IT Cleaning Ltd Magazine Article published in Cleanroom Technology
ProtectIT: Protecting IT Equipment from Construction Dust: IT Equipment Protection
“Contamination has been the indirect cause of more IT downtime than all the fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and disgruntled employees combined.” – Jon William Toigo, Disaster Recovery Planning, Third Edition.
IT Equipment Protection: One of the biggest sources of particulate (dust) contamination of IT equipment is dust created during refurbishment work. The dust created is very small and very abrasive and therefore very damaging to moving parts of the server i.e. fans etc. The most damaging construction dust will be from one of two sources: silica based dust, from concrete, mortar, sandstone ect and low toxicity dust like plaster and plasterboard. Construction dust is produced in vast quantities and is very small (0.3μm (0.0003 of a mm) micron and up). This dust will quickly block airways causing overheating. Contractors often fail to effectively protect your mission critical equipment. This is due to the contractors lack of appreciation of how small these sub-micron particles are, and how they behave. Also dust like plaster dust has deliquescent relative humidity (Critical Relative Humidity) lower than the data centres relative humidity so will absorb moisture from the air and become damp, this will promote corrosion (sulphur & copper creep etc} and/or ionic migration (polarity changes) which will damage your equipment. Put in simple terms Plaster dust will absorb moisture from the air, become damp (eventually dissolving in the liquid) and damage the electronics in the equipment. If you ever walk in a room with plaster dust present you will notice your mouth dry’s quickly this is the plaster dust absorbing the moisture in your mouth.
IT Cleaning Ltd can use its IT Equipment Protection system to enclose the IT Equipment or the work area. Then using HEPA filtered air scrubbers, we will create a positive or negative pressure, which will ensure dust from the work area, can not migrate into the IT Equipment. By either keeping it out (enclosing IT equipment, positive pressure) or keeping it in the work area (enclosing Work area, negative pressure). We can control and monitor temperature within the enclosure to ensure equipment can continue to work whilst the refurbishment is happening. We will take air particulate readings of both work and clean area to prove the system is working.
“Perhaps the most important step to take to control contamination, is to contract with a reputable computer room maintenance company, to perform routine cleaning”. John William Toigo, Disaster Recovery Planning Third Addition.