In certain industries, such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and electronics, maintaining a clean and controlled environment is paramount to ensuring product safety and quality. Stringent guidelines and standards have been established to regulate particle contamination levels in these environments. ISO 14644 is one such standard that outlines the minimum parameters required to classify an environment as a cleanroom or controlled environment. Particle counters are essential tools that allow us to measure and monitor particle levels in these environments to ensure they meet the required standards. Join me as we delve into the world of cleanrooms and explore how strict particle control measures can help us achieve product safety and quality.
A particle counter typically works by drawing air or liquid through a sensing area using a pump or vacuum system. As the particles pass through the sensing region, they scatter light, and the scattered light is detected by a light sensor. The particle counter then converts the detected light signals into particle counts and sizes based on the amount of scattered light and the type of sensor used.
There are several types of sensors used in particle counters, including optical particle counters, which use light scattering to detect particles, and condensation particle counters, which use condensation or growth of particles to increase their size and make them detectable. The output of the particle counter is usually displayed on a screen, and the data can be stored for further analysis or downloaded to a computer. Particle counters are used in a variety of applications, including clean room monitoring, indoor air quality testing, water quality monitoring, and medical research.
When selecting a particle counter for air quality monitoring, some of the key features to consider include:
With a mission to provide trusted measurement, application guidance, and data analytics solutions, TSI is committed to helping its customers make informed decisions. The company’s vision of creating a better world by protecting people, products, and the environment speaks to its dedication to making a positive impact in the world. With TSI’s innovative products and focus on quality, we are confident that they are a valuable partner in our mission to protect what matters.
The TSI AEROTRAK™ Model 9303 Handheld Particle Counter is a versatile, low-cost particle counter ideal for monitoring air quality. Its lightweight and rugged design makes it easy to use. An intuitive keypad allows users to easily configure the instrument and view up to three particle sizes simultaneously on the large 3.2″ display. The internal memory stores up to 1,500 sample records that can be reviewed on-screen or downloaded via USB. The Model 9303 complies with ISO 21501-4 and is calibrated with NIST-traceable PSL spheres using TSI’s Classifier and Condensation Particle Counters, the recognized standard for particle measurement. The user-selectable mid-size channel and removable Li-ion battery make it a flexible and convenient tool for monitoring particle contamination in a variety of applications.
The TSI AEROTRAK™ Model 9306 Handheld Particle Counter is a versatile, easy-to-use instrument designed for monitoring particle contamination. Its ergonomic handle and 3.6-inch (9.1 cm) color touchscreen interface make it easy to operate with one hand. The Model 9306 can generate pass/fail reports for ISO 14644-1, EU GMP Annex 1, and FS209E. It measures up to six channels of data simultaneously and offers a variable binning option for the Model 9306-V2. With a flow rate of 0.1 CFM (2.83 L/min) and a size range of 0.3 to 25 µm, this particle counter meets the stringent requirements of ISO 21501-4. The instrument has a 10,000-sample, 250-spot memory that can be conveniently viewed on-screen, downloaded using TRAKPRO™ Lite software, or printed directly to an optional external printer. This particle counter is compatible with the TRAKPRO™ Lite and FMS 5 software packages, and an optional temperature/RH sensor is available.
The TSI AeroTrak® Portable Particle Counter Model 9110 is a reliable and accurate instrument designed for cleanroom monitoring, process tool monitoring, and filter testing applications. With its patented HeNe laser technology, it can accurately measure particles down to 0.100 μm and meets all requirements of ISO 21501-4. This particle counter offers up to eight channels of simultaneous data, a flow rate of 1.0 CFM (28.3 L/min), and can store up to 10,000 samples. It also has built-in reports for ISO-14644-1, EU GMP Annex 1, and FS209E, external certification reports via TrakPro™ Lite Secure, and displays up to three environmental parameters. It also has a rugged stainless steel housing and integrates seamlessly with the M32-01 manifold.
