Category Archives: Industry Trends

Selecting the Right Cleanroom Garment

Selecting the Right Cleanroom Garment

As cleanroom operators know too well, the most important aspects of cleanroom management is to ensure the prevention of contamination while also providing garments comfortable enough to allow employees the ability to work uninterrupted. As the Pacific Northwests premiere technical garment service provider, Managed Technical Solutions Group has the products and services every cleanroom needs to prevent contamination.

Contamination – defined as anything that has a effect on the performance or quality of the products being produced – can come from a variety of sources, including bio-pollutants, particulates, chemical cross-contamination or even electrostatic discharge, all of which together or separately can have a negative impact on process or product performance.

Controlling and eliminating contaminates is an enormous challenge, as most contaminates are invisible to the human eye. An important part of controlling contaminates is understanding where they come from. Nearly 80 percent of all contaminates come from the body of employees working in a cleanroom.

Human shed the outer layer of skin once a week in the form of cell groups or loose particles. After being introduced in a clean room environment, these contaminates are broken down by daily activities into a very fine particulate that is easily dispersed into the atmosphere. Since these particles are from the human body, it’s extremely likely they contain chemicals and bacteria.

Unfortunately, no amount of scrubbing or cleaning can successfully prevent cleanroom employees from shedding contaminates, making it impossible to remove the primary source of cleanroom contamination. If we can’t eliminate employee contamination, it becomes vital the contamination is contained to maintain cleanroom integrity. The key to this containment is the use of high-specification cleanroom clothing.

Three Choices

Cleanroom operators have three choices when it comes to selecting clothing: reusable launderable garments, disposable garments, or a combination of the two. Typically this decision is influenced by several factors that include: the number of garment changes cleanroom employees make each day; the type of garment needed to achieve and maintain the desired level of room sterilization; the number of visitors a cleanroom has each day; and the level of service and support a business receives from their cleanroom garment laundry.

Typically, once a cleanroom starts using more than 20 garments a week, it’s time to start using launderable garments and select a cleanroom laundry service, to maintain, clean, supply, manage and pack the required garments stock.

Choosing the Right Cleanroom Garments

In most cases, the following conditions will need consideration when selecting a type of cleanroom garment:

  • The class of cleanroom – The higher a cleanroom’s classification, the more important full body coverage becomes. For example, in European GMP or ISO Class 5 Grade A or B cleanrooms, it’s essential that gloves, facemasks, boots, hoods and coveralls be worn.
  • Type of cleanroom – In sterile environments garments must be made from fabric that is resistant to repeated sterilization cycles.
  • Static electricity – Static discharge can cause a number of cleanroom problems. The spark from a discharge can damage products in the case of electronic component production or the loss of life in explosive atmospheres. Just as static electricity causes dust around the house to buildup on your TV screen, contaminants in a cleanroom are attracted to garments that hold a static charge. This is why it’s important that garments are constructed from materials that are static dissipative with a surface resistance that ranges between 106 to 108 Ohms.
  • Garment changes – Cleanrooms that go through more than 20 garment changes a week should consider using launderable garments.
  • Compatibility – Garments need to be compatible with any accessories – such as footwear, masks and gloves – cleanroom employees need to wear.
  • Visitors – If a cleanroom receives a high volume of visitors on a daily basis, it may be necessary to offer disposable garments if the number of launderable garments needed to meet visitor demands becomes excessive.

What Managed Technical Solutions Group Can Do For You

Managed Technical Solutions Group is the Northwest’s premiere technical garment service provider, and we work with businesses in a variety of specialty fields to develop a comprehensive range of cleanroom garments solutions to help meet the strict demands that come with working in controlled room environments.

Our newest facility in Hillsboro, Oregon operates in accordance with ISO 14644 and follows all appropriate cleanroom and technical garment guidelines outlined in ANSI/ESDIEST and ASTM specifications. In addition to our stringent internal specifications we closely work our customer partners to create and define their own garment specification enabling them to focus on their core business.

So whether your business needs disposable, launderable or compatible cleanroom garments, MTSG has the technical garments needed to help maintain your cleanroom integrity. Click here to learn how MTSG is the right choice to become your next technical garment service provider.