Generally, major wars are rare and its variability in time and geographical scope are hard to predict. Many countries allot substantial resources to invest on the procurement, maintenance and training of armies in order to deter a war and, if necessary, be prepared for major attacks against them. Defense industries have become an integral part of a nation’s security.
On a cleanroom paradigm
During war, increase in reliance on electronic equipment (e.g., radar, proximity fuse, portable radio) result in the need for miniaturization of mechanical devices and systems, and electrical, electronic, and electromechanical systems as well.
Wartime efforts to fit increasingly complex devices and systems in small spaces, such as in aircrafts and missiles, have brought new requirements to approach the downscale of size while maintaining high reliability.
Military applications were one of the main driving forces for the invention of semiconductors. Semiconductors, also known as chips, are tiny electronic devices consisting of billions of components which store, move, and process data. These provide the “brains”, memory, and data capabilities of various products ranging from cellphones, aircrafts to military equipment and weapons.
For military equipment and weapons, semiconductors are used in many defense-related components (e.g., computers, sensors, switches, amplifiers). According to an analyst as cited in the article of Gain, B. in 2003, electronic contents/components are increasing in military ordinance, fighter planes, bombers, tanks, armored personal carriers, and a range of other weapon systems.
Miniaturization was one of the primary drivers for the need of contamination control in the industry. Along with this, the production of semiconductors involve a relatively extreme complex manufacturing process as it is small and densely packed with transistors. Fabrication of semiconductors consist of multiple steps to create integrated circuits, including microprocessors, memory, and microcontrollers. The entire process at an average last for six to eight weeks and is performed in fabrication plans that require clean rooms.
Esco offers a wide range of products and cleanroom components that allows efficient manufacturing/ processing of electronics and semiconductors. Examples of these include Isolators and Laminar Flow Straddle Units.
Maintenance of controlled room condition and reduction of cross-contamination is enhanced with pass boxes, pass-through, and air showers at the exit, and/or in between the controlled room and its external environment.
On a containment paradigm
Nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are considered as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) due to its capability of causing massive and indiscriminate destruction of the environment and human beings.
- Chemical Weapons
Usage of toxic substances as weapons is dated to have been practiced since several thousands of years ago. It is associated with traditional methods of hunting which include: use of poisoned weapons (e.g., arrows, spears), poisoning of water (watering holes/ fishing), and fumigation of animals with toxic combustion products.
All of which are hunting forms that have appeared in combat and have later particularly developed for ancient wars, and have persisted until the present time.
Of the three WMD, chemical weapons (CW), by far, have been the most widely used stockpiled weapons, and their biochemical properties are used to debilitate or kill people, animals, and plants. Effects of CW to human beings include the following:
- Exogenous irritation (i.e., skin and eyes)
- Endogenous irritation (i.e., lungs)
- Collapse of nervous system
- Disruption of oxygen flow throughout the body
- Biological Weapons
Biological weapons (BW) are among the oldest weapons used through history of mankind. Of the three WMD, BWs are considered to be the deadliest in relation to the amount needed for it to cause widespread suffering and death. Most of the well-known forms of BW (e.g., anthrax, typhus, smallpox) are derived from bacteria, viruses, biological toxins, or fungi.
In consideration to the destructive potential of the explosion, along with the extreme heat, the nuclear fallout generated, and the serious long-term health consequences they cause, nuclear weapons are the most extreme form of WMD
Nuclear weapons can be derived from nuclear fission, or a combination of fission and fusion (the latter called a thermonuclear weapon). This involves a process where a sufficient amount of fissile material (e.g., highly enriched uranium or plutonium) is required to start a nuclear chain reaction.
Esco offers a wide range of products with containment technologies fit for handling and manufacturing of military/ defense weapons. Examples of these include Isolators and Ventilated Balance Enclosures
which can handle non-sterile hazardous/toxic substances while protecting the operator and environment from cross-contamination or exposure.
Esco Pharma with its innovative and turnkey solutions, backed with its four (4) core technologies
, enables various industries such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals to comply with the internationally accredited GMP, as well as, industrial, environmental, and health and safety standards.
- Bonheim, M., Burns, G., Hoffer, G., Keys, D., Kovalenko, V., Maitland, A., Marks, W., Marotta, A., McMahon, N., Specht, S., Stuart, S., Yao, M., Losman, D., Moss, K., & Topic, G. (2003). Electronics Industry Study Report: Semiconductors and Defense Electronics. The Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Retrieved from: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a524792.pdf
- Gain, B. (2003). Military Mode - Will Homeland Security and The War With Iraq Lead to an Increase in Spending on Military Electronics?. Electronics Buyers News.
- Holbrook, D. (2009). Controlling contamination: the origins of clean room technology. History and Technology, 25(3), 173-191. doi: 10.1080/07341510903083203
- Kühn, U. (2018). The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces: Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Weapons, (Meijer, H., & Wyss, M., Eds.). Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001
- Mantin, B., & Tishler, A. (2004). The structure of the defense industry and the security needs of the country: A differentiated products model. Defence and Peace Economics, 15(5), 397-419. doi: 10.1080/1024269042000219323
- Pitschmann, V. (2014). Overall View of Chemical and Biochemical Weapons. Toxins, 6(6), 1761-1784. doi: 10.3390/toxins6061761
- Platzer, M., & Sargent, J. (2016). U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy. Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved from: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44544.pdf