Modeling and experimental study on the sealing gasket of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran

2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Joybay Branch, Islamic Azad University, Jouybar, Iran

3 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

In this study cross section geometry and material of gasket in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells have been investigated to achieve optimized fuel cell in terms of energy efficiency. The role of gaskets in fuel cells is sealing of gas flow channels and preventing from combination of them. In a PEM stack, gasket with approved geometry that suffers more stress has better sealing. For this investigation, at first experimental leakage tests have been done and after gaskets manufacturing, stack assembly, putting setup under press and studying leakage values in terms of time and various pressures, results showed that sealing gasket with width of 3mm and thickness of 0.4mm in pressure of 2MPa seals well according to standards, To access to optimal results, width of 3mm and thickness of 0.4mm has been considered for numerical simulation. After leakage test, some materials have been tested and results showed that gasket with hyper elastic properties is the best choice for sealing. After experimental tests 6 shapes of gasket cross section profile in fuel cell stack have been modeled in Abaqus software and with attention to results and analyzing them, the best material and profile shape for gasket in fuel cell has been selected. Results of simulations showed good uniform pressure distribution in stack.

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