Save Time (and Money)
Sampling at higher flowrates reduces the amount of time required to certify a cleanroom environment, especially large ones. Some standards may require sampling a full cubic meter of air, so a particle counter with higher sampling flowrates will achieve compliance with greater speed. In order to meet the ISO 14644-1 requirement, you only need to sample for 10 minutes with a flowrate at 100 liters per minute (LPM).
What about very clean environments?
Certifying a cleanroom to ISO standards requires collecting a specific sample volume at each location. At each location, volumes should include at least 20 particles, which represents a statistically significant sample. Generally, the cleaner ISO classes have a higher sample volume requirement because of this stipulation. ISO 14644-1 summarizes these particle requirements, but it is also available here along with the number of minutes required for sampling in each ISO class to meet the standard.
Using high flowrate monitoring gives you a snapshot of the process and its environment. Keep in mind that there are good reasons to monitor for the entire duration of manufacturing. Continuous monitoring captures all particle events that could impact product quality. However, snapshot monitoring ensures low variance with high repeatability, so it’s ideal for applications with expected fluctuation between data throughout the manufacturing process.
Another key benefit is tubing. Higher flowrate particle counters improve the effectiveness of particle transport through tubing. Larger particles travel farther, increasing probability of detection. After conducting multiple transport studies, Particle Measuring Systems determined sampling at higher flowrates decreases particle loss significantly. Read more about the studies and recommended tubing dimensions here.