No superficial question
Graham Lewis, Corporate Key Accounts Manager – Colorex, from Forbo Flooring Systems, discusses some of the most common technical queries concerning cleanroom flooring, starting with the need for an effective floorcovering and the various requirements for a cleanroom environment.
Specifying floorcoverings for cleanroom areas is becoming increasingly complex, with end users continually facing new challenges. The floor is the largest exposed area with the most demanding requirements, as it is subject to various types of contamination that must be controlled to avoid serious problems further down the line. For this reason it is imperative that anything entering a cleanroom, starting with the construction materials, are declared safe and appropriate for cleanroom use.
The suitability of a product for use in a cleanroom or clean area is greatly influenced by its material composition. It is therefore necessary to know whether a surface material will have an impact on a specific environment and to what extent. This will largely depend upon the product properties and performance once in situ.
Careful consideration must be given to the product’s functioning and resistance to strong chemicals and any micro-organisms that might be a threat to human health, its effect on exposed products and whether the floorcovering can be kept free from bacteria and moulds by standard cleaning procedures.
The challenge, though, is to specify a floorcovering that not only meets these performance requirements, but also adheres to regulatory provisions. The ISO standards for air cleanliness in cleanrooms as well as the current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations impose a strict contamination control on materials to the pharmaceutical and life science industries, whereby they must present persistent results and compliance must be validated on a regular basis by trusted authorities.
Regulatory requirements include the Assessment of the Microbial Behaviour on Surface according to ISO 846, Chemical Resistance according to ISO 2812-1 and Surface Cleanability Rating according to the German VDI guideline 2083, Part 9.1, with the two key ISO standards of Particle Emission by Dynamic Friction and Classification according to ISO 14644-1, Outgassing Behaviour and Classification according to ISO 14644-8.
For more information on Forbo Flooring Systems please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/colorex
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