Title:
Clean room overall and a method for dressing and undressing the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clean room overall (1), to be worn to minimize contamination by particulate material from the body to the clean room and/or from the clean room to the body. The overall (1) covers the body at least from the neck (2) down, the arms at least down to the wrists (3), and the legs at least down to the ankles (4). The garment provides two separate openings (5, 6) with devices for opening and closure; a first opening (5) for dressing and a second opening for undressing (6); to minimize cross-contamination between the inside and the outside of the garment during dressing and/or undressing. Also disclosed is a method for dressing and undressing a clean room overall (1) in which dressing and undressing is carried out through different openings (5, 6) of the overall (1).



Inventors:
Hakkarainen, Paula (Turku, FI)
Tuominen, Maria (Masku, FI)
Application Number:
10/557575
Publication Date:
12/07/2006
Filing Date:
05/25/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/00; A41D13/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES C. LYDON (North Springfield, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A clean room overall, to be worn in clean rooms to minimize contamination by any particulate material from the body to the clean room and/or from the clean room to the body; comprising a garment in one piece; covering, when worn, the body at least from the neck down, the arms at least down to the wrists, and the legs at least down to the ankles; wherein the garment provides two separate openings, with means for opening and closure; a first opening for dressing and a second opening for undressing; to minimize cross-contamination between the inside and the outside of the garment during dressing and/or undressing; wherein the second opening for undressing is formed by enlarging an opening for the neck or face through opening of seams provided with means for opening and closure, the seams to be opened extending from the neck or face opening into the direction of both armpits.

2. The clean room overall according to claim 1 wherein the first opening for dressing extends at least from the ankle of one leg up to the crotch and down to at least the other ankle of the other leg.

3. The clean room overall according to claim 1, wherein the material of the overall is selected from the group consisting of flash spun polyester, twill woven fabric from polyester filament compound with carbon or metal fibres, and laminated fabric.

4. The clean room overall according to claim 1, wherein the means for opening and closure of the openings for dressing and/or undressing is a zipper.

5. A method for dressing and undressing a clean room overall to be worn in clean rooms to minimize contamination by any particulate material from the body to the clean room and/or from the clean room to the body; comprising a garment in one piece; covering, when worn, the body at least from the neck down, the arms at least down to the wrists, and the legs at least down to the ankles; wherein dressing and undressing is carried out through different openings of the overall; wherein undressing is carried out through an opening which is formed by enlarging an opening for the neck or face through opening of seams provided with means for opening and closure, the seams to be opened extending from the neck or face opening into the direction of both armpits.

6. The method according to claim 5 wherein dressing is carried out through an opening that extends at least from the ankle of one leg up to the crotch and down to at least the other ankle of the other leg.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to improvements in the design of clean room clothing. The invention relates more specifically to a clean room overall with improved features useful for appropriate dressing and undressing of the overall.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Technical development in today's industry sets higher and higher standards for the protection of the production area from airborne dirt and particles. During production, products that e.g. require a high level of hygiene will be contaminated and damaged if dirt or other particles come into contact with the product surface. To ensure that production losses are not caused by contamination e.g. in the form of microbes or other human contaminants it is essential that people working in the clean room are fully protected. Different kinds of clean room clothes have been developed and a lot of development work has been done regarding materials, but little attention has been paid to design. A difficult dressing process possibly repeated several times a day can delay production processes and reduce productivity. Difficulties in appropriate dressing and undressing can lead to people becoming tired and consequently careless when dressing. This can e.g. lower the overall hygiene level.

Today people get dressed in clean room overalls either through a front middle seam opening or a side seam opening, which is closed with a zipper. The chest area is easily contaminated when getting dressed. The zipper typically contaminates the front area when the overall is pulled over the shoulders. Getting dressed and undressed demands balance and suppleness so that the overall does not touch the ground or other surfaces and the dresser does not touch the outside of the overall especially if the overall is used several times between washes and maintenance. Getting dressed takes a long time and demands both mental and physical stamina from the worker.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a clean room overall with improved features with respect to ease of dressing and undressing as well as tendency for cross-contamination between the inside and outside of the overall when dressing and undressing.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method for dressing and undressing a clean room overall.

