Fuel Cell Porometer

Fuel cell

Designed for use by manufacturers of fuel cell components, Meritics considers the Fuel Cell Porometer from PMI to be an exceptionally versatile instrument. Its fully automated analysis includes measurement of pore ‘throat’ diameters, the size distribution of the pores, the mean diameter of the flow pores and the surface area – or envelope surface area – of the through pores. It can also be used to determine the material’s liquid and gas permeability.

Importantly, this porometer allows simulation of the conditions that components will experience during operation. Its facilities allow study of how factors such as compressive stress, temperature, orientation and layered structure affect the sample’s porous structure.

Pore characteristics can have a major bearing on the performance of fuel cell components. For example, the size and distribution of pores in fuel cell electrodes will determine the flow of reactants. Variations in gas humidity can alter pore size and structure, as can compressive stress. In multi-layered, composite components, the pore structure of each layer must be considered. Another vital characteristic is the surface area of the through pores, as this affects reaction rates.

These characteristics can be measured by the PMI Fuel Cell Porometer under gas humidity conditions of anywhere between zero and 100%. The testing temperature range extends up to 200 ºC, and in special situations up to 800 ºC. Compressive stress can be raised to 1,000 psi. All characteristics can be determined for individual layers as well as whole samples. Accurate data can be obtained for pore diameters as small as 0.013 µm.

In every respect, the capabilities of the PMI Fuel Cell Porometer have been developed in response to the specified needs of the manufacturers. As well as being fully automated, the instrument is user-friendly and non-destructive. Meritics has no hesitation in recommending it for use in customers’ R&D and quality control departments.