Many companies in the solid oxide fuel cell industry are in the process of developing anode tape formulations and manufacturing methods. There are, however, few options except to look to other more mature industries for processing equipment. Most have made the decision to use tape casting for their sheet forming needs.
It is well known to people familiar with the tape casting process that it can be difficult and laborious to keep the process in control. It is also difficult to produce many small test batches. The most difficult aspect of tape casting for fuel cell anode tapes is to disperse fugitive pore formers.
RTI offers a unique alternative to this approach. With our HSC™ process and our in-house development service, we can assist in the fuel cell tape development process. The client can also be assured that when the time comes for high-volume manufacturing, the transition will be smooth because HSC™ very efficient and well suited to high volume fuel cell tape production.
Fuel Cell Tapes
RTI has been involved in fuel cell tape development and production for about 5 years. We have helped many companies solve these problems. The following are some of the benefits that HSC™ brings to the fuel cell industry.
- Produce thick fuel cell tapes in a single sheet without the need to stack and laminate multiple layers. This is a huge time and cost saving benefit.
- Easily disperse fugitive pore formers. The low-density powders remain well dispersed in the finished tape.
- Small batches of fuel cell tape can easily be produced. Complete broad matrices in a few days as opposed to weeks.
- Control the shrinkage of the fuel cell tape by controlling the final green density of the anode tapes.
- Easily adjust the shrinkage by simply adjusting the binder concentration. The HSC™ process tolerates a broad range of binder concentrations while still yielding usable fuel cell tapes.
- Thickness control is critical. When stacking multiple cells a small variation in thickness can be a huge problem. HSC™ tapes are extremely uniform with much tighter tolerances as compared to cast tapes.
- Water based binder systems reduce EPA concerns, eliminate explosion hazards, and make clean-up much faster and easier.
- HSC™ fuel cell tapes fire flat. Because the tapes are isotropic in all directions, they will fire flat.