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Engineered Fibers Technology, LLC, Shelton, CT, was established in 1998 by a small group of engineers, each with over thirty years’ experience in materials and fibers engineering. The company has maintained a steady technical growth from product development and strategic acquisition (Spectracorp /2005 and Advanced Fiber Technologies /2012) and is now located in an expanded manufacturing and research facility to support all of our business segments.
Engineered Fibers Technology (EFT) offers a broad range of high performance / high technology fibers and materials including precision short-cut fibers (0.1 to 75 mm lengths) from a wide range of fiber types, EFTecTM Nanofibrillated Fibers and other fibrillated fibers for technical papers and engineered materials, and SpectracarbTM GDL porous graphite conductive papers and panels for fuel cell, electrolyzers and other various electrochemical devices. Contract research, technical support and applications development are provided in all of these areas, with laboratory facilities maintained to address both product and process development. Consulting services are also available.
From 1991-2005, Spectracorp, Ltd. was a leading producer of GDL products for commercial applications, with Spectracarb™ GDL as well as a leader in the development of new GDL materials. In 2005, Engineered Fibers Technology (EFT) acquired the Spectracarb GDL commercial series of carbonized and graphitized products, as well as the technology, from Spectracorp. EFT now manufactures all of the GDL papers and products that were developed by Spectracorp.
Since 2005 EFT has grown Spectracarb GDL based on our foundation of engineered materials research, wet-laid paper development and specialty short-cut fibers combined with the Spectracarb technology to better serve the electrochemical device market and is now a source for technology, materials and service that brings together unique, but complementary, technologies from both companies and allows EFT to offer a broad base of technology products and services.
Customer Driven GDL Development is the focus of our technology, and has been defined by our customers who have found that larger GDL producers, who have concentrated on larger volume.
EFT currently manufactures the widest range of GDL products available in the Industry. Spectracarb commercial grade GDL’s consist of a graphitized network of resin-bonded carbon fiber nonwoven paper. EFT has built on this technology with expanded research and manufacturing efforts. Spectracarb GDL can now be supplied for all standard and special applications, including niche applications, in several grades, densities and thicknesses. A full product description is shown on each GDL Products Technical Data Sheet. All products are made in the USA and manufacturing is done on a commercial scale.
EFT's Spectracarb production efforts have focused mainly on specialty processed thin papers and laminated multi-ply panels, with a wide range of densities and thicknesses ranging from 0.25 g/cm3 and one-tenth of a millimeter to 0.90 g/cm3 and four-millimeters, respectively. Standard thin sheets are supplied as 400x400 mm sheets, and up to 550 x 550 mm for thicker panels, discs cut to size, special machining or other customer specific dimensions.
Commercial grades of GDL have been specifically developed and produced for a wide range of customer applications including:
This list is hardly exhaustive, but is certainly representative of the applications.
EFT has R&D capabilities and facilities to investigate customer specific GDL issues. In addition to EFT sponsored R&D, EFT seeks contract research / joint development programs related to customer specific GDL, and to the investigation of new materials, constructions and processing related to next generation / lower cost GDL. This type of contract research, normally conducted under confidentially agreement, can range from starting with specific fibers and / or other components in the laboratory to fabricate special wet-laid or other paper constructions resulting in up to 200 x 200 mm test plaques through full scale processing and manufacturing.
Joint Development Programs have demonstrated technical success. Out-sourcing projects to EFT also results in much lower costs because of our lower overhead burdens. Past programs in collaboration with a major OE automotive producer have resulted in several paths to lower cost, including a low cost humidifier paper and a higher performance water management cathode (patent applications filed). Other projects have included preparation and evaluation of GDL papers with controlled conductivity; comparison of various grades / manufacturers of carbon fibers in GDL paper, with focus on lower cost, on fuel cell performance; design of hybrid constructions for improved water management; preparation of sheet constructions to verify numerical models; and alternative resin processing, among others.
EFT Laboratory Facilities permit complete design, processing and materials property evaluations of GDL sheets. Combined with our fiber cutting capabilities, starting fibers can be cut, uniquely formulated with other conductive and/or binder components and formed into paper handsheets, molded and graphitized at over 2000°C to provide 200 x 200 mm test sheets for materials characterization, or for fuel cell evaluation. Evaluation equipment including TGA / DSC, PC controlled Instron is also available for a complete range of physical, thermal, mechanical, and electrical characterizations.
EFT is a source for technology, materials and service. We continue to build our Spectracarb GDL business on our foundation of engineered materials production and contract research, wet-laid paper development and specialty short-cut fibers to better serve the electrochemical device market.
CAPLINQ would be happy to discuss your specific requirements both for development and production of EFT's various grades of Spectracarb GDL as well as discuss applications where special constructions that are not currently available could be investigated.