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All About Cleanroom Flooring

November 18, 2022
Choosing the correct cleanroom flooring for your modular cleanroom can be very confusing when considering balancing variables such as chemical resistance, Electro Static Discharge (ESD), durability, no particulates and cost. Most warehouses and factories have bare concrete floors that are not suitable for cleanroom flooring since concrete is very porous and contains particulates.
interior of ISO-8 modular cleanroom, gray epoxy cleanroom flooring, white modular cleanroom walls
Figure 1. Modular cleanroom with epoxy flooring

ISO-8 modular cleanrooms are the most forgiving. Industrial VCT (vinyl composition tiles) is the lowest-cost cleanroom flooring solution but if installed correctly will work fine. The next step up in cost is epoxy flooring with a urethane overcoat. Polished concrete cleanroom flooring can also eliminate particulates and works well for ISO-8 cleanrooms.

interior of ISO-7 modular cleanroom, white heat welded vinyl flooring with integral cove, cleanroom door
Figure 2. Heat-welded vinyl cleanroom flooring with integral cove

ISO-6 and ISO-7 modular cleanrooms are typically heat-welded vinyl cleanroom flooring or epoxy/urethane cleanroom flooring. Heat-welded vinyl gives excellent chemical resistance and is very durable. The integral cove protects the cleanroom modular wall from harsh chemicals that are common in pharmaceutical and medical device cleanrooms to maintain sterility. Epoxy/urethane cleanroom flooring is chosen due to the lower cost.

interior class 100 modular cleanroom, amber lighting, raised cleanroom flooring, storefront cleanroom door
Figure 3. Raise cleanroom flooring

ISO-5 modular cleanrooms typically use heat-welded vinyl flooring or raised cleanroom flooring. The raised cleanroom flooring is used as air returns giving the best cleanroom particle removal, temperature uniformity, and humidity uniformity. The most common application is semiconductor cleanrooms. Heat-welded vinyl floors are preferred for pharmaceutical ISO-5 cleanrooms where frequent cleaning with strong chemical agents is required to maintain sterility.

The electronics industry has always been concerned about electrostatic discharge ESD damage to fine-featured electronic products in their manufacturing cleanrooms. Static dissipative heat welded vinyl cleanroom flooring is used for ISO-5 thru ISO-7 cleanrooms. Smaller ISO-8 cleanrooms sometimes go with static dissipative vinyl tiles where particulate control is not as critical, and ease of installation is a priority.

The author Anthony Chien has worked at American Cleanroom Systems for the past 10 years. He has more than 40 years of cleanroom experience. Anthony has a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering specializing in semiconductor manufacturing from the University of Illinois. American Cleanroom Systems is a design-build modular cleanroom manufacturer based in Rancho Santa Margarita CA. American Cleanroom Systems is your expert in ISO-5 thru ISO-8 (class 100 to class 100k) modular cleanrooms for pharmaceutical cleanrooms, medical device cleanrooms, and industrial cleanrooms.
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