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    Adhesive Mat Fundamentals: 3 Tips to Select & Install Cleanroom Mats

    Adhesive mats remove contaminants from shoes, shoe covers, and cart wheels before entering critical environments. Without them, or when not changed at the proper interval, particles and other foot-borne contamination will enter the critical areas of your cleanroom environments'. The result is more facilities cleaning to maintain cleanliness requirements, and potential contamination of your product or process.

    Here are three tips to guide you to select and install the optimal cleanroom floor mat for the best results.

    Tip #1.  Establish Zones For Removing Contaminants Before Cleanroom Entry

    There are three principal zones to remove operator-borne contaminants, including shoe-borne contaminants, before entering cleanrooms. Valutek categorizes these zones as:

    Black Zone

    This is the area before entering the gowning room, where operators may still be wearing street clothes and street shoes.  It’s important to remove initial shoe-borne contaminants here by applying a series of brushes and vacuums to the shoes or by switching out street shoes for designated facility shoes. 

    The final step before entering the actual gowning room (or area) is shoe contact with an adhesive mat.

    Recommended Mat Colors for the Black Zone:

    Grey or blue mats. A grey mat conceals dirt particles which is more aesthetic in less clean environments. A blue mat provides a good balance between particle visibility and aesthetic qualities for cleanrooms.

    Blue Zone:

    The Blue Zone is the side of the gowning room adjacent to the Black Zone (outside the gown room). The Blue Zone is often demarcated by a bench or other fixtures for staff to stop to don their cleanroom apparel, including shoe covers.  The Blue Zone may be only a space within a gowning room.

    Recommended Mat Colors for the Blue Zone: 

    If there is a dedicated room for the Blue Zone, blue mats are recommended before entering the White Zone.  Blue mats strike middle ground between particle visibility and aesthetics.

    White Zone:

    This zone is the area of the gown room adjacent to the cleanroom. After donning their required cleanroom apparel, gloves, face cover, and shoe covers, staff pass through the White Zone with final adhesive mat contact before entering the cleanroom itself.

    Recommended Mat Colors for the White Zone:

    White mats are recommended for the highest particle visibility before entering the cleanest and most critical environments. Valutek’s white mats will reveal any remaining foot-borne or cart wheel-borne contaminants before entering the cleanroom.

    Tip #2.  Correct Mat Size For Traffic Per Zone

    To determine the correct mat size, document patterns of foot and cart traffic that pass from the Black Zone (general area) into Blue Zone (gown room) and from the White Zone (gown room) into the cleanroom. For foot traffic, the entire width of the doorway should be covered with a mat so operators cannot step around the mat, and must take multiple steps directly on the adhesive material.

    For cart traffic, the mat needs to cover the width needed for all carts wheels to roll across the entire mat before entering. Avoid positioning smaller mats together to cover a larger area as tiling mats allows particulates to be trapped in the mat joints, risking increased  contamination. It is always more effective to have a single larger mat covering an area, as opposed to multiple smaller mats side-by-side.

    Tip #3. Prepare The Floor Surface For Optimal Performance 

    Make sure the floor area is even and without cracks. If there are floor surface irregularities, the mat will conform to the irregularity, leading to pockets of delamination under the mat that can harbor contaminants.

    Ensure the floor surface is free of debris. Wipe clean the floor surface using an isopropyl alcohol and water solution to remove dirt and any prior adhesive material. The surface should be smooth and clean.

    Follow the mat installation instructions and mat sheet changing instructions, included in all Valutek mat packaging (and always remember to store mats FLAT!)

    Trusted Source: Valutek Adhesive Mats

    You can count on Valutek for superior quality of adhesive mats backed by our renowned customer service for your facility’s Black Zone, Blue Zone, and White Zone requirements.

    Our adhesive mats are engineered for performance with an optimized adhesive strength (tack) formulation, the right engineered adhesive softness for effective particle capture, and a film/adhesive thickness designed to remove up to 95% of particles at 0 .30-microns.

    Stop foot-borne contamination in it’s tracks from entering your facility with Valutek adhesive mats.

    Explore More Resources:

    Mastering Adhesive Mats Your Ultimate Guide to Cleanrooms - Video

    Is Your Cleanroom Gowning System Black, Blue and White? - Video

    Valutek Adhesive Mat Installation Instructions - Video

    How to Properly Place an Adhesive Mat - Video



    Valutek is one of the first and few manufacturers to offer a full product portfolio of best-in-class cleanroom products. Since 1988, our controlled environment consumables are helping leading organizations operate their cleanrooms in a consistently stable state.