Stack Fabrication

AlliedSignal has developed a simple and cost-effective process for fabricating multicell stacks.

(i) Thin-electrolyte cells are made by tape calendering. Tape calendering is a conventional ceramic forming method that involves squeezing a softened thermoplastic polymer/ceramic mix between two rolls to produce a continuous sheet of material. The tape calendering process for fabricating thin-electrolyte cells involves progressive rolling (calendering) of green (unfired) ceramic tapes to form a thin electrolyte (1 to 10 ¬°im thick) on an anode support. The electrolyte/anode bilayer is fired at elevated temperatures to remove the organics. The cathode is then applied on the sintered bilayer to produce a complete cell.

(ii) Metallic interconnect assemblies are fabricated by conventional stamping and joining techniques.

Figure 2 shows as an example a photograph of a typical thin-electrolyte cell fabricated by tape calendering. A photograph of a five-cell stack incorporating thin-electrolyte cells and metallic interconnect assemblies is given in Figure 3.

Figure 2 Thin-Electrolyte Cell

Figure 3 Five-Cell Stack

This fabrication process has several important advantages: simplicity, scalability, and cost effectiveness. In addition, the process is material-independent, thus providing fabrication versatility. Furthermore, the process can be designed for high-volume production using available commercial equipment.

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