Fuel Cell Plates
Fuel cell plates manufactured with AP&T’s solution are primarily meant to be used in fuel cells with PEM technology. Production lines are built with standardized modules in the same way as for heat exchanger plate production lines, which contributes to a high level of reliability and availability. The process comprises all manufacturing steps from the roll feeder to fixed pairs, and it provides shorter cycle times and effective utilization of materials. It is particularly suited to forming plates with complex patterns, which require a great deal of repeat accuracy.
From flat sheet metal to paired plates
The thickness of the stainless steel sheet metal used for fuel cell plates is generally no more than 0.1 mm. The sheet metal is generally coated prior to pressing so that the plates obtain the desired properties. AP&T offers a complete solution from flat sheet metal to finished plates that are fixed in pairs. The line is fed from coils. The sheet metal is cut, pre-formed and pressed into anode and cathode plates in one single step. The plates are then trimmed, placed in pairs and joined into a bipolar plate.
Growing interest in fuel cells
Are fuel-cell operated cars ready for a commercial breakthrough? Some of the largest car manufacturers have already taken the step and launched fuel cell operated cars on the market, and more are certainly to follow. The advantages – including basically exhaust-free driving – have been well known for quite some time, but commercialization has been slow due to the high costs, until recently. Development of more cost-efficient manufacturing methods and a gradual expansion of hydrogen gas filling stations, however, are now paving the way for continued expansion in several countries.