Airborne Particulate Testing

We can undertake Airborne Particulate Testing to clean rooms and data centres to ISO 14644-1:2015. We can also help organise your maintenance programmes to ensure your clean room is in compliance with the latest ISO standards, ensuring optimal clean room performance and minimised facility down time.

Once the clean room testing is completed, we present you with a clear well-structured report. We will also take time to explain the process and reportage to ensuring that you fully understand the testing process and your final results. We will issue you with test certificates, as well as calibration certificates for all of the equipment used and we will also document any recommendations for improvements that could be made to make the clean room more efficient in regards to its operation.

Cleanroom Certification guarantees that the facility has met the requirements for a statistically-valid maximum concentration of specified-size airborne particles.

APT Sound Testing provides trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines.

In January 2016, ISO introduced an update to standards ISO 14644-1:2015 – Classification of air cleanliness by particle concentration and ISO 14644-2:2015 and monitoring to provide evidence of cleanroom performance related to air cleanliness by particle concentration.

We have also seen a rise data centres that are requiring Airborne Particulate Testing. Data centres which are controlled environments) need to be kept clean too is ISO 14644-1 Class 8 standard or better. Class 8 allows for 3,52 million 0.5μm particles per cubic metre. Many of the top data companies such as EMC, Cisco and Sun all now all state what the acceptable levels of contamination are for their equipment.

The three state insist that their equipment must be kept in a data centre which has been decontaminated to a sufficient level on the ISO 14644-1 Clean Room and Controlled environment scale” This is Class 8 or better. As in many cases this suggests that their OEM warranty may not cover equipment damaged by dust particles.

We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

Clean room facilities such as pharmaceutical and semi-conductor manufacturers are examples of environments that require demanding ongoing air monitoring and periodic certification.  An ongoing air monitoring and testing system is the only method for these clean room facilities to maintain that level of cleanliness needed during environmentally sensitive production and to prevent downtime. Particle counters can activate alarms when contamination poses immediate threats to manufacturing processes thus warning the end user of potential risk from contamination.  Also, these cleanroom particle counters can document emerging contamination trends and weak spots within the process to guide cleaning personnel in maintaining air quality in their critical environments.

As the manufacturing process becomes more efficient and refined, along with the onset of Nano technology, tiny products are produced in the same space during the same amount of time. This results in a much greater risk of greater potential monetary loss in the event of contamination in a clean-room environment and a subsequent shutdown. . The greatest threat used to be the human component of the process. In a minienvironment, numerous sources of contamination can exist including fan filter failure, excess contamination build up or mini-environment integrity failure.

To prevent potential losses is to catch a contamination event as it happens or to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to risk control.  To keep up with manufacturing efficiencies, we undertake airborne particulate counts using the latest equipment to accurately and continuously monitor several locations within each minienvironment.  To remedy clean room contamination, a highly sensitive handheld particle counter can be used to locate the source of particle emissions. We can also carry out the periodic particulate testing and forward the necessary certification.

Using our vast technical knowledge we provide our clients with reliable and proactive clean room testing service. We ensure that we provide accurate and thoroughly document clean room testing results, ensuring optimal cleanroom performance and minimised facility down time.

We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

As the manufacturing process becomes more efficient and refined, along with the onset of Nano technology with more products produced in the same space during the same amount of time, the greater potential monetary loss in the event of contamination in a clean-room environment. The greatest threat used to be the human component of the process. In a mini environment, numerous sources of contamination can exist including fan filter failure, excess contamination build up or mini-environment integrity failure.

In all these instances the only way to prevent losses is to catch a contamination event as it happens via particulate testing.  As production evolves, so must we monitor and evolve with it. To keep up with manufacturing efficiencies, we can check the particulate counts using the latest equipment to accurately and continuously monitor several locations within each mini-environment.

To remedy clean room contamination we use a highly sensitive handheld particle counter which can quickly locate the source of particle emissions, which can be recorded and tabled to the client so they can undertake remedial sealing measures to the room envelope. we can also undertake pressurised air tightness and smoke testing to the room/building envelope to locate and record the air leakage paths.

Firstly, we set up the particle counter in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions including performing a zero-count check prior to each sample location. Then we set up the sampling probe so its positioned pointing towards the airflow – if the direction of the airflow being sampled is not controlled or predictable (e.g. non-unidirectional airflow), the inlet of the sampling probe shall be directed vertically upward.

We ensure normal conditions for the selected occupancy state are established before sampling. A sampling delay will be used prior to sampling to allow enough time for operator to leave the room (minimum of at least 1 Air Change) The counter will be set to monitor channels 0.5 μm, and 5.0 μm in cumulative mode. All results will be expressed in per m3 using the particle counters concentration calculation mode.

We sample the volume of air as determined in determined in ISO 14644-1:2015, as a minimum, for each sample at each sampling location. If an out-of-specification count is found at a location due to an identified abnormal occurrence, then that count can be discarded and noted as such on the test report and a new sample taken. If an out-of-specification count found at a location is attributed to a technical failure of the cleanroom or equipment, then the cause should be identified, remedial action taken and retesting performed of the failed sampling location, the immediate surrounding locations and any other locations affected.

We undertake Airborne Particle Testing in accordance with international standards and customer quality specifications. Cleanroom test protocols and report documentation can be customised to customer specifications.
With our steadfast commitment to quality and the highest standards of customer service we provide customers with reliable, accurate and thoroughly documented clean room testing programme.

We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

In January 2016, ISO introduced an update to standards ISO 14644-1:2015 – Classification of air cleanliness by particle concentration and ISO 14644-2:2015 and monitoring to provide evidence of cleanroom performance related to air cleanliness by particle concentration.

