Solvay’s Halar® ECTFE Waterborne Coating helps SWI address challenges

Alpharetta, Ga., Nov. 2019 — Solvay’s Halar® ECTFE waterborne coating system enabled SWI to coat silicon wafer processing equipment with highly complex geometries. Southwest Impreglon (SWI) is a specialty coatings company and longtime user of Solvay’s Halar® ECTFE powder coatings. It added the new Halar® ECTFE waterborne coating system to its portfolio to achieve a smooth, uniform, pinhole-free surface for high-quality corrosion protection on intricate components that are not suitable for electrostatic powder coating. This includes parts used in harsh chemical processing environments with complex shapes and uneven surfaces, oversized vessels, pipe interiors, tanks and containers.

Solvay’s Halar® ECTFE waterborne coating system delivers the same unique combination of properties as Halar® ECTFE powder coatings: long-lasting performance, excellent chemical and permeation resistance, exceptional surface properties and high purity. Comprised of a high-adhesion primer and topcoat, this waterborne coating system also offers the opportunity to apply thinner coatings than competitive materials to help reduce cycle times. It can also be easily applied to a range of metallic substrates using standard liquid spray equipment. Additionally, Halar® ECTFE waterborne coatings support sustainability with ultra-low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and a Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)-free formulation to address stringent regulatory requirements.

Solvay - silicon wafer processing equipment

“Solvay’s new Halar® ECTFE waterborne coating system is a major addition to our product portfolio,” said George Butler, president of Southwest Impreglon. “In the short term, it enabled us to quickly meet a customer’s specific needs by successfully coating newly redesigned equipment that was much too complex for traditional powder coatings to handle. In the long term, this sustainable material will enable SWI to expand into new market sectors and application areas while continuing to deliver the exceptional performance for which Solvay’s Halar® ECTFE powder coatings are known.”

SWI’s customer, a semiconductor equipment manufacturer, had redesigned parts with several small-diameter holes, bores, passageways and O-ring grooves that required complete encapsulation at a uniform thickness. Although SWI had used Halar® ECTFE powder coatings on previous generations of this equipment, the new, highly complex geometries made it difficult to achieve a consistent thickness with electrostatic powder coating. Alternatively, the powder coating could have been machined to a thinner layer, but this would have involved additional set-up, time, and costs. The new Halar® ECTFE water-borne coating system solved the problem by providing strong, uniform adhesion to the aluminum alloy substrate, and it successfully passed holiday spark testing at 5,000 volts direct current (DC) to certify that it was free of pinhole porosity.

“Solvay will continue to invest in sustainable technology solutions that address the coatings industry’s toughest challenges and help our customers grow their businesses,” said Brian Baleno, head of marketing and global business development for Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit. “Our Halar® ECTFE waterborne coating system is just one example of this, and it underscores our focus on developing high-performance coating solutions that, together with hands-on technical support, enhance and extend our value to our customers.”  

®Halar is a registered trademark of Solvay