Technology & Innovation
There are no other backsheets on the market quite like 3M™ Scotchshield™ Films. These products are a result of 3M's unique, scientific focus on optimizing material properties for maximum durability and performance. We take a customer-focused approach to product development - we develop and test our products to meet specific customer needs, and then rely on real world testing results. In fact, there are gigawatts of field installation worldwide using 3M™ Scotchshield™ Films.
The key to the exceptional weatherability of 3M Scotchshield Films is our reliance on using key materials with proven, long-term industry performance. As shown in the diagram below, 3M Scotchshield Films are composed of three layers:
1. The outer layer is a unique 3M fluoropolymer called THV, a fluorinated terpolymer composed of tetrafluoroethylene, hexafluoropropylene and vinylidene fluoride. 3M fluoropolymers have been under continuous product development and improvement since the 1950s, and THV has demonstrated reliable performance in critical applications in the automotive, aerospace, architectural, and wire and cable industries since the 1980s. This advanced material has an extensive record of long-term weathering, low MVTR and UV resistance.
2. The middle layer originates from an extensive line of polyester films that 3M has been producing and refining since the 1950s. It provides excellent cut-through resistance and is an exceptional electrical barrier.
3. The top EVA layer provides encapsulation and strong adhesion to PV cell encapsulants.
Unique Manufacturing Process
Leveraging over 60 years of film experience, 3M's integrated approach to manufacture 3M Scotchshield Films differentiates the product from traditional laminated backsheets. 3M has a strong foundation in manufacturing key raw materials and utilizes a process that eliminates the need for solvents and lamination. With significant manufacturing capabilities, 3M is one of the top suppliers of fluoropolymer resins. Unlike other companies supplying backsheets to the solar industry, 3M has complete control over critical raw materials and manufacturing, and can optimize costs across the entire supply chain.
- global reach
- reliable, sustainable supplies
- high quality, cost-efficient products
- local sales, logistics and technical support
The Fluoropolymer Difference
3M has been a leader in fluoropolymer technology since the 1950s. Over the years, our research has established proven solutions that optimize a long list of important product features, including:
- dielectric strength
- thermal stability
- chemical resistance
- service temperature
- moisture vapor transmission rate
- flame resistance
Proven in the Field
3M has always believed that field testing is a far superior method of judging product performance and reliability than accelerated aging tests. 3M Scotchshield Films have been tested under real world conditions for many years and have proven their long-term durability. 3M Scotchshield Films are UL-recognized components. Modules with 3M Scotchshield Films have been fully certified according to IEC 61730, IEC 61215 and UL 1703.
3M's Renewable Energy Division encompasses two major business units: Energy Generation and Energy Conservation. With a variety of new and existing product offerings, 3M is bringing more than 100 years of expertise in coatings, film, tape, adhesive and optical technologies to the rapidly expanding renewable energy market worldwide.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M's core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With $23 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries.