Compiled by Steve Smith
What you wear to work can say a lot about your success, and today's cleanroom applications demand apparel with ever-increasing protection against such combatants as dry particulate, static electricity, and hazardous materials. Recent technological advances in fabric design have resulted in a new breed of more flexible, comfortable, and protective apparel and accessories—everything from lab coats and coveralls to bouffant caps and facemasks. Here's a look at some of the latest innovations that promise to keep you covered.
Limited use, high protection
The complete line of DuPont contamination control products includes fabrics, apparel and accessories—from bouffant caps and anti-slip shoe covers to lab coats, frocks, coveralls and facemasks. Cleanroom limited-use apparel lines include Tyvek IsoClean, ProClean, and Summus. IsoClean fabric is designed to offer protection from dry particulates (down to 0.5 µm), liquid splash and microorganisms while providing ease of movement and durability. ProClean, based on a patented microporous laminate fabric technology, is a breathable material designed for protection from liquid splash and dry particulate. The Summus fabric adds an extra melt-blown process to SMS material, providing a strong barrier that is both light and breathable, and designed to resist dry, non-hazardous particles and liquid sprays.
Reusable woven polyester
WK 3000 material is woven from 100% filament polyester yarn with carbon fibers laced into a stripe throughout the material. This durable fabric is designed to repel .. fluids, prevent particulation and dissipate static electricity. The manufacturer's entire line of Ultima reusable apparel is available with the WK 3000 material.
White Knight Engineered Products
CMP Clean Garment Systems are designed to provide various levels of barrier capabilities appropriate for the environmental requirements demanded from differing applications. Disposable CMP garments are cut, manufactured and packaged in a cleanroom, and are gamma-irradiated through a validated cycle. Each lot is sterility-tested. Hoods, coveralls, lab coats and boots are available in the manufacturer's 1600 Mitcool Material Blend—a heat-bonded polypropylene coated with a proprietary latex binder—are designed for wearing in Class 100 sterile and non-sterile areas. Particle and shedding characteristics are minimal, says the manufacturer, while filtration efficiency/barrier efficiency measured at 0.45 µm is 99 percent. ..Facemasks, designed to eliminate goggle fogging while providing maximum coverage and protection in Class 100 to 1000 areas, feature a breathable Rayon blend coated with the proprietary latex binder.
Ground Zero grounded garments are designed to protect against particulate contamination and uncontrolled static discharge. Lab coats and coveralls include electrically connected hoods and conductive footwear that are made of Class 100-compatibile materials and construction. Panel-to-panel electrical continuity is confirmed in 10E7 range throughout the warranty period—100 washes or two years. Garments are available with patented dual independent paths to ground for interfacing to continuous monitoring systems.
Carlsbad, CA, www.twclean.com
VR Protective Wear is made of a strong yet lightweight, 4-mil/6-mil impervious polyolefin material. The line of aprons, sleeves, gowns, gloves, boots and shoecovers is designed especially for use when handling chemicals and other hazardous materials. Gloves and boots are designed with elastic elbow and knee-length cuffs. All garments for cleanroom applications are processed, folded and individually packaged, suitable for Class 100 specifications.
Rantoul, IL, www.polyconversions.com
ESD yarn technology
By adding new ESD yarn technology, fabric surface resistivity in the company's patented C3 fabric has been reduced to 106 ohms/sq, which the manufacturer says results in improved sleeve-to-sleeve resistivity performance. Base yarns are unchanged and are designed to provide durability and effectiveness in the cleanroom. The company's Nano-Seal technology, which has been added to the fabric, helps significantly reduce garment particle generation.
Burlington Barrier Products
Particle filtration fabric
The Integrity 1800 fabric offers a 3- µm pore size designed for improved particle filtration efficiencies. The fabric is 0.0004 inches thick and weighs 2.67 oz/yd. An Aegis Microbe Shield Technology helps to protect against a spectrum of microorganisms. Static dissipation is achieved through a carbon stripe woven into the fabric.
Precision Fabrics Group