Thus the present invention provides a clean room overall, to be worn in clean rooms to minimize contamination by any particulate material from the body to the clean room and/or from the clean room to the body. The overall comprises a garment in one piece, covering (when worn) the body at least from the neck down, the arms at least down to the wrists, and the legs at least down to the ankles. It is characteristic for the garment that it provides two separate openings, with means for opening and closure, a first opening for dressing and a second opening for undressing, to minimize cross-contamination between the inside and the outside of the garment during dressing and/or undressing.

The present invention further provides a method for dressing and undressing a clean room overall to be worn in clean rooms to minimize contamination by any particulate material from the body to the clean room and/or from the clean room to the body. The overall to be used in the method comprises a garment in one piece, which covers, when worn, the body at least from the neck down, the arms at least down to the wrists, and the legs at least down to the ankles. Characteristic for the method is that dressing and undressing is carried out through different openings of the overall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a clean room overall from the front.

FIG. 2 shows a clean room overall from the back.

FIG. 3 shows a clean room overall from the front with the opening for dressing open.

FIG. 4 shows a clean room overall from the front with the opening for undressing open.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the context of this application the term “clean room” means any facility in which measures have been taken to protect either the process carried out in the facility and/or product produced in the facility from being contaminated with particles process and/or product typically originating from the workers and/or measures have been taken to protect the worker from being contaminated with particles foreign to the worker originating from the process carried out in the clean room or from the product. The particles of interest may be any particles harmful for the process and/or product, and/or particles harmful for the workers and/or the outside environment. The term “clean room” especially refers to clean rooms classified in classes 3 to 7 according to ISO standard 14644.

The terms “clean room overall” shall be understood to mean a one piece garment, with long sleeves and long legs, that is part of a clothing system for clean rooms. Other components, such as a hood, gloves and/or footwear, of the system can be integrated to the overall thus forming an integral part of the overall. The overall, however, need not comprise anything more than a one-piece part covering, when worn, the body from the neck down, the arms down to the wrists, and the legs down to the ankles.

The term “means for opening and closure” is defined as any means enabling a closure that hinders particles from passing through it that can be opened and closed preferably repeatedly. A typical means would be a zipper.

This invention concerns clean room clothing, which aims to prevent dirt and other particles originating from those working from contaminating the work area. The product and production process will be harmfully affected if clothing does not prevent such contamination. The invention also relates to cleanliness classification (e.g. sterile and/or particle quantity control) of the dressing and undressing process as well as the structure of the clothing, which changes the process.

The clean room clothing according to the invention offers the possibility for getting dressed and undressed in different ways. This design makes dressing and undressing easier and faster and removes the risk of contamination to the front of the garment. The invented design also makes it possible to get dressed from the top down so that loose particles fall down and pass out of the workspace through the ventilation system. The invented design ensures that the inside and outside of the overall do not come into contact with each other when undressing.

In one preferred embodiment of a clean room overall the first opening for dressing and/or undressing, especially useful for dressing, extends from the inside of the ankle opening of one leg up to the crotch and down to the inside of the other ankle opening of the other leg.

In another preferred embodiment of a clean room overall the second opening for dressing and/or undressing, especially useful for undressing, is formed by enlarging the opening for the neck through opening of seams provided with means for opening and closure the seems to be opened preferably extending from the neck opening into the direction of both armpits.

The material of the clean room overall should have properties suitable for clean rooms. Thus particles should not be able to penetrate the material, the material should be ware-resistant and antistatic and it should be comfortable, and preferably sterilizable and durable. Preferred materials would be flash spun polyester, twill woven fabric from polyester filament compound with carbon or metal fibres, or laminated fabric, such as laminated polyester attached e.g. with a PTFE plastic membrane.

A preferable means for closure of the openings for dressing and/or undressing is a zipper.

In a preferable embodiment of the method for dressing and undressing dressing is carried out through an opening that extends from the inside of the ankle opening of one leg up to the crotch and down to the inside of the other ankle opening of the other leg.

In another preferable embodiment of the method for dressing and undressing, undressing is carried out through an opening, which is formed by enlarging the opening for the neck through opening of seams, provided with means for opening and closure, the seems to be opened preferably extending from the neck opening into the direction of both armpits.

In a yet more preferable embodiment dressing and undressing is carried out through openings as disclosed in the two preceding paragraphs.

When dressing a clean room overall according to the present invention the overall is typically pulled over the head through the opening for dressing. The opening for dressing is typically fully open and preferably also the opening for undressing can be at least partially open to facilitate dressing. If the opening for dressing is an opening that extends from the inside of the ankle opening of one leg up to the crotch and down to the inside of the other ankle opening of the other leg of the overall this opening is preferably fully open. If the opening for undressing is the opening for the neck enlarged through opening of seams provided with means for opening and closure of the seems to be opened, preferably extending from the neck opening into the direction of both armpits, these seams are preferably partially open when dressing. The head and arms are passed simultaneously into the overall through the opening for dressing. The head is further passed through the undressing opening and the arms through the sleeves. When the hands have been passed through the sleeves and the head through the opening for undressing, preferably the extended opening of the neck, then typically the opening for undressing, preferably the extensions of the opening for the neck, are closed first and then the opening for dressing, preferably an opening that extends from the inside of the ankle opening of one leg up to the crotch and down to the inside of the other ankle opening of the other leg of the overall, is closed.

When undressing a clean room overall according to the present invention the opening for undressing is first opened. If the opening for undressing is the opening for the neck enlarged through opening of seams provided with means for opening and closure the seems to be opened, preferably extending from the neck opening into the direction of both armpits, these seams are preferably fully opened when undressing. The opening for dressing is typically closed when undressing. After having, preferably fully, opened the opening for undressing the top part of the overall, the overall is typically dropped when withdrawing the hands from the arms of the overall, and the person undressing preferably grabs the overall at the inside of the waist part of the overall. The overall is now folded at the waist the outer sides (upper and lower part) of the overall facing each other. After this the person undressing typically grabs the openings for the ankles one after the other and withdraws the legs from the legs of the overall, correspondingly one after the other, preferably all the time holding the openings for the ankles of the overall with one hand. The person undressing typically finally graps the inner side of the overall facing the neck when dressed, which inner side preferably is equipped with a loop for hanging, and straightens out the overall. Preferably the person undressing never touches the outside of the overall when undressing, thus he or she only grabbs the overall from inside when undressing.

If the overall is washed and/or sterilized after each use, there is off course no need to avoid cross-contaminating the outside and inside of the overall during undressing. In this case the overall can simply be dropped to the ankles after having opened the opening for undressing and then the legs can be pulled out of the legs of the overall.

An embodiment of a clean room overall 1 according to the present invention is disclosed in schematic FIGS. 1, 2 and 3.

FIG. 1 shows the front part of the embodiment. The overall 1 has raglan sleeves, with openings for the wrists 3 and the sleeve seams 8 extending from the opening for the neck 2 to the armpits 9 have openings with fastenings. Below the waist there is a transverse seam. The opening between the legs from the opening of one ankle 4 up to the crotch and down to the other ankle 4 are closed with a fastening or fastenings.

FIG. 2 shows the back part of the embodiment. The back is not essential in this embodiment whereas fastenings and other features relevant to the invention are in the front of the garment.

FIG. 3 shows the route and direction of dressing. The first opening 5 for dressing is open when getting dressed and after getting dressed it is fastened. The first opening 5 does not need to be opened when getting undressed. The opening from the crotch 7 to the ankles 4 of the legs is closed using a fastening suitable for preventing particles from escaping. The ankle parts of the overall are designed so that legs can easily slip out and fastenings do not need to be opened when undressing.

FIG. 4 illustrates one solution of this embodiment for fitting the dressing opening 6 to the shoulders. The opening at the shoulder 6 is as wide as the user. In this embodiment the opening 6 is in the front raglan seams 8. The opening 6 is closed when the overall is being worn using means for closure, e.g. zippers, thus preventing particles from escaping. The size of the opening 6 is based on the size of the person using the overall. The opening is closed with a fastening suitable for clean room technicians leaving just enough room for the neck. The neck opening construction can be flexible allowing the head to be pulled through without opening the raglan seams.

It will be appreciated that the present invention can be incorporated in the form of a variety of embodiments, only a few of which are disclosed herein. It will be apparent for the specialist in the field that other embodiments exist and do not depart from the spirit of the invention. Thus, the described embodiments are illustrative and should not be construed as restrictive.