Materion Microelectronics & Services, a unit of Materion Corp., has completed a 50% capacity expansion at its facility in Wheatfield, N.Y. The site provides precision parts cleaning and surface treatment of physical vapor deposition (PVD) shield kits for manufacturers in photovoltaics and other industries.
The investment includes a fully automated robotic twin wire arc spray, increased precious metal refining capacity, new cleaning processes, and a clean room certified to Class 10,000.
The fully automated robotic twin wire arc spray can increase the process lifetime of shielding used in particulate-sensitive processes, according to the company. The technology applies an under-layer surface coating to parts after they have been cleaned and the precious metals have been recovered. The coating provides an enhanced surface roughness that increases a part's adhesion properties in the vacuum chamber, allowing more material to be deposited and minimizing random particles that would otherwise be deposited on the subsequent product.
After cleaning, all parts pass through a variety of inspections and tests to ensure dimensional tolerances and complete cleanliness. When customers receive their parts, the units are ready to be installed into thin-film chambers for deposition. Later, after the part has been used and returned to Materion, the under-layer coating can be removed for cleaning, Materion adds.