Glossary of Terms
Click on a letter to see terms beginning with that letter:
[ top ] A
Air Filter - A device used to remove airborne contaminants. Most cleanroom air filters are comprised of fibers that are designed to capture particulates like dust, bacteria, pollen, chemicals, and mold spores through adsorption, straining, absorption, or static electric charge.
Air Shower - A specialized chamber that utilizes forced air to remove any particulate matter from a person or object before accessing a cleanroom facility. In order to minimize contamination, a cleanroom air shower often uses an air filter to capture any dust, bacteria, pollen, or mold that may be present on the surface of a person or object.
Air Velocity - The rate of air movement measured in distance traveled relative to the time elapsed. Air velocity is commonly measured in meters per second (m/s) or feet per minute (ft/min).
Airflow - Stream of air as it passes over the surface of a moving object or within a wind tunnel where air may move over the surface of a stationary object.
Airflow Uniformity - The consistency of which a stream of air passes over the surface of an object. Measured in volume occupied relative to the time elapsed. Common airflow uniformity is measured in cubic meters per second (m³/s), liters per second (L/s), or cubic feet per minute (ft³/min).
[ top ] B
Bio Safety Hood Classification - Classification used to determine the levels of containment a fume hood will provide in regards to potential contamination by hazardous vapors, gasses, and particles.
[ top ] C
Class 1 – 100,000 Cleanrooms - Classification levels that indicate the acceptable number of particles in a cubic foot of cleanroom space. Class levels are generally determined from the number of 0.5 micron or larger particles per cubic foot.
Cleanroom - A designated space that is closely controlled for compliance to limitations that have been outlined for operating procedures, air cleanliness, air pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and air flow patterns. A number of devices and procedures are often used in a cleanroom to monitor the viability of airborne particles.
Cleanroom Apparel/Garments/Clothing - Non-shedding apparel that is designed specifically to serve as a barrier between cleanroom environments and possible contaminants released by cleanroom workers. Cleanroom garments may include footwear, shoe covers, coveralls, gowns, smocks, gloves, face masks, and head coverings.
Cleanroom Classifications - Classification system used to determine the acceptable concentration of particles in an identified volume of air given specific particle size parameters. Classification levels are determined by the federal government.
Cleanroom Construction - A space or system of spaces in which there are tightly controlled limits that govern air flow, air pressure, air filtration, temperature, relative humidity, the viability of airborne particles, access, and operating procedures.
Cleanroom Dispensers - Furnishings that are designed specifically for convenient dispensing of cleanroom-safe products. Cleanroom dispensers can be used for a variety of products.
Cleanroom Facility - As Built - Cleanroom facility that is prepared for operation in terms of construction and systems but without staff present or manufacturing equipment in place.
Cleanroom Facility - At Rest - Cleanroom facility that is fully equipped for operation with the exception of staff on site.
Cleanroom Facility - In Operation - Cleanroom facility that is equipped and staffed for full operations, with all staff, equipment, and supplies present.
Cleanroom Paint - Water based acrylic epoxy paint that provides a durable and stain resistant finish for all cleanroom walls, ceiling, and floors.
[ top ] D
Desiccators - A sealable enclosure that contains desiccants or nitrogen gas that are used to prevent reactions between moisture-sensitive materials and atmospheric humidity.
[ top ] E
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) - The transfer of electric charge between two surfaces as a result of friction.
[ top ] F
Federal Standard 209E - Government-imposed standards for air quality in a cleanroom. The standards designate classes of cleanrooms and clean zones based on the size and concentration of particles of in a given volume of air.
Fume Hoods - Cabinet that has in air flow thus protecting the operator from dangerous or noxious vapors or particles.
[ top ] G
Glovebox - Controlled enclosure that incorporates sealed gloves into the design, allowing for manual control of items and materials that must remain in a restricted environment.
