More Choices – More Value

Four Solar DiaphragmsWe are excited that Steinbach has added two great choices to their Solar Membrane/Diaphragm/Blanket/Bladder line-up. For those of you that have been paying attention, that’s a 100% increase! So now in addition to Steinbach’s patented EVA-resistant Lamibran® Diaphragm and their equally popular grey, durometer 55 silicone, we are proud to provide two more options to PV Module manufacturers.

Blue, Durometer 50, Type STBB

Designed specifically for the glass lamination industry, this material has 350% elongation and high temperature resistance – up to 230°C. This of course makes it equally well-suited to the solar industry. Available in seamless widths up to 3500mm, Steinbach’s STBB silicone mixture will fit the largest of laminators. High cycle life and affordable pricing make this a great option.

Red, Durometer 58, Type STMB 3003

Best practices have shown that certain brands of laminators work best with stiffer diaphragms. If your laminator falls in this category, Steinbach’s STMB 3003 is available up to 3000mm wide. With a stiffer durometer 58 yet with 310% elongation, this material is ideally suited to the requirements of PV module lamination.

Both of these new materials have one smooth side and one with a texture. Customers tell us that using the textured side toward the panels doesn’t transfer the texture to the backsheet and helps prevent the diaphragm from sticking to the panels or the PTFE release sheet.

But this is only the beginning. In early 2017 Steinbach’s new 3200mm wide Rotocure D320 calendar will begin production in Germany. This new system will allow for incredible flexibility and innovation when it comes to flexible manufacturing materials. As the only Made-in-Germany supplier of wider silicone and other elastomeric materials, Steinbach is uniquely positioned to tailor their production to the solar industry’s needs and expectations. Contact us for samples and pricing!



Smartech To Attend Intersolar 2016

Smartech To Attend Intersolar North America 2016 | Smartech InternationalCome visit Smartech in San Francisco during the Intersolar North America event in July! From July 13-16, the solar industry holds one of its greatest family reunions at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, California. Smartech will be attending the event and positioned in Moscone West, Level One, Booth 7627.

At the event, Smartech will be introducing to PV module manufacturer attendees Steinbach’s two newest solar membranes. The solar laminator diaphragms are Steinbach’s Durometer 50 (Blue) Diaphragm and Steinbach’s Durometer 60 (Red) Diaphragm. Steinbach’s Durometer 50 (Blue) Diaphragm is available in seamless widths up to 3000mm (118”) and offers great EVA resistance, as well as both a smooth and a textured surface. Steinbach’s Durometer 60 (Red) Diaphragm is also available up to 3000mm (118”) wide and works well with Meyer Burger Laminators.

How Photovoltaic Diaphragms Work

EVA Resistant Lamibran® Diaphragm | Smartech InternationalThe photovoltaic industry relies on durable diaphragms to lower their costs when manufacturing solar panels. The use of solar panels on the roofs of commercial buildings and on residential structures has increased exponentially over the last several years. In 2014, there were 195,000 new photovoltaic installations in homes and businesses. New solar projects were installed every 2.5 minutes in the United States.

This trend is likely to continue as companies, governments and homeowners aim to conserve energy, contribute to environmental sustainability, and save money. Solar panels reduce the reliance on fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

The challenge for the solar industry lies in selecting diaphragms that will not deteriorate. Understanding how photovoltaic diaphragms work will help both thin-film and crystalline solar panel manufacturers make informed decisions about the options available to them.  

Solar Laminator Diaphragms & PTFE at Intersolar North America

We’ll leave our hearts in San Francisco next week  – the Solar Industry is gearing up for Intersolar North America! Smartech will be there with our Steinbach Diaphragm and PTFE Materials.

After a few rough years while the solar industry was reconfiguring, we’re very happy to see signs of growth and positive thinking. We’ve lost a few good friends along the way and that always hurts. But the survivors are strong and getting stronger coupled by favorable public opinion – it’s clear that solar power is here to stay.