Gore Study Shows Flat Cables Reduce Particulation in Cleanroom Environments

Landenberg, PA (July 16, 2009)-W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) announces the results of a cable particulation study it contracted with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany. This study measured the particulation of four different cable systems for ISO cleanroom certification-two cable chains with GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cables, one cable chain with round cables, and one GORE(TM) Trackless Cable. To identify the source of potential particulation for the two chains with GORE(TM) Flat Cables, Gore selected two non-metal cable chains to use in the test-a low-vibration cable chain and a conventional chain design with links and pins.

According to Paul Warren, Gore's Lead Design Engineer, designing cable systems that reduce friction is the key to achieving low particulation from these components. Warren states, "Because of the significance of particulation in cleanroom environments, we wanted to verify the relationship between friction and particulation in various types of cable systems."

Using criteria set forth in Guideline VDI 2083 and ISO 14644-1, Fraunhofer calculated the amount of particles at three separate measuring points for each cable. The test registered zero particulates for both the GORE(TM) Trackless Cable and the GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cable in the low-vibration chain. The conventional chain with GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cables emitted particles at rates of 0.1 to 1.7 particles per cubic foot, depending on the velocity, and the conventional chain with round cables was also affected by velocity, emitting 0.0 to 2.5 particles per cubic foot. Testing identical flat cables in two different cable chains indicated that the particulation was caused by the cable chain and not the cable.

Based on ISO guidelines, Fraunhofer determined the following ISO 14644-1 cleanroom certifications based on the velocity that generated the most particulation:

  • GORE(TM) Trackless Cable: Class 1

  • Low-Vibration Chain with GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cables: Class 1
  • Conventional Chain with GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cables: Class 5

  • Conventional Chain with Round Cables: Class 4

    The Fraunhofer study concluded that the GORE(TM) Flat Cables and GORE(TM) Trackless Cable produced substantially less particulation. Warren concludes, "The unique construction of GORE(TM) High Flex Flat Cables and GORE(TM) Trackless Cables distributes the force placed on the cable jacketing, which means less friction caused by movement. An added advantage of these cables is that they reduce the weight and stress of cable systems by eliminating the need for cable chains, dividers, and shelves, which ultimately improves cable performance and life."

    For more details on this study, visit gore.com/particulation to review Gore's white paper, "Cable Particulation Study for Cleanroom Environments."

    For additional information, contact Gore at 800.445.4673 (USA) or 302.292.5100 (International); or visit our web site at gore.com/electronics.

    About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

    With more than $2.5 billion in annual sales and 8,000 employees in over 45 facilities worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., provides diverse, high-performance solutions in consumer, industrial, electronic, medical, and surgical markets. As well-known for its unique corporate culture as for its products, Gore's 50-year success story rests equally on product and organizational innovation. Gore is one of only four companies included in every selection of Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" since the list began in 1984. Perhaps best known as the inventors of expanded PTFE (ePTFE) and the makers of GORE-TEX® fabric, Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products that comprise a breadth of capabilities.


    Jennifer C. Haupt




    GORE is a trademark of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

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