[ top ] H
Hardwall Cleanroom - A prefabricated room that has rigid walls and constructed to meet stringent cleanroom requirements. Hardwall cleanrooms may be incorporated into existing structures or may stand alone. Can be single pass or recirculating air. Hardwall cleanrooms can sustain positive pressure. Can be ISO 3-8.
HEPA Filter - A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that meets specific regulations for the interception, impaction, and diffusion of airborne particulates.
HEPA Filter High Capacity - High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter constructed to withstand high airflow levels. Measurements are estimated at 944 L/s at 350 Pa initial resistance.
HEPA Filter Module - High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that is integrated into a disposable housing for use in cleanroom ceiling installations. HEPA filter modules are usually available in fan-assisted and non-fan-assisted variations.
HEPA High Temperature - High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that is constructed using materials that can withstand temperatures up to 400°C, providing filtration for cleanroom and laboratory ovens. High-temperature filters use stainless steel or aluminum for the frame and silicone or glass for the gasket.
[ top ] I
ISO Cleanroom Classifications - Cleanroom air cleanliness classifications that provide standards for the identification, control, and monitoring of various airborne particles and contaminants.
[ top ] J
[ top ] K
[ top ] L
Laminar Air Flow - Airstream that flows through a HEPA/ULPA filter and moves with a uniform velocity within a confined space. Alternately referred to as “unidirectional flow”, laminar air flow generally moves along parallel flow lines.
[ top ] M
Micron - Unit of measurement for a minuscule length equal to one-millionth of a meter or 0.00003937 inches. Expressed as µm and alternately referred to as a micrometer.
Modular Cleanroom - Versatile engineered and pre-fabricated cleanroom units that are fitted with self-contained ventilation and electrical systems that comply with industry standards. Modular cleanrooms can be designed to accommodate a variety of size and design constraints.
[ top ] N
[ top ] O
[ top ] P
Particle Counter - Device that measures the size and quantity of particles per cubic air volume. Used to determine the cleanliness rating of a cleanroom.
Particulates - Miniscule segments of manmade or natural matter that has been suspended in gas or liquid.
Pass-thru - Enclosed space with doors that is designed as an air lock to accommodate the transfer of materials between two spaces while limiting the transfer of contaminants or limiting significant changes in environmental conditions. Cleanroom pass-thrus can be wall mounted or floor mounted.
Prefilter - Specialized filter that is designed to work with a downstream filter to guard against contamination from large dust particles.
[ top ] Q
[ top ] R
[ top ] S
Softwall Cleanroom - Modular structure typically consisting of either a painted steel or aluminum frame with flexible, clear curtains for walls. Softwall cleanrooms can have a cleanliness rating from a class 100,000 to a class 10 environment. Air flows out of a space between the floor and bottom of the curtain. The standard design of flexible curtains does not permit much in the way of a measurable positive pressure to be created.
Sterile Air - Dedicated air supply that has been filtered to remove bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and other microbiological organisms.
[ top ] T
[ top ] U
ULPA - Commonly used as an acronym for an Ultra-Low Particulate Air filter which has an efficiency rating of 99.9995 on 0.12-micron particles. Usually used to create class 10 (ISO 4) or class 1 (ISO 3) cleanrooms.
Unidirectional Flow Cleanroom / Laminar Flow Cleanroom - Airstream that flows through a HEPA filter and moves with a uniform velocity within a confined space. Air flow in a unidirectional flow cleanroom generally moves along parallel flow lines.
[ top ] V
Validation - Procedures for the monitoring and documentation of compliance with specified regulations for the design, construction, and performance for a clean manufacturing facility.
[ top ] W
Wet Process Station - Free-standing station for use in labs or cleanrooms for safe and functional semiconductor processing, chemical analysis, plating, microelectronic manufacturing and other custom processing. Operates under negative pressure to protect the operator from harmful vapors. Typically customized with sinks, hot plates and numerous other components for semiconductor wafer fabrication.