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Pass Thru Chambers in Cleanrooms

febrero 15, 2023

Cleanroom pass thru’s are used to transfer product from inside to outside the cleanroom without going thru doors. A cleanroom pass thru is an airlock with two doors. The doors are typically interlocked so only one door can be opened at a time. This prevents the cleanroom from being open to the dirty outside space and reduced the number of particles entering the cleanroom.

Cleanroom pass thru materials include plastic laminated wood, painted steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel is used for chemical resistance when a pass thru is subject to harsh chemical cleaning. The cleanroom pass thru windows are typically plexiglass or tempered glass depending on the size of the pass thru.

Pass thru interlocks can be mechanical for smaller sized pass thru’s and magnetic for larger sized pass thru’s.

HEPA filtration is sometimes added on cleanroom pass thru’s when the pass thru connects the outside to a higher class cleanroom space (ISO-6/class 1000 or ISO-5/class 10k).

Wall mounted pass thru’s are the most common cleanroom pass thru. Typically 2’x2’x2’ mechanically interlocked doors. The doors are see thru so the operator can tell if there is something in the pass thru. The pass thru’s also come in custom sizes from as small as 1’x1’x1’ to as large as 3’x3’x3’. The smaller the pass thru the less contamination will enter the cleanroom each time it is used.

cleanroom wall mounted pass thru
Figure 1. Cleanroom wall pass thru – 2’x2’x2’

Material Pass thru. Cart pass thru’s are used when large quantities of material or larger sized material is being transferred and using a cart is more efficient. Typically there is a dedicated cart that never leaves the cleanroom and pass thru. Any cart that left the cleanroom would have to be wiped down in the gown room or pass thru before it could be brought back into the cleanroom.

industrial cleanroom cart pass thru, cleanroom window, cleanroom exterior
Figure 2. Custom Cleanroom cart pass thru – aerospace cleanroom
Cleanroom cart pass thru, pharmaceutical cleanroom
Figure 3. Custom Cleanroom Material Pass thru -pharmaceutical cleanroom

Very large material pass thru’s are used when material is being brought into cleanroom with forklift or pallet jack. Motorized vinyl roll up doors are common feature for these large cleanroom pass thru’s. The roll up doors are often interlocked so only one can open at a time.

large material cleanroom pass thru, motorized cleanroom rollup doors
Figure 4. Cleanroom Pass thru with roll up doors

Ever innovating, some cleanrooms are being built with material air showers which serve dual purpose of cleaning the material being brought into the cleanroom and acting as an airlock to keep contaminants out of cleanroom.

Figure 5. Air Shower cleanroom pass thru

Summary:  Cleanroom pass thru’s serve as airlocks to allow material to be easily transferred into and out of a cleanroom without the operator having to pass thru the gown room. The interlocked doors of the pass thru significantly reduce the amount of contaminants that enter the cleanroom. Cleanroom pass thru’s vary in size from small wall mounted pass thru’s to cart pass thru’s to large room pass thru’s that can be used with a forklift.

Property American Cleanroom Systems 2023

The author Anthony Chien has worked at American Cleanroom Systems for 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. It is 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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