Almatec® AODD Pumps: The Perfect Solution for Semiconductor Production

by Marc Bleisteiner | Nov 07, 2022

Befitting their status as essential components in most of the electrical circuits that are produced globally, the manufacture of semiconductors, also known as integrated circuits (ICs), is one of the most important and critical industrial applications in the world. In fact, according to a 2021 report by the Semiconductor Industry Association, global semiconductor industry revenue has nearly tripled since 2001, growing from US$149 billion (€155 billion) then to US$439 billion (€457 billion) in 2020, with a peak of US$469 billion (€489 billion) in 2018.

One of the most critical stages in semiconductor production is the manufacture of the chips that are the heartbeat of the semiconductor’s operation. This stage requires the handling and transfer of several different types of high-purity chemicals, many of which are toxic or hazardous, such as sulfuric acid (H2SO4), hydrochloric acid (HCl), nitric acid (HNO3), phosphoric acid (H3PO4), hydrofluoric acid (HF) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

The chemicals need to be handled twice: first, as they are introduced to the variety of cleaning, coating, etching, stripping, deposition and planarization processes that are used to turn a simple piece of small plastic into an actual semiconductor chip and, second, in the removal of the spent chemicals into a wastewater-neutralization treatment and disposal process.

The demands placed on the industrial pumps that are used in chemical and wastewater transport are specific and severe:

  • Ability to create and maintain high flow rates
  • Ability to handle liquids of varying viscosities
  • Ability to handle liquids of varying temperatures up to 200ºC (392ºF)
  • Ability to handle liquids with abrasive particles
  • Ability to handle corrosive, toxic and hazardous liquids

Taking these critical considerations into mind, air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps, especially the plastic variety, have emerged as a leading choice among semiconductor manufacturers who are looking to optimize their chemical- and wastewater-transport activities. Almatec® offers two pump models that can satisfy the needs of these semiconductor manufacturers.

Almatec FUTUR Series and E-Series support the process of wastewater neutralization within semiconductor manufacturing

For the transfer of high-purity chemicals, Almatec’s FUTUR Series AODD Pumps feature a design that allows liquids to flow straight through product chambers within the center housing. This design ensures that only one side of housing comes in contact with the liquid, which reduces the number of flow bends to only two, resulting in minimized surface area while eliminating the need for sliding parts in the product chambers, along with O-rings in the wetted area. FUTUR pumps also feature no fastening elements, such as tie rods or clamps, with contactless cascade sealing between the product chambers improving the pump’s structural integrity. All of these design enhancements work to minimize the generation of particulate matter as the pump operates.

In the area of wastewater handling, Almatec offers the E-Series AODD Pump, which has been built on the legacy of Almatec’s original A-Series model. The E-Series pumps feature several design enhancements – an innovative ring-tightening structure; increased flow capacity via an optimized flow pattern; decreased air consumption; reduced noise levels; and a pulsation dampener suitable for flanged connections – that make them ideal for use as a drain pump in wastewater-treatment applications.

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