Production aid for MEA designs in fuel cells
The goal of fuel cell production is cost-saving and fast manufacturing. The roll-to-roll manufacturing process promises the greatest savings potential.
25 March, 2022 by
Production aid for MEA designs in fuel cells
CMC Klebetechnik GmbH

 deutsch: Produktionshilfe für MEA-Konstruktionen in Brennstoffzellen

When producing modern fuel cells the main goal is to achieve the most cost-efficient and rapid production possible. The roll-to-roll manufacturing process promises to have the greatest savings potential. 

Reliable protection against media crossover is important for the central unit, the MEA. The gasket should permanently separate the hydrogen side from the oxygen side. In addition, this subgasket seal electrically isolates the cathode side from the anode side.

It is known from various areas of film processing (e.g. packaging industry) that roll-to-roll processing is particularly advantageous. Above all, the continuous process has a great speed advantage over clocked processes.

Head of Application Management

Gerald Friederici

If you have any questions, please contact:

Gerald Friederici

Tel.: +49 6233 872 356

E-Mail: friederici (at)

The basic structure of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is the central ion-conducting membrane. The necessary catalyst coatings on both sides can be applied either before further processing or in a later step (DECAL). Around this membrane lies the subgasket seal. In the case of CMC adhesive technology, this is an adhesive-coated plastic film (e.g. PEN or PPS; subgasket lamination film).

If the central membrane film (e.g. Nafion®) is pre-cut for roll lamination, sub-gasket films in the form of frames are fed into the lamination process from above and below. In order to be able to use a roll-to-roll process, at least these subgasket lamination films must be available as continuous material on the roll.

Due to the large inner cut-outs in which the membrane film is laminated, the material web loses its inherent strength to an extreme degree. Due to the narrow remaining material webs, mechanical stresses during material transport lead to warping and distortion. In this way, accurate and process-safe lamination is not possible.

To counteract this behaviour of the punched frames, a tractor perforation (sprocket feed) can be used. It keeps the frame "in shape" by a firm mechanical fixation.

A technically more reliable method is to use a carrier tape. The subgasket material (e.g. PEN or PPS) is laminated onto a adhesive polyester film carrier with a defined reduced adhesive strength. The openings for the media inlets and the large opening for the ion exchange membrane can then be punched out. Due to the fixation by the adhesive on the supporting film carrier the now strongly weakened material web of the subgasket seal does not warp.

Prepared in this way the subgasket foil-frames can now be laminated together with the central membrane effortlessly and very precisely in a roll laminator. The supporting transport film can be removed after lamination (DECAL process) or shortly before.

CMC Klebetechnik supports you in optimising your production process with suitable adhesive films with low stretchability, which can also be used at higher temperatures.

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