Normally, when we ship out an order we are under the impression that our consumables are going to be used in a very critical environment. But this past week we were reminded that our products can make a big impact outside of the cleanroom as well! Ms. Gilkey's 7th grade students in Austin, Texas combined their art skills with science and drew the different anatomy systems on our coveralls. This was a great way to map out the human body, key into art talents (our coveralls work well with paint and Sharpies, by the way) and use our garments in a new and innovative way! Our Director of Marketing, Jeff Saville, said "It's always a great day at Valutek when we get to support STEM efforts within schools!" Here's a look at what the Harmony School students created.
Keeping your pre-wetted wipers wet is not always as easy as it sounds. The use, the packaging, the solution can all have an effect on how long it takes for the wipers to dry out. Today, we are going to talk about the packaging that they come in and how that can be the cause of your dry wipers. Most pre-wetted wipers either come in a pouch or a pail. The major differences between these two options are obvious, but there are some differences that you might not consider. In a pouch with a sticker seal, the alcohol can deteriorate the sticker making it lose its adhesive glue. So, when you go to close the wiper pouch, the sticker does not seal and the outgassing continues. Another pouch option is one with a zipper seal. This is better than the sticker option, but it leaves room for error. If there is air still stuck in the pouch, that can aid in the drying out process as well. The best way to ensure your wipers stay wet it by keeping them in a pail. The biggest advantage to the pail is the guaranteed air tight closure every time. This is not something that can be guaranteed by the pouches.
To learn more about keeping your pre-wetted wipers wet, watch the video below!
One of the most common ways to cut corners in a cleanroom is by buying generic consumables for your operators. While this can prove to be a great way to save money, it is not a sure way to prevent contamination. Generic consumables can have hidden contamination and fillers that make the product look clean but releases contamination when used. For some, this can be easily managed but for others it can stop production and temporarily close. To learn more about a mismatch set in a cleanroom watch the video below or give us a call!
Buying new wipers for your cleanroom can be very challenging. You have to consider the budget, the material, the color, the absorbency, and so much more. Thats why we have compiled a list that goes over the 5 basics that you should always consider when buying new wipers.
The cost of the wiper is dependent on a lot of factors. Your supplier should be able to provide you with the cost of each wiper. If you are looking for the cheapest wiper, you will be sacrificing a few things. But if that does not bother you, then that is ok! It all just depends on priorities.
Capacity refers to the amount of liquid that the wipe is able to hold. There are different ways that the wipe can hold onto liquid. Some are absorbent, meaning that they will soak up the liquid and hold it within. Some are adsorbent, meaning that the liquid will get trapped in between the interlocking pattern of the material.
The cleanliness of the wiper is a little harder to navigate. There are materials that are cleaner than others and are very reliable. We always recommend that you test your new products, no matter what they are.
4. Chemical Compatibility
The chemical compatibility is very important because you want to have a wiper that will be sturdy with the material of your wiper. Some materials and chemicals do not pair well together and that is something that should always be considered.
The construction of your wiper refers to the weave and cut of your wiper. There is a lot of different options when it comes to these, each offering something more than the next. Pay close attention when picking these out. You want to make sure that you are choosing the right fit for your environment.
To learn more about these 5 C's of wiper selection, watch the video below!
Is your clean room wiper hot? No, we don't mean temperature wise, we mean ESD wise. There are two types of cleanroom wipers: static dissipative and conductive. A conductive wiper will hold onto static, thus making it a hot wiper. A static dissipative wiper does not make or hold onto static, so it cannot be considered hot. Static is something that everyone in the cleanroom industry wants to avoid but is not something most think of when it comes to wipers.
What makes a wiper hot?
A wiper can get hot from the packaging and material. If your wiper is not vacuum sealed with solution inside, the conditions around the wiper can make it hot. Packaging, humidity, and temperature are all contributors to this.
What keeps a wiper from getting hot?
Adding solution, like alcohol and ultra pure water, can help to keep the static at bay. Vacuum sealing the wipers can also help because it does not allow the wipers to move around and rub on each other.
To learn more about hot wipers, watch the video below!
What is the number one contaminant source in your cleanroom? Your operators. It's not that your operators don't care about keeping contamination at bay, but people make mistakes. They are the ones that go in and out of the cleanroom, and contamination is bound to sneak in. This weeks video goes over the best practices to help your operators keep contamination out of your critical environment.
There are a lot of step that are required to enter a cleanroom. Here are the 5 steps that you can take to be a cleanroom super star!
1. No Smoking
Smoking before you enter a cleanroom can bring in contamination. There is residue that will stick to your fingers and the smoke will linger in your lungs. Even though you cannot see the contamination, it could still be there.
2. Always Ask Questions
Asking questions is very important. You cannot just assume that something is clean or will work. Double check with your manager before you change anything.
3. No Food or Gum
Food and gum cannot be in the cleanroom. The possibility of dropping crumbs is just too great when you are working in such a critical environment.
4. No Cellphones
Cellphones need to be left outside of the cleanroom as well. They are a great place to house contamination and are not easily cleaned. Plus, gloves do not work well with smartphones and this might prompt you to remove them.
5. Wearing Apparel Properly
Putting the apparel on correctly is very important, but keeping it on correctly is even more important. Letting some slip or fall off is a huge risk for contamination. Make sure that everything fits correctlyy before entering the cleanroom.
When you are buying new wipers there is a lot to consider. Similar to gloves you have to consider the 5 C's: cost, capacity, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and construction. On-top of the 5 C's you also have to worry about the edge treatment that you choose to use in your critical environment. There are a lot of different options for you to choose from:
Pressure Heat-Sealed: This is used for synthetic wipers and is accomplished by forming a flat edge on the wiper that eliminates any stray threads from being exposed. This is the cleanest of all edge treatments.
Ultrasonic-Sealed: This is superior to laser sealed because it delivers a softer edge with a lower carbon level. An ultrasonic sealed edge is thinner than the substrate.
Laser Sealed: This allows for particulate retention because the laser uses heat to seal the edge of the wiper. This is superior in cost and precision.
Wire Cut: This uses a hot wire similar to the way a poll bag is heat-sealed. The border is not as clean as a laser cut or heat sealed edge, but it much lower in cost.
Cold Knife Cut: This uses a steal blade to cut the fabric. This method can leave a lot of fibers on the wiper and can lead to contamination when used.
To learn more about wiper selection watch the video below or visit our wiper section here.
People want to the cleanest products in their cleanrooms and critical environments. But what are you supposed to do when the terminology is used interchangeably? Low lint, low fiber and low particle wipers are all very different and mean different things, yet are commonly used in the wrong context. This week we will go over the breakdown of the terms, what they mean and how they affect your critical environment.
Micron Count: <100 microns
Micron Count: 5-100 microns
Use: Critical Environment
Micron Count: >5 microns
There is a lot to consider when you are bringing in a new glove into your critical environment. You have to worry about the cost, comfort, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and construction of the consumable. These are better know as the "5 c's of glove selection". This week Greg will go over the 5 c's and how to use them to help you make your glove selection.
*There is also a free download at the bottom to help you remember the 5 C's in the future.