What are the Requirements for Stainless Steel Tables During Sterile Processing?
Aseptic grade stainless steel compounding tables foster safe, clean, and consistent outcomes during sterile product production. Cleanroom grade tables are a requirement during many applications such as drug packaging, sterile tool packaging, IV or saline preparation, chemotherapy drugs and more. High grade stainless steel, snag-free corners, non-absorbent surfaces, and rock solid construction is essential.
The preferable workspace favored for pharmaceutical compounding is generally constructed of an stainless steel, or at least a surface that is non-porous and easily sanitized. The advantage of stainless steel is that it won’t rust, generate particulate, nor succumb to abrasive cleaners and solvents.
Aseptic Cleanroom Table Delivery
A clean stainless steel table for aseptic processing requires a surface free of bacteria, microorganisms, oil, grease, embedded iron, impurities, and particulate. But how does is that cleanliness maintained through shipping, handling, fabrication, and installation?
Safe deployment of a cleanroom table requires delivery with zero transfer of contaminants, residues, or microbes from external environments. Before transit, a cleanroom tables is wiped down with with 70% isopropyl alcohol and packaged within a cleanroom.
Cleanroom Table Styles
Solid top stainless steel tables tables grant an ultra-sturdy surface when laminar flow is less important. The preparations of liquids or small parts makes a solid top an ideal choice. During sterile compounding, a vertical flow hood.
Perforations provide more surface area for supporting parts, but they do generate some turbulence in the gaps between the cut-outs. This standardized design from Terra universal has an 0.25″ (6 mm) diameter and opens up 40% of the total benchtop for the air flow.
Rods create virtually no turbulence, but their open structure leaves little space to support small tools and parts. To solve this problem, clip-on attachments provide a fixture for storage and organization of parts or materials.
Stainless Steel Finishes for Cleanroom Tables
Once stainless steel is removed from a pickling bath at the steel mill, a thin chromium oxide film forms almost immediately. Pickling removes manganese sulfide and other surface imperfections. The result is an extremely durable and easily maintained surface, especially when oxygen and oxidation is prevalent within the immediate environment.
Electropolishing eliminates embedded contaminates and corrosion caused by impurities, solvents, and cleaners while also smoothing irregularities such as pits and burs. Standard stainless steel tables will rust if the chromium oxide layer is scratched or degraded by a chlorine solution. An electropolished finish removes metal ions from the steel which would otherwise cause corrosion. The result is an ultra hard, protective finish that lasts for a lifetime. An electropolished finish is an essential element of stainless steel tables used for pharmaceutical compounds.
Types of Stainless Steel Used for Pharmaceutical and Sterile Manufacturing Tables
A pharmaceutical manufacturing tables demands a higher grade 304 or 316 stainless steel. Type 304 is an industrial standard, with excellent corrosion resistance and non-magnetic properties. Type 316 steel includes an addition of molybdenum and therefore withstands most industrial chemicals, solvents, and chlorides. Type 316 is ideal for sterile and pharmaceutical manufacturing because it also inhibits corrosive damage from sodium and calcium brines, hypochlorite solutions, and phosphoric acid.