A: A hardwall cleanroom utilizes either modular or gypsum/stud as walls for the sides of cleanroom. Hardwall cleanroom uses HEPA fan filter units to clean the air inside the cleanroom. The hardwall cleanroom can vary from class 100 to class 100k or ISO-5 to ISO-8 cleanroom classification. Most hardwall cleanrooms today are of modular design. They use a negative pressure plenum to achieve recirculating design and incorporate air conditioning.
A: Softwall cleanrooms use clear vinyl curtains for walls. They can only be one pass design and cannot incorporate air conditioning or positive pressure. Hardwall cleanrooms use modular or gypsum/stud walls. Hardwall cleanrooms allows washing of walls, positive pressure, air conditioning and longer life. Most cleanrooms are hardwall.
A: For most applications hardwall cleanrooms are more common due to their superior attributes such as durability, cleanability, can include air conditioning, gives lower particle counts, longer HEPA FFU life and static dissipative walls. Softwalls are typically used for small (<12’x12’) and lower class (ISO-8/class 100k) rooms that do not use liquids or require cleaning.
A: Surprisingly the cost per square foot of hardwall cleanrooms and softwall cleanrooms are very similar. Both types of cleanrooms require HEPA filtration. The cost of aluminum framing and clear vinyl cleanroom curtains is very similar to the cost of modular wall system. Softwall cleanrooms can be lower cost they cannot incorporate air conditioning however hardwall cleanrooms can also be on one pass design to eliminate the cost of air conditioning.