A cleanroom air change rate is how many times per hour the air in the cleanroom pass thru HEPA or ULPA filtration to clean the air of particles. The more times per hour the air is filtered the cleaner the room will be.
Cleanrooms are ISO classified by how many particles are allowed per cubic meter. Fed Std 209E is particles per cubic foot. In order to reach these cleanliness levels, the cleanroom industry standards committee specifies the number of air changes per hour thru the HEPA or ULPA filtration.
|Criteria||Class 10 ISO4||Class 100 ISO5||Class 1000 ISO6||Class 10,000 ISO7||Class 100,000 ISO8|
|Air changes per HR/Min||500-600 / 8 to 10||300 to 480 / 5 to 8||180 / 3||60 /1||20 /0.33|
|Filter coverage %||90 – 100||60 – 70||20 – 30||7 – 15||4 – 5|
|CFM per square foot||85 – 90||36 – 65||18 – 32||9 – 16||4 – 8|
|Filter Efficiency||99.9997% ULPAs||99.997% HEPAs||99.997% HEPAs||99.997% HEPAs||99.97% HEPAs|
The higher air changes per hour reduces the recovery time of the cleanroom when a door is opened to the outside and particles enter the cleanroom.
|Class||Maximum Particles/m³||FED STD 209E equivalent|
|>0.1 um||>0.2 um||>0.3 um||>0.5 um||>1 um||>5 um|
|ISO 3||1,000||237||102||35||8||Class 1|
|ISO 4||10,000||2,370||1,020||352||83||Class 10|
|ISO 5||100,000||23,700||10,200||3,520||832||29||Class 100|
|ISO 6||1,000,000||237,000||102,000||35,200||8,320||293||Class 1,000|
|ISO 7||352,000||83,200||2,930||Class 10,000|
|ISO 8||3,520,000||832,000||29,300||Class 100,000|
|ISO 9||35,200,000||8,320,000||293,000||Room Air|
Cleanrooms are also particle tested “at rest” and “operational”. When a cleanroom is empty/at rest there are no sources of particles and the test will show the lowest amount of particles. When the cleanroom is “operational” tested there are people in the cleanroom operating machines and creating particles so the test typically show much greater amount of particles.
Summary: Cleanroom air changes rates refers to how many times per hour the cleanroom air is passed thru the HEPA filtration. The more air changes per hour the cleaner the cleanroom. An ISO-8/class 100k cleanroom requires 20 air changes per hour. A cleaner ISO-7/class 10k cleanroom requires 60 air changes per hour.
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