We are very pleased to offer cleanroom-validated products with the stamp of approval of the authorities in cleanroom classification and design (more information available below). All of our shoe covers and the Fusion and Stay automatic shoe cover dispensers have been tested and validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 and ISO 5. Our cleanroom certificates are available to download below (.pdf files require Adobe Acrobat to view):
Basic Cleanroom Requirements & Classifications was created by Technical Safety Services
Cleanroom Certifications and “Doc” Austin
Shoe Inn proudly presents our certified cleanroom shoe covers! Shoe Inn’s shoe covers and Fusion and Stay automatic shoe cover dispensers have been tested and validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 and ISO Class 5 by Dr. Philip R. Austin, P.E., the man who authored the first standard for cleanrooms almost 50 years ago in USAF (United States Air Force) Technical Order 00-25-203. This order was essential to the development of a cleanroom classification system, and became Federal Standard 209 (or FS 209E). It is widely used today, along with ISO 14644-1, the metric-equivalent classification system. But what do such classifications mean, and what does certification(validation) of our Shoe Inn shoe covers and dispensers by Dr. Austin mean for keeping your cleanroom in compliance?
Two cleanroom classification systems are widely used: FS 209E and ISO 14644-1. Our shoe covers and both of our high-volume shoe bootie dispensers are validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 (FS 209E) and Class 5 (ISO 14644-1) by Dr. Philip R. Austin, P.E., and his son and Director of Research at Acorn Industries, Philip J. Austin, Ph.D. These certificates are available on our website. The two classification systems are largely similar, but with a few important differences. 1 The chart below shows a direct comparison between the standards, with Class 100 of FS 209E corresponding with Class 5 of ISO 14644-1.2
Cleanroom classification numbers are chosen based upon the number and size of particles allowed per volume of air. For FS 209E, the number denoted in “Class 1” or “Class 10” refers to the number of particles sized 0.5 μm (microns or micrometers) or larger allowed per cubic foot of air. 3 For ISO 14644-1, “Class 3” or “Class 5” refers to the decimal logarithm of the number of particles. If your cleanroom requires products validated for Class 100 or Class 5 or any numbers larger than those (i.e. Class 1,000/Class 6), our certified collection of disposable shoe booties will meet your needs.
Cleanroom validation for our shoe covers is relevant because it allows our shoe booties to be used in environments that require filtered air, a minute amount of air contamination, and a small production of particles. Since our cleanroom certified shoe covers are validated for cleanrooms up to Class 100 and Class 5, they can be used with either of our cleanroom-validated dispensers (the Shoe Inn Stay and the Shoe Inn Fusion).
How do cleanrooms work?
Cleanrooms are controlled environments where the concentration of airborne particles is kept under strict requirements based on types of products manufactured. Contaminants must be controlled continuously, since they are generated by people in the facility, the processes of production and manufacturing, and the equipment itself. The way cleanrooms stay “clean” is through usage of cleanroom-certified garments and textiles, regular monitoring of particles present, air flow rates and direction, pressurization, temperature, humidity and specialized filtration. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) and ULPA (ultra low penetration air) filters are commonly used in the cleanroom to help maintain low particulate rates in the air, along with air flow models such as laminar (air flowing in one direction) and turbulent (air flowing in multiple directions) that aid in directing particulates toward filters and out of the cleanroom on a constant basis. 4 All the time, money, and effort that goes into ensuring and monitoring a cleanroom’s adherence to mandated requirements necessitates a cleanroom-validated shoe cover. Add to our high quality shoe booties the ease of use of our cleanroom-validated shoe cover dispensers, and there is no better answer for your cleanroom shoe cover needs than Shoe Inn.
Who are Philip R. Austin and Philip J. Austin, the people who validated Shoe Inn products?
Philip R. Austin, P.E., Ph.D., or “Doc” Austin, is a registered mechanical engineer. He is the former Project Officer for all USAF cleanrooms and was responsible for USAF Technical Order 00-25-203, which became Federal Standard 209 (FS 209E). His expertise in cleanrooms is absolute and far-reaching, as he has written over 100 cleanroom technical papers and reports and works as a consulting editor to publications in the cleanroom field. Dr. Austin has worked throughout his career to design and specify equipment for cleanroom use, has evaluated and prepared garments and textiles for cleanrooms, and is an authority on what kinds of products should and should not enter a clean area. He currently lectures and consults internationally for companies building cleanrooms or needing extra help with the details and design of clean areas. “Doc” Austin and his son, Philip J. Austin, Ph.D., together have validated our shoe covers and dispensers. Philip J. Austin, Ph.D. is Director of Research and Development of Acorn Industries, Inc. and works as the General Manager of the company’s Ultraclean Products Approval Laboratory. 5
1. The differences are that ISO establishes 0.1 μmas the “standard” diameter; ISO creates three new cleanliness classes (two “cleaner” classes: Class 1 and Class 2, classes not established under FS 209E, and one “dirtier” class: Class 9, that allows for more particulates than FS 209E Class 100,000); and ISO allows for discarding of “outliers,” something FS 209E does not. See Sterile Environment Technologies “Federal Standards” at http://www.set3.com/standards.html
2. Chart courtesy of SET3 (Sterile Environment Technologies, Inc.), Federal Standards, 2009. See www.set3.com/standards.html. For more information about FS 209E or ISO 14644-1, see Cleanroom Wiki—The Global Society for Contamination Control Resource Library at http://cleanroomcloseout.com/index_standards.asp; the Sterile Environment Technologies, Inc. website at http://www.set3.com/; the International Journal of Contamination Control at http://www.cleanroom-technology.co.uk; and Cleanroom Air Flow Principles at http://www.thomasnet.com/articles/automation-electronics/Cleanroom-Air-Flow-Principles
3. μm means micron or micrometer. It is the equivalent of one-millionth of a meter (1/1000 of a millimeter, or 0.001 mm).
4. Roger McFadden, Senior Scientist, Staples, Inc. Coastwide Laboratories, a division of Staples, Inc. “A Basic Introduction to Clean Rooms,” Cleaning the Cleanroom: Contamination Control. http://www.coastwidelabs.com/Technical%20Articles/Cleaning%20the%20Cleanroom.htm.
5. For more on Philip R. Austin, P.E., Ph.D. and Philip J. Austin, Ph.D., please visit the Acorn Industries website at http://www.acornind.com/CCS/CCSCredentials.htm, or visit “Doc” Austin’s Expert page available to peruse at Intota.com.