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High Bay Cleanrooms

cleanroom interior, 23 ft high, floor to ceiling windows, cleanroom door
Figure 1. ISO-8 High Bay Cleanroom w/ static dissipative heat welded vinyl flooring

High Bay cleanrooms are cleanroom with very high internal ceilings. The most common application is  controlled environment for assembly, testing and repairing spacecraft, satellites, rocket engine, laser systems and other very tall or large components. Other applications include manufacturing, laser testing and national laboratories (research and development). High bay cleanrooms use HEPA fan filter units in ceiling to remove particles from the air and maintain the desired cleanroom class.

space craft in high bay cleanroom, NASA JPL cleanroom
Figure 2. NASA JPL in high bay cleanroom being used for space craft assembly
space craft being craned in high bay cleanroom, NASA Cape Canaveral cleanroom
Figure 3. NASA Cape Canaveral high bay cleanroom

High Bay cleanrooms typically incorporate very large doors for moving these large systems in and out of the cleanroom. They can be motorized sliding doors, motorized roll up doors, removable clear vinyl walls, or very large double swing doors. Some have removable roof openings to allow items to be craned into the cleanroom.

high bay industrial cleanroom, 12x12 roll up door
Figure 4. ISO-8 Manufacturing modular high bay cleanroom w large rollup door
Figure 5. High Bay industrial cleanroom w multiple large rollup doors
ISO-7 cleanroom, high bay cleanroom, aerospace cleanroom, laminar tunnel design
Figure 6. High Bay ISO-7 aerospace cleanroom with laminar flow tunnel design

Due to the sensitive nature of electronics on these space systems, high bay cleanrooms often have static dissipative heat welded vinyl flooring and static dissipative aluminum walls to protect the systems being worked on in the cleanroom. They also use DX cooling systems, humidifiers and dehumidifiers to maintain tight temperature and humidity control within the cleanroom.

grounded vinyl flooring, static dissipative heat welded vinyl
Figure 7. Grounded static dissipative vinyl flooring in aerospace cleanroom.

Another option for high bay cleanrooms is softwall cleanrooms. These cleanrooms use clear vinyl for walls and strip curtains for entrances. These cleanroom are one pass design and cannot offer air conditioning. They are limited to lower cleanroom classifications like ISO-8 /class 100k.

Industrial high bay softwall cleanroom
Figure 8. Industrial high bay cleanroom with clear vinyl curtain walls
NOAA high bay softwall cleanroom, research and development
Figure 9. High Bay softwall cleanroom for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with removable hatch

Summary

High bay cleanrooms are cleanrooms with high internal ceilings to allow work on very large systems. The most well know applications are aerospace and space craft cleanrooms. The assembly, calibration and testing of these systems must be done in cleanrooms to avoid contamination or damage to the systems. High bay cleanrooms typically have large rollup or rolling doors to allow large systems to be brought into the cleanroom. They use HEPA fan filters to maintain cleanroom class. Other features include static dissipative flooring and walls to protect sensitive electronics from damage and DX cooling to maintain tight temperature and humidity control.

The author Anthony Chien has worked at American Cleanroom Systems for past 12 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 through ISO-8 (class 100 to class 100k) modular cleanrooms for pharmaceutical cleanrooms, medical device cleanrooms, and industrial cleanrooms.

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