The new standard colour RAL 9012 Clean room white

Using colour to counter the white noise in clean rooms

The situation in most clean rooms as of now

In keeping with the emphasis on cleanliness in the work environment, most clean rooms are designed in white. In addition, a lot of glass and stainless steel are used. High-strength lighting and primarily white clean-room clothing visually underscore the high standard of cleanliness. This produces a monotone atmosphere – a white noise, almost like a case of tinnitus in the background. Even if one sometimes thinks one could get used to it, it is a permanent fixture and requires that the organism expend a lot of energy to adapt itself.

A reaction involving adapting to the situation means stress for the human organism!

Colour to counter the white noise in the clean room

The work done in clean rooms is highly sensitive and requires the work environment to be clean, pure, and clear. From employees, the highest level of attention is demanded, and a consistent level of perfection. This is a taxing responsibility for employees to fulfil.

Meaningful colour design improves work conditions and increases the motivation of employees, while reducing sources of error at the same time. Workplaces that are designed in a visually ergonomic way increase the ability to concentrate longer, so the risk of accidents and breakdowns in production is reduced.

The wall colour in a clean room should be chosen in such a way that the eye can focus on the wall. With other colours most frequently used in clean rooms this is not possible. Moreover, more than other colours, other white tones reflect natural daylight, which on annual average tends to be grey and dull, rather than sunny and bright. Because of this, rooms designed with other white tones have a cool and grey appearance. This effect is most evident on the darkest surface of the room, which is the ceiling. Because of shade, a ceiling which is actually white has a greyed and “dingy” appearance.

A clean colour for clean rooms

With the introduction of the new colour RAL 9012 Clean room white, RAL gGmbH, Bonn provides the industry with a new standard colour for the clean room. It is a bright and clear, slightly yellow tinge of white, which meets the special needs and requirements of clean rooms. The yellow component is weak enough that it doesn’t dominate, but in a harmonious and supportive way it gives the rest of the room design a friendly ambience instead.

The innovation was initiated by the colour designers Cordula Bahm and Alfred Schleicher of the colour studio Raum für Farbe (reinraumdesign.de).

RAL 9012 Clean room white expresses the purity that clean rooms require. It makes rooms appear bright, fresh and sunny. Clean room white supports visual ergonomics, because the reflection of light with a slightly yellow tinge improves the sharpness of vision. The human eye can adapt more easily, and doesn’t tire as quickly. Among others this factor improves the well-being of employees, which reduces rates of sickness.

The standardisation of Clean room white as RAL 9012 provides planning security in relation to the different building components and surfaces from various producers. It thus allows the planners, producers and companies around the world to coordinate with one another without confusion. The colour can be integrated in the manufactures’ collections as standard colour. This makes additional charges for “special colours” unnecessary.

Sample images
Room simulation with ceiling and walls in other white: monotonous, low-contrast, tiring
Room simulation with ceiling and walls in other white: monotonous, low-contrast, tiring
Room simulation with ceiling and walls in Clean room white: friendly and motivating atmosphere
Room simulation with ceiling and walls in Clean room white: friendly and motivating atmosphere
On the left other white tones on the right the hue RAL 9012 Clean room white
On the left other white tones on the right the hue RAL 9012 Clean room white
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