Cleanroom VCT Flooring Design
Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) is a durable flooring material for ISO 7 and ISO 8 cleanrooms. VCT’s reputation for easy cleaning, resilience, and durability is a well-received cleanroom flooring option, but also popular in healthcare facilities, government, and education.
There are a few final preparations required before the final cleanroom flooring installation.
Cleanroom Vinyl Compostive Flooring – VCT
VCT flooring is not to be confused with vinyl sheet flooring. VCT is a heavy-duty, industrial-grade material with rigid properties and great dimensional stability. It arrives as a 12′ x 12″ tile with a relatively flat surface finish. After installation, a topical wax and sealant preserve the material while also ensuring that grit or contamination is not harbored between the floor cracks.
VCT Sustainability – Chemical and UV Compatibility
NIST research (pg. 562) ranks VCT 20 – 30% higher in environmental performance and 90 – 170% higher in economic performance than linoleum or recycle ceramic tiles.
The material is stable to UV radiation and excess heat for use in a variety of industrial, laboratory, and cleanroom applications. Favorable rebound and compression prevent cracks and dents under a load of heavy equipment or impact of heavy objects. The natural look and refined finish are a nice accent to the finished cleanroom assembly.
Planning and Maintenance Considerations
The exact requirements of your cleanroom flooring and chemical cleaning requirements should always be discussed with your cleanroom designer. For a cleanroom flooring consultation at no cost, contact a PAC cleanroom specialist.
An 8,000 sq. ft. floorplan requires laser-guided placement for straight and accurate installation. The square cut tiles install similarly to any other type of flooring. A hand-operated floor cutter is all that’s required for cutting or shaping floor and trim pieces.
The benefit is an installation process that’s easily cleaned, cost-effective, and looks great. A 15 – 20 year operational life makes it a rather robust option. Historically, these materials are known to last up to 40 years.
Maintenance regularity is directly related to the volume of foot traffic, equipment use, and the degree of abrasive material deposits. VCT flooring in schools and hospitals may require additional sealant and buffing once or twice a year. This is not necessary for cleanroom scenarios.
The average school or hospital could see 100 – 1000x the traffic of the average cleanroom. Theoretically, a cleanroom’s original flooring seal could last a lifetime when properly cared for.
Cleanroom Flooring Installation
The concrete is first cleaned before applying a thin layer of adhesive to the sub-floor. The flooring is applied in 12″ by 12″ and then cut for edges, support columns, doorways, and drain fits as needed. Subsequently, a sealant patches any gaps or cracks and renders a glossy finish. Finally, trim is cut, placed and sealed where flooring and walls meet. The floor and sealant both require drying times, usually between 12 – 24 hours depending on climate.
After the initial install, deploying sticky mats at entrances will preserve the floor and prevent scuffs or staining by construction traffic. Outfit ladders with non-marring covers or soft cloth on the feet. Once cleaned, buffed, and sealed, those entering should don shoe covers to prevent scuffs and unnecessary debris into what is now a nearly immaculate cleanroom.
Another advantage of VCT is that it’s durable and economical enough for large, non-controlled parallel spaces. In this case, the space between the cleanroom and office spaces will also have VCT flooring.
Different Considerations for Cleanroom Flooring
In the aforementioned case, the products are not electrically sensitive nor does the environment require sterile workflows. The assembly process at hand is relatively clean in nature, so a standard VCT tile flooring is a practical solution. Electronics-grade production environments require ESD flooring while pharmaceutical industries may opt for rubber or contamination control flooring.