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Currently, there is a very low or no precious metal recovery from cleaning copper crucibles. Responding to customer need for an improved return, Materion is developing a new copper parts cleaning service. This service will particularly support the requirements of the compound semiconductor industry.

Copper Parts - Before CleaningPhysical Removal of Precious Metal

Traditionally, precious metal like gold (Au) is removed physically. Parts to be cleaned, such as crucibles (sources), top plates, V plates, or other customer specific parts, go through a machining process.  The disadvantage with this mechanical approach is that remaining parts are damaged or scrapped - as there is no option to retain usable parts.

Unique Chemical Cleaning Process

The advantage of the new chemical process is that it does not attack (no negative impact) the copper or copper alloy surface. It has been developed to remove only the deposition layer. The mechanical process is still used to remove the bulk of the precious metal material prior to the chemical process. But the advantage of a dual approach (physical cleaning followed by Materion’s new chemical process), is that we are able to increase the salvage of precious metals.

Before Cleaning

Advantages to CustomersCopper Parts_After Cleaning

Historically, customers use parts one-time and then dispose of them.  Materion’s copper parts cleaning process will allow the useful life of the part to be extended. Cleaned parts are texturized and returned to the customer along with the recovered precious metal.

  • Extend the useful life of part/multiple uses of same crucible
  • Cleaned parts meet customer dimensional tolerance
  • Improved precious metals recovery rates
  • Cost effective process for customer

For more information on chemical cleaning or any of Materion’s precision parts cleaning services, please contact Jim McMullen, Product Manager at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 After Cleaning