can include substances found naturally in the air, such as dust, microbes, particles, and even certain vapors.
Cleanroom environments are classified according to the number of particles (sized .5 micrometers or larger) allowed per cubic meter. For instance, to be classified at ISO 6, a room must have 35,200 particles or fewer per square meter; but an ISO 4 cleanroom can only have 352.
Cleanrooms are used in a broad range of industries, including pharmaceuticals and aerospace semiconductor engineering. They’re also used in manufacturing for medical devices, computer components like microchips, optics, and military applications.
To sustain the appropriate cleanroom classification, employees who work in these highly sensitive environments must follow stringent procedures on a day-to-day basis. Everything from their attire to cleaning techniques must follow a specific protocol to facilitate contamination control. Thus, using the proper cleaning materials is integral to keeping the number of pollutants down in a cleanroom.
How Are They Different from Ordinary Wipes?
Cleanroom wipes aren’t like ordinary wipes because they’re made differently. They feature lower levels of lint to protect against contaminants, and some boast higher levels of absorbency, resistance to chemicals and abrasion, and in general, better cleaning capabilities. They’re also softer, making them safe for use on sensitive equipment.
Like the cleanrooms themselves, cleanroom wipes have different classifications to be used in corresponding cleanrooms. For instance, many cleanroom wipes are compatible with ISO class 6 or higher. Likewise, the wipes are also produced in cleanroom environments, to ensure the highest possible quality.
What Are Advantages of Cleanroom Wipes?
Cleanroom wipes are handy for quickly wiping down a surface in a cleanroom environment after a spill or contamination has occurred. Some are made to handle specific cleaning solvents, such as IPA, and other types of solutions. Using cleanroom wipes allows your teams to disinfect surfaces while also ensuring sterilization and reducing the levels of endotoxins present in the environment.
What Are The Types of Cleanroom Wipes?
There are a few different factors to consider when seeking out the best cleanroom wipe to suit your needs. We’ll walk through each, below.
Types of Cleanroom Wipe Border/Edge Seals
Cleanroom Wipers have sealed edges to prevent particle and fiber generation and provide a clean wipe. Cleanroom wipes can have a sealed border, a sealed edge, or a cut edge. The level of fiber and particle release will depend on your wipe seal. Note the difference in sealing the border around the wipe (most clean) or just the wipe edge (most common).
Cleanroom Class 1-10 (ISO 3-4):
Sealed Border wipers are the cleanest & best performing choice for your most critical tasks. Maximum cleanliness and fiber control.
A proprietary process using pressure & heat is used to create a border seal for optimum fiber and particle retention, resulting in a 5mm Ultrasonic Border Seal around the border of the wipe.
Cleanroom Class 10-100 (ISO 4-5):
Sealed Edge wipers are exceptionally clean and a common critical task wiper. The difference over border seals is that only the edging of the wipe is sealed instead of a border around the edge of the wipe. A Laser Sealed Edge is provided on all sides for maximum fiber and particle retention. A Ultrasonic Sealed Edge involves a process using pressure & heat to create an ultrasonic seal for fiber and particle retention. Ultrasonic Sealing is superior to Laser Sealing as it results in a softer edge, and lower carbon levels.
Cleanroom Class 100-10,000 (ISO 5-7):
Hot Knife or Laser Sealed Edge
Knit (Woven) Wipers
Light weight with a Laser Sealed Edge to provide effective contamination control in critical environments and offer the best value. Low levels of contamination and superb particle removal and retention make this the ideal wiper where economical and effective cleaning is required. Most economical critical use knit wipers.
Excellent absorbency and particle removal in controlled environments. Commonly used in many general cleaning applications. Higher levels of fiber and contaminants than knit wipers. Excellent choice for economical cleaning & spill pick-up. These non-woven wipers have Hot Knife Sealed Edges.
Woven (Knit) Vs. Non-Woven:
Woven cleanroom wipes
Dry-knitted and considered to be the cleanest type. They’re often made from polyester and may be safe for use in classes ISO 4 or 5. Woven cleanroom wipes are strong, non-shedding, soft, and highly absorbent. They can even be gamma irradiated for enhanced sterility to support lower microbiological endotoxin levels.
Non-woven cleanroom wipes
A more economical choice for less-critical environments. They, too, are strong and low-linting. The wipes made from polypropylene/cellulose blends are resistant to acids and many other types of chemicals. Non-woven wipes are also supremely soft and thus safe for use on sensitive equipment.
