Cleanrooms in pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries are adopting PVDF-based
insulation that can reduce cleanroom size requirements.
In some respects, the insulation traditionally used in cleanroom manufacturing is like those 1980s-era cellular phones—much too clunky and somewhat prone to perfor- mance problems. But then, the conventional open-celled
polyethylene foam insulation used in cleanrooms dates back to
the 1980s or earlier.
The problems with cumbersome insulation designs
become very pronounced in the manufacturing cleanroom
environment, where thousands of feet of fairly narrow reactor piping form a congested maze of plumbing once the
insulation has been installed.
A half-inch line with three-inch insulation becomes 6. 5
inches in diameter. When you consider the multitude of lines
in the typical manufacturing cleanroom, it’s no wonder the
space gets crowded.
“One of the problems with the traditional melamine fiber
or foam insulation design used in most cleanrooms is that it
severely constricts the space needed by technicians to access
the many points in the lines where instruments and controls
are located,” explains Mark Ginchereau, vice president of
Termar Inc., a Ventura, Calif.-based maintenance contractor
and insulation installer.
Ginchereau adds that, until recently, the only alternative
to having a cleanroom densely packed with open-celled or
polyethylene insulated lines was to build a larger cleanroom
and install longer lines so that there would be more elbow
room for technicians—an expensive solution.