Cleanrooms are controlled environments used in scientific and manufacturing fields. Essentially, pollutants like dust, aerosol particles and airborne organisms are kept at a minimum using laminar airflow.

Another indispensable tool in cleanrooms are air showers. Air showers are critical to the safety of personnel and instruments in several facilities. In this post, we’ll present a thorough guide to cleanroom air showers. It may help you to determine if your lab needs one or not.

What is an Air Shower?

Essentially, an air shower is an enclosed space that employs high-velocity jets to remove contaminants from employees entering or exiting the cleanroom. Air showers are usually at the cleanroom’s entrances. In addition, they connect to a HEPA or ULPA filtration system.

More often than not, the point of air showers is to prevent pollutants from getting inside the cleanroom. However, in many cases they remove contaminants from people or items leaving a quarantined area. And in these scenarios, they’re critical to preventing cross-contamination. Air showers can create a total barrier between clean and contaminated areas.

Air showers are perfect for cleanrooms that need a very high level of control. Lab environments with higher biosafety levels usually have air showers at their entrances/exits. Additionally, industries like pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, hospitals and semiconductor manufacturing are most likely to employ air showers. Usually, a professional equipment installation service must install air showers.

Function

Basically, when it comes to air showers, they all do the same thing. Air showers blast a jet of high-velocity air onto the individual within the shower. Essentially, loose contaminants on the person’s body or clothing will be instantly removed.

Any differences you’re likely to find among air showers are contrasts in size, dimensions, material and filtration system.

Size

If you’re wondering about the optimal size of an air shower, it depends on a few different factors. First, if only people will be moving through the air shower, you most likely won’t need a very large one. However, if you have a significantly high number of employees, a larger air shower (or multiple air showers) is the best option.

In manufacturing industries, larger air showers are often necessary. Basically, if your work requires personnel to be moving carts full of product through the air shower, a small unit won’t suffice. Your air shower will need to accommodate both the employees as well as the items passing through at both times. Obviously, this will require a considerably large air shower.

Materials

Naturally, air showers are available from several manufacturers in several different models. The vast majority of air showers are constructed from steel, stainless steel, aluminum or plastic.

Of course, the costs of materials vary. And the air shower’s requirements can often dictate the materials used.

Filtration Systems

Air showers come with one of two filtration systems: HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) or ULPA (ultra-low particulate air). Usually, the selection of the air shower’s filtration system is based on each lab’s individual needs.

HEPA filter systems remove airborne particles greater than or equal to 0.3 µm with 99.99% efficiency. Additionally, most standards specify that HEPA filters must feature minimal pressure drop and maximum airflow when operating.

ULPA filter systems remove particles greater than or equal to 0.12 µm with 99.95% efficiency. Basically, ULPA filter systems are widely viewed as the more efficient system.

 

Conclusion

Cleanrooms and uniform airflow are essential to preserving the safety and efficiency of labs. At S.E.P.S., we are passionate about contributing to this with our decontamination and certification services.

At S.E.P.S., lab cleanliness and efficiency is our primary concern. Our certification and decontamination services are all geared toward upholding safety and productivity. And when it comes to lab safety, cleanrooms are indispensable to scientific industries.

A scientist in sterile coverall gown using air shower to remove particle contamination before going to work area, cleanroom