National Coating Corporation is trusted by leaders in the renewable energy industry to coat gas diffusion layers (GDL) in fuel cells.
Power generation, industrial and aerospace engineering, and materials research are inextricably linked when it comes to advancements and technical evolution. With the recent emphasis on better, more efficient, environmentally conscious ways to create and store energy, certain components and technologies become more and more important. Such is the case with GDL technology.
What is a GDL?
GDL stands for Gas Diffusion Layer. It is a critical component for the efficient use of polymer electrolyte and direct methanol fuel cells. It is often used as a component in Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). When coated with a catalyst, a GDL becomes a Gas Diffusion Electrode, or GDE, further adding to its efficiency and value in renewable energy applications.
The GDL is porous, a property made possible through the use of advanced materials, weaving carbon fiber into carbon cloth, or pressing carbon fibers into a carbon paper sheet. The careful use of carbon give the GDL a high degree of hydrophobicity.
What Does a GDL Do?
- Reactant Distribution
The GDL performs many essential functions in energy generation. The primary function of the GDL is to distribute reactants across a catalyst’s layered membrane. This creates the medium across which energy generated or collected can travel and be used by the MEA. In other words, the GDL allows the power that has been generated to move to another location.
- Moisture Control
Another function that the GDL can perform, thanks to its hydrophobic properties, is proper moisture control for power generation. The GDL holds onto a small amount of moisture, which helps increase the conductivity throughout the membrane. Because excess water can hurt performance, the GDL removes excess moisture produced as a byproduct to prevent flooding chambers.
Every GDL is Different
The GDL can be an important component in the construction of MEAs, but the fabrication of GDLs must always be done with careful consideration toward a particular project. There is no generic, “one-size-fits-all” GDL solution.
That is why it’s important to find an experienced, knowledgeable company like National Coating Corporation to assist in every stage of contract coating for fuel cells, from product development to final inspection.
Contract Coating for Fuel Cells from National Coating Corporation
National Coating Corporation specializes in contract coating for fuel cells. We can apply a coating to any flat or rolled non-metal substrate that is custom designed to meet your exact specifications.
When no equipment or process exists to achieve a desired outcome, we design and build proprietary systems to make it happen. We offer complete process control, adhering to any standard our customers set and tailoring the coating processes exactly to their products.
Since 1951, we have been not only a production partner, but a part of our clients’ supply chains and a key ingredient in their success.
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