Federal-Mogul has developed a new gasket technology to assist in fuel cell development for energy-efficient vehicles.
Federal-Mogul’s patented Liquid Elastomer Moulding (LEM) gaskets are constructed with small engineered elastomeric beads moulded onto thin carriers that provide superior sealing performance while significantly reducing the size and weight of each fuel cell stack. Each LEM gasket can be 0.3-0.5 mm thick, whereas the conventional moulded gasket measures at least double that.
A typical fuel cell stack is comprised of several hundred fuel cells; each cell contains an ion exchange membrane and bipolar plates. An electrochemical reaction takes place on the surface of these membranes to combine hydrogen with oxygen releasing electrical energy and water as a by-product. As a result, each membrane must be sealed from the other layers and from the external environment. Each fuel cell stack requires hundreds of bipolar plates and membrane elements which need to be sealed, thereby requiring hundreds of gaskets, adding length and weight to each fuel cell stack.
According to Federal-Mogul, their patented LEM gasket technology has been estimated to be at least half of the thickness of other gaskets. Additionally, the LEM technology offers the potential to directly incorporate the gasket into the bipolar plates offering further reduction in assembly complexity.
“Federal-Mogul’s LEM gasket provides a unique sealing technology, offering one of the smallest sealing cross-sections and lowest load to seal in the industry,” said Gerard Chochoy, senior vice president, Federal- Mogul powertrain sealing and bearings. “Our sealing technology can contribute to a more optimized fuel cell package and reduced weight which can support fuel cell technology to become more widely accepted.”