Clean rooms are used in practically every industry where small particles can adversely affect the manufacturing process. They vary in size and complexity, and are used extensively in industries such as semiconductor manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device and life sciences, as well as critical process manufacturing common in aerospace, optics, military and Department of Energy.
A clean room is any given contained space where provisions are made to reduce particulate contamination and control other environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and pressure.
The key component is the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter that is used to trap particles that are 0.3 micron and larger in size. All of the air delivered to a clean room passes through HEPA filters, and in some cases where stringent cleanliness performance is necessary, Ultra Low Particulate Air (ULPA) filters are used.
Personnel selected to work in clean rooms undergo extensive training in contamination control theory. They enter and exit the clean room through airlocks, air showers and/or gowning rooms, and they must wear special clothing designed to trap contaminants that are naturally generated by skin and the body.