CARBON (CFRP)

THE HIGH-TECH MATERIAL FOR CLEANROOM CLEANING

1. What is carbon?

Higher performance thanks to carbon-fiber reinforced plastic

Carbon is used for all applications in which light weight, high stability and top performance are an absolute must. We are now also making the most of these benefits for cleanroom cleaning and yet again setting new standards with our PurMop BLACK® Performance Line.

From outer space to the cleanroom

Carbon-fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) were originally developed as lightweight materials for space travel. It wasn’t long before the stability, flexibility and lightness of carbon were also discovered for use in other areas of application. Nowadays, CFRP are used for a wide variety of tasks from vehicle construction to wind turbines and from artificial body parts right through to printed circuit boards.

Every fiber matters

Carbon fibers are produced from carbon filaments that are spun into filament yarns. The structure and arrangement of the fibers give the material its outstanding mechanical and physical properties. Carbon makes up at least 92% of the content of carbon fibers. The fibers are extremely thin, with a diameter of just a few hundredths of a millimeter. They are also extremely lightweight thanks to their low density of between 1.75 and 2.00 g/cm3. What’s more, the fibers additionally boast a high tensile strength, which makes them extremely robust.

The power of the matrix

To make optimal use of the advantages of carbon fibers, they are embedded in a matrix of resins or thermoplastics. The matrix acts as a binding agent that regulates the load transmission between the fibers and distributes the load over surrounding fibers. It also protects the fibers against external influences. Both components work together to give the material its specific and unusual properties. The high stability, light weight, and good corrosion resistance of carbon composites are therefore the results of a successful compound.

Why carbon is ideal for cleanroom cleaning:

  • Particularly lightweight for efficient and ergonomic work
  • Stable and durable, even under high stress
  • High resistance to cleaning products and disinfectants
  • Hygienically safe and resistant to steam pressure sterilization

High-tech materials for cleanroom cleaning

Modern high-performance plastics increase the stability and durability of carbon. This is why we decided to use such plastics for the cleanroom cleaning systems in the BLACK® Performance Line.

Leaving nothing to chance

When developing the BLACK® Performance Line, we placed high value on finding the ideal carbon fiber and matrix combination for cleanrooms. We conducted extensive test runs until the result reliably provided our desired chemical and physical properties on a sustained basis.

2. Maximum strength

Toughness and flexibility combined

Cleanroom cleaning often involves tough tasks, which is why cleaning systems need to be robust, flexible, and shatterproof. The products in the PurMop BLACK® Performance Line are made from high-tech carbon material and offer clear advantages compared to conventional metal or plastic cleaning systems.

What makes carbon unique:

  • Extremely robust, even under rough handling in tough tasks
  • Particularly flexible, shatterproof, and pliable
  • A specially developed matrix of high-performance plastic
  • High-quality processing and smooth surfaces

Maximum performance all comes down to the material used

One of the most important properties of carbon is its high specific rigidity, which it gets from its high elastic modulus of up to 900 GPa combined with low density. On top of all this, carbon also has an extremely high tensile strength of up to 7 GPa.

Virtually no material fatigue

Carbon components can withstand a great deal of stress for a particularly long time. Compared to metal components, they can handle significantly more load cycles before fracturing due to material fatigue.

Inspired by nature

Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers have a similar structure to bamboo canes or bones: vascular bundles are embedded in a supporting fabric, which enables them to simultaneously achieve extremely high stability and high flexibility. The minimal use of materials results in an extremely lightweight structure.

3. A lightweight solution

A new lightness for cleanroom cleaning

When wrapped in cleanroom clothing from head to toe, cleanroom cleaning is a challenging task for all workers. This is why when it comes to cleaning systems, every gram counts. Carbon is much lighter than steel and aluminum yet equally stable. It therefore makes work easier and more efficient for its users and enables them to achieve better cleaning results.

Why weight is key in cleanroom cleaning:

  • Increases cleaning efficiency
  • Improves employee motivation
  • Reduces health-related absences

Impressively low density

The density of carbon-fiber reinforced polymers is around 80 % less than that of steel. Together with its high tensile strength, rigidity, and flexibility, this advantage enables carbon to open up a whole new world of opportunities when it comes to the development of light and robust cleanroom cleaning systems.

