Cleanrooms are important tools when manufacturing drugs, creating certain medical devices, performing specialized research, and for other tasks in a number of fields. Cleanrooms are typically located in built-to-suit facilities that can provide power, clean air, and other necessities that help maintain an ultra-clean environment. In order to make possible the production of pharmaceuticals and make conducting research easier anywhere, engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany have developed a portable clean room.
The CAPE, as their system is called, can be placed inside existing buildings or even outside on its own. Only about an hour’s work is necessary to unpack it and get it ready to function. The CAPE can be used for all sorts of applications, but we can especially see it applied as a sterilization room in mass casualty situations where multiple surgeries are performed close to a disaster site. The surgeries themselves can certainly be performed in a space like this, given enough lighting and equipment.
Because the design is modular, the CAPE rooms can be built to different specifications and varying sizes that can accommodate all kinds of demands. The walls are made of sterilizable fabric that can be dropped from the top or unrolled from the bottom. The entire structure rests on a carbon fiber reinforced polymer and aluminum construction that doesn’t require any equipment to put together.
The CAPE comes with its own air filtrasion system that meets ISO class 1 specifications and it works along with a system that directs the air to flow in a radial direction from the inside to the outside, pushing any contaminants outward.