Coolant Management: Inside Swagelok hoses for use with dielectric media
by Mike Valentine, on 7/20/12 7:00 AM
What it took to make them slim and elegant
Blending advanced manufacturing and durable materials, Swagelok® S series and W series hoses help manage fluids in cooling applications within the semiconductor industry.
Swagelok® hoses suitable for use with dielectric media are a great improvement for semiconductor manufacturers. The hoses stay cool enough to handle without being encased in thick foam. That makes it easy to run a long line from subfloor to the tool. And the color-coded silicone cover makes it easy to tell at a glance whether you are handling the hot supply line or the cold return.
Hoses without insulation may cost you
So why can’t you get this kind of product from everyone? Some other manufacturers have their own forms of insulation that can be added after the fact. Swagelok is delivering a finished product, ready to go. Some people may have a little trouble comparing Swagelok’s apples to the other manufacturers’ oranges. They may see the other hoses costing less, not realizing they’ll also have to add the cost of the insulation to the standard product.
High-performance hoses are vital
Like many high skilled performers, Swagelok makes it look easy. In truth, there’s a lot of hard work going on in the background. Swagelok’s unique insulation and cover -- exclusively for the semiconductor industry -- can be tricky to handle at the manufacturing end. Installing this new insulation and maintaining slim yet flexible profile was not easy on short lengths but 50 foot or longer lengths were especially challenging.
It does take a fresh mindset to deal with the new requirements and new solutions as tool manufacturers have switched to new dielectric media. The dielectrics themselves are extremely expensive: $500 or $600 a gallon. They absorb into the atmosphere fast. A handful
can evaporate in 30 seconds, so a leak can be very expensive and a leak easily sets off alarms. Now it’s vital to have a high-performance hose, which naturally is also going to cost more than standard rubber.
About Mike Valentine, Senior Account Manager, Semiconductor Group, Swagelok Northern California
Mike Valentine has over 25 years experience helping Semiconductor OEMs find solutions for critical gas and liquid system applications. Contact our team at 510-933-6200.