More efficient cleaning with every wipe

Given their much lighter weight, the cleaning systems in the BLACK® Performance Line also improve cleaning efficiency. They enable cleaners to achieve the same or better cleaning results with less effort and in less time. This increases motivation and reduces health problems.

4. Reliability

Meeting cleanroom demands

To guarantee maximum product reliability at all times, cleanroom cleaning involves strict demands and validated processes. To meet these demands, cleaning equipment and textiles also need to be designed for use in cleanrooms – just like the carbon cleaning systems in the PurMop BLACK® Performance Line.

Ticking all the boxes for hygiene requirements:

  • Smooth and hygienic surfaces
  • Fiber-reinforced material with a high load capacity, low particle emission and no material fatigue
  • Materials resistant to disinfectants commonly used in the market
  • Cleaning equipment completely autoclavable

Resistant to steam pressure sterilization

To deactivate microorganisms, the production of medicinal products and manufacturing activities in GMP areas from class B not only require wipe cleaning and disinfection but also the regular sterilization of all equipment. This is mostly carried out via steam pressure sterilization in autoclaves. All of the materials used therefore need to have high thermal resistance at all times.

Tested for thermal resistance

The products in the BLACK® Performance Line contain a high-performance plastic that ensures the stability of the carbon at high temperatures. The mop system is therefore designed to withstand repeated steam pressure sterilization.

Tested and developed for cleanroom cleaning

When developing the BLACK® Performance Line, we had to determine how many airborne particles are released by the carbon mop system during simulated use in a cleanroom. Classifying the results according to the air cleanliness classes specified in VDI 2083 leads to a general cleanroom suitability up to class ISO 5.

5. Chemical resistance

Perfectly protected against aggressive substances

Be it alcohols, acids, or chlorines, cleanroom cleaning systems are exposed to a multitude of aggressive cleaning products. When this happens, it is essential that they are not damaged and do not release any particles into the cleanroom. The carbon cleaning systems in the PurMop BLACK® Performance Line are permanently resistant to a wide variety of chemicals.

Designed to provide maximum stability:

  • Permanently resistant to all common cleaning products and disinfectants
  • Also suitable for longer contact periods with no problem at all
  • Suitable for wipe and spray disinfection

Choosing the right matrix

Carbon fibers themselves are chemically inert. They are protected against external influences by the matrix that surrounds them. The chemical resistance of the matrix depends on the resin system or thermoplastic material used. If high-performance plastics, for example, high levels of resistance to virtually all chemical substances are possible.

Problem-free disinfection

To ensure that the carbon cleanroom cleaning systems remain damage free, even after prolonged contact with cleaning products and disinfectants, their chemical resistance has been verified in complex tests. The high-performance plastic in the matrix ensures outstanding chemical stability. The matrix is resistant to regular wipe and spray disinfection and is also suitable for the long-term use of products containing peroxides and chlorides.

6. CFRP lifecycle

Sustainability through efficiency

The degree of sustainability of a product is mainly determined by two factors: its life cycle and its recyclability. Carbon achieves good results in both of these areas. The PurMop BLACK® Performance Line therefore seamlessly fits into the Hydroflex sustainability strategy.

How carbon makes cleanroom cleaning more sustainable:

  • Efficient cleaning systems with a longer service life
  • Good reusability of carbon
  • Light weight reduces fuel consumption for transportation

Long life cycle is more efficient

One of the strengths of carbon is its long product life cycle. CFRP does not corrode and is fatigue-endurable. Even in the case of vibrations, impacts and other strong environmental effects, mechanical fatigue is highly unlikely. Products made from CFRP therefore last longer than metallic or plastic-based systems, meaning that the material is ideal for long-term and cost-effective use.

Professional recycling

The solutions in the BLACK® Performance Line are also impressive at the end of their product life cycles. Why? Because carbon is a high-quality material that can be successfully recycled. It is usually broken down into its different components. The carbon fibers released in this process can be used to manufacture new products.