As we know, the most important source of contamination in a controlled environment is the human operator. Does that mean that the choice of the material used to build your modular cleanroom does not have any impact on the daily operativity of your facility and eventually the ROI? Absolutely not
Having a state-of-the-art environment, combined with an attractive appearance and a correct material choice, does make a difference in the way the operator will perform his/her activities.
While it is very much accepted that a top level facility must be designed and installed following a modular cleanroom concept, where custom-made, pre-fabricated panels are assembled in a clean, easy and fast way on-site (rather than relying on standard building materials), there is still a lot of debate regarding what is the best material to manufacture the panels with.
A standard modular cleanroom panel is designed as a “sandwich”, with a layer of insulating material (normally aluminum honeycomb or rock wool) wrapped between two skins and finished by a perimetral aluminum frame (see fig. 1)
Like the tires are a key element in a car, as they are the part in direct contact with the road, the skin of a panel is a key element in your modular construction, because it will be directly exposed to the controlled environment. Therefore, your wall panel will need to have the best possible skin.
Nicos Group is the company in North America with the broadest choice for the panel surfaces, in order to meet all of your unique requirements and needs. Just to mention the most popular ones:
- UPVC panels with cold-welded seams
- Stainless steel panels
- Powder Coated Steel/Aluminum
- Glass panels
If each of these solutions have several pros, but there is one product that combines the main features of each one of them, resulting in the best material to build the walls of your cleanroom with: The High Pressure Laminate for the Nicomac signature HPL wall panels.
HPL used in the HPL wall panels for modular cleanrooms is a self-supporting material consisting of thermosetting impregnated resins layers and an outer decorative layer impregnated with aminoplastic resins, all bonded together by means of high pressure (9 MPa) and high temperature (150 °C).
The final product presents the following features:
- Impact resistance
- Scratch resistance
- Ease of cleaning
- Hygienic properties
- Anti-static properties
- Very low permeability
HPL is a sturdy material, highly resistant to scratches and impacts, which translates in lower maintenance costs over time. On top of that:
The 4mm layer is entirely composed by the same GMP-compliant material, which means that even if scratched, which is very difficult the exposed material of the HPL wall panel does not degrade in contact with sanitizing agent used in cleanroom and does not shed any particle in the clean area.
Another big advantage of the HPL wall panel is the ease in milling down the 4 mm surface in order to install accessories such as:
or cleanroom air return grilles
to the HPL wall panel of the cleanroom.
…and last but not least… the possibility to change panel dimensions, insert cut outs, add windows or air return, during installation of your modular cleanroom without the need of waiting for the supply of the modified panels.
The easy to work with HPL material for wall panels makes the HPL wall panel system as easy to install and as flexible as the stick built panels and as modular of the POD system.