Particle Removal: Understanding the Role of Surface Tension
Surface tension might not be a big deal outside of a cleanroom, but inside a cleanroom it could cause numerous problems. Surface tension is the cohesive force with which particles cling to a surface. In order to achieve cleanliness in a surface, it is important to find effective ways to release these particles so that we can remove them. There are two primary ways that surfaces can be wiped clean: by using a mechanical action with an aggressive texture, such as a dry sponge, or by using liquids and removing the particles with a damp paper towel.
Clean Room Applications
In a cleanroom we have similar ways of cleaning a surface. A damp non-woven wiper can be compared to a paper towel- the liquid on it can wash away some of the particles - but its smooth surface does not utilize aspects of mechanical removal. A polyester wiper has a woven grid that, when pre-wetted, is able to apply both liquid and mechanical removal properties. The liquid in the pre-wetting solution dislodges particles by washing, and the grid pattern of a polyester wiper captures particles when rubbed mechanically. Unlike a sponge, a pre-wetted polyester wiper does not shed, preserving the cleanliness of the surface to which it is being applied and making it suitable for cleanroom applications.
Understanding the role of surface tension is important for particle removal in cleanroom settings. Choosing a pre-wetted polyester wiper applies the friction of mechanical removal as well as the dislodging qualities of a liquid solution. Because of these properties, the polyester pre-wetted wiper is the best because of its qualities of displacing the particles and capturing them as well. To learn more about the differences in our wipers download this free e-book!