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Alternative high purity polymer piping materials for semiconductor facilities

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Andreas Neuber, M+W Zander, Germany

High purity polymer piping and components are used extensively in semiconductor manufacturing facilities for process chemicals, slurries and ultrapure water. Polymer
piping materials are chosen because of their low leachout of metals and lower installation costs. In the last ten years the main high purity materials used in
fabs are PVDF for ultrapure water and PFA for acids, caustics, oxidizers as well as corrosive solvents with the secondary containment for chemical lines being clear
PVC or stainless steel for flammable process liquids [1, 2]. However, cost pressure is continuously increasing in the highly competitive semiconductor industry. This
has required value engineering efforts to be undertaken to explore whether other materials can be used for specific applications. This paper provides an overview of
current purity requirements in state-of-the-art fabs and what factors need to be considered in selection of alternative polymer materials for the most cost effective
solution in the design, construction and operation of wafer fab facilities. Specific characteristics of different polymer materials are discussed and applied to the
range of purities required in this industry.

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