In what is looking to be a very auspicious Year of the Rat for South Korean giant Samsung, industry analysts are predicting a massive spike in global demand for plasma display panel (PDP) televisions. This is expected to occur in the run-up to the Beijing Olympic Games and UEFA’s European Football Championship, both set to take place this year. As a result, production on Samsung’s PDP lines has shifted into overdrive, with an extra 5.3 million units being turned out this year - an increase of 70% from 2007.
For Samsung, one of the key components in the company’s PDP manufacturing operations has been an O-Ring in Isolast material, supplied by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. The perfluoroelastomer sealing compound withstands very high thermal stresses with a continuous operating temperature of up to 325°C.
Typically used in process applications in the chemical, hydrocarbon, pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries, Isolast sealing products are also employed by equipment manufacturers and end users in other industrial sectors. For the semiconductor industry, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions supplies the Fab RangeTM, materials specially engineered for the sector’s needs. These specialist compounds are formulated specifically for wet, wafer, diffusion and rapid thermal process environments, as well as plasma and chemical-vapor deposition. They have high-temperature capabilities, exhibit low levels of extractable total organic carbon (TOC), demonstrate minimal particle generation, and offer extremely low outgassing.
Samsung uses the O-Ring in the manufacture of its PDP panels. The seal is inserted into a plasma gun (a tool used in the standard production of flat-panel screens) and places a vacuum seal on the unit. According to Samsung, the O-Ring is considered a value-added product, superior in quality and durability when compared to competitive sealing products initially chosen by the company.
“Trelleborg’s O-Ring has better thermal resistance compared to the competitor. And it is easier to install and repair because of its reduced adhesion properties,” says Song Yun-Seok, general manager of Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in South Korea.
The Isolast O-Ring combines high performance and quality, giving superior reliability, longer service life, greater safety, reduced wastage, and a minimized risk of failure. It was first used in 2007 by Samsung in the company’s newest factory, located in Yangsan, South Korea.
In addition to meeting Samsung’s high expectations in terms of product performance, Trelleborg also offers technical and commercial support. “We need our customers to know that we function as solution providers,” says Song. “Samsung is a dynamic company, and we are always looking for ways to help our customers improve their processes.”
Given Trelleborg’s established track record of working closely with customers to help them meet their performance goals, it comes as no surprise that the decision to stock O-Rings locally helped the company stand apart when the time came for Samsung to choose a supplier.
“Being able to access a local stock inventory is important,” Song says. “This equates to fast delivery within one day after placing an order, which is very important to a customer like Samsung.”
With flat-screen success as the foundation of Samsung and Trelleborg’s relationship in South Korea, Song says the future looks bright in terms of opportunities for both companies.
About the Isolast Fab RangeIsolast®is the proprietary range of perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) materials from Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. Isolast Fab Range has been specifically engineered to meet the sealing requirements of semiconductor equipment. This includes the following products.
- Isolast Fab Range J9610, which provides optimum performance in wet processing environments, including wet etch, wet stripping, wet cleaning, plating, chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) and ultra-pure de-ionized water applications. Inherent capabilities enable the compound to cope with continuous operating temperatures up to 235°C/455°F, while exhibiting low levels of extractable total organic carbon (TOC).
- Isolast Fab Range J9630, a white compound developed for plasma and thermal processes. Exhibiting robust long-term resistance and low weight loss, it has excellent resistance to all plasma and dry-process gases in continuous service temperatures to 260°C/500°F.
- Isolast Fab Range J9650, a compound developed for high-temperature wafer-processing applications, including rapid thermal processing, chemical-vapor deposition (CVD), diffusion processing, dry plasma etching, dry ashing, metallization and annealing. It provides effective sealing operation up to temperatures of 320°C/608°F.
- Isolast Fab Range J9670 operates at temperatures up to 315°C/599°F and is specifically formulated for high-temperature plasma applications in wafer processing. It offers superior resistance to aggressive, high-temperature plasma erosion, minimal particle generation and extremely low outgassing.
- Isolast Fab Range J9675 offers excellent chemical resistance and minimal particulation across a range of semiconductor wafer processes. It gives enhanced performance in fluorine- and oxygen-based plasma environments, while its unique curing and filler system ensures superior long-term properties in operating temperatures up to +300°C/+572°F.
- Isolast Fab Range J9680 is a translucent material developed to achieve the ultimate low-particle generation in plasma-process environments. It is suitable for selected applications in deposition, etching, ashing and stripping processes to 230°C/446°F.
For more information, e-mail to Donna.Guinivan@trelleborg.com or visit www.tsstrelleborg.com.