In line with the exceptionally high particulate and filmic cleanliness requirements that have to be met for high-tech components in an ever-increasing number of industries, acp systems AG has extended its test capacities. The new cleanroom test center is specially designed and equipped for carrying out cleaning tests up to Cleanliness Class ISO 5 with the dry quattroClean snow jet technology and for verifying the achieved cleanliness level.

The cleanroom test center is equipped with cleaning systems specially designed for high-purity applications as well as various inspection technologies for verifying the achieved particulate and filmic cleanliness.

Regardless of whether they are metal, optical or plastic components, the demand for high-purity parts is growing steadily across all branches of industry. Particulate cleanliness requirements down to the submicron range and extremely high cleanliness levels in terms of filmic-organic and inorganic residual contamination have to be met. acp systems AG has reacted to these changes by developing cleanroom compatible solutions for its quattroClean snow jet technology. This is a dry process for full-surface or selective parts cleaning. The cleaning medium used is climate-neutral, liquid carbon dioxide that is fed through a wear-free two-substance ring nozzle. It then expands to form fine snow particles and, bundled by a jet of compressed air, removes particulate and filmic contamination on the respective surface by means of four mechanisms of action. The quattroClean cleaning systems are used in cleanrooms of various ISO classes by manufacturers in the sensor and microsystems industries, electronics, the semiconductor supply industry, precision optics, aerospace, medical engineering, pharmaceutic industry, communications technology, and the automotive industry, among others. To enable customers from these sectors to carry out cleaning tests under high-purity conditions, the company took the next step on the occasion of its 25th anniversary and constructed a cleanroom test center at its Ditzingen site, which was completed in mid-June 2023.

Designed and equipped for tests up to Cleanliness Class ISO 5

The basis of the new test center is a validated ISO Class 7 cleanroom with zones up to Class 5 according to ISO 14644-1. The high requirements of Cleanroom Class 5 are also met by the design and features of the two integrated JetStation-HP cleaning systems. The media preparation system for the liquid carbon dioxide ensures a cleanliness of the process medium of 99.995 percent. The compressed air preparation unit guarantees 1.2.1. quality as per ISO 8573-1:2010. A further element integrated into this ultra-high purity media supply for compressed air (XCDA) is a gas scrubber, which filters out traces of organic substances in order to produce the air quality needed for semiconductor production, for example.

The media preparation systems ensure that the recycled carbon dioxide has a purity of 99.995 percent and compressed air a quality of 1.2.1. according to ISO 8573-1:2010. To produce the air quality needed by semiconductor manufacturers, for example, a gas scrubber is also integrated into the high-purity media supply system for compressed air (XCDA).

The new cleanroom technology thus makes it possible to carry out cleaning trials and feasibility studies on a very wide range of parts with extremely high cleanliness requirements, such as Grade 1. This includes components that cannot be cleaned by wet chemical processes due to their dimensions or because they are already pre-assembled, or where the required cleanliness cannot be reproducibly achieved with the methods used to date. Various inspection technologies are available for verifying the level of cleanliness attained. If the cleaned components need to be transported, they are packaged in cleanroom- compatible packaging.

Cleanliness room test lab for cleanliness requirements down to 100 microns

The new cleanroom test center supplements the existing test laboratory, which was integrated into a cleanliness room some years ago. This is generally used to carry out cleaning tasks for various industries where technical particulate cleanliness down to 100 micrometers is required for the entire surface or selected areas of a part. The cleanliness room test lab is therefore also suitable for preparing components prior to them being cleaned in the cleanroom.

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