Industry News

Controlling Static Through the Ages--What You Need to Know TodayMethinks ESD has been a problem since the 1400s. Consider gunpowder stores in military forts. Even before Shakespeare’s time, soldiers were charged with keeping them uncharged for fear of blowing them up. By the 1860s, paper mills were thwarting ESD in the drying process via grounding, flame ionization techniques and steam drums.

What does that mean for 2016 processes and beyond? Today’s electronics manufacturers are continually innovating to offer customers better, more cost-efficient solutions. While costs associated with latent damage are difficult to pinpoint, industry experts estimate average product loss as high as 33 percent. Even with technological advances, ESD continues to impact virtually every aspect of the global electronics environment. In fact, as electronic devices advance, our voltage tolerance decreases as well as our capacity for heat dissipation.

To mitigate some risks associated with modern processes, a new range of dissipative materials based on fluoroelastomer and perfluoroelastomer polymers has been designed for wafer processing and wafer handling applications. Of course, you’ll want to make sure these materials are compatible with your specific process environment and with the devices themselves. It is important to note, however, that with the correct material and precautions in place, you can continue to combat ESD in the future without getting medieval.

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Free LOCTITE Webinars Take the Scary Out of AdhesivesAfraid to try adhesives? Worried they’ll make too big a mess or won’t be reliable? Think again.

Today’s adhesives are making a clean sweep. Used as an alternative to mechanical fastening, welding and other joining methods, adhesives are relied upon daily—and rightly so. Engineers around the globe use them because they are a viable, cost-effective solution for industrial production processes.

For almost every application, adhesives beat nuts and bolts. In threadlocking, for example, vibration, shock and temperature changes cause nuts and bolts to loosen. When this happens, equipment failure is all but inevitable, costing millions of dollars every year. Adhesive solutions for structural bonding reduce labor costs and fill large gaps between parts.

Interested in gasket sealing? No problem. Sealants prevent fluids and gases from leaking by creating strong, impervious barriers.

If you’re considering an adhesive solution for your business, consider some free advice from Henkel, the industry leader. All-Spec has partnered with Henkel to offer an exclusive, four-part, LOCTITE webinar series during February and March. Attend one or all of these one-hour, live sessions.

Just by attending, you’ll receive:

  • Free, on-site process review by LOCTITE engineers
  • Free equipment trials
  • Access to exclusive offers and information
  • $50-savings on LOCTITE Syringe Dispensing System Kit (#883976)

Don’t be afraid to click here for more information or to register; adhesives can help you achieve that much needed competitive advantage.

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Combatting Computer Vision Syndrome--Is Your Task Lighting Up for the TaskDo you suffer from headaches, blurred vision or eye strain? You could have computer vision syndrome (CVS). CVS affects about 90 percent of people who spend three hours or more a day at a computer.

One of the biggest culprits? Inadequate lighting. Improper lighting exacerbates the problem and also reduces productivity, and yet the amount of light in the workplace remains one of the most common complaints. Specifically, ambient lighting is frequently too high and task lighting too low. Glare from computer screens and light sources also leads to unwanted aches and pains.

With ergonomic lighting, the problems associated with CVS are typically alleviated, and operational efficiencies improve. Proper and adjustable task lighting at every workspace is necessary to mitigate the symptoms of CVS.

Your lighting needs will vary by task and by your age; reading, for example, requires more light than computer work, and a 60-year-old needs more light than a 20-year-old. Task lights with adjustable arms and dimming controls provide maximum flexibility. When your workspace is properly lit, the entire space should be illuminated, and glare should be minimized.

Improve well-being, productivity and job satisfaction with All-Spec’s selection of ergonomic task lighting for every task, and combat the serious effects of CVS in the workplace.

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New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDs

by Kathy S. on December 11, 2015

New Research Suggests a Brighter Future for LEDsA new type of LED could lead to cheaper, brighter lights as well as mass produced displays thanks to a team of Florida State University materials researchers. The organic-inorganic LED hybrid is made of a class of materials called organometal halide perovskites. Perovskites have the same type of crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide.

After months of experiments using synthetic chemistry to make the class of material perform better than initial tests suggested, researchers were surprised to discover the material glowed exceptionally bright. It measured at about 10,000 candelas per square meter or about 25 times brighter than a computer screen and displayed remarkable stability.

The findings, published in Advanced Materials, are advantageous for industry as the earth abundant material can be processed in an economic way, which until now has been one of the major obstacles to LED advancement despite their heralded energy-savings.

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New Nano Step Makes Purifying Silicon Cheap

by Kathy S. on November 3, 2015

New Nano Step Makes Purifying Silicon CheapWhile Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth, it’s usually not refined enough naturally for integrated circuits and solar cells. Silicon can be purified, but it’s expensive, dirty and not optimized for battery electrodes, thermoelectrics and solar cells. Now scientists from Nanjing University and Stanford University have developed a simple and inexpensive method to get 99.999 percent pure silicon from bulk ferrosilicon.

Nearly photovoltaic grade silicon starts with bulk silicon, which is milled to a nanoscale powder and purified with a strong mix of acids. The acids strip away oxygen and metal impurities, converting the material from 84 percent silicon by weight to 99.999 percent. This acid etching method has been around since WWII, but the method never received high purity because the particles have only just now been reduced to nano size. For this reason, a more expensive process for producing high purity—99.9999999—became the standard.

The new, inexpensive method isn’t this pure, which means it isn’t pure enough for today’s integrated circuits; however, it can achieve the level of purity needed for thermoelectric devices and battery electrodes. The process for making silicon that’s 99.999 percent pure or “five nines” costs about $1 per kilogram.

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