NP3 and Cleanroom Equipment
A cleanroom is an environment used in manufacturing in which, the level of contaminants per cubic foot of airspace are controlled. Through the use of elaborate air handling equipment and filtration to filter dust from the outside air before it enters the clean room area and the use of HEPA filtration to constantly recirculate and filter the internal air, these ultrapure workspaces reach contaminant levels rated at Class 1. Class 1 equates to 1 particulate (.05 micron of larger) per cubic foot of air. The typical hospital operating room is the equivalent of a Class 1000 clean room or 1000 particulates per cubic foot of air.
As devices get smaller and more sensitive to dust, particulates, vapors and other airborne contaminants the demand for cleanliness in the manufacturing process becomes more challenging. In these environments where simple items such as paper, pencils and everyday fabrics can cause catastrophic failures to the manufactured items, everyday maintenance to keep equipment running can become complicated.
One such challenge is in lubrication. Equipment requiring regular lubrication is not the preference for clean room applications. A maintenance technician must fully isolate the machine during the lubricating process and they must use special lubricants that eliminate out gassing, particulates and organic contaminants.
CTIs’ NP3 (EN/PTFE composite coating) process provides solid film lubrication for clean room manufacturing equipment making the use of robotic and zero-maintenance equipment possible and thus eliminating costly and potentially dangerous maintenance procedures. The use of the NP3 coating on everything from robotic arms to fasteners eliminates airborne particulates generated from greases, oils and spray lubricants.
Equipment manufacturers today are engineering the solution to clean room maintenance problems into their products by using the NP3 coating in their original equipment designs. While providing a permanent solid film lubrication, the NP3 coating also provides corrosion resistance which eliminates rusts and oxides which are also potential contamination sources for the clean room environment.
The demand for cleanliness in the manufacturing process will only increase as we move toward more and more miniaturization in our devices. CTIs’ NP3 coating is helping manufacturers to meet the need for the maintenance free equipment that will be required to meet these future expectations.
Contact CTI today and let us help you with your design requirements. Quality and innovation are what we do.