Setting up camp: What you need to know about cleanroom tents

Published: 23-Aug-2023

What are some of the benefits and limitations of this emerging solution, and what industries is it suited to? Michael Skidmore takes a look at Monmouth Scientific’s offering in practice to give a valuable insight

Added to the product line of Monmouth Scientific in 2021, the Clean Tent is an interesting new offering for those looking to create a controlled environment.
The Clean Tent offers a unique and flexible solution for creating controlled environments and is intended for users that require temporary cleanroom facilities or clean storage. 

Needing to be engineered for easy manoeuvrability and high performance, there are many factors the need to be considered when designing a portable cleanroom solution.

Michael Skidmore from Monmouth explains some of the finer details and example uses of the product that is a portable ISO Class 5 system creating a working area that can be quickly reconfigured, immediately adding cleanroom capacity wherever it is required.

Setting up camp

Fully portable design means the Clean Tent does not require planning, estates or building permissions, and this takes out a lot of a cleanroom’s expensive build and maintenance costs and specialised expertise for installation and operation.

Setting up camp: What you need to know about cleanroom tents

One of the big considerations for a cleanroom tent offering is this cost-effective easy installation and general portability. With this is mind, a cleanroom tent should be lightweight and modular, allowing for quick setup and dismantling as needed. The Clean Tent does this and this feature makes them ideal for temporary projects or situations that require mobility, providing flexibility in creating controlled environments wherever they are needed.

Much like its recreational use counterpart, the cleanroom tent will fit into a tent bag. Aside from the soft parts of there are a few parts that require more protection. A HEPA bag protects the whole fan filter unit (FFU) including the HEPA and pre-filter, while the tent is in transport or storage.

Unique design challenges

There a few major industries that can make use of the Clean Tent for critical operations, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and medical device manufacturing. To achieve ISO compliance, the clean tent design had to combat some unique challenges compared to a hardwall build, but also some familiar ones. 

Durable Construction: A cleanroom tent can not just have a normal solid floor like its more permanent competitor. For the Clean Tent, the way they designed for this is with a ground sheet made from anti-static reinforced Tryoll creates a tough durable base unit. The one-piece top tent then comprises of two compartments; an entry airlock/gowning room and the main work cabin, which is contained within a high quality PVC envelope, making good use of ambient lighting. 

The solution to durability then involves interconnecting vinyl floor that is easy to fit and, once laid, the surface can easily be extended, removed, or relocated. The floor covering is suitable for heavy traffic and resistant to chemical attacks and decontamination.

Fully portable design means the Clean Tent does not require planning, estates or building permissions

Personnel: Clean Tents may have limitations in terms of the number of personnel and equipment that can be accommodated inside which can restrict the scope of operations and experimental setups especially as industries such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology require compliance with stringent regulatory standards, which can be better achieved with dedicated cleanroom facilities.

High-Efficiency Filtration: Clean Tents are equipped with efficient filtration systems. The HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters used in these tents effectively remove particles down to 0.3 microns with an efficiency of 99.97%.

This level of filtration ensures a clean and particle-free environment, minimising the risk of contamination during sensitive operations.

Positive Pressure System: The tent has been created to use a positive pressure system, which creates a higher pressure inside the tent compared to the surrounding environment. This positive pressure helps prevent the ingress of contaminants from the outside, further enhancing the cleanliness and integrity of the controlled environment.

Integrated Airflow Control: The Clean Tent is also equipped with adjustable airflow control, allowing users to maintain the desired air exchange rate and pressure conditions for their specific applications.

Use in industry

Clean Tents find applications in various industries where creating controlled and sterile environments is crucial. 

Emergency and Field Humanitarian Operations: Cleanroom tents can be deployed in emergency response situations and field operations, providing temporary controlled environments for medical triage, mobile laboratories, and other critical operations. They enable medical professionals and researchers to work in clean and sterile conditions even in challenging and remote locations.

Automotive and Precision Engineering: Cleanroom tents find applications in automotive manufacturing and precision engineering industries. They create clean and controlled environments for activities such as precision machining, surface finishing, and assembly of critical components.

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Medical Device Production: Cleanroom tents are employed in the manufacturing of medical devices, including surgical instruments, implants, and diagnostic equipment. These sterile environments minimise the risk of contamination, ensuring the quality and reliability of medical devices.

Electronics Assembly: In the electronics industry, cleanroom tents play a vital role in protecting sensitive electronic components from dust, particles, and contaminants during assembly and testing processes. They help maintain the required cleanliness levels for reliable and high-performance electronic devices.

Aerospace and Defence: Cleanroom tents are utilised in aerospace and defence industries for the assembly, testing, and maintenance of sensitive components and equipment. These controlled environments help minimise the presence of particles and contaminants that could affect the performance and reliability of aerospace systems.

Building a rocket engine

In recent months, a project team attempting a land speed record has used a Clean Tent to build its rocket engine. Achieving mind-boggling speeds and pushing the limits of engineering requires a meticulous approach to design and construction. The Bloodhound Land Speed Record project embodies this pursuit of excellence, aiming to set new records in land speed.

At a round of testing, located in Norway, the Bloodhound LSR team required a quick solution and a cleanroom capacity in the field, precisely what the Clean Tent is designed to achieve. To ensure the utmost precision and performance, the Bloodhound LSR team utilised the ISO Class 6 environment to protect the car’s high-powered hybrid rocket pump system whilst it is stripped down and deep cleaned ready for testing.

Through meticulous engineering and the use of a Clean Tent, the Bloodhound LSR project pushes the boundaries of speed and innovation

The construction and assembly of the engine require a controlled environment that minimises the presence of contaminants. Even the tiniest particles or impurities can affect the engine's performance and compromise its safety at extreme speeds. The Clean Tent provided a controlled environment that adhered to strict cleanliness standards, ensuring that the engine is built with precision and was free from contaminants.

Through meticulous engineering and the use of a Clean Tent, the Bloodhound LSR project pushes the boundaries of speed and innovation, inspiring future generations of engineers and leaving an indelible mark on the world of land speed records.

The Monmouth Scientific Clean Tent offers a versatile solution for creating controlled and sterile environments in a wide range of industries and applications. Their ability to maintain cleanliness, control contamination, and provide flexibility in setup makes them invaluable tools for industries that prioritise precision, reliability, and safety.

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