Microfabrication Laboratory System Evaluation

Our team

Mechanical Engineering students concentrating in Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigerating

Jerry Wakai

head researcher

Future Project Engineer at Southland Industries, Union City, CA

michael hanson

data analysis specialist

Future Graduate Mechanical Engineer at ARUP, Seattle, WA

Our Project Videos

Project Goals

  1. Gather and document information necessary to develop understanding of the mechanical systems in Building 41A and the Microfabrication Laboratory. 
  2. Validate Microfabrication Laboratory’s operation as a Class 1000 clean room. 
  3. Develop a Standard Operating Procedure for continual evaluation of indoor air quality. 
  4. Investigate the condition of the HEPA filters and the potential effects of old filters. 

Clean Room Classifications

Federal Standard 209E Class Limits for Airborne Particulate Density

Under Federal Standard 209E, there are 6 classifications for clean rooms which correspond to the airborne particulate densities within the space. These classifications are shown above. The Microfabrication Laboratory is specified to operate as a Class 1000 clean space. To the knowledge of current directorship, Class 1000 performance had not been previously verified.

Standard Operating Procedure

A standard operating procedure was developed to aid in future verification of the laboratory air quality. 

Sector map developed according to ISO 14644-1:2015(E) showing sector divisions to ensure measurements are representative of the space.

Mechanical System

There are three necessary room condition requirements for manufacturing and testing within the Microfabrication Laboratory: temperature of 68 °F, class 1000 clean air, and positive pressurization relative to adjacent spaces. These requirements are necessary for spaces within the Lab Plenum but not those within the Utility Plenum. 

Plan view of the Microfabrication Laboratory, separated into UItility and Lab Plenums.
Section view A of the Microfabrication Laboratory.
Section view A indicating directions of airflows. The orange arrows show the recirculated air between the two plenums. The blue arrow shows supply air entering the Utility Plenum. The green arrow shows exhaust air leaving the Utility Plenum.


It was observed that particulate densities within the Microfabrication Laboratory were highest during occupied conditions. We also observed that, during occupied conditions, particle densities for larger particles increased.

Sector particulate density map for occupied conditions. Green indicates Class 1000 conditions, yellow indicates class 10000 conditions, red indicates class 100000 conditions.
Measured particulate densities by particulate size, during occupied conditions

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