14 March 2012

Korea’s OCI starts shipping sapphire grown in GT’s ASF furnaces

GT Advanced Technologies Inc of Merrimack, NH, USA (a provider of polysilicon production technology as well as sapphire and silicon crystalline growth systems and materials for the solar, LED and other specialty markets) says that South Korea-based OCI Company Ltd, its long-time PV and now also sapphire equipment customer, has begun production of sapphire boules and cores in its new manufacturing facility.

OCI has completed the initial installation of GT’s ASF Advanced Sapphire Furnaces, which were bought in January 2011. In a ceremony on 2 March to dedicate its new sapphire production facility, OCI said that it has begun shipping 6-inch sapphire cores as well as 2-inch and 4-inch products to manufacturers in Taiwan and Korea. OCI’s new plant has an annual production capacity of 4 million millimeters of sapphire.

A recent article in The Korean Times reported that, with technical help from GT’s service installation team, OCI had started exporting various-sized sapphire cores to its customers, adding that GT’s ASF furnaces, which use the heat exchanger method (HEM) growth process, incorporate a cost-effective sapphire crystallization methodology for high-yield production.

“Starting up a new sapphire production facility takes tremendous planning and coordination to ensure a successful launch,” says Cheryl Diuguid, GT VP & general manager of its Sapphire Equipment and Materials Group. “I am proud of the effort of our service and installation team who worked closely with OCI’s production and engineering team throughout the entire process to deliver a state-of-the-art sapphire production facility that is now producing high-quality material,” she adds.

GT says that OCI’s ability to produce LED-grade sapphire at diameters up to 6-inches will help to position them as a major sapphire producer in the region. Their entrance into the LED industry using GT’s ASF sapphire growth technology expands the relationship between the two firms. OCI and GT have previously partnered for a number of years in the PV industry, where OCI has grown to become one of that industry’s main polysilicon producers.

Tags: GT Advanced Technologies Sapphire crystallization furnaces

Visit: www.gtat.com

Visit: www.oci.co.kr/eng

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