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What Is a Modular Cleanroom?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2016
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A modular cleanroom is a self-contained cleanroom, an area where temperature, humidity, and airflow are tightly controlled to keep the space clean and contained for the purpose of sensitive research, manufacturing, and related activities. The modular design allows for easy installation of a cleanroom in an existing facility without needing to make retrofits. The design can also be mobile, useful for activities like running an epidemiology investigation in a community where such facilities are not available and researchers want to be able to do work on the ground.

The modular cleanroom design may have hard or soft walls, and typically comes with a highly configurable design. It is possible to order multiples that can stack or snap together to make rooms of various sizes, and the facilities may come with various accessories. All modular cleanrooms come with the capacity to control temperature, humidity, and airflow. Inserts like sinks, counters, cabinets, and so forth can be configured inside the cleanroom to meet the needs of the customer.

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The company can set up the modular cleanroom in its facilities, and transport it as a standalone unit to the location where it is needed. This may be the inside of an existing building or a modular research facility under construction, featuring a variety of labs, offices, and other facilities that will fit together to make a complete facility. The modular cleanroom usually stands on its own in indoor settings, allowing companies to install it and make it ready for use immediately without having to anchor it to floors or ceilings.

Modules may be necessary to meet temporary overflow needs, especially at facilities in need of updating or buildings slated for replacement. The modules can go outdoors if there is no room to install them inside, with fittings to make sure they are weather-tight and ready for use. Agencies and organizations with the need for a mobile cleanroom can set up a modular cleanroom on a tow trailer to make it possible to quickly deploy to the scene of a biological investigation like an outbreak of human or animal disease.

Manufacturers of modular cleanrooms and supplies usually have a line of products aimed at different needs. This can include expansions, allowing companies to make an existing module larger to meet growing needs rather than having to order an entirely new one. The company usually has cleanrooms with a number of different ratings, ranging from high-rated models for handling hazardous materials to models meeting less stringent standards that are still suitable for basic use.

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