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What is a Class 100 Clean Laboratory/Room?

Clean laboratory/room

A clean laboratory or room is a location or environment where air quality, temperature and humidity are regulated to meet certain standards required for various work process. The conditions are controlled so that there is little foreign environmental pollutants, such as dust, particles and more.

There are many applications for clean rooms or laboratories within the manufacturing and scientific industries, varying greatly in size and level of contamination.

Class 100 clean laboratory

A class 100 clean laboratory, according to the US FED STD 209E clean room standards (obsolete November 29 2001, corresponds to current ISO Standard 5), would have to contain no more than 100 particles per cubic feet of size 0.5 microns..

Human hair is very fine by itself. However, in comparison to ISO standards, it is actually very large as it is a huge 70-100 microns in diameter! That is almost 200 times larger than the smallest particle allowed in a clean laboratory!

Imagine something 200 times smaller than your hair causing havoc in a clean laboratory!

How can contamination cause havoc?

Plenty of damage can be done in clean rooms that are a result of contaminants. But here we will mention it in context of hard disks.

Particles can kill the circuits in the PCB during manufacturing of the PCB. Contaminants can reduce the coating adhesion of a chip. Particles can reduce the adhesion and interrupt the mechanical functions of a hard disk, especially the read write head.

Most importantly though, particles can cause the dreaded read/write head crash

Thus, it is important in data recovery, and especially so for the recovery of physically damaged drives, to control the working environment and restrict the number of particles.

Did you know that by standing or sitting still (i.e. motionless state) you are actually producing enough particles to kill your drive 1000times over? You are actually realising 100,000 particles per minute in a motionless state.

Thus as you can imagine, a Class 100 Laboratory is very costly and difficult to maintain. However, it is necessary for data recovery, especially cases where the hard disk needs to be opened up for recovery work.

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