Research Papers

Numerical Simulation of a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fabrication Process

[+] Author and Article Information
K. L. Bhamidipati

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

T. A. L. Harris1

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332tequila.harris@me.gatech.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(6), 061005 (Aug 17, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001321 History: Received October 20, 2008; Revised January 19, 2010; Published August 17, 2010; Online August 17, 2010

Cost, durability, and reliability are the major issues hindering the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Electrolyte membranes present in the fuel cell fails under chemical, thermal, and mechanical influences, which, in turn, results in the overall fuel cell failure. In the present work, 2D studies are performed to understand the effect of manufacturing processing conditions and materials on the quality of the high-temperature membranes. Multiphase computational fluid dynamics models are used for solving the flow behavior of a shear-thinning non-Newtonian fluid. The viscosity and velocities were found to have a profound effect on the membrane structure.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of the slot die casting technique

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Figure 2

The variation in viscosity with strain rate and temperature

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Figure 3

The slot die and the substrate domains

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Figure 4

Schematic configuration of substrate domain at which the boundary conditions are specified

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Figure 5

Illustration of the parameters used in the simulations

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Figure 6

Comparison between experimental and numerical results based on the work of Chang (30)

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Figure 7

The contours of membrane fluid for different mesh sizes, plotted at T=3 s

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Figure 8

Comparison of membrane thickness for different grids. For these simulations, vin=4.5 mm/s and uw=6.0 mm/s.

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Figure 9

The effect of viscosity on the rippling behavior

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Figure 10

The effect of the flow velocity and substrate speed

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Figure 11

Thickness comparison for cases 1 (vin=4.5 mm/s, uw=6.0 mm/s), 2 (vin=6.0 mm/s, uw=6.0 mm/s), and 3 (vin=6.0 mm/s, uw=4.5 mm/s)




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