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Subject: Cleanroom technology and conservation

Cleanroom technology and conservation

From: James S. Martin <james.s.martin>
Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2001
In the course of researching and purchasing cleanroom technology for
my analytical laboratory, it was obvious that some of the materials
and methods used in cleanrooms have applications to conservators'
health and safety, conservation treatments, and exhibition/storage
case design.  This posting is intended to:  (1) provide list members
with a very basic introduction to cleanrooms and cleanroom
technology, as well as a link to web-based information, and (2) to
invite several interested people to co-author a summary article on
the topic for AIC News.

Cleanrooms and cleanroom technology are used in many industrial and
commercial applications, such as semiconductor and pharmaceutical
manufacture, to control contamination of products by airborne
particles, chemicals, and biological organisms.  Cleanroom
technology makes intensive use of HEPA and ultra-HEPA filtration
(ventilation and vacuum cleaners), positive-pressure environments
(room and hood), low particle/low volatile surfaces, containers,
tapes, wipes, swabs, clothing (and much more) to minimize the
introduction of and maximize the removal of particles, volatile
chemicals, and biological contaminants from production and
inspection areas. In short, cleanroom technology is about
contamination control.

In my case, at Orion, cleanroom technology is used to receive
materials and specimens for examination and analysis that are
packaged in clients' cleanrooms; to prepare specimens for
microanalysis without risk of in-lab contamination; and to maintain
the general cleanliness of my laboratory, instruments, and clients'
materials and specimens.  Drawing on my practical conservation
experience, I can foresee applications of cleanroom materials--such
as gloves, adhesives, tapes, passive corrosion monitors, etc.--for
conservators' health and safety, conservation treatments, and
exhibition/storage case design.

A good web-based resource to learn more about cleanroom technology
is "Cleanrooms--The Magazine of Contamination Control Technology"
(<URL:>).  There you will find
articles on cleanroom technology and links to on-line forums and
upcoming trade shows. Cleanroom trade shows provide a unique and
cost-effective opportunity to see and obtain samples of  products
and discuss applications with reps from dozens or hundreds of

David Harvey has expressed interest in a summary article on this
topic for AIC News.  If you are interested in investigating possible
conservation applications and co-authoring an article with me,
please write.

Above all, I hope this information helps to make someone's work
safer and more productive.

James Martin
Principal/Research Scientist
Orion Analytical, LLC

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:59
                    Distributed: Friday, May 4, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-59-001
Received on Wednesday, 2 May, 2001

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