Solvay Specialty Polymers has launched two new film grades specifically designed for the solar market at Chinaplas 2014.
The new PV and UV grades of the company's Halar ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE), are intended for front sheet applications for photovoltaic modules and expand Solvay's solar offering.
"With our broad product portfolio we are firmly positioned as a strategic supplier to the global PV market and this new launch signals our further commitment to the industry," said Phillippe-Jacques Leng, Global Marketing Manager for Film at Solvay Specialty Polymers. "We believe this is a highly sustainable market that requires specially designed materials to meet the PV industry's high-performance needs."
The first of the two grades Halar PV ECTFE is a semi-crystalline, melt-processable fluoropolymer resin that can be extruded into a highly transparent film with a reported light transmission of over 90 percent. It is said to provide an excellent water vapour barrier in a wide range of temperatures and offers a strong resistance to chemicals, excellent fire retardant properties and long-term weatherability, with Solvay stating it is capable of more than 20 years exposure to direct sunlight.
The second grade, Halar PV ECTFE, is said to be a "highly viable alternative" to competing materials such as glass and other fluorinated polymers, with Solvay saying it offers greater fire resistance, higher tensile modulus and lower density than its direct competitors.
In addition to the Halar PV grade, Solvay has also launched new Halar UV blocking technology, which it says is the only solution of its kind in the industry. The new product offers the same properties as Halar PV, but also employs patented technology which the company says delivers long-lasting UV blocking performance to meet the solar industry's 25-year performance life for PV modules.
Solvay's first partner in developing PV front sheet technology, Amcor Flexibles, is launching films based on the new Halar ECFTE technology for the PV front sheet market, available up to 1.5m wide and 20 microns thick.