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Ceiling Suspended Softwall Cleanrooms:
Cleanroom Standards. Before international cleanroom classifications and standards were adopted by the International Organization for Standards (ISO), the U.S. General Service Administration’s standards (known as 209E) were used by most manufacturers in most countries.
Federal Standard 209E classified cleanrooms based on how many 0.5 micron particles could be counted in the room per cubic foot. If a cleanroom had one-hundred 0.5 micron particles per cubic foot or less it was classified as a "Class 100" cleanroom. This standard divided cleanrooms as being in one of 6 classes: "Class 1", "Class 10", "Class 100", "Class 1,000", "Class 10,000"and "Class 100,000".
What is a micron particle? One micron is one-hundredth the width of a human hair. The smallest particle seen with the naked eye is a 10 micron particle. Although cleanrooms are under positive pressure, micro-organisms can exist on clothing and unwashed hands, and keep in mind humans shed our outermost layer of skin every 24 hours: 1 billion flakes every 24 hours. One flake is 35 microns.
ISO 14644-1 (adopted in part from British Standard BS 5295) made minor modifications: (1) it changed the measurements of micron particles to cubic meters from cubic feet, (2) it required measurements of both 0.5 and 0.1 micron particles for ISO Class 3, 4, and 5 cleanrooms, (3) required 0.5 micron particle readings for ISO Class 6, 7, and 8 cleanrooms, and (4) added two cleaner classes: ISO Class 1 and ISO Class 2.
Comparisons between ISO 14644-1 and 209E. The "cleanest" cleanroom in Federal Standard 209E is referred to as Class 1; the "dirtiest" cleanroom is a class 100000.
ISO cleanroom classifications are rated according to how much particulate of specific sizes exist per cubic meter. They roughly correlate to 209E Classes:
Classes 1-3 (ISO) / Class 1 (209E)
Class 4 (ISO) / Class 10 (209E)
Class 5 (ISO) / Class 100 (209E)
Class 6 (ISO) / Class 1000 (209E)
Class 7 (ISO) / Class 10000 (209E)
Class 8 (ISO) / Class 100000 (209E)
209E Specific Requirements.