Research Papers

Development of Production Technology for Membrane-Electrode Assemblies With Radical Capturing Layer

[+] Author and Article Information
Toshiro Kobayashi

e-mail: t-koba@tsuyama-ct.ac.jp

Etsuro Hirai

e-mail: etsuro_hirai@mhi.co.jp

Hideki Itou

e-mail: Hideki_itou@mhi.co.jp

Takuya Moriga

e-mail: Takuya_moriga@mhi.co.jp
Hiroshima R&D Center,
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.,
Hiroshima 733-8553, Japan

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 1, 2012; final manuscript received September 10, 2012; published online January 15, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(1), 011005 (Jan 15, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1070; doi: 10.1115/1.4023218 History: Received August 01, 2012; Revised September 10, 2012

This paper describes the development of mass-production technology for membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA) with a radical capturing layer and verifies its performance. Some of the authors of this paper previously developed an MEA with a radical capturing layer along the boundaries between the electrode catalyst layer and the polymer membrane to realize an endurance time of 20,000 h in accelerated daily start and daily stop (DSS) deterioration tests. Commercialization of these MEAs requires a production technology that suits mass production lines and provides reasonable cost performance. After developing a water-based slurry and selecting a gas diffusion layer (GDL), a catalyst layer forming technology uses a rotary screen method for electrode formation. Studies confirmed continuous formation of the catalyst layer, obtaining an anode/cathode thickness of 55 μm (+10/−20)/50 μm (+10/−20) by optimizing the opening ratio and thickness of the screen plate. A layer-forming technology developed for the radical capturing layer uses a two-fluid spraying method. Continuous formation of an 8 μm thick (±3 μm) radical capturing layer proved feasible by determining the appropriate slurry viscosity, spray head selection, and optimization of spraying conditions.

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Fig. 1

An example of the wetting test result for anode

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Fig. 2

Appearance of coated slurry after strain vibration

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Fig. 3

Relationship between blade-GDL gap and loaded catalyst

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Fig. 4

Influence of the control factors on the S/N ratio for generated cell voltage

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Fig. 5

Comparison of die coater method and rotary screen method

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Fig. 6

Optimization of electrode slurry viscosity

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Fig. 7

Thickness distributions of the coated layers (cathode)

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Fig. 8

Thickness distributions of the coated layers (anode)

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Fig. 9

Appearance of the coated surface at the outlet of drying furnace

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Fig. 10

Tow-fluid spray method

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Fig. 11

Relationship among the amount of coating, the concentration of sprayed slurry, the viscosity of spraying the slurry, and spray

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Fig. 12

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the substrate the radical capturing layer. (Left: after optimizing, right: cohesion.)

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Fig. 13

An image of the coating process of the radical capturing layer



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