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Silicon Carbide Coating Plant Opens For business

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Thermic Edge are pleased to announce that our Silicon Carbide coating plant is now open for business. Located in Carluke Scotland, our revolutionary new SiC coating facility started producing SiC coatings, denoted “SiC3”, on graphite components in February 2017.

Quartztec Europe Logo

We are pleased to welcome our partners Quartztec Europe, based in East Kilbride, Scotland, is the exclusive sales outlet for Thermic Edge’s non-heaters products and provides us with a wealth of experience in industries, including LED and Semiconductor.

Quartztec Europe is one of Europe’s leading quartz fabricators and have been manufacturing product for industries including Semiconductor, Solar, Optical and LED for over 25 years.

Thermic Edge Ltd are the sole manufacturers of SiC3, short for cubic silicon carbide. The process is unique as it combines a well-defined crystal size, isotropic structure and low surface roughness. The high growth rates achieved by SiC3 ensures that the product remains cost effective.

The coating can be used in semiconductor, aerospace and heating technologies. It will provide a high purity and impervious layer on graphite, porous ceramics and composites. The combination of graphite selection and graphite machining expertise, developed by Thermic Edge Coatings, will ensure that customers experience optimal support for various critical components within these industries. Layer thickness can be varied but typically a layer of 80 – 100μm is achieved.

SiC3 Major Advantage – coating down blind holes

One of the main problems with applying SiC coatings to graphite components, is getting the SiC coating into blind holes. Typically, with our competitor’s SiC coating, to achieve a coating down a blind hole, the diameter of the hole should be a minimum of twice or three times the size of the hole depth (a dia10mm hole can only be 5mm deep), and so the ratio of diameter to hole depth is 2:1.

With our cubic SiC3 silicon carbide coating we can coat a diameter 1mm hole to a depth of 5mm, giving a ratio of diameter to hole depth of 1:5. With this ratio we can still achieve a 30% layer thickness at the deepest point.

Carbide

SiC3, short for cubic silicon carbide, is the isotropic, pure silicon carbide coating manufactured by Thermic Edge Coatings for a wide range of applications. High temperature resistant materials such as graphite, SiC based ceramics and some refractory metals such as tungsten and molybdenum can be coated in SiC3. The coating protects the underlying material against corrosion, oxidation, acts as a diffusion barrier and prevents absorption and desorption of impurities from the underlying material which can interfere with your processes. The coating also prevents particles from the underlying material interfering with the process or device to be made in the process. In combination with porous materials such as graphite, the upper layer of graphite is infiltrated with SiC3 coating, resulting in ultimate adhesion and corrosion protection. Applications can be found in the semi-conductor industry. LED manufacturing, solar, special heat treatment and aerospace.

Thermic Edge Coatings uses CVD technology to manufacture thin SiC3 layers between 10 and 200 μm. The coating produced has a preferential cubic, 3C structure which gives the best corrosion protection when compared to other SiC structures. Standard thickness is 80 – 100 μm and the technology allows to cover all areas with a dense coating.

Products are placed in the Thermic Edge Coatings in-house reactor on pure materials compatible to the process such as purified graphite and pre-coated SiC3 support materials. Combined with the use of semiconductor grade gases, it leads to a coating with minimum impurity levels and therefore improved corrosion resistance (Material Purity, see page 4). The design of the reactor ensures only highly pure materials are present in the high temperature zone, along with high purity gases which results in extremely pure layers with a high electrical resistivity. High temperature processes at end customers, have proven the outstanding quality of the SiC3 coating, often outperforming OEM based solutions.

Wafers (silicon, sapphire, SiC, GaN) treated will benefit from the high purity and well defined SiC3 interface. Thermal conductivity is high and thermal transfer is not limited through the coating. Other material properties conform with theoretical values.

Thermic Edge Coatings is committed to further investments and scaling up of it’s process, and in the near future will be able to coat larger sized parts. At the moment the maximum sized part is restricted to diameter 360mm.

Element

For more information on our SiC3 silicon carbide coating, please download our SiC3 technical document.

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