Application of FEA to Design and Develop a Small-scale Hot Press Machine for PEFC MEA Application

Nuttapol Limjeerajarus, Kotchakarn Nantasaksiri, Warakom Nerdnoi, Patcharawat Charoen-amornkitt


To fabricate a high performance polymer electrolyte fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (PEFC MEA), the hot press method is commonly used. For conducting the hot press method, the hot press machine which has very smooth contact surfaces of pressing blocks, accurate temperature and force loading control systems is required. Generally, a commercial hot press machine uses a hydraulic transmission system for load generation. However, it is considered to be relatively costly for such a small load of a small-scale PEFC application. In this study, to reduce the cost, a small-scale hot press machine has been designed and developed using a jackscrew instead of a hydraulic cylinder as the load transmitter. An investigation of stress, thermal stress, and deformation distributions of the hot press machine was carried out prior to actual manufacturing using finite element analysis. Finally, the developed small-scale hot press machine was experimentally checked so as to ensure that it can accurately be operated at the desired conditions, i.e., 130°C, 6 MPa with the smooth contact surfaces of its pressing blocks.


Finite element analysis, hot press machine, membrane electrode assembly, PEFC, structural analysis

Full Text: