Apex Industries, a precision machining and fabrication company in Tigard, Oregon, has chosen Flametec Cleanroom PVC-C for the machine parts and weldment it supplies to ClassOne Technology for use in its flagship product, the Solstice technology platform
Solstice is used for the wet-chemical processing of semiconductor substrates, performing steps that not only prepare wafers for plating, but also the electroplating itself, as well as the post-plating wet chemical process steps.
Flametec Cleanroom PVC-C, is ANSI FM-4910 compliant, a designation given to a material that passes the Factory Mutual test for fire propagation and smoke damage.
Contamination from smoke particulates and toxicity can cause damage to factory facilities, products and technologies and endangers employees. In addition to FM4910, PVC-C also meets UL-94 5VA and is RoHS and REACH compliant.
“Apex uses Flametec Cleanroom PVC-C because it meets fire-safe compliance standards, is chemical and moisture-resistant, machinable, easy to fabricate and stands up to punishing environments,” said Jason Shostrand, Sales and Business Development Manager at Apex.
“This allows us to design and manufacture solutions that serve a multitude of semiconductor wet process tools used for cleaning, etching, plating and chemical and fluid distribution applications.”
Apex specialises in the design and manufacturing of custom products where purity and chemical resistance are critically important.
The company offers flexible turnkey manufacturing options where materials selection plays a critical role. Flametec Cleanroom PVC-C, sourced from local Vycom authorised distributors, is used to wrap and build many facets of the ClassOne Technology’s Solstice plating systems, but most notably, the housing.
The material is also used in many components in the CopperMax chamber itself to ensure the bath remains clean and bath life is extended.
Several types of wet chemical processes such as cleaning, etching, stripping, and electroplating, can be performed by mixing and matching the appropriate processing chambers in the Solstice.
Shostrand said: “Just as important as the design and manufacturing of these wet processing systems are the PVC materials that go into them—with their own set of performance properties that improve the end result and provide processing benefits to the OEM or end-user chip fabricator.”
“Materials are of critical importance to ClassOne and its customers in the semiconductor industry,” said Kevin Witt, President of ClassOne.
“As our flagship product, the Solstice is sold to deliver precision results across a range of demanding technologies. This means that each component and sub-assembly is scrutinized in terms of performance and cost to ensure that it is compatible and capable of getting the job done.”
He adds ClassOne’s customers expect all materials to be FM4910 compliant, to mitigate the risk to their site and employees.
“There are many factors that influence the choice of material for these demanding conditions,” said Witt. “Safety is the number one concern – so process equipment like the Solstice must be designed properly and be made of the right materials.”