Most common thicknesses for GDL for Electrolyzer and Fuel

What are the most common thicknesses for Gas Diffusion Layers?

Before answer­ing the ques­tion about the most com­mon thick­ness, it’s impor­tant to under­stand the appli­ca­tion of the Gas Dif­fu­sion Lay­ers (GDLs) in ques­tion. The two most com­mon appli­ca­tions of Gas Dif­fu­sion Lay­ers (GDLs) are fuel cells and elec­trolyz­ers, and each of these will have dif­fer­ent thick­ness­es of GDLs.

The appli­ca­tions of fuel cells and elec­trolyz­ers are com­ple­men­tary to each oth­er; while fuel cells use hydro­gen and oxy­gen to gen­er­ate elec­tric­i­ty, elec­trolyz­ers use elec­tric­i­ty to gen­er­ate hydro­gen and oxy­gen by split­ting water mol­e­cules. GDLs play a cru­cial role in both these process­es by pro­vid­ing a sta­ble and uni­form dis­tri­b­u­tion of gas­es and liq­uids to the active sites of the elec­trodes, there­by enhanc­ing the elec­tro­chem­i­cal reac­tions and increas­ing the effi­cien­cy of the over­all system.

There is a wide range of pos­si­ble mate­ri­als that can be used for Gas Dif­fu­sion Lay­ers, and the thick­ness of GDLs will also depend on the type of mate­ri­als that are used. Com­mer­cial grades of GDLs avail­able from CAPLINQ vary depend­ing on the type of mate­r­i­al used:

It is impor­tant to note that the thick­ness­es list­ed are sim­ply those request­ed by our cus­tomers. CAPLINQ can often cus­tom-make spe­cif­ic thick­ness­es to meet spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tions, so be sure to con­tact us to ask for your spe­cif­ic thickness.

Most common thicknesses for GDLs used in Fuel Cells

The thick­ness of Gas Dif­fu­sion Lay­ers (GDLs) in fuel cells is typ­i­cal­ly mea­sured in microns, with the typ­i­cal range being between 75 — 400 microm­e­ters. Fac­tors such as the type of mate­r­i­al used for the GDL, the oper­at­ing con­di­tions of the fuel cell, and the desired per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics of the fuel cell can all affect the thick­ness of the GDL.

Fur­ther­more, treat­ments such as addi­tion­al Micro­p­orous Lay­ers and PTFE (Teflon) can also affect GDL thickness.

Our four most pop­u­lar graphi­tized car­bon paper prod­ucts (ranked in order of pop­u­lar­i­ty) are as follows:

Most common thicknesses for GDLs used in Electrolyzers

Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing, GDLs used in elec­trolyz­ers are thick­er than those used in fuel cells. Because in elec­trolyz­ers, GDLs are used in the elec­trode of the anode, where water is split into hydro­gen and oxy­gen, this process requires a larg­er sur­face area for the elec­trode to pro­vide more active sites for the elec­tro­chem­i­cal reac­tions to take place. This can be achieved by using GDLs with a greater thick­ness. Fur­ther­more, thick­er GDLs offer more com­press­ibil­i­ty which allows the elec­trolyz­ers to be more efficient.

Where the thick­ness of GDLs in fuel cells is typ­i­cal­ly mea­sured in microns, the thick­ness of GDL’s for elec­trolyz­ers is more com­mon­ly mea­sured in mil­lime­ters. The typ­i­cal thick­ness of GDL’s for elec­trolyz­ers is in the range of 1.5 — 2.9 mil­lime­ters. Elec­trolyz­ers also do not nor­mal­ly have addi­tion­al PTFE layers.

CAPLIN­Q’s four most pop­u­lar graphi­tized car­bon paper prod­ucts (ranked in order of pop­u­lar­i­ty) are as follows:

To be clear, it is the cus­tomers who have dic­tat­ed these thick­ness­es, as we can cus­tom make most any thick­ness of Car­bon Paper or Panel.

CAPLINQ is a proud inno­va­tor in the space of graphi­tized car­bon paper and pan­els and we love to work with cus­tomers to address their spe­cif­ic man­u­fac­tur­ing chal­lenges. We proud­ly offer our prod­ucts to man­u­fac­tur­ers of elec­trolyz­ers and fuel cells large and small.

Please vis­it our web­site and feel free to con­tact us if you have any ques­tions about any of the prod­ucts we offer.

About Chris Perabo

Chris is an energetic and enthusiastic engineer and entrepreneur. He is always interested in taking highly technical subjects and distilling these to their essence so that even the layman can understand. He loves to get into the technical details of an issue and then understand how it can be useful for specific customers and applications. Chris is currently the Director of Business Development at CAPLINQ.

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