Medical cleanroom airflow analysis
Laporte Consultants Inc., an integrator of pharmaceutical environments, teamed up with Creaform in order to perform CFD modeling of two vaccine filling cleanrooms within a major influenza vaccine manufacturing site. The goal of the two analyses was to visualize the recirculation zones and calculate the air velocity at critical planes in the RABS (Restricted Access Barriers). The interaction between the aerodynamic barrier and the vaccine filling machine had to be genuinely seized by the simulations.
The demonstration was convincing and CFD simulations shed light on phenomena that traditional smoke tests, still used for regulatory compliance of pharmaceutical environments, had never been able to resolve before.
Ultimately, the CFD analysis served as a tool to design efficient aerodynamic deflectors and other upgrades that mitigated contamination risks.
- Preliminary analysis of geometry and simulation strategy
- On-site experimental aerodynamic testing with visualisation techniques such as smoke tests and taped tufts
- Numerical geometry reconstruction from cleanrooms blueprints and STL files of machines
- Geometry preparation using CAD software
- Part-by part wrapping of machine components
- Volumetric meshing using polyhedral cells for finite volume analysis
- Boundary conditions specification using performance evaluation of HEPA filtration system, ventilation balancing measurements and pressure gaging in adjacent rooms for secondary air flow rates
- Setting of physical models and numerical parameters
- Test case for parameters validation and mesh independency
- Simulations monitoring
- Post-processing of solutions: visualizations and flow distribution analysis
- Recommendations for flow improvements around non-sterile components of the filling machine
- Validation of on-site design modifications
- Results presentation to the end customer and production of all methodology and substantiation reports
Hi-tech engineering tools and methods used
Based on the client’s needs, Creaform used the following tools and methods:
- Surface wrapper
- Polyhedral mesher
- Steady RANS
- SST k-omega model