Saturday, July 22, 2017

Modular Wall Systems as Barrier Wall in Wash Area

laboratory animal cage wash area clean side
Laboratory animal cage wash area, clean side.
Image courtesy Avant Garde Scientific
There are many instances in laboratory facilities and other industrial processing sites of a need for isolation between one phase of a process and another. In laboratory animal care facilities, there is a pronounced need for isolation of the entry side of cage, rack, and ware cleaning from the exit side.

The entry side is commonly called the dirty side, since items entering that area are destined to be cleaned. The exit side is known as the clean side. It is good practice to not only install a physical barrier between the two sides, but also to establish procedures to assure that personnel, carts, or other equipment does not transit from dirty to clean side without first being properly treated.

Barrier walls are architectural building features, but almost an integral part of the equipment installed in the cage washing area. The walls and machines must be properly mated to provide an impenetrable seal that disallows passage of fluids, even air and vapor, from the dirty side to the clean side. Accomplishing this requires a considerable degree of care in the coordination of cage washing or sterilizing equipment configuration and building features at the installation site. The role of the barrier wall is essentially to fill in all the gaps between the machinery and the building features, providing the positive seal and barrier that is needed.

Materials of construction for the barrier wall should accommodate the type of service and operation anticipated for the cage wash area. Gaskets, fasteners and surface materials need to withstand repeated exposure to cleaning and sanitizing agents that may be employed in the area. The surface of the wall, often stainless steel, as well as the supporting structure, needs to be of sufficient thickness and strength to withstand the inevitable impact of heavy wheeled carts or other potentially damaging items.

Cage wash areas, once completed, will be depended upon to provide continuous service for many years. The barrier wall should be specified, designed and installed with that timeline in mind. Share your laboratory animal cage washing challenges with process specialists, combining your own knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

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