APT Cleanroom Testing have received many questions in regards to what impact the updated standard has on validation and testing frequency. To try and help our clients we have tried to answer those questions here.
It is essential that your undertake clean room Airborne Particle Testing to prove it complies with ISO 14644-1:2015 – Classification of air cleanliness by particle concentration. This ensures that your cleanroom continues to perform efficiently and enhance your ongoing business process.

Within ISO 14644-2:2015 – Monitoring to provide evidence of cleanroom performance related to air cleanliness by particle concentration; recommends customers to complete risk assessments and monitoring plans to determine the frequency of testing and validation to their individual cleanroom processes.

It states the maximum time interval between airborne particle concentration testing for cleanrooms of ISO class 5 and below at six months and ISO class 6 and above at 12 months. Here is a quick table showing this in more details.

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Using our vast technical knowledge we provide our clients with reliable and proactive clean room testing service. We ensure that we provide accurate and thoroughly document clean room testing results, ensuring optimal cleanroom performance and minimised facility down time.

We can also carry out the periodic particulate testing and forward the necessary certification. We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

The method for undertaking particulate testing (sampling) is as follows:

1. Check the equipment is not damaged and is working properly and is still within calibration.

2. Set up the monitoring equipment to give total particle counts according to the operating procedure.

3. Record the name and number of operators working in the area being tested and their activity at the time of testing, where possible. Any changes in activities must be documented.

4. Carry out sampling at the locations marked on the site plan with the probe positioned facing upwards at normal working height i.e. approximately 1m. If this is not possible, place on the floor and record this. When testing in the “at rest” condition it is preferable if work progresses from “dirty” to clean areas. In all monitoring, steps should be taken to ensure that the sample probe does not pick up particle counts from the motor/exhaust of the test instrument or from adjacent operations.

5. Following the procedure for operating the particle counter, start the count.

6. Observe the first count to ensure the particle counter is operating correctly. Where appropriate check the first printout produced to ensure information is printed clearly.

7. Where appropriate write sample location next to the counts on the printout. If equipment is operating satisfactory, continue the count, and vacate the room unless involved in the work session, for sufficient time to allow the appropriate number of samples to be taken.

Note: If equipment is not operating satisfactory determine what the fault is by checking the standard operating procedures.

We provide trained and friendly clean room test engineers, offering comprehensive and proactive validation service to the requirements of all current ISO standards and guidelines. If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.

Airborne Particle Counters operate by pumping an air sample of known volume, usually one litre past a laser beam. As dust particles in the air stream pass through the beam, each one reflects or “scatters” the laser light, thereafter a photodetector senses the scattered light and generates an electrical signal. Larger particles scatter more light and create higher-voltage electronic “hits.” The on-board electronics within the particle counter track the hits and count the particles in six size categories, ranging from .3 microns to 10 microns. Particles larger than 10 microns generally settle out of the air.

Our Particle Counter can be programmed to take repeat counts instantly, or delayed up to 24 hours between sampling. It can store 50000 records of date, time, counts, relative humidity, temperature, sample volumes, alarms and sample locations on its on-board memory. Data stored can be downloaded to a personal computer or PDA. The particle counter can also be connected directly to laptop for real time downloads.

Particulate sampling is a practical method for evaluating the infection-control performance of the HVAC system, with an emphasis on filter efficiency in removing respirable particles (< 5 µm in diameter) or larger particles from the air. Due to its accuracy, speed and compact size our particulate counter is useful for baseline particulate testing, problem detection and thereafter remediation and system maintenance.

Clean Room Baseline Testing – Particle counts will soar with the presence of multiple people (human beings shed up to 500,000 particles each minute) and medical procedures too can contaminate the air. After the main works have been carried out, counts should return to normal or baseline levels. Best practice calls for baseline particulate levels to be documented, both within spaces and in the supply air flowing into the space.

Clean Room Maintenance Testing – Once baseline or “normal” particle levels have been determined, follow up particulate testing should be undertaken and documented periodically. These follow up tests can provide early warning of developing anomalies and enable the facility manager to intervene before major contamination issues arise.

Clean Room Filter Testing – Used to test for particle levels in the air upstream and downstream from air filters. Our particulate counter can verify that filters are performing as they should. Testing the level of particles in incoming filtered air at the diffusers air grate, should result in the air being the cleanest in the room which provides an additional check on the performance of filtration systems.

Contamination Testing with Airborne Particle Counters provides vital information for maintaining indoor air quality cleanroom facilities. When filtration testing, the verification data should be reflected with objective analysis by providing airborne-particle comparison with the specifications of filter efficiency for fan systems.

Locating Particle Sources in Clean Rooms – Particulate Counter can help identify areas where particle counts are elevated and if used correctly should lead the user to the source of the problem. Items such as a leaking air duct could be sending unfiltered air into a room, especially if it’s compromised above a suspended ceiling which could be disturbing and sucking accumulated dust into the cleanroom.

Verifying the Effectiveness of Remediation in Clean Rooms – Once the causes of higher particle counts have been addressed, an ongoing post-testing regime will show whether the fixes undertaken have worked at bringing particulate levels down.

Controlling airborne contamination in cleanroom facilities poses a complex set of challenges; however if particulate testing is utilised as part of your ongoing testing regime, it should lower the chance of contamination issues and potential shutdowns to your critical asset.

With our steadfast commitment to quality and the highest standards of customer service we provide customers with reliable, accurate and thoroughly documented clean room testing programme.

If you require any further information in regards to Airborne Particulate Testing please contact us now.