Categorized | Photovoltaic

Cleaning Stainless Substrates in Photovoltaic Manufacturing


Q: We need to clean stainless steel substrates prior to PV film deposition. What detergent should we use and in what amount and by what process?

A: If the process is batch ultrasonic cleaning, use a 2% CITRANOX® solution at 60°C for 5 minutes of dwell time in the tank. This approach can also be used when cleaning copper substrates.

If using a conveyorized horizontal washer where oily residues are a particular concern, use a 1% SOLUJET® solution at 60°C at line rates of 1.5 meters per minute, for a total contact time of roughly 30 seconds prior to the rinse station.

Following these initial trials, you can then run experiments by raising the temperature and increasing the line speed or reducing the dwell time. You might then lower concentration of detergent to determine the minimum required concentration. It is also important to experiment with rinsing methods and timing to determine optimum cleaning conditions.

As a rule of thumb, every 10°C you go up in temperature, you can double the line speed or cut the dwell time in half and still get the same cleaning results.

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