What is a cleanroom glove box and when is it necessary? A cleanroom, also known as a sterile cleanroom, is used to confine processes that are sensitive to atmospheric components and particulate contamination. Its particle concentration can be controlled. Cleanrooms are often used in medical, pharmaceutical, industrial, chemical and physical research laboratories. However, when the process to be carried out requires a higher level of containment, purity and safety, the use of a glove box is recommended.

How Does a Glove Box Work?

In the pharmaceutical-medical, aeronautical, industrial and other fields, a cleanroom serves to protect laboratory personnel and operations. At the same time, it optimizes product yield and guarantees product quality. With a cleanroom, the risks of introduction, production, accumulation and retention of particles are minimized. It is also possible to control airborne particles. The climate, lighting, humidity and temperature of the room can also be adjusted.

A glove box is a closed, hermetically sealed container that complies with the ISO 14 644 standard and other regulations, depending on its applications. It is based on the principle of a clean room, but with a reduced working volume. It is also used for process containment or for personnel and environmental protection. Different kinds of products can be handled in it: objects, chemical compounds, sensitive or dangerous materials.

How do you Operate a Glove Box?

  • The walls of the glove box are the workstations for the operators.
  • Handling gloves are securely attached to the walls so that the staff operates from the outside.
  • A transfer chamber is used for the transit of instruments, elements and products to be protected, avoiding the rupture of the containment.
  • The glove box uses ventilation systems with integrated filters that fully protect the product or operator and the environment.
  • The glove box is bio-decontaminated with sterilizing gas.
  • The temperature, humidity, protective gas, pressure, particle cleanliness and climatic conditions of a glove box are controlled by means of regulators.

Advantages of a Glove Box

A glove box is a device that guarantees a very high level of containment, purity and safety compared to a clean room. Gas sterilization allows the elimination of all contaminants, whether they come from the environment, the operators or the equipment.

However, there are multiple applications of a glove box ranging from traditional processes to high-tech industry processes.Glove boxes are suitable for operations in a controlled atmosphere as well as for handling hazardous products and other laboratory experiments. We distinguish between glove boxes for product protection and process safety and glove boxes for operator and environmental protection. The former works in overpressure, under an inert atmosphere whereas the latter operates under vacuum to contain hazardous substances. Versatile models can also be found, ensuring the protection of the product, the operator and the environment at the same time.

Examples of applications for glove boxes in clean rooms

  • Drug manufacturing
  • Aseptic manufacturing
  • Microbial culture
  • Welding and aeronautical manufacturing
  • Optical manufacturing…

The cleanroom glove box is used primarily in medical and pharmaceutical laboratories, biotechnology and nanotechnology, electronics, aerospace…