New Product: MonoVAT transfer valve specially designed for roll coater systems

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Product Briefing Outline: Vacuum valve specialist VAT has introduced a new transfer valve for roll to roll applications. One challenge for roll coater system designs utilizing loadlock chambers is to seal the process chamber entrance and exit openings while the web substrate (typically a metal band or plastic foil) remains in place. For this pinch seal configuration VAT offers the 3D MonoVAT sealing technology. Due to the linear motion 3D sealing technology, it is possible to clamp and seal the web without any deformation or damages.

Problem: The current disadvantage of roll-coater equipment is that in case of a web/ roll change the entire system needs to be vented to atmosphere and cooled down.

Solution: The MonoVAT transfer valve is placed between the front chamber, where the feed coil is placed, and the process chamber(s). A second MonoVAT transfer valve is used in the rear chamber where the take-up roll is placed. Once the web is completely coated the valves are closed onto the foil, the front and rear chambers are vented to atmosphere, the web is cut, the coils are replaced and connected with the ends of the web while maintaining vacuum and temperature in the centre process chamber(s). The result is a significant improvement in system availability, thereby increasing the throughput.

Applications: Vacuum-based thin-film roll coater systems (CIGS, a-Si, CdTe, organic cells).

Platform: The MonoVAT roll coater valve is available in slit sizes from height 15-50mm, length 300-1750mm. The valve is also available in aluminium or stainless steel with a wide range of options. This design flexibility of the MonoVAT transfer valve allows the valve to be adapted to meet the special requirements of some thin-film PV processes.

Availability: Currently available.

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