Is polyester cleanroom safe?

by:Cleanmo      2023-07-17

Is Polyester Cleanroom Safe?


Cleanrooms are specially designed environments where the level of pollutants, such as dust, airborne microbes, and chemical vapors, are controlled to meet specific cleanliness requirements. These controlled environments are crucial in industries like pharmaceuticals, electronics manufacturing, and biotechnology, where even the slightest contamination could lead to significant product failures. One important aspect of maintaining cleanrooms is the proper selection of materials. In this article, we will discuss the safety of using polyester in cleanrooms and explore its potential benefits and drawbacks in such environments.

1. Understanding Cleanroom Standards

Cleanrooms are classified based on the maximum allowable concentration of particles of different sizes in the air. The classification is done according to international standards, such as ISO 14644-1 and Federal Standard 209E. These standards specify the maximum number of particles allowed per cubic meter of air in a cleanroom for different particle sizes. The higher the class number, the stricter the requirements for cleanliness. For example, ISO class 1 has the tightest control, allowing only 10 particles of size 0.1 micrometers or larger per cubic meter of air, while ISO class 9 permits up to 3.52 million particles of this size.

2. Polyester's Cleanroom Suitability

Polyester, a synthetic fabric, is widely used in various industries due to its desirable properties such as durability, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals. However, when it comes to cleanroom environments, there are certain factors that need to be considered to determine its suitability.

a. Particle Generation: One concern with polyester is its potential for particle shedding. The fibers of polyester can generate particles that can contaminate cleanroom environments. However, advancements in manufacturing techniques have led to the development of low-shedding polyester fabrics specifically designed for cleanrooms. These fabrics undergo special treatments to minimize particle release, making them more suitable for such controlled environments.

b. Electrostatic Properties: Electrostatic charges can also pose a threat in cleanrooms as they attract and hold airborne particles, compromising the cleanliness levels. Standard polyester fabrics have moderate electrostatic discharge (ESD) properties, which may cause problems in certain cleanroom applications. However, antistatic or conductive versions of polyester fabrics are available, which minimize the accumulation of static charges, making them safe for use in cleanrooms.

3. Benefits of Polyester in Cleanrooms

a. Cost-Effectiveness: Polyester fabrics are generally more cost-effective compared to other high-performance materials suitable for cleanrooms, such as nylon or Teflon. This cost advantage makes polyester an attractive option for cleanroom applications, especially in industries where large quantities of cleanroom garments or supplies are required.

b. Comfort and Breathability: Polyester fabrics are known for their comfort and breathability, making them ideal for applications where personnel need to wear cleanroom garments for extended periods. The fabric's breathability allows airflow, reducing the buildup of heat and moisture, thereby enhancing comfort levels during work.

4. Limitations of Polyester in Cleanrooms

a. Limited Chemical Resistance: Polyester has limited resistance to certain chemicals, which may be a concern in cleanroom environments where cleaning agents or chemicals are regularly used. It is crucial to consider the specific cleanroom processes and the types of chemicals involved to ensure compatibility with polyester materials.

b. Potential for Contamination: While low-shedding polyester fabrics are available, there is still a possibility of contaminants, such as oils or metal particles, being present on the fabric surface during manufacturing or handling. Proper cleaning and handling procedures should be followed to minimize the risk of contamination.

5. Maintenance and Cleaning Considerations

To maintain the cleanliness and performance of polyester cleanroom garments or supplies, proper care and cleaning procedures must be followed. Depending on the level of contamination and the specific cleanroom requirements, some polyester products may be laundered in-house, while others may need to be outsourced for professional cleaning. Proper storage and handling of cleanroom garments are also essential to prevent damage or contamination.


Polyester can be considered safe for use in cleanrooms when certain factors are taken into account. Advancements in manufacturing techniques have led to the development of low-shedding, antistatic, and conductive polyester fabrics specifically designed for controlled environments. The cost-effectiveness, comfort, and breathability of polyester fabrics make them attractive options for cleanroom applications. However, the limited chemical resistance and the potential for contamination should also be considered. By following proper maintenance and cleaning procedures, polyester materials can be effectively utilized in cleanrooms, contributing to a more controlled and contaminant-free environment.

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