What is ISO 14644 summary?

ISO 14644 is an international standard that specifies the requirements for cleanrooms and associated controlled environments. It aims to provide a consistent set of cleanliness classifications as well as testing and monitoring methods to ensure cleanrooms meet their cleanliness targets. This article provides a high-level summary of the key aspects covered in the ISO 14644 standard.

Introduction to ISO 14644

ISO 14644 is officially known as ISO 14644-1 to ISO 14644-17. It is an internationally recognized standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 209 (TC 209). The purpose of this standard is to establish proper specifications for cleanrooms and associated controlled environments.

Cleanrooms and controlled environments are essential across a wide range of industries including:

  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Medical device manufacturing
  • Microelectronics fabrication
  • Aerospace manufacturing
  • Food and beverage processing

Products from these industries require protection from contamination during the manufacturing process. Controlling airborne particles in the environment is critical. ISO 14644 provides the quality framework to achieve the necessary cleanroom cleanliness.

The first edition of ISO 14644 was published in 1999. It replaced older national standards related to cleanrooms and contamination control. Revisions and additions to the standard have since been made, resulting in the current 17 parts.

Key Sections of ISO 14644

The main sections of ISO 14644 standard are:

ISO 14644-1: Classification of Air Cleanliness

This part of the standard establishes a consistent set of cleanroom classifications based on the concentration of airborne particles. It specifies the maximum concentration of particles equal to and larger than specified sizes per volume of air. There are 9 cleanliness classes from ISO 1 (best) to ISO 9 (worst).

ISO 14644-2: Specifications for Testing and Monitoring to Prove Continued Compliance

This section provides requirements for testing and monitoring of cleanrooms and controlled environments to demonstrate they meet the required cleanliness classification. It covers particulate counting methods, sampling locations, monitoring frequencies and more.

ISO 14644-3: Test Methods

ISO 14644-3 details the test methods that should be used to qualify and validate cleanrooms. It provides information on counting airborne particles, collecting particles on surfaces, measuring air pressure and airflow, airborne chemical contamination monitoring, and microbial detection methods.

ISO 14644-4: Design, Construction, and Start-up

This part gives requirements related to the design, specification, construction, installation, testing, and approval processes involved when building a new cleanroom. Requirements for documentation, maintenance, and continuing operation are also included.

ISO 14644-5: Operations

ISO 14644-5 establishes essential requirements for the operation and control of cleanrooms and associated controlled environments. This includes aspects like personal hygiene, gowning requirements, materials handling, housekeeping, and maintenance.

ISO 14644-6: Vocabulary

This section provides standard definitions for the main terminology related to cleanrooms and contamination control. It ensures consistent use and interpretation of key terms in ISO 14644.

ISO 14644-7: Separative Devices

ISO 14644-7 gives classifications and test methods specific to separative devices. These are mechanisms used to generate clean air such as fan filter units, laminar flow diffusers, air showers, and more. Performance testing methods are defined.

ISO 14644-8: Classification of Molecular Contamination

Molecular chemical contamination can negatively impact manufacturing. ISO 14644-8 establishes standard classes and measurement methods for molecular contamination in cleanrooms and controlled environments.

ISO 14644-9: Classification of Surface Particle Cleanliness

This section classifies surface cleanliness levels based on particle and chemical molecular contamination. Test methods for surface particle and chemical contamination are also given.

ISO 14644-10: Classification of Surface Chemical Cleanliness

ISO 14644-10 provides surface chemical contamination classification specifically for process tool, equipment, and facilities used in microelectronics or similar applications. Limits and measurement methods are defined.

ISO 14644-11: Classification of Airborne Chemical Cleanliness

This part establishes airborne chemical contamination classification levels and limits for equipment, processes, and workshops involved in microelectronics and similar industries. It also defines monitoring and testing methods.

ISO 14644-12: Specifications for Monitoring Airborne Chemical Contamination

ISO 14644-12 gives performance specification and monitoring requirements for airborne chemical contamination in cleanrooms and controlled environments.

ISO 14644-13: Cleanroom Garment System Requirements

This section defines specific standards and testing methods for cleanroom garments. It establishes minimum performance requirements for materials, seams, fabrics and more.

ISO 14644-14: Assessment of Suitability for Use of Equipment

ISO 14644-14 provides assessment methods to determine if equipment and systems are suitable for use in cleanrooms. Chemical, particle, microbiological, physical, ergonomic and other risks are evaluated.

ISO 14644-15: Assessment of Suitability for Use of Cleanroom Gloves

This part gives requirements and test methods to assess if gloves meet cleanroom standards. Performance criteria is defined for physical properties, particle generation, materials compatibility, permeability and more.

ISO 14644-16: Code of Practice for Improving Energy Efficiency

ISO 14644-16 establishes recommended practices for improving cleanroom energy efficiency and environmental performance without compromising cleanliness. Guidance on design, operation, and maintenance is given.

ISO 14644-17: Particle Deposition Rate Applications

This section provides particle deposition rate cleanliness classification specifically for nano-scale manufacturing and similar processes. It establishes maximum deposition rates for particles.

Benefits of Using ISO 14644

There are many benefits to using the ISO 14644 standard for cleanrooms and controlled environments:

  • Ensures cleanrooms meet the necessary cleanliness for the products being manufactured.
  • Allows comparison and equivalency between cleanroom operations worldwide.
  • Standardizes testing and monitoring procedures to demonstrate compliance.
  • Provides a rigorous framework for cleanroom design, construction, and operation.
  • Facilitates quality control and regulatory compliance.
  • Reduces contamination risks and product defects.
  • Improves efficiency and optimizes costs when building and operating cleanrooms.

Challenges of Implementing ISO 14644

While adoption of ISO 14644 delivers many benefits, there can also be some challenges involved:

  • Significant upfront investment may be needed to update existing cleanrooms and processes to meet ISO 14644.
  • Requires comprehensive staff training on the standard and associated methods.
  • Involves extensive documentation, record keeping, and auditing to demonstrate compliance.
  • Ongoing monitoring and re-testing is mandatory to prove cleanrooms meet particle limits.
  • Updating HVAC systems and filtration may be necessary to achieve air cleanliness levels.
  • May need to improve gowning procedures, materials handling, and cleaning processes.
  • Expert consulting help is often needed for first-time implementation.


ISO 14644 provides the globally accepted standards for cleanroom classification, operation, monitoring, and testing. It aims to control particulate and chemical contamination in cleanroom manufacturing environments across industries. Implementing ISO 14644 can enhance quality, reduce risks, and enable regulatory compliance, but requires investment and effort. With proper planning and execution, the benefits of improved cleanliness and product control can outweigh the challenges involved.