Tag Archives: perfluoroelastomer

Parker’s Low Temperature FFKM Provides Critical Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.

Original content can be found on Parker’s Website.


Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions with a Low Temperature FFKM

Technology advancements and new-to-world discoveries are constantly creating a new series of challenges for seal materials in the Oil and Gas industry. In today’s environments, seals are being pushed to perform in temperature, pressure and chemical extremes never before thought to be obtainable with rubber products. Application pressures exceeding 20,000 psi, service temperatures ranging from -40°F to upwards of 500°F, and exposure to some of the most aggressive media on the planet are placing immense amounts of stress on sealing elements. Parker’s FF400-80 compound has been formulated to provide a solution to all of these sealing challenges.

FF400-80 Compound – FFKM Product Features

  • Temperature range: -40° to 527°F
  • Best-in-Class low-temperature FFKM
  • Excellent compression set resistance
  • RGD resistant per ISO 23936-2 and TOTAL GS EP PVV 142
  • Sour service H2S resistant per ISO 23936-2
  • Maintained resilience at high pressures and low temperatures
  • Great for use in HTHP applications

Sounds great, but what’s the catch?

Continue reading Parker’s Low Temperature FFKM Provides Critical Oil & Gas Sealing Solutions

Kalrez® Parts Extend Service Life for Process Instrument

The Challenge

By switching from gasket seals of PTFE to custom gaskets of DuPont™ Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts in the sensor head of a process instrument refractometer used by the food, pulp and paper and chemical industries, process instrument manufacturer K-Patents Oy, Vantaa, Finland, was able to dramatically extend instrument service life, increase reliability and safety, and reduce costs for the company and its customers.

Instrument - Refractometer
Delicate digital detector circuits and fibre optics in the sensor head of K-Patents’“PR-01-S” process refractometer are sealed from attack by aggressive process media, temperatures from –20 ° to +220 °C, and pressures from –0,7 to +25 bar, by two DuPont™ Kalrez® gaskets situated either side of the vital Spinel prism

The Solution

Aggressive environment
Through permanent in-line fluids immersion, K-Patents’ “PR-01-S” refractometer is exposed to temperatures      from –20 ° to +220 °C, pressures from –0,7 to +25 bar, and some 500 process fluids and chemicals, many of which are extremely aggressive. Delicate digital detector circuits and fiber optics in the sensor head are sealed by two gaskets from attack by aggressive fluids. Because of inherent inelasticity, the original PTFE gaskets could not withstand the dynamic temperature fluctuations of many food, pulp and paper and chemical manufacturing processes, creating a leak path allowing process media to enter and damage the device. As a result, costly replacement of the PTFE seal became necessary approximately every 6–12 months.

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Parker ULTRA® FFKM for Semiconductor Applications

Article re-posted with permission from Parker Hannifin Sealing & Shielding Team.
Original content can be found on Parker’s Blog.


Semiconductor FFKM Offers Low Particle Generation AND Extreme Etch Resistance

Semiconductor Manufacturing - FF302In the world of semiconductor manufacturing, performance requirements are driving circuit sizes smaller and smaller, causing increased sensitivity to wafer defects. In parallel, the number of manufacturing steps has also increased driving a need for improved tool utilization and leaving more opportunity for these defects to be introduced. Identifying and eliminating the sources of defects is a tedious but necessary process to improve wafer yield.

What impact does seal contamination make?

One very distinct source of defects are the seals within a fab’s tool. Plasmas involved in both deposition, etch and cleaning processes utilize aggressive chemistries that put even high-functioning perfluorinated sealing compounds to the test. Much room for improvement has been left in this industry with many seal materials still posing significant threats to defectivity or downtime despite being designed for low particle generation or etch resistance.

How can Parker ULTRA change the industry?

Parker’s UltraTM FF302 Perfluorelastomer has proven success in CVD and etch applications, putting this material at the top of its class.  Typically, seal materials for semiconductor applications are optimized for low particulation or extreme etch resistance, however, Ultra FF302 provides both attributes in one material.  Laboratory testing shows Ultra FF302 has lower erosion in aggressive plasma chemistries even when compared to today’s leading elastomeric materials (Figure 1 below shows comparison erosion levels of various etch resistant perfluoroelastmers after exposure to Oplasma).

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NEW White Paper! Elastomer Seals for Instrumentation

Instrumentation - High Performance SealsGallagher recently released our High Performance Elastomer Seals for the Instrumentation Industry White Paper, available for download on our site.  This was written by Russ Schnell, an Elastomer Consultant contracted by Gallagher Fluid Seals, and a former Senior Application Engineer with the Kalrez® perfluoroelastomer parts business at DuPont.  This white paper is now available for download on our Resources page.

Introduction

The term instrumentation covers a wide variety of applications. In the broadest sense, instrumentation may be considered as any equipment used for measurements. This equipment may be in a process stream and include devices such as flowmeters, pressure gages, and inline probes. Data from these devices are used for process control. In automobiles, sensors are used for a variety of applications including measuring the exhaust stream to “tune” the engine to yield maximum performance. Analytical laboratory instruments such as chromatographs and flame ionization detectors are used to determine the composition of samples. Instruments are used in the medical industry for product analysis as well as analysis of blood and urine samples. Of course this is only a partial list of the many applications involving instruments.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing – Summary

Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet Processes

NEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing the key reasons to choose perfluoroelastomers over fluoroelastomers for semiconductor manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.

 


Perfluoroelastomers (e.g. Kalrez® parts), often replace fluoroelastomer (e.g. Viton®) in semiconductor applications. However, even though perfluoroelastomers are the highest performance elastomers, there are still subtle differences between products. It is suggested that the elastomer supplier be contacted regarding the optimum product and seal design for specific applications. As mentioned above the key characteristics of perfluoroelastomers include:

  • Lower offgassing than other elastomers, especially at temperatures above 200°C, which lowers the risk of product contamination.
  • Better sealing force retention (lower compression set) at temperatures over 200°C, which is critical for longer service.
    Best overall chemical resistance of any elastomer family.
  • Formulations with extremely low particle generation in aggressive process environments.
  • Generally higher gas permeation than fluoroelastomers.
  • Higher coefficient of thermal expansion when compared to fluoroelastomers. Proper seal design will account for this and optimize performance.

Continue reading Semiconductor Manufacturing – Summary

Semiconductor Manufacturing – Wet Process

Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet ProcessesNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing plasma process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Semiconductor Manufacturing - Wet ProcessesAlthough this is a smaller segment of the semiconductor chip manufacturing industry, it still plays an important role. Wet processes can be used in cleaning, etching, and other steps in chip manufacture. Wafers may be cleaned and rinsed after initial wafer preparation. This step removes residual particles and other contamination on the wafer surface. The wafer may then be exposed to chemicals for adhesion promotion and/or photoresist deposition. After photoresist is applied to the wafer surface, the wafer can be exposed to a number of photolithography steps. The wafer may then be exposed to liquid developer solutions and photoresist stripping solutions. Resist strippers usually involve aggressive acids or organic solvents. Finally, wet processes can also be used in etching processes, which typically involve strong acids.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing – Thermal Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing thermal process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Semiconductor Manufacturing - Thermal ProcessThe term “thermal process” covers a fairly wide range of applications. Per the name, these application temperatures are generally higher than plasma processes, ranging up to 300°C. This general term can cover processes including: Sub Atmospheric Chemical Vapor Deposition (SACVD), Metal CVD, Low Pressure CVD (LPCVD), Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP), and Oxidation or Diffusion furnaces. In these applications the wafers and the equipment that surrounds them, are heated to extremely high temperatures. In the case of thermal deposition, the high temperatures aid in the uniformity of the coating thickness.

Rapid Thermal Processing is used to very rapidly heat a wafer up to temperatures of 1000°C or greater for short periods of time. “Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) can be used to reduce the thermal redistribution of impurities at high temperature…. RTP was originally developed for ion implant anneal, but has broadened its application to oxide growth, chemical vapor deposition, and silicidation.” For oxidation or diffusion furnaces, the applications are different, but still involve high temperatures. For oxidation applications, the procedure involves formation of a thin oxide film on the wafer surface. For diffusion applications, the furnace may assist in silicon dioxide formation on the wafer surface or it may be used to diffuse dopants in the wafer. For these applications, temperatures may range up to 1200°C.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing – Plasma Process

Plasma Process Manufacturing - Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper discussing plasma process manufacturing.  You can download the white paper in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Plasma Process

Plasma Process Manufacturing - Computer Chip In plasma process manufacturing, a remote plasma source generates a plasma gas. Note that this type of process is run in a vacuum environment. This gas is composed of ions, electrons, radicals and neutral particles. The flow of these particles must be carefully controlled for etching, deposition, or ashing/stripping processes. These processes often use oxygen, fluorine, and other exotic plasma gases, which are extremely aggressive to many materials. In addition, cleaning processes often use oxygen plasma. Precise control of the plasma gas in the chamber is critical so processes perform as expected, for all the individual chips, across the entire diameter of the wafer.

In the plasma process, which typically operate under a high vacuum, FFKM seals can be critical for maintaining system integrity and providing a long seal life. The term “long seal life” is relative.  However these seals must perform at high temperatures, up to 250°C, and still maintain low offgassing and low particle generation to prevent contaminating the manufacturing process. In some cases, under extremely aggressive conditions of plasma gases and high temperatures, 6-8 weeks may be considered a long service life for an elastomer seal.

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Basic Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals recently added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper.  You can download it in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


The following is a simplified process chart for chip manufacture in the semiconductor industry:

Basic Semiconductor Process

Following the process shown above:

  1. A silicon wafer has been prepared from an ingot by cutting and polishing. The wafer then has layers of material applied. These include a silicon oxide layer, a silicon nitride layer and a layer of photoresist.
  2. A light is then projected through a reticle and a lens unto the wafer surface. This pattern is projected numerous times onto the wafer for each chip. Continue reading Basic Semiconductor Manufacturing Process

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry

Perfluoroelastomers for the Semicon IndustryNEW White Paper Available!

Gallagher Fluid Seals has added a new white paper to its Resources Page, Perfluoroelastomers for the Semiconductor Industry, written by Russ Schnell.  Below is an excerpt from the new white paper.  You can download it in its entirety by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.


Perfluoroelastomers for the Semicon IndustryThe semiconductor industry, one of today’s major industries, produces integrated circuits (chips) which have found their way into everyday devices from toasters to smartphones to high speed computers.  Integrated circuits are expected to perform operations faster and faster while attaining ever higher levels of reliability. As these chips become more complex and powerful the process for their manufacture becomes more complicated. Years ago a chip may have gone through 100 steps as underlying circuits were constructed.  Now chips may go through more than 400 steps and the complexity of these circuits, and their capability, has greatly increased. This also results in more opportunities for problems during manufacture. Line widths, the width of the electrical pathways, have decreased in order to pack more capacity into each chip. This dictates that contaminants from the production equipment, gas streams, seals, etc., must be essentially eliminated to avoid contamination and chip malfunction.

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