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Researching very small particles requires the utmost care: In the clean rooms of the Center for Hybrid Nanostructures (CHyN), nanostructures are produced in a virtually dust-free environment. The equipment in the new building that was completed in the summer of 2017 must be held to a very high standard to produce genuine infinitesimal elements. This also applies to the floor in the clean rooms and laboratories. Not only does it have to be extremely robust, media-resistant and electrostatically dissipative, but it also has to guarantee absolutely vibration-free and thus shock-free operation. For these reasons, nora systems’ flooring systems made of rubber were used. With their extremely dense surface, the rubber floors are not only particularly resistant to chemicals and disinfectants, but also absorb vibrations due to their permanent elasticity.
The CHyN was constructed by Sprinkenhof GmbH at the behest of the Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung (Office for Science, Research and Equality) of the city of Hamburg, and the planning was done by the Berlin office of burckhardtpartner REINERBECKER. The laboratory and office space will be used by eight working groups of the Institut für Nanostruktrurund Festkörperphysik (INF – Institute of Nanostructure and Solid State Physics) at the University of Hamburg. Chemists, biologists and medical scientists take an interdisciplinary approach to collaboratively researching nanostructures. The results of the research offer immense potential for applications in medicine and biology. One example is physically separating strands of DNA. In addition, the scientists are trying to physically replicate endogenous sensors such as the human ear. With this scientific focus and laboratory equipment, the CHyN is a globally unique and well-networked center on the Bahrenfeld research campus in the immediate vicinity of Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), the Center for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL), the Center for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI ) and the Center for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB).
The scientists at the CHyN work with different solvents such as acetone and isopropanol. These will be used to clean samples, for example. “In everyday laboratory operations, it cannot always be avoided that these liquids reach the floor,” notes physics engineer Thomas Finger, technical director of the CHyN. “It was clear to us that the floor had to be extremely resistant to media.” Before deciding on nora® Flooring systems, the products from Weinheim were first put to the test: The ChyN carried out in-house experiments by applying various chemicals to the floor – with positive results. noraplan® sentica ed, which is installed in the clean rooms and semiconductor laboratories covering almost 5,000 square meters, resists contamination, chemicals and disinfectants. nora® rubber floors were tested by Fraunhofer IPA, which certified their eligibility for GMP A as well as under ISO 14644-1 up to Class 2, and noraplan® sentica ed up to Class 3.
“The samples that scientists use here are, on average, only ten by ten millimeters in size and the structures on them are in the nanometer range. It was therefore clear to us that the floor covering had to have extremely good footfall sound absorption in order to avoid any vibrations and to ensure shock-free working,” Finger explains. “A hard PU coating was therefore eliminated from consideration.” The architects advised rubber. Due to their permanent elasticity, nora® floors reduce footfall sounds and unwanted vibrations. Some laboratories at the CHyN, for example, have 600-kilogram optical tables on which microscopes or spectrometers are built. In these areas, the floor must absorb shocks reliably, so as not to corrupt the measurement results. Another plus: nora® floors also reduce noise when walking, thus ensuring a quiet work atmosphere and at the same time providing an ergonomic working environment.
“For both the user and Sprinkenhof GmbH as the client, the 10-year guarantee that nora gives on the ESD properties of its floors was an important argument,” says Carolin Hübner, one of the project managers at the architecture firm burckhardtpartner REINERBECKER. nora® floors are homogeneous and volume-conductive, without wires, fibers or waxes. The earthing is carried out via dissipative adhesive and copper strips for equipotential bonding. “We are renting the building from Sprinkenhof for at least 20 years and since we will have varying uses in the laboratories over such a long period of time, we wanted to equip all laboratories from the outset with an electrostatic dissipative floor even where this may not be necessary at the moment,” Finger says. “It is important for us that everything works smoothly – and over the long term.”
In the clean rooms, the floor is light gray, and the laboratories received noraplan® sentica ed in a medium gray. In contrast, the corridors were designed in a dark red, which echoes the color of the university logo. The color concept was not chosen for aesthetic reasons alone. “We wanted a floor that would look seamless on the surface, but that would also still be dirt-concealing because of the granules,” Hübner explains. “noraplan® sentica was ideal here.” Another major advantage for the architect is the fact that nora® floors with different functional properties, such as electrostatic conductivity, are available in the same design, thus enabling cross-functional design solutions: This way, clean rooms, laboratories, corridors and entrance areas in the CHyN have a uniform appearance. One flooring system – many uses: The other research centers on the Bahrenfeld campus, DESY and CSSB, also use nora® rubber floors over more than 3,300 square meters.
|Center for Hybrid Nanostructures (CHyN)
|Behörde für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung (BWFG) der Stadt Hamburg
|burckhardtpartner REINERBECKER GmbH, Berlin, www.bp-rb.de/en
Electrostatically dissipative “ed” floorings for optimum ESD protection of electronic devices and equipment. Protect against electrical shock, resist most oils and greases.
Rubber floor covering with a changing base colour of harmoniously matched colour components.
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