Research Papers

Manufacturing of High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membranes—Part I: System Design and Modeling

[+] Author and Article Information
Tequila A. L. Harris

 Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332

Daniel F. Walczyk

 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180

Mathias M. Weber

 BASF Fuel Cell, Frankfurt 65926, Germany

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(1), 011007 (Oct 07, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3119055 History: Received July 14, 2007; Revised August 02, 2008; Published October 07, 2009

The most important component of the fuel cell is the membrane electrolyte, having the fundamental responsibility of separating protons and electrons. Minor defects (e.g., pin holes) in the film will cause premature and/or catastrophic failure. As such, special attention should be given to the manufacturing of this fuel cell component. Increased interest in identifying and overcoming the technical and manufacturing challenges associated with fuel cells has surfaced over the past few years. To this end, a design methodology, the science, and the technology to manufacture unique high-temperature polymer electrolyte membranes in a uniform and continuous manner are presented, specifically focusing on system conceptualization, design, and modeling. It has been shown that an overall manufacturing system can be designed for a power-law fluid with time-temperature varying properties.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Flowchart of the design methodology to develop a membrane casting process

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Figure 2

Illustration of the DuPont dispersion-casting system to produce Nafion membrane (24)

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Figure 3

Schematic of the system input and output

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Figure 4

Proposed concept for the PBI/PA solution closed casting system: (a) a schematic based on Table 1 component/symbols and (b) a more detailed depiction

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Figure 5

Schematic of a pressure vessel connected to the pipe excluding the connection fitting

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Figure 6

Illustration of (a) bottom-view and (b) section A-A view of the slot die

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Figure 7

Illustration of a fluid element between parallel plates

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Figure 8

Schematic of laminar flow through the sudden expansion of the slot die

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Figure 9

(a) Schematic and (b) picture of a 10 cm slot die simplified casting system used for casting experiments

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Figure 10

Predicted casting input pressure for a 10 cm slot die for various (a) membrane thicknesses and (b) casting speeds

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Figure 11

Picture of the transition of the cast membrane solution thickness as the pressure increased at a length position of about 100 mm




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