Freudenberg GDL stock

Gas Diffusion Layers

Freudenberg is worldwide the leading nonwoven supplier. Based on its high technology portfolio Freudenberg supplies GDL materials for all polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications.

Gas Diffusion Layers in FC Stack

GDL materials are one of the performance critical components in fuel cells acting both as the functional as well as the supporting structure for membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

Superior characteristics of GDL materials: Freudenberg GDL materials exhibit high electrical and thermal conductance, protect the membrane from potential puncture damage, allow safe and productive downstream processing in MEA manufacturing, and are tailored for optimized mass transport according to the fuel cell operating conditions. This optimization ensures sufficient supply of the hydrogen and oxygen (air) gas reactants to the catalyst layers. Concurrently the movement of product water in gas and liquid states must be managed to keep catalyst sites open for reactants while preventing membrane dry-out.

Surface of Freudenberg GDL
This all-important water management is primarily achieved through our specially formulated micro-porous layer (MPL) coatings and treatments that have the perfect balance of electrical and thermal conductivity and hydrophobicity. The latest generation of Freudenberg GDL covers a wide range of applications; for automotive, which requires improved cold start behavior and very high mass transport capability for high current density operation, for highly humidified stationary systems, and for extremely dry operation conditions expected in open cathode back-up power fuel cells.
Electron microscope picture of Freudenberg GCL

Applying the nonwoven technology invented by Freudenberg, our GDL’s unique three dimensional fiber structures meet these challenging mass transport requirements and furthermore offer mechanical compressibility that helps to accommodate thickness variations of cell stack components such as bipolar plates and membrane.

Please see our application advisor document to select appropriate materials for your fuel cell application. Besides for fuel cells, Freudenberg’s carbon fiber based nonwovens are well suitable for other applications such as hydrolysis or energy storage as well.

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