Study on Uniformity of Contact Pressure of PEMFCs Sealant and Its Improvement Method
Aiming at improving the uniformity of sealant′s contact pressure distribution for the proton exchange membrane fuel cells, the contact pressure distribution in the four stacks with different layers was tested using a Fujifilm pressure membrane. The test results were visualized by using the platform built in Matlab. Based on the Mooney-Rivilin super-elastic material constitutive model, finite element models of the sealant plane and the stack cross section were established, which were used to design the sealant structure with arcs and rings. Equations for correcting the initial sealant thickness were given in which the uniformity of contact pressure along the integrated force was improved. The results show that the maximum difference in the contact pressure of the sealant in the plane is 1.2 MPa. Along the integrated force, the contact pressure near the end plate is greater than that in the intermediate layers and the more layer results in the lower contact pressure at the same layer. When the contact area is the same, the standard deviation of sealant pressure in plane with the arc structure is 41% less than that of the original structure, and the ring is 30% less than the original structure. For different layers of the stack, the contact pressure after correcting the initial thickness of the sealant maintains around the best. This study can provide a kind of sealing structure that maintains the consistent performance in the fuel cell stack.
Keywords: fuel cell, sealants, uniformity, super-elastic model, structural design
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