At f-cell – The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Conference and Trade Fair – in Stuttgart October 4-5, Impact Coatings introduces a next generation coating system for volume production of metal plates for fuel cells and electrolyzers. The new coating system is named INLINECOATER™ IC2000. The first unit is now on display for customers at Impact Coatings in Linköping, Sweden, while undergoing process qualification for PEM fuel cell metal plates ahead of product launch.
Hydrogen is one of the key solutions to phase out fossil fuels in society, including in the energy and mobility sectors. This means that demand for manufacturing volumes of hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers has increased and is expected to continue growing rapidly during this decade. Automotive OEMs and major component suppliers are among the leaders scaling the new hydrogen industry, primarily using proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for transport applications. To achieve optimal stack performance, separator plates of metal with efficient coatings are in focus as core components for both fuel cells and electrolyzers.
Since 2018, Impact Coatings’ Coating Service Center and several fuel cell manufacturers operate the INLINECOATER™ IC500 system for fuel