The use of glass tapes for the joining and sealing of stacks is a common procedure used throughout the world in the area of high temperature fuel cells (SOFC). The »GLASSeal« project is contributing to an environmentally friendly energy supply with high temperature fuel cells (SOFC) in stationary applications, such as for the supply of household energy.
Through the reduction in costs of the stack component glass sealing tapes and the development of production capacities on an industrial scale, its commercial application has been decisively promoted. The continuous requirement to reduce production costs and simultaneously preserve long-term durability and reliability demands ongoing research and development.
Aim of the project was the development of procedures for cost-effective series production through the implementation of tape cast sealing elements. In contrast to the method used until now, where the tape material was applied as a paste via a syringe and needed to go through several time-consuming drying stages, using tape cast sealing elements that are pressed to the exact design requirements for stack assembly can save a significant amount of time.
To realise systems with a high level of impermeability and robustness, glass sealing tapes that are optimised, reliable, feature long-term durability and thermocyclability should also be developed for stack assemblers and system builders. It was a goal to develop cost-effective stack component glass sealing tapes for commercial application by the end of the project period.
To reduce the costs, an optimisation in the melting of the glass, its preparation and the manufacturing of the tape was to be achieved within the framework of this project. It was thereby established that the melting and grinding conditions as well as grain size distribution have a substantial effect on the developed microstructures and functioning of the tape. Essential relationships could become understood and the processes leading to the manufacture of functional tapes could be established. The glass sealing tape quality can now also be assured for mass production thanks to the established and cost-optimised QM system. The functionality of the glass sealing tapes molten in large batches and in standardised production processes was proven by several tape casting scars. Customers can now obtain high-quality glass sealing tapes in larger numbers — and at a significantly reduced price to that which was customary at the commencement of the project.