Large Thick Film Heaters from Watlow® Improve Temperature Uniformity for Transparent Conductive Oxide and Physical Vapor Deposition Process Equipment
(PresseBox) (St. Louis, )Watlow®, a designer and manufacturer of electric heaters, controllers and temperature sensors, introduces large thick film flat panel heaters. These were developed by Watlow to address the photovoltaic (PV) industry's transition to processing PV cells on large glass, stainless steel and polymer substrates. The large thick film heater plate can be produced in single sheets or an array of small heaters to achieve dimensions of larger than 1200 x 1400 mm (47.24 x 55.11 inches) with process heater temperatures up to 550ºC (1022ºF). The heaters can be used in atmospheric or vacuum environments. Using thick film technology, overall weight of the assembly is greatly reduced by utilizing thick film over stainless steel. The heater's single-piece construction gives Watlow the ability to manufacture a 3.4 mm (.13 inch) profile heater for superior flatness and temperature uniformity specifications.
Temperature uniformity and accuracy come from Watlow's experience and ability to precisely pattern and distribute wattage of a thick film heater circuit and to maintain flatness requirements across a very large surface area. Thick film technology also gives designers the ability to zone heater circuits and reduce potential hot and cold spots resulting from boundary conditions.
They are compatible in vacuum applications to 10-6 millitorr, and the thick film heater circuit is designed with consistent part-to-part temperature uniformity. Thick film heaters are UL® recognized and can be applied in pre-heat, bake-out, annealing station applications as well as solar panel and color filter applications. This applied technology makes thick film heaters the ideal choices for large process tools.