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Assessment of the cross-linking degree of EVA PV encapsulants

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By Manuel Hidalgo, Senior Research Scientist, Arkema, Sollia Laboratory at INES-LMPV; Dominque Thil, Arkema, Sollia Laboratory at INES-LMPV; Christophe Dugué, Process Engineer, Photowatt

This paper presents a comparison of different characterization methods used for determining the
relative degree of cross-linking of samples of PV-type EVA films, obtained under three different process conditions in a vacuum PV laminator. The methods investigated are gel content measurements, rheological measurements and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). For the latter, two distinct procedures are employed – the residual enthalpy method and the melt/freeze method.

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The period of ‘profitless prosperity’ in the PV industry is finally at an end. Throughout 2013, despite continued economic woes, the PV industry has continued to expand and finally become a global industry. Market forecasts indicating that the sector could reach its next 100GW milestone in just the next two years suggest the industry is on the cusp of another period of strong growth. All the signs confirm this is the case, with utilization rates at their highest level since 2010, companies reporting full order books well into next year and the first tentative announcements of factory capacity expansions making the headlines.

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