500 hours of testing. That’s how long anti-fatigue mats have to be evaluated, without contamination, before they can earn cleanroom certification.
We learned this during the process of getting the AcroMat 100-Cleanroom Series mat certified for cleanroom use up to Class 5.
Why is anti-fatigue mat cleanroom certification important? What does the process involve? Most importantly, how can you be certain your cleanroom mats are preventing contamination? We answer each of these questions and more below.
What is a Class 5 cleanroom?
A cleanroom is a controlled environment that filters out pollutants like dust, aerosol particles, and airborne microbes to create the cleanest environment possible.
Cleanroom classifications are determined by the number and size of particles allowed "per volume of air" over time. As the classification goes up, requirements get more stringent.
In the simplest of terms, Class 5 is the 3rd most “clean” environment.
What are cleanroom certified anti-fatigue mats?
Premium anti-fatigue mats like the 100-Cleanroom Series provide up to 8 years of ergonomic support for workers who stand long hours. It can be customized to any shape and size, eliminating the trip hazards that come from piecing together rectangular mats by ensuring it fits precisely within a lab layout.
Cleanroom certified anti-fatigue mats also protect vulnerable products and people due to the materials they're made of.
100-Cleanroom Series mats are molded from pure, closed cell nitrile rubber foam, which does not shed or leave foreign material or break down from heavy use, ever, all of which are critical to preventing contamination. The nitrile is also folded in with silver ions during molding to ensure it’s 100% antimicrobial.
This AcroMat 100-Cleanroom Series mat was designed for Medtronic. Certified for use in Class 5 cleanrooms, the mat features a custom shape to navigate around equipment, yellow borders to highlight access points, and 5/8 in. thick pure nitrile to provide ~8 years of joint/muscle support for lab workers.
Why is cleanroom certification so important?
Lab workers need to know with certainty their mats will not contaminate the work area. Official certification ensures this through careful, rigorous testing in cleanroom environments. If even one sample shows sign of vulnerability during testing, the mat “fails” and won't be certified.
To get the 100-Cleanroom mat certified we were asked to submit five mat samples, with each being assessed for a minimum of 100 hours – 500 hours in total.
The cleanroom anti-fatigue mat certification test period is a minimum of 100 hours for each mat to ensure repeatable results and eliminate random abnormalities.
What does the cleanroom certification process entail?
Here’s more detail about the testing process for the 100-Cleanroom Series from the independent agency we partnered with:
"To test and certify a mat, it's necessary to test them in Static and Dynamic situations. We require five mats for these tests. The Static tests investigate the mat material in our quality control Laboratory using two of the mats to determine the mat’s ability to remain whole and not emit particles.”
“The dynamic tests are performed in our own cleanrooms using the other three mats under actual cleanroom personnel traffic and wear patterns. The test period is a minimum of 100 hours for each mat to ensure repeatable results and eliminate random abnormalities.”
The key here is consistency. Mats are tested for so many hours to make certain any vulnerabilities or inadequacies will be rooted out before certification.
This AcroMat 100-Cleanroom Series mat for a pharmaceutical manufacturer features circular cutouts to prevent prolonged damage from chairs, but also 20-degree yellow borders for when chairs need to roll on to the mat.
Summary: The anti-fatigue mat cleanroom certification process is rigorous. Your people and product need it to be and deserve it to be.
As you explore cleanroom mats on the market and weigh an investment, don’t let a supplier talk you out of doing your due diligence. Dig deeper:
1. Uncover the certification level of the mats you’re considering.
2. Ask for a copy of the certification to ensure validity; research the testing agency to confirm validity.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for details about the certification process. How did they get their mats certified? When? Do they have to re-certify after a certain number of years? Why did they receive the certification level they did?
4. Can the mats you're considering be custom made to any shape and size, or are you stuck with rectangles in a complex layout?
5. Get a sample mat and put it to the test over multiple weeks. Know with certainty you're getting the material you need to protect your products and people.
Custom cleanroom mats don't have to be complicated: Try AcroSketch.
Try a 100-Cleanroom Series mat today: Request a free sample.
See AcroSketch in action: