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Cleanroom, one word

My Take | July 9, 2014 | By:

The dictionary says clean room is two words, but those who deal with “cleanrooms” more often use one word. I’m going with the people closest to the topic, so one word it is. (English teachers like me, no matter how long it’s been since they were last in the classroom, tend to obsess about things like this.) I think one word helps to define the topic as something different from any room that was just cleaned and is therefore a “clean room.”

In this issue we are talking about “cleanrooms”—a carefully filtered and sanitary environment required in making certain products. The products used in, and materials made for, cleanrooms (many of which are textile) also require strict standards, both for disposable products and reusables. Garments for workers, filters for the HVAC systems and wipes of all sorts are among the products that are standard for cleanroom environments.

There are certain textile manufacturers that know this corner of the industry very well. If it’s new to you, you’ll find “Textiles in cleanrooms: the basics” particularly useful, and “It doesn’t get any cleaner than this” especially interesting for its discussion of a relatively new technology that offers a more sustainable option in processing for cleanroom textiles.

Although you may think of medical applications—and you would be correct—there are other markets that claim a larger share for cleanroom markets. “Textiles in cleanrooms: the basics” has a good summary of this. To tell the truth, before I started researching this topic, I didn’t realize just how large it is, and how many other industries require cleanroom textile products in their operations.

And I have another question: I don’t mean to be facetious, but just how far back do you need to go in order to outfit a cleanroom (and cleanroom workers) properly? The materials used in the products that are used in cleanrooms have to be manufactured in cleanrooms, so …

Let’s leave that as a rhetorical question.

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