Wet Vs. Dry:
Wet, or pre-saturated wipes, are already moistened with a cleaning solution such as isopropyl alcohol. The moisture levels in wet wipes may support their ability to capture pollutants, as they facilitate a stronger bond to contaminants.
Dry wipes, too, can retain particles, but without a cleaning solution, they must be strong enough to wipe up the spilled material on their own to be effective. However, cleaning solvents can be used with dry wipes separately, affording the user a better ability to achieve their desired level of saturation.
While wet cleanroom wipes boast convenience, dry wipes may be more versatile. Ultimately, both serve unique purposes and choosing which is better for your application comes down to personal preference.
What Are Some Best Practices for Using Cleanroom Wipes?
To get the most from your cleanroom wipes, it’s important to train employees on using them correctly. Here are some helpful tips to be mindful of:
Follow a Schedule: Cleanroom wipes are only effective for reducing particles if they’re being used for regular cleaning in addition to wiping up spills. To maintain sterilized surfaces, proper cleanings should be performed daily. Thus, it’s helpful to encourage your employees to closely follow a routine. While cleaning standards may vary by level, keeping track of cleanings by documenting them can be helpful in any industry and cleanroom class.
Fold Wipes: Folding wipes in half or even in quarters allows users to get the maximum use out of their surface area. Using an entire wipe to clean just one small area is wasteful, so to stretch your budget ask employees to fold wipes and then clean each space with a different side. You really shouldn’t use an un-folded wipe. Fold it at least once or twice for the most effective wipe!
Don’t Reuse: While folding extends the capacity of each wipe, it’s imperative to avoid spreading contaminants. Develop a specified technique which all employees should use to avoid cleaning multiple surfaces with the same wipe. Don’t risk cross-contamination by going back and forth between clean and dirty areas.
Moisten Appropriately: Finally, if you’re not using pre-saturated cleanroom wipes, make sure the wipes you use are neither too wet nor too dry. Overly wet wipes will simply saturate the surface and spread bacteria further, while using wipes that are too dry may hinder your ability to attract all of the contaminants in the area.
Whichever type of cleanroom wipe you select for your needs, Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies has the perfect solution for you. You can view our vast selection of cleanroom wipes online now, or get in touch with a product specialist to learn more about identifying the proper type to support your business needs.
Having the proper cleanroom shoe covers helps limit the number of contaminants entering your environment. Because operators themselves are the leading source of cleanroom contaminants, outfitting them with the proper disposable attire is critical. Not every environment requires the same type of cleanroom shoe covers, however. Ultimately, the best type for your company will depend on a number of different factors.
To decide which type of shoe covers is best for your cleanroom, take a look at the following key considerations:
In order to be considered cleanroom compatible, shoe covers must meet some specific requirements. For instance, basic fabric shoe covers might work for open houses and other general applications, but in cleanrooms, they’re liable to release fibers and compromise your environment. Shoe covers made from non-woven materials, however, are better suited for cleanrooms because they reduce particulate release.
Specifically, spunbound polypropylene is the go-to choice for shoe covers to be used in cleanroom settings. In addition to materials, you’ll also want to consider any other features your shoe covers may need, such as conductive strips. Conductive strip shoe covers are designed to reduce static and will help keep even your most static-sensitive cleanroom devices protected. Water and abrasion resistance are additional features you may need to consider, depending on the type of work performed in your environment.
Comfort & Fit
Donning a pair of shoe covers shouldn’t interrupt an operator’s workflow. Thus, you should seek out shoe covers with a slip-on design to make the process as convenient as possible for employees. It’s also helpful to have shoe covers available in a range of sizes, as your operators likely have different shoe sizes.
Additionally, clunkier shoe styles could make it difficult for operators to wear covers that are too small in size, so it’s always wise to keep larger sizes on hand. That being said, shoe covers that are too large (XL and up) for the wearers with smaller feet may leave too much extra fabric and increase the risk of slips or tears. Take a look at the measurements of the covers when placing your order to make an informed decision before purchasing.
More than likely, your cleanroom likely has a smooth floor. When coupled with the fabric of shoe covers, smooth floors are notorious for causing slips. To keep your operators safe from slips and falls, you may want to consider shoe covers with added traction. In order to reduce slips, these shoe covers are specially designed with small strips on the sole for gripping the floor better than regular covers, or the entire sole is slip resistant.
They are available in a variety of seizes and are just as safe for use in cleanrooms as other options. Made from spunbound polypropylene, skid-free shoe covers are among the most highly sought-after options for cleanroom operators.