Fuel cells can present interesting challenges when it comes to gasketing and sealing the spaces between plates. Stackup problems can become quite pronounced when multiplied by the number of plates in the stack. Well-defined specifications for fuel cells can simplify the process requirements.
Precision requirements along with tolerance requirements go up as gasket sizes go down. As gasket sizes go down, it becomes even more critical to have the right tools on hand so that reject rates do not go up. Three point planar skew adjust, needle tip calibration, and the capability of dealing dynamically with valve on-off lead-lag play ever more important roles as bead sizes go down.
Confirmation of dispense quality becomes a key issue as well. Our laser scan option can help confirm gasket contours meet design specification without any additional handling.
A final consideration is the curing of FIP gaskets. With small fuel cell plates, it becomes quite reasonable to cure these gaskets right on the dispenser. This eliminates handling wet parts and allows for rapid stack assembly. Curing plates on the dispenser with an onboard UV oven enables precise curing profiles to be administered.
For high volume production, consider an ICP configuration mated with a rotary dial. It then becomes possible to integrate magazines, part handling, and UV cure modules to allow for cost-effective full automation.