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We’ve been supplying mesh solutions for fuel cells, batteries, electrolyzers, and other clean energy sources for 25 years. We pioneered the technology often referred to as ‘Cold Bond’ in the industry – which provides rigidity and improved conductivity to the mesh in electrical applications.
Wire mesh is particularly suitable in these applications; depending on the weave it can have a very large surface area compared with foils and other flat metals while providing a level of flexure that these materials can’t. It is particularly effective when used in impregnation applications when a coating is applied or holding a slurry.
We source mesh from a wide variety of locations and also weave high-value alloys in the United States and Europe, enabling our customers to shore up their supply chains and have all manufacturing processes from wire, weaving, slit coils, cutting to size, and assembling the finished product completed in the domestic market.
The main types of fuel cells are listed below;
The first 3 are the most common, the latter are emergent technologies that will provide significant reliability and efficiency benefits as they move to commercialization.
We provide solutions for different types of fuel cells to a range of manufacturers. The porosity, conductivity and shape of wire mesh and cloth means it can be used in a variety of different applications within the fuel cell. The ‘peaks’ in the mesh provide depth that can penetrate more into the application and can withstand a considerable amount of flex without losing contact with active materials. We have developed specific mesh solutions to enhance the performance in the following areas:
Nickel and Nickel based alloys are most commonly used, including Crofer 22 H – UNS S44535 (DIN 1.4760), Ni 99.6% – S44535 (DIN 2.4060) and Duranickel. Other alloys (e.g. stainless, copper, aluminum, precious metals) are available based on the specific chemistry requirements.
When customers come to us, our application engineers work collaboratively together with them to develop the best solution for their application. We can provide a range of solutions from multi-layer sintered products – to single layer weaves that offer similar characteristics to multi-layer laminates or foil based products. Getting involved at the start of the project allows us to provide the lowest cost solution while meeting performance.
We supply wire mesh and cloth to battery customers manufacturing primary and secondary batteries. It can be used as an electrolyte substrate or an electrode current collector. Wire mesh and cloth are particularly suitable for these applications since they have an open area which allows for higher volumetric power densities, thus proving more effective compared to carriers made from a solid foil or other material.
Nickel is commonly used in electro-chemical applications, but other specifications often requested – AISI 304L, DIN W. 1.4306, AISI 316L, DIN W. 1.4404, Hastelloy C22, DIN 2.4602. However, our application engineers will work with you to determine the best alloy, mesh count, weave and porosity specifications for your requirements.
Hydrogen production using electrolysis is increasing and fast becoming the way to produce clean (green) hydrogen. A reverse of the technology used in fuel cells, hydrogen is produced by running a (renewable) electric current through water in an Electrolyzer cell and separating the liquid into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be compressed to either a compressed gas or liquid form and stored for when it’s needed – either to power a fuel cell or hydrogen driven combustion engine.
There are different types of electrolyzer technology in mainstream use today. The most common are PEM, Alkaline and Solid Oxide electrolyzers.
Identical to its use in fuel cells, wire mesh offers many benefits in the different areas of an electrolyzer. The shape of wire mesh, porosity of the weave, together with a mechanical bonding process, give it a consistent depth of material, enhancing conductivity and giving great flexibility while still maintaining contact. This leads to a very controllable and repeatable product, which can be used in the Gas Diffusion Layer, electrode current collector or cell stack.
In a PEM electrolyzer cell, mesh is often used when dispersing hydrogen through the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) on the anode side where the flow field material must be conductive, corrosion resistant, not-ion leeching and allow easy water flow-through. Titanium mesh screens are often preferred, although Stainless Steel is also a good solution.
For a cell stack, typically a much finer mesh (high mesh count, meaning more wires per square inch and small micron opening) is used. This provides many points of contact for electrical flow, with the peaks and valleys maximizing the surface area for coating while still providing porosity.
Specifying the optimum mesh design requires evaluating many different parameters. The alloy type, processing steps, weave design and wire diameter of the mesh can alter the micron rating without changing the mesh count. Our application engineers can work with you to develop the right solution for your design.
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