The TSI AeroTrak® Portable Particle Counter Model 9310 is a versatile and reliable product that provides accurate measurements of particles in the 0.3 to 25 μm size range. With up to six channels of simultaneous data and a flow rate of 1.0 CFM (28.3 L/min), this product is compatible with TSI’s accurate ventilation probes that measure air velocity/temperature/RH, providing a complete solution for certification needs. The product features an easy-to-use touch screen interface, on-board reports for ISO-14644-1, EU GMP Annex 1 and FS209E, external certification reports via TrakPro™ Lite Secure, and the ability to store and recall specific recipes and zone configurations. It can be integrated into a plant monitoring system or used as a stand-alone unit.
The TSI AeroTrak® Model 9350 Portable Particle Counter provides a complete solution for certification needs. With a flow rate of 1.77 CFM and sensitivity of 0.3 μm, this product is compatible with TSI’s accurate air velocity/temperature/RH probes. The Model 9350 is lightweight and provides up to six channels of simultaneous data. Particle count data can be conveniently viewed on-screen, downloaded using TrakPro™ Lite Secure software, or printed directly to the built-in printer. It meets all requirements of ISO 21501-4 and allows specific recipes and zone configurations to be stored and recalled.
The TSI AeroTrak® Model 9500 Portable Particle Counter is a versatile instrument with best-in-class features for performing ISO 14644-1 classifications and full EU GMP facility certifications. With a flow rate of 3.53 CFM (100 L/min) and a size range of 0.5 to 25 μm, it is the best choice for cleanroom filter testing. The Model 9500 is compatible with TSI’s accurate air velocity/temperature/RH probes and offers simple, icon-driven touch-screen operation. Particle count data can be conveniently viewed on-screen, downloaded using TrakPro™ Lite Secure software, or printed directly to the built-in printer. It also displays up to three environmental parameters and allows storage and recall of specific tests/recipes.
The TSI AeroTrak® Model 9510 Portable Particle Counter is a versatile and reliable solution for certification needs. With a sensitivity of 0.5 μm and a flow rate of 1.0 CFM (28.3 L/min), it provides accurate measurements for particle counts in the 0.5 to 25 μm size range. The product is compatible with TSI’s accurate air velocity/temperature/RH probes, and particle count data can be viewed on-screen, downloaded using TrakPro™ Lite Secure software, or printed directly to the integrated printer. The product is designed with easy-to-use, icon-driven touch screen operation, built-in reports for ISO-14644-1, EU GMP Annex 1 and FS209E, and external certification reports via TrakPro™ Lite Secure. The Model 9510 allows storage and recall of specific recipes and zone configurations, and displays up to three environmental parameters. It comes with a stainless steel enclosure, is lightweight, and can be used as a stand-alone unit or integrated into a facility monitoring system.
The TSI AeroTrak® Portable Particle Counter Model 9550 is a versatile, high-quality product that provides 0.5 μm sensitivity and 1.77 CFM (50 L/min) flow rate for your certification needs. It can store up to 250 zones, 999 locations, and 10,000 samples, and allows you to view particle count data on-screen, download it using TrakPro™ Lite Secure software, or print it directly to the built-in printer. With simple icon-driven touch screen operation, on-board reporting, and external certification reports via TrakPro Lite Secure, this product is an excellent choice for professionals who require accurate and reliable particle counting.
The BIOTRAK Real-Time Viable Particle Counter is a portable instrument that combines viable and total particle detection with integrated particle collection for off-line analysis. It uses patented Laser Induced Fluorescence technology to detect particle viability and provides up to six channels of simultaneous data. It features an intuitive touchscreen interface and recipe-based storage and recall of sample protocols. With ISO-14644-1, EU GMP Annex 1 and FS209E reports, this particle counter is ideal for clean room certification, on-line monitoring, process improvement and more.
Particle counters are designed to measure the number and size distribution of particles in a sample, whether liquid or air. However, there are some key differences in the design and operation of liquid particle counters versus air particle counters.
In terms of design, liquid particle counters are typically larger and more complex than air particle counters due to the need for a liquid handling system. Liquid samples are typically delivered to the particle counter through tubing and a pumping system, which requires additional components such as valves, filters, and flow meters. In contrast, air particle counters are generally smaller and simpler, with a single inlet and no need for a liquid handling system.
In terms of operation, both liquid and air particle counters use a similar detection principle, in which the sample is passed through a sensing zone and particles are detected by light scattering or fluorescence. However, liquid particle counters require more careful sample preparation to ensure accurate results. Liquid samples must be properly prepared and diluted to avoid particle agglomeration, which can cause inaccuracies in size distribution measurements. In addition, liquid particle counters typically require a longer measurement time than air particle counters due to the slower flow rate of the sample through the measurement zone.
Particle counters are commonly used in industrial environments for a variety of applications, including:
Particle counters play a critical role in ensuring compliance with cleanroom standards and regulations. By measuring and monitoring airborne particles in a cleanroom environment, particle counters help ensure that the room is within specified particle limits. They can detect and identify particles of different sizes and types, providing valuable information about the cleanliness of the room.
In addition, particle counters can help identify potential sources of contamination and trace the cause of contamination events. By analyzing particle count data over time, trends can be identified and corrective action can be taken to prevent future contamination. This proactive approach to cleanroom management helps ensure that the cleanroom remains in compliance with cleanroom standards and regulations.
A particle counter is an instrument used to detect and measure the concentration of particles in a given sample. The types of particles that can be detected and measured by a particle counter vary depending on the type of instrument and its specifications. In general, however, particle counters can detect and measure particles of various types and sizes, including
The specific types of particles that can be detected and measured by a particle counter depend on the technology used by the instrument and its specifications, such as particle size range, sensitivity, and detection limit.
Portable particle counters and benchtop models are both commonly used for particle counting and measurement. Each type of instrument has its own advantages and limitations, which are described below:
Advantages of Portable Particle Counters:
Limitations of Portable Particle Counters:
Advantages of Benchtop Particle Counters:
Limitations of Benchtop Particle Counters:
Particle counting methods differ between clean room and outdoor air monitoring applications due to the different particle size ranges and concentrations typically found in each environment.
Clean Room Air Monitoring:
Cleanrooms are designed to maintain a controlled environment with low levels of particles and contaminants. Therefore, particle counting methods used in clean room air monitoring are typically designed to detect and measure particles in the 0.1 to 5 micron size range, which are the most critical particle sizes for contamination control in clean room environments. The following are some common particle counting methods used for cleanroom air monitoring:
Clean outdoor air monitoring:
Clean outdoor air monitoring is typically performed in areas with low levels of pollution, such as rural or remote areas, and the particle counting methods used are typically designed to detect and measure particles in a wider range of sizes than those used for clean room air monitoring. The following are some common particle counting methods used for outdoor clean air monitoring:
In conclusion, the particle counting methods used in clean room air monitoring and outdoor clean air monitoring applications differ due to the different particle size ranges and concentrations typically found in each environment. Cleanroom air monitoring methods are designed to detect and measure particles in the 0.1 to 5 micron size range, while outdoor clean air monitoring methods must be able to detect and measure a wider range of particle sizes.
The accuracy and precision of particle count measurements can be affected by a number of factors, including
In conclusion, to obtain accurate and precise particle count measurements, it is important to consider and control these factors during sampling, instrument use, and data analysis.
Particle counters can be used to troubleshoot and diagnose problems in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and other air handling equipment by measuring the number and size of particles in the air, which can provide valuable information about the health of the system. Here are some examples of how particle counters can be used:
In general, particle counters can be a valuable tool for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems in HVAC systems and other air handling equipment. By measuring the number and size of particles in the air, particle counters can provide valuable information about the efficiency and performance of these systems, helping to ensure optimal performance and indoor air quality.
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