As chair of the F51-0200 Standards Committee, I am continuously amazed at both the lack of attention, or standards, on seals in this industry, and the very long and arduous path it takes to bring them to being, even as we wish to establish one. So the fact:-there are NO standards at this moment, on elastomeric parts for most of the processes in this industry. There are a few standards in Ultrapure water and fittings that get close to some aspect of standardization but the predominant industry seals in process chambers, even fore-lines, pumps and components for sub-fabs to those chambers, have none.
It may simply be a matter of timing, as this industry faces the reality of unprecedented nano-size defects that have become killer defects to the node levels chip-makers are moving to achieve. Or/and the education necessary to bring to light the reality of those defects coming from the seals prevalent in every piece of equipment throughout the manufacturing process.
Awareness, and associating the cause and effect to defectivity from these sealing elements may bring the badly needed attention to establishing some standards for these components but so far, the industry itself is not yet mobilized to address this issue.
That is one of ASNA’s aspirations- to bring badly needed new measurements of performance criteria associated to semiconductor applications, and not to the industrial parameters upon which seals were invented to address.
In the next few months, I will offer insight as well as progress on the F51-0200 Committee which has been forged in an effort to bring heightened awareness as well as actual performance parameters to semiconductor sealing applications.
In addition, to offer base-line, ‘consistent’ measurements (again, a very large issue as ASTM’s can be deceiving in methodology and results if not fully understood) to enable seals to be ‘understood’ in the Advanced Technology that drives our industry.
Any and all commentary and insight is welcomed.