Ultrasonic fogging system aids cleanroom decontamination

Anew ultra-effective decontamination shower system has just been developed by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of components for cleanrooms and high containment facilities for use in the biotech, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
PBSC has developed an innovative ultrasonic fogging system based upon the company’s proven de-contamination shower, which, although highly effective, uses a lot of water. By creating a fogging system in conjunction with a soft spray, PBSC has managed to significantly reduce water consumption whilst maintaining effective levels of decontamination.

This has significant economic implications for end-users in terms of cost, and benefits for the environment in general. Decontamination fluids, cleansing liquids and sterilisation agents can be injected at controlled ratios within the fogging device to enable the fog to quickly saturate the operative’s air-suit. The water then forms droplets and rolls off to be collected for contained disposal.

The chemicals used can also include wetting agents, surfactants and sanitisers, but this will depend upon the process and the facility within which the fogging shower is installed. However, the end result is that there will always be maximum contact of water/chemical with minimum volume/quantity of water to drain.

With the fogging performing over 90percent of the decontamination process, the amount of contaminated water collected for controlled disposal is kept to an absolute minimum.

For example, water usage in a conventional pressure spray is about 250litres per minute. With a soft spray this can be reduced to about 40litres per minute, plus two litres per minute for the misting process. If a typical decontamination cycle takes three minutes, 750litres of water are conventionally used. This reduces to a mere 63litres if one assumes three litres for a 90-second mist at about two litres per minute plus 60litres for a 90-second soft spray at about 60litres per minute. With detergent and sanitiser being applied through the mist spray the volume of chemical needed used will also be reduced dramatically.

The cycle times and combinations will obviously change depending upon application or decontamination process, but the reductions in water, wastewater and chemical will be significantly reduced. This, in turn, reduces the cost of the wastewater disposal.

The fogging process is then followed with cold or hot water soft sprays from multiple nozzles injected with cleaning agents or sanitisers as required. This enables the decontamination to be completed in crease areas and to rinse the suit off. In fact, the volumes of water are so low that the cost of disposal of contaminated wash-water is significantly reduced.

The PBSC ultra-fogging de-contamination shower provides efficient decontamination for the operator and to the internal surfaces of the shower.

All are constructed to a modular design using standard PBSC components, and can be tailored to a client's specific requirements. The company can provide units that utilise existing facilities or, alternatively, a ‘stand alone’ unit complete with its own system, which can be placed in any convenient location.

Another new innovation from PBSC is blast resistant door sets for clean rooms. The company now offers a range of pre-engineered sliding doors and single and double leaf hinged blast resistant doors for use with clean rooms.

The company says it uses the term ‘blast-resistant’ rather than ‘blast proof’ as each door has a specified rating to which they can resist explosion and blast-proof implies complete resistance.

The explosion resistance of the doors is fully tested and certified, with blast ratings of up to 120 KN/m2 (17.4 lb/in2).

Custom design doors are available outside the 120 KN/m2 rating and specialist functions to meet customer requirements are also available. Such options include an overhead door closer, panic bar, locking external handle, power operation and vision panels.

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