Air Innovations Donates ISO Class 3 Cleanroom to Clarkson University

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Air Innovations announces the donation of a demonstration cleanroom to Clarkson University to be used for indoor air quality research, including studies of re-suspension and particle transport related to the causes of childhood asthma and upper respiratory disease.

Air Innovations' cleanroom is powered by an AI AdvancAir® unit that controls temperature inside the cleanroom with plus or minus 0.5 degrees F, and is a conditioning system similar to those AI builds for pharmaceutical and semiconductor plants around the world.

The raised floor is ideal for wiring and instrumenting the space for airflow and particulate characteristics, while the full height windows on two sides allow for visual demonstrations and student interaction

Air Innovations Inc. (AI) announces the donation of a demonstration cleanroom to Clarkson University's Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES), said AI President and CEO Michael Wetzel. P.E. CARES will use the cleanroom for indoor air quality research, including studies of re-suspension of particle transport related to the causes off childhood asthma and upper respiratory disease.

Clarkson President Tony Collins noted, "CARES' work on researching aero-allergens in children's bedrooms and re-suspended particles will be greatly advanced with the use of AI's cleanroom because of its ability to isolate, differentiate and quantify various airborne particulates. We are grateful to Air Innovations for its generous donation of this research tool and for AI's continuing collaboration with CARES."

Air Innovations' modular cleanroom contains ultra-low particulate air (ULPA) filters and has a raised perforated floor to attain laminar flow within the space. An ante-room is attached for gowning and infiltration control, Wetzel explained. It is categorized as an ISO Class 3 cleanroom by the International Organization for Standardization, which means it permits fewer than 35 particles of 0.12 microns in size or larger per cubic foot of air, particles about the size of viruses, small bacteria, fumes, and tobacco smoke. By way of example, a typical office space contains hundreds of thousands of particles that size per cubic foot of air. "The raised floor is ideal for wiring and instrumenting the space for airflow and particulate characteristics, while the full height windows on two sides allow for visual demonstrations and student interaction," Wetzel said.

Additionally, the cleanroom features an aluminum distribution plenum, lights and filters in a flush grid. A floor-mounted, vertical Air Innovations AdvancAir® unit is installed adjacent to the room to control temperature and humidity. The AdvancAir unit controls temperature inside the cleanroom within plus or minus 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and is a conditioning system similar to the ones Air Innovations builds for pharmaceutical and semiconductor plants around the world. Two recirculation blowers produce 7,000 cubic feet/minute of airflow through the room, which is the equivalent of about 1 mile per hour or 550 air changes per hour. 

For the past two years, AI has collaborated with CARES on the R&D and product development of Air Innovations' patent-pending HEPAiRx®, an air purifier and ventilator, which is designed to improve air quality in the bedrooms of people with asthma. In clinical trials conducted by Clarkson, HEPAiRx proved to be effective for reducing particle and gas concentrations, controlling temperature in participants' bedrooms, and improving the participants' asthma symptoms. The Clarkson research, which is being expanded and continued through 2010, is led by Philip K. Hopke, Ph.D., and Andrea R. Ferro, P.E., Ph.D. Hopke is CARES director, Bayard D. Clarkson Distinquished Professor, and Jefferson Science Fellow with the U.S. Department of State; Ferro is an associate professor at Clarkson and a recent U.S. National Science Foundation "CAREER" award recipient.

Wetzel, a 1988 graduate of Clarkson, estimated the replacement value of the 8' wide x 18' long x 12' high cleanroom at $140,000. He said the cleanroom was originally erected for an Intel Corporation demonstration; Intel is a world leader in semiconductor manufacturing. Wetzel added that space gained by its dismantling will be used to expand the Air Innovations factory, including the build-out of additional cleanroom facilities for controlling environmental conditions during design, testing and production of original equipment manufacturing (OEM) equipment for AI customers in the aerospace, homeland security, pharmaceutical, semiconductor, health care and metrology industries.

Air Innovations, established in 1986, is headquartered in Syracuse, NY, home to the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, which is a renowned international center for indoor air quality research and related fields. HEPAiRx, AdvancAir and Air Innovations are registered trademarks of Air Innovations, Inc. For more information, call Air Innovations at 800-825-3268, email or visit http://www.airinnovations.com.

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