In a controlled cleanroom, windows are a source of ambient light, and help to “expand” the space, making it feel less restrictive and relieving worker claustrophobia. Practically speaking, they also allow personnel to see when the critical environment is in use, and what activities are being performed.

Windows are more complex than a simple pane of glass. Anyone responsible for wiping down a cleanroom can appreciate how troublesome nooks and crannies can be! Contaminating particles can collect on framing, sills, and fasteners, complicating the sanitizing process. 

SINGLE PANE WINDOWS
Stand-alone cleanrooms may be surrounded by unclassified space, with no lab or face garments required by personnel. The enclosed space must be ISO-compliant, but the exterior does not require the same treatment. Standard wall thicknesses (ranging from 3.4” to 5.5”) are many times that of a windowpane (0.25” to 1”). Window frames compensate for the dimensional difference with built-in ledges: flat surfaces with sharp corners. They are an ideal landing spots for airborne dust and particles, the very thing to be avoided in the controlled space.
single-pane cleanroom windows feature a single-sided flush-mount frame. Install the window with the flush-mounted frame inside the cleanroom, and the standard frame with ledge facing the uncontrolled space. Windowpanes are 0.5”-thick for durability and to help maintain the cleanroom’s-controlled atmosphere.

DOUBLE PANE WINDOWS
For cleanrooms that maintain controlled environments on both sides of the window, double-pane, double flush windows with no ledges or sills are the window you should choose. These windows feature two 0.5” windowpanes, increasing the temperature insulating properties. Frames in both rooms are flat against the walls, reducing troublesome cleaning.

When it comes to windowpane materials, there are 5 materials used for transparent cleanroom windowpanes.

  1. Acrylic: this material offers strength, clarity, and economy, but t be careful with chemicals such as alcohol, as this can damage it.
  2. Tempered Glass: this is the ultimate clean material. It is non-porous and non-shedding, with exceptional strength and clarity. It also stands up to all cleaners
  3. Fire rated glass: Applications involving flammable liquids or powders may require added protection of materials with a UL fire rating. Cleanroom walls made of Class A fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) also meet this requirement.
  4. SDPVS: Static-dissipative polyvinyl chloride controls electrostatic discharge and prevents particle adhesion from static charges. The dissipative layer is molecularly embedded in the plastic so it will not peel over time.
  5. Polycarbonate: This is another durable plastic material that resists damage from common chemicals. It is also shatter resistant. 

You should take as much care of your cleanroom windows as you do with the other building materials and internal furnishings.

 


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