Cleanroom Vacuums for Specialized Tasks
When selecting a vacuum to use in your cleanroom there are a few important criteria that will ensure the best results possible. In this month’s post we’re going to take a look at the most important aspects of any cleanroom vacuum.
Any vacuum cleaner that is to be used in a cleanroom absolutely must have a HEPA filter installed, just after air passes through the motor to make sure that particulates from the exhaust stream are properly filtered out. When a vacuum cleaner is being used, the motor’s commutator and carbon brushes will generate dust and a HEPA filter prevents that dust from being released into the environment.
HEPA-filtration systems are not all the same though. For best results, be sure that your vacuum of choice has a multi-stage graduated filter. This graduated filtration system uses several different filters that are progressively finer. As particulates are sucked up through the vacuum the coarser filters will catch the biggest particles and the finer filters will catch the smaller particles. This system will also help to protect your HEPA filters from wear and tear, as well as potential blockages keeping your vacuum running at peak performance. Additionally, if your vacuum uses a ULPA filter (Ultra Low Particulate Air filter) then your system should block up to 99.99% of ultra fine matter and particles – all the way down to particles that are .12 microns and bigger. The HEPA filter only blocks roughly 99.97% of particles, including particles that are .3 microns and larger. Finally, the filtration system in your vacuum will ideally use oversized filters which serves to slow airflow across the larger surface area and optimizes the air-to-cloth ratio. This will ensure that the vacuum can easily collect large volumes of debris over extended periods of time with minimal maintenance.
The ideal cleanroom vacuum does doesn’t just rely on a strong filtration system alone. The vacuum itself should be constructed of non-particle-generating materials, such as non-porous stainless steel and smooth hoses and attachments. This will enable personnel to quickly and efficiently wipe down and decontaminate equipment for faster, simpler sanitization. There are many models of cleanroom vacuums that are autoclavable, but be sure to check before trying so you don’t destroy your investment.
We also suggest vacuums that are capable of wet and dry collection, just in case liquids need to be cleaned up in a hurry. If your vacuum is not wet and dry capable, investing in a second vacuum is highly recommended. Using a dry vacuum for spill response can lead to a destroyed investment and potentially serious injuries. Wet-collection vacuums must have a grounded bypass motor to prevent electrical hazards. Two important features of a good wet vacuum is that the vacuum uses a stainless steel or polyethylene tank to prevent corrosion as well as an automatic shut-off valve that prevents it from over filling.