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30 Innovators to Watch 2022

From manufacturing modular cleanroom to introducing gastight composite panels for aerospace, Metisafe Cleanroom and Biosafety has come a long way

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 “Composite material technologies significantly emphasize Metisafe’s high-end cleanroom manufacturing and all necessary equipment developments.”

The Metisafe® cleanroom concept is intended to be an individual operating instrument compared to construction-based traditional cleanrooms. Besides the advantage of the easy install box-in-box method of Metisafe’s designs, standalone operating modular cleanrooms have much more benefits than conventional ones. Built-in recirculated fan filter units, negative plenum structural design, and automation control provide the modular assembly of thousands of steel pieces into on-site validated professional-use facilities (Figure 1).

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A second layer around the cleanroom allows air recirculation between double walls and composes an air barrier. When that space is kept under negative air pressure, it becomes a negative plenum. Metisafe uses negative plenum technology in all of its designs as default. First, a negative plenum provides air safety protection against wall damage or, in case of air leakages, where the contaminated air is kept inside the plenum. The increased quality or high-end air cleanliness is achieved by more than 80% of total air recirculates within those negative plenums without the extra need for fresh air. Whereas the conventional system needs to spend much more energy to reach that air safety performance.

Since most of the air inside the facility recirculates through that space, a more homogenous temperature distribution is achieved compared to sandwich wall panels. In cleanrooms made with classical panels and methods, heat transfer is done by only the convection method, and temperature differences occur more. In addition to the decrease in user comfort, the particle reduction efficiency also decreases where there are temperature differences. In addition, in hot areas under the ceiling, the air becomes suspended, and the sweeping efficiency decreases. Achieving more homogeneous temperature distribution through a negative plenum and fast heat transfer (radiation and convection: combined cooling method) of steel also improves airflow pattern safety and personal comfort when operations are in progress inside (Figure 2).

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Figure 2. Temperature distribution and Computational fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis outputs of classical and Metisafe cleanroom methods. Left: Insulated cleanroom wall panel, no plenum, supply fresh air from central HVAC, non-recirculated air. Right: Metisafe modular non-insulated cleanroom wall panel, negative plenum wall-ceiling, supply fresh air from outdoors, air recirculation inside wall panels.

During the 90s, the first seeds of Metisafe were laid in response to the need for more advanced cleanroom and biological safety practices of its parent company, Metis Biotechnology. Beginning with safety cabinet design and development, the company formulated the modular cleanroom concept in the early 2000s, and the genesis of the Metis spin-off, Metisafe, followed soon after. Today, Metisafe—stemming from one of the world’s first molecular diagnostic test producers that notable experts lead in the field of microbiology and mechanical engineering—is categorized as a rare manufacturer that produces both air biosafety instruments and modular cleanrooms and equipment under the same roof.

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Besides innovations, interdisciplinary knowledge and R&D output transfers are continuously applied between the companies. One is transferring Metisafe’s 20 years of expertise and experience in molecular biology and recombinant protein synthesis to material technology compatible with nature. The development of high-performance biodegradable composite brake pads is the first output of biological composites, which started from observing people who inhaled billions of hazardous dust dragged into the station with the oncoming train while waiting at a subway station. Composite development and production advancements spun off another brand under Metis Biotechnology: BioCombo®.

Metisafe will soon introduce more durable and environmentally friendly cleanroom and biological safety equipment structural materials. Composite material technologies significantly emphasize Metisafe’s high-end cleanroom manufacturing and all necessary equipment developments. The first composite application to be used by Metisafe is the robust monoblock production of portable HEPA filtration devices with its optimal airflow pattern and the high recirculation performance obtained through its cleanroom knowledge.

Another advance came through Metisafe’s Isolator manufacturing line; the devices are used for sterility tests and aseptic production in the pharma industry. The experience obtained from air tightness and gas-proof specifications of those containments has been integrated into Metisafe’s cleanroom concept.

When optimal airflow patterns with low energy-high performance air cleanliness came together with leakproof simplified modular assembly plus very light structural new material technology, the gateway to the aerospace sector has been opened for Metisafe. This way, creating products with high physical strength, low volume, ease of transfer, and fast installation will be possible.

Metisafe has now focused on developing two lightweight materials for its cleanroom panels. Outer wall; high temperature resistant, low heat transfer strong material. Inner wall; high heat transfer and flexible non-corrosive material. Following the design developments of leakproof panel connections, the module for a 20 sqm cleanroom will go down tons to hundreds of kilograms, and assembly will decrease from weeks to a couple of days on the ground.

“Today, Metisafe—stemming from one of the world’s first molecular diagnostic test producers that notable experts lead in the field of microbiology and mechanical engineering—is categorized as a rare manufacturer that produces both air biosafety instruments and modular cleanrooms and equipment under the same roof.”