*This post is part of a much larger pillar post.
When manufacturing a cleanroom, there are so many different factors that need to be heavily considered. You’ve got cleanroom classifications, walls, flooring, filtration systems and a myriad of other components that can have a huge impact on the success of your cleanroom construction project and the effectiveness of the cleanroom itself.
In order to help your decision making process, we’ve created the ultimate guide to clean room flooring. This won’t help you with every aspect of your cleanroom, but make sure to check out our blog for other helpful tips and recommendations.
Whether you’re in the automotive, pharmaceutical, or even semiconductor industry, this applies to your next cleanroom construction project.
In this guide, we’ll be going over the different factors to consider when deciding which flooring solution is best, as well as looking into some of the flooring options that have worked well in the past for our customers.
Why is Cleanroom Flooring so important?
You might be asking yourself, why should I care so much about the flooring in my cleanroom? That’s a great question. Although it’s often our customer’s last thought, cleanroom flooring can have a big impact on things like the classification of your cleanroom, as well as how effective the cleanroom itself is.
For example, when building a cleanroom for semiconductor production, it’s important to make sure that you don’t carry a charge to the product you’re handling. One way you do this is by installing flooring with static dissipative properties. Static creates an attraction of particulates. and also creates potential for discharge which is a huge concern for electronics.
Another example of why cleanroom flooring is important can be found in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to make cleaning easier, seamless flooring is often a great solution. Also, seamless flooring helps to prevent bacteria growth.
Now that we have a grasp on why flooring is so important, let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when deciding on your cleanroom flooring solution.
Before we dive into the different types of flooring you could choose for your cleanroom, it’s important to understand what all goes into determining your desired solution. Here is a four step checklist that you can use.
Factors to Consider
Depending on what industry you might find yourself in, federal regulations can dictate how clean your cleanroom needs to be. Not only can your flooring determine how easy your cleaning process is, it can also determine what types of chemicals you can use to clean with.
For example, if you work in the pharmaceutical industry, you may need a floor that allows you to use stronger chemicals. On the other hand, you may not need to be as particular if you’re operating a cleanroom in the automotive industry.
2. Ease of Repair
As with everything in life, time wears down cleanroom floors. In addition to normal aging, cleanroom floors often get damaged due to heavy machinery being placed inside the cleanroom, and parts being dropped.
It’s not a matter of if, but when your cleanroom floor needs repaired or replaced. That’s why taking into consideration how expensive the floor will be to repair, as well as the down time needed for maintenance is crucial when deciding on your cleanroom flooring solution.
3. Airflow Needed
It may surprise you, but the flooring inside of cleanrooms can have a huge impact on airflow. Sometimes, special flooring is required to get the cleanest air possible for your process.
For example, this is really important when you desire unidirectional airflow in the cleanroom. In order to achieve this, a raised flooring solution may be required.
4. Your Process
It may be obvious, but the biggest factor that will impact the flooring you choose is your process. Every industry is different, and will dictate different flooring solutions.
In order to pick the right flooring for your process, it may be helpful to look at your competitors who have already constructed cleanrooms. Also, our team has experience in a wide variety of industries, and can provide you with helpful information throughout your cleanroom construction process.
Different Types of Cleanroom Flooring
Now that we’ve gone over some of the crucial factors to consider when deciding on a solution, let’s take a look at some of the cleanroom flooring options available.
What is epoxy flooring? Epoxy flooring is a type of synthetic resin flooring that is constructed on top of concrete used for protection.
Epoxy flooring is the most common type of flooring in a cleanroom, and has multiple different levels to choose from. The level of epoxy is determined by the finish and makeup of the flooring, which directly impacts how long it lasts, and how easy it is to clean.
For example, if you operate in the pharmaceutical industry, you’ll use a much different type of epoxy for your flooring than an automotive manufacturer would due to the type of cleaning chemicals you are required to use.
Another very common type of epoxy flooring is ESD epoxy. ESD epoxy is most commonly used in the semiconductor industry due to its ability to dissipate static electricity easily. Since static creates an attraction of particulates, it’s very important to eliminate any and every charge to protect the product you’re working with.
Seamless Sheet Vinyl
Seamless sheet vinyl is an inexpensive option that is most commonly used in smaller applications, especially where powder is involved due to how easy it is to clean.
Here’s an example of how seamless sheet vinyl looks inside of a cleanroom.
Seamless sheet vinyl is also commonly used in pharmaceutical cleanrooms.
Much like modular cleanrooms, modular cleanroom floorings are the pinnacle of flexibility. This type of flooring snaps together like legos, allowing you to easily customize it to your exact needs.
When you decide to go with modular flooring, you’re giving yourself the option to move the flooring easily at another date. Also, you can easily integrate the flooring into your cleanroom wall through the use of a flash cove.
A flash cove is not only great for keeping your cleanroom seamless, it also helps tremendously with the cleaning process.
Modular systems are a great plug-and-play, flexible solution that can help your business stay agile.
Last but not least, we have raised flooring.
Perforated raised flooring looks a lot like a grid, and is commonly used in situations where you need extremely clean air in your cleanroom.
Raised flooring provides very clean air by creating unidirectional air flow in the cleanroom. This can protect products and processes that are much more sensitive from particles that shed during the operations that occur within the cleanroom.
Every cleanroom needs a great foundation.
We hope this blog showed you just how crucial it is to make the right decision when deciding on a cleanroom flooring solution.
Before you look at flooring solutions, use this blog post as a checklist to walk you through making a sound decision, and as a resource for information on the types of flooring options you have available to you.
Need help building a cleanroom? Contact us.