SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1992

Evaluating Textiles and Apparel for Controlling Contamination in Cleanrooms


Fabrics used in cleanroom garments must have certain characteristics. First, the fabric should not release particles into the environment; second, the fabric should contain particles shed by the body yet still be comfortable to the wearer; and third, the cost of the fabric should be as low as possible. A test method developed to evaluate some of the factors influencing the first of these characteristics is described. The number of particles generated and released from fabrics as a result of flex abrasion was measured. The flexing action was provided by a Gelbo Flex Tester which simulates to some extent the type of motion which takes place on a sleeve bent repeatedly at the elbow. The fabric sample held in the flexing portion of the tester was enclosed in an acrylic housing, and the entire system was placed in a class 10 clean air work station. The housing was then purged of ambient air before starting fabric flexing. A number of woven and nonwoven cleanroom fabrics were evaluated by counting the number of particles generated as a function of time with two aerosol particle counters. Testing to date has shown that a woven men's suiting fabric generates approximately five times as many particles as woven cleanroom fabrics. A single ply of cotton gauze generates about 20 times as many and four plies generate approximately 50 times as many particles as a typical woven cleanroom fabric.

Author Information

Mehta, S
College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Hersh, SP
College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Tucker, PA
College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Bullerwell, AG
College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Farmville, VA
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 742–753
DOI: 10.1520/STP19202S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5194-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1430-2