Steinbeis experts develop test rig for measuring cleanroom equipment.
VDI standard 2083-19 lays down clear guidelines for the airtightness of seals used in cleanrooms. It even defines a process for checking and categorizing the airtightness of cleanrooms, equipment, and components. To stay within certain limits, it is important to consider the housings and covers of integrated components such as socket outlets and smoke detectors. Experts at the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Energy, Environment and Clean Room Technology in Offenburg have developed their own test rig for conducting quantitative assessments on the airtightness of individual components. The rig makes it possible to determine which components are suitable for using for which airtightness categories.
It is important to obtain reliable information on the airtightness of components used in the ceilings, walls, and floors of cleanrooms in order to adhere to specific specifications laid down for different cleanroom classifications. Often, a single component such as a socket, smoke detector, lighting unit, or door becomes a sticking point during final inspections and makes it difficult to meet approval criteria.
“A socket letting in 0.9 cubic meters of air per hour doesn’t sound like a lot. But if you have several sockets installed in a room it’s easy to exceed permitted values, i.e. the airtightness requirements for the overall room,” explains Steinbeis Entrepreneur Michael Kuhn, adding, “and there aren’t many component manufacturers or wall and ceiling suppliers capable of providing reliable measurements on the air permeability of individual components. Developing a test rig to do this job was just the next logical step.”
A TEST RIG FOR INDIVIDUAL COMPONENTS
No sooner said than done. The experts at the Steinbeis Transfer Center developed a test rig that quickly came up with the required results. Their device makes it possible to test individual components and measure differential pressures of between -500 Pa and +500 Pa up to airtightness class 7. Measurements are captured in an inspection report complete with an evaluation certificate. Faults are not only caused by design parameters. Sometimes components may be badly assembled. To check for this, the Steinbeis experts also go back to component drawings to see if equipment is assembled correctly and mounted with proper seals.
Using test rig measurements taken without involving manufacturers allows cleanroom operators and building owners to generate reliable data that can already be used for planning purposes. This makes it possible to eliminate potential problems in advance, often saving a major amount of time and effort searching for leaks later down the line or having to retrofit seals. The test rig developed by the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Energy, Environment and Clean Room Technology also provides manufacturers with a method for taking reliable and independent measurements of their components.
STEINBEIS TRANSFER CENTER ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND CLEAN ROOM TECHNOLOGY
Fields of business
- Validation and inspection/approval measurement
- Special projects (commissioning, optimization, simulation)
- Innovative and manufacturer-independent advisory services
- Measurement, testing, and assessment of buildings/rooms and technical equipment
- Flow optimization using flow simulation (CFD) and flow visualization
- Virtual commissioning using digital twins and on-site commissioning
- Optimization of buildings/rooms and technical equipment with a focus on functionality, performance, and energy efficiency
- Planning and running of specialist training courses
Michael Kuhn (author)
Steinbeis Transfer Center Energy, Environment and Clean Room Technology (Offenburg)