Fuel Cell Sealing Materials for Automotive and Auxiliary Power Units
Flexitallic produces a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) sealing material that enables a flexible sealant, using non organic filling in these fuel cell seals. Flexitallic enables Solid Oxide Fuel Cell to be sealed by using a revolutionary product ThermiculiteŽ 866, providing a SOFC sealing material suitable for vast range of fuel cell seals including automotive gaskets seals and auxiliary power unit sealing material.
Fuel cells offer an excellent potential for a low environmental impact method of generation of electrical power. Many forms of fuel cells are being developed, suitable for certain types of power generation, such as automative and auxiliary power, others have more general applicability
One design, the solid oxide fuel cell [SOFC], offers a high efficiency method of power generation and is being developed by many groups around the world.
One benefit of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell over other types is that the waste heat from chemical reaction that generates the power can be recovered by the heat exchangers. This waste heat can be used to heat water for domestic purposes and also allows that the lack of sensitivity to sulphur of this type of fuel cell to be exploited by being used to reform a whole range of widely available fuels such as natural gas.
However, the sealing of the cells of an SOFC can be problematic. To avoid the sealing problem of the planar SOFC some groups decided to develop the tubular SOFC design even though it offers a reduction of efficiency. Other groups followed the planar fuel cell seals design but opted for glass sealing systems even though such fuel cell seals can have problems due to thermal expansion effects and are brittle.
The planar SOFC sealing problem has now been solved by the introduction by the Flexitallic Group of Thermiculite® 866, a compression sealing material dedicated to SOFC application, capable of service to 1000° C and based upon the proven Thermiculite® high temperature sealing material range. This fuel cell seals range is the latest in the line of sealing materials. sealants and gasket types developed to solve sealing problems by The Flexitallic Group since before 1870.
Apart from providing superb sealing Thermiculite® 866 provides both thermal and electrical insulation.
Worldwide, several organisations that are developing planar SOFC and that are targeting the use of their products in the residential combined heat and power market and auxiliary/remote/secure power markets are using Thermiculite® 866 to solve their fuel cell sealing problems.
ThermiculiteŽ 866 is a globally acknowledged as the material of choice to achieve high sealing efficiency by leading developers of SOFC technology.
ThermiculiteŽ 866 is available in a range of thicknesses between 0.3 mm and 1.0 mm. For applications where sealing is required at low compressive loads pre-compressed material can be supplied in some thicknesses.
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The Flexitallic Group