Contamination control technology is vital to research and development and manufacturing environments across virtually every industry. The emergence of microscopic contamination control enabled the creation of cleanrooms and air showers. The cleanroom air shower separates the outside environment from the entry to the cleanroom with a space bordered by interlocking doors.
Once inside, strategically located nozzles blow air through HEPA filters to loosen debris, particulates, and contaminants from the cleanroom apparel. The air filtration system vacuums the air from the chamber and recycles it after removing all particulates. This process ensures that any potential contaminants on clothing are not carried into the cleanroom.
Air showers play a critical role in maintaining cleanroom integrity by removing loose contaminating particles from people and products before they enter the room.
Cleanroom air showers function as an entry system. The cleanroom entry system allows for the proper class identification and procedures for dressing and storing garments. At a minimum, the isolated air shower contains a blower and motor, HEPA/ULPA filtration, a recirculating exhaust system, and interlocking doors. However, the design could incorporate additional features, functions, and benefits, depending on the intended use.
The primary features of a properly designed air shower include:
- Cycle time: The most crucial determinant of the shower’s effectiveness is the time it takes to remove contamination completely.
- Dwell time: Dwell time is the period between the end of the cycle and opening the door. It ensures that the removed contaminants settle at the end of the process to prevent them from being swept into the cleanroom when the doors open.
- Filtration: Filtration is critical to remove particulates from the cleanroom apparel and extract them from the environment before allowing the worker to enter the cleanroom.
- Protocol: Proper protocol ensures maximum efficacy of the air shower. Best practices, such as placing hands on the head while rotating 360°, allows for thorough contamination removal.
- Points of impact: Airflow from nozzles distributed across the walls and ceiling hit multiple points of impact. The diffuse contact creates a pulsating effect on the garments that dislodges the particulates.
Below is a list of standard features and add-ons and equipment that may be deemed beneficial to the installation of air showers in prior to entry into your cleanroom:
- High-velocity, high-volume air flow, which allows for fast and efficient decontamination of the atmosphere
- Magnetic interlocks
- LED interior lighting
- Inspection panels for air supply ducts
- Silicone-free urethane sealant
- Stainless steel door frames are available
- Standard-sized HEPA filters and prefilters that have no-leak, negative pressure–reliability seals
- Heavy duty aluminum doors
- Easy access for service and maintenance needs
- Easy-to-use LCD touchscreen interfaces
- Adjustable microprocessor-controlled cycle times
- Automatic push button doors are available
- High speed roll up doors are available
Air showers help reduce the risk of defects to products and can also increase cleanroom production yields. Air showers improve cleanroom performance and reduce the maintenance needed to maintain a clean environment by minimizing the overall contamination load in the area.
If a cleanroom doesn’t use an air shower’s “pre-cleaning” process, its air filtration system would have to absorb all of the contaminants in the environment. That would increase energy consumption and maintenance costs for the cleanroom.
We have a wide range of designs to accommodate any application from low to high traffic areas. Some available options include a cart version for material cleaning and a modular air tunnel for the highest level of personnel decontamination. When space is an issue, our HVAS-2 air shower solves the problem of height-restricted areas.
Liberty has two styles of air showers:
- Plastic nozzles typically 30 per unit (4 × 5)
- Top mounted 3-HP blower at ~7,000 cfm
- Available in either straight thru or 90° angle
- Side Mounted blower – This designed for areas with height restrictions
- Nominally 77” W x 48”L x 92”H, can custom manufacture to fit within your height constraints.
- 3-HP Blower at ~7,000 cfm
Liberty ships our air showers in sections, which include:
- Head section
- Base (if the unit requires a base)
The head section is approximately 500 lbs. and will require a forklift or material mover that is rated at a minimum of 1,000 lbs. The head section must be raised above and placed onto the wall sections, and the doors are then installed. These systems require an electrical connection, and Liberty supplies power to a junction box. The installation must have an electrician hardwire on-site.
Liberty offers standard sizes from 4x4x10, 4x5x10, 4x6x10, air shower tunnels from 8 to 30 feet or longer, as well as custom design capabilities such as high speed roll up doors and automatic push bottom door operation.
Our customers represent a variety of industries. Cleanroom air showers are critical to industries for which controlled environments ensure adherence to strict government regulations, such as pharmaceutical, medical devices, and research labs. Other industries require environments that adhere to rigorous quality protocols for precision manufacturing, such as semiconductor and aerospace production.
Liberty Industries air showers contribute to other environments where strict protocols must be met, such as in the cannabis growing and processing industry. Controlled environments ensure that growing conditions and testing for cannabinoid levels adhere to FDA standards. Other industries require our air showers to ensure the safety of workers, such as in metal manufacturing with lead. From automotive to government and from optical to injection molding and beyond, Liberty Industries provides dependable decontamination for many essential applications.
Since 1953, Liberty Industries has been an industry leader in cleanroom and contamination control design and construction. From modular, softwall, and micro cleanrooms to air showers, laminar flow benches, fan filter units, and more, we can design the ideal solution to meet the strictest regulations and quality assurance protocols. To ensure that we are your one-stop solution, we also provide certification and third-party testing upon request.
Whether you require standard or customized solutions, our highly experienced and knowledgeable team has the expertise you can depend on to address your specific industry or application needs. Contact us today for more information or download our eBooks. When you are ready to get started on your cleanroom and air shower design, request a quote.