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Application Note – Cleanroom N.05 – The evolution of the Cleanroom

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Application Note – Cleanroom N.05

The evolution of the Cleanroom

The Cleanroom is relatively modern development. It was the need for a clean environment  for industrial manufacturing during the 1950s that led to the Clean Room as we know now.

1940-1945The Clean Room development started during the Second World War to improve the reliability of instrumentation used to produce guns and aircraft. HEPA filter were developed to contain radioactive material and microbial  and chemical contaminants. The importance of contamination control in high risk hospital department was realized at this time.
1950sThe company  Sandia Corporation found that the contamination level was too high in Clean Room and identified  a need for alternative Clean Room design.
1950-1960The Clean Room enters the NASA space travel program. The “laminar flow” concept was introduced.
1960The unidirectional air flow was born to obtain a better diffuser action over an entire ceiling in operation rooms. McCrone Associates begin developing particle handling techniques using tungsten needles and collodion for Class 100 Clean Room.
1961John Charleyand and Hugh Howort in UK Hospital managed to improve unidirectional airflow by creating a downward flow of air in a much smaller area of the ceiling, directly over the operating table.
1961The first Standard for Clean Room was published by the US Air Force: Technical Manual TOOO-25-203. The document considered Clean Room design and airborne particle standards, as well as procedures for entry, clothing and cleaning.
1962Sandia Corporation Launched the Whilfield Ultraclean  Room. Instead to use simple filter in the incoming airs they used a change of ultra clean air every six seconds.
1962The laminar flow patent n.3158457 was issued for “Ultra Clean Room”.
1965The specification of 0.46 m/s air velocity and requirement for 20 air changes on hour became the accepted standard.
1966The Patent n.3273323 was submitted for the “laminar flow air-hood apparatus”.
1970sThe principle of the “laminar flow” was translated from the laboratory to wide application in production processes.
1980sSteris developed the use of Hydrogen peroxide gas for decontamination / sterilization of Clean Room with the trade mark VHP ( Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide).
1980Ing. Huber developed a clean room ceiling, called “Euro Clean”.
1987The efficiency of individual clean room was improved applying zones of high level cleanliness to adapt different degrees of cleanliness  according to the location and need.
1980s-1990sThe Clean Room technology become of interest for food manufacturers.
1991An helmet system  to be used in the medical field was patented.  The user is protected from contaminated air in the environment while the patient is protected from contaminated air being exhausted from the user’s helmet.
1998-1999The German Clean Room Consulting introduced the clean room filter fan unit: filter, ventilator, motor directly into the ceiling.
2003Eli Lilly presented a new system to prevent cross contamination during the manufacture of pharma powders  using a “fog cart” , fine fog of water on exit from a critical area, virtually eliminating the risk of transferring dust traces beyond the proper confines.
2009The University of Southampton in UK presented a new system for nanofabrication facilities

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