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Contact Cleanroom Consulting Group
A Division of
Acorn Industries, Inc.

Dr. Philip R. Austin, P.E.

One of the World’s Foremost
Cleanroom and Contamination
Control Experts and Consultants

Author of Seven Cleanroom
Textbooks Including the
Encyclopedia of Cleanrooms


List of Cleanroom Problems Often Encountered

Cleanrooms and clean areas are difficult to design, construct, operate and maintain. Often after the facility is in operation, problems occur that were not considered in the original planning of the facilities or a team different from the original planners are faced with a new set of problems. Here is a condensed list of problems often encountered, but without written answers during the initial life of the facilities.

Often the allowable contaminants for products have not been defined. When performing a consultation, Dr. Austin will give companies answers to the below listed items as well as a myriad of other items not listed. How many of these items apply? Can you state with certainty, positive answers to this list?

  • Maximum size of inert particles
  • Size distribution of allowable particles
  • Characteristics of disallowed particles
  • NVR allowable limits
  • Allowable fibers
  • Allowable biological reproducible particles
  • Allowable organic particles
  • Specific fluids, oils, elements, coatings, etc. disallowed
  • Specific materials harmful to product

What type of contaminants can I expect in my cleanroom?

What amount and type of contaminants are employees emitting into the cleanroom?

What is the Austin Contamination Index? How does it apply to personnel emissions in the cleanroom?

What standards and specifications such as Fed. Stds, ISO Stds, ASTM, SAE, FDA, etc. must I follow?

What type of cleanroom cleanliness certification is required?

What types of clean areas are there and when should they be employed?

  • Air conditioned production areas with medium grade filtration
  • Turbulent air flow cleanrooms with HEPA or ULPA filtration employing remote filter bank or patterned or linear ceiling modules
  • Horizontal Laminar air flow with HEPA or ULPA filtration employing over the ceiling, under the floor or circular air return
  • Vertical Laminar air flow with HEPA or ULPA filtration with solid or raised or combination floors
  • Horizontal Laminar air flow clean benches with HEPA or ULPA filtration
  • Vertical Laminar air flow clean benches with HEPA or ULPA filtration
  • Fume hoods with full, partial recirculation, or no exhaust flow

What materials should be used for cleanroom floors, walls, and ceilings?

What type of light fixtures should be used and at what light level?

How should utility distribution be made and air ducts be selected?

What are the HVAC concerns for air flow and fresh air make-up?

What dictates environmental values of temperature, humidity and pressure?

When are Change rooms, shoe cleaners, wash stands and hand dryers to be specified?

When are Air showers, Air locks, Pass boxes, and Central vacuums necessary?

What are the Costs of Construction?

What criteria are used for Garment Selection?

What are the methods for garment cleaning, and evaluation?

How to perform personnel training and prepare training programs?

What are the Doís and Doníts of cleanroom operation and maintenance?

What are Particle counters and what are their limitations?

How to apply surface and product contamination detectors?

How to control static charges in cleanrooms?


Cleanroom Consulting Group - A Division of Acorn Industries
11844 Brookfield, Livonia, MI 48150
(800) 831-5351 Ph: (734) 261-2940 Fax: (734) 427- 8456

Internationally Recognized Cleanroom Authority, Consultant, Expert Witness, and Lecturer on Cleanrooms, Bio-Cleanrooms, Aseptic Areas, and Contamination Control.

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