April 26, 1999Products

Asahi Glass Launches Ultra Pure Aflon®PFA Ultrapure Fluoropolymer

TOKYO-Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., today announced plans to launch sales of a new ultrapure fluoropolymer, Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA, in May 1999. The new product was developed primarily for use in semiconductor manufacturing clean processes.

Asahi Glass has traditionally offered four kinds of fluoropolymers: PTFE (currently sold under the name Aflon® PTFE and formerly sold as Fluon), PFA (Aflon® PFA), ETFE (Aflon® COP) and modified ETFE with a low melting point (Aflon® LM). Boasting an extremely low level of metal impurities, Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA was developed in response to the need for equipment capable of handling high levels of integration and the increasing number of pins on semiconductor devices. Principal applications for the new material will be in liquid crystal, chemical/pharmaceutical and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

With the increasing integration of semiconductor devices, the gate oxide film that forms on the surface of a silicon wafer has become thinner. Reducing metal impurities to ensure the reliability of the gate oxide film has thus become a high priority for manufacturers. Demand is also expected to increase in future for reduced metal contamination for materials used to make tank linings, tubing, filter casings, valves and flow gauges used in cleaning and etching processes. Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA is the first fluoropolymer to guarantee a level of metal extraction from pellets that is lower than a specified criteria, making the product highly suited to use in semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Asahi Glass will offer four grades of Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA-extrusion molding, injection molding, blow molding and high flow-to satisfy the various molding methods and flow rates used by customers. Approximately ¥1.5 billion has been invested in a production line for Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA at the Company's factory in Chiba, Japan in December 1998.

Reflecting sagging capital investment in the semiconductor industry, domestic demand for fluoropolymers in 1998 declined approximately 10% from 1997, to about 9,000 tons, with demand for PFA from the semiconductor industry estimated at 700 tons. Asahi Glass will concentrate on marketing Ultra Pure Aflon® PFA and forecasts sales in 1999 of between ¥1.5 and ¥2.0 billion for the domestic market and overseas markets, including Europe and U.S., and the achievement of domestic market share of approximately 35% for PFA for the semiconductor industry. The Company's share of this market is currently about 20%.

Asahi Glass will continue to focus on four types of fluoropolymers: PFA and ETFE fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomer (sold under the name Aflas®),fluoropolymer films (Aflex®) and PTFE, which is produced by affiliate Asahi Glass Fluoropolymers Co., Ltd., positioning these as key products that will facilitate expansion of its fluorochemical operations in the future.


1. PFA
_ (1) Tetrafluoroethylene perfluoroalkoxy vinyl ether copolymer
  (2) Characteristics: similar to PTFE (see 2.PTFE, below) and capable of melt molding
  (3) Specifications for Ultra Pure Aflon®PFA (P-802UP, for extrusion molding)
Melting point: Min. 300°C
Melt flow rate: 1 - 3 [g/10min]
Specific gravity: 2.12 - 2.17 [-]
Metal extraction (A): Max. 2.0 [ng/g] (for Na, Ca, Ba and Fe)
Metal extraction (B): Max. 1.0 [ng/g] (for K, Zn and Al)
Metal extraction (C): Max. 0.5 [ng/g] (for Mg, Ni, Cr, Cu and Pb)
Metal extraction (D): Max. 0.1 [ng/g] (for Co, Mn, Sr and Li)
*ng = nanogram (one billionth of one gram)

_ (1) Acronym for polytetrafluoroethylene.
  (2) Characteristics: High heat and chemical resistance, electric properties (especially at high frequencies), anti-sticking, low friction
  (3) Major uses: Cleaning tanks for silicon wafers, gaskets, packing, sealing parts, pipe lining, tubing and others

_ (1) Acronym for ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer
  (2) Characteristics: Mechanical properties, electric insulation, resistance to radiation
  (3) Major Uses: Wire covers, computer cable covers, release film, green house films and others
For further information, please contact
Mr. Mikihito Wakasugi
Fluorinated Resins Business Coordination G.
Fluorochemicals Div.
Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
TEL: 81-3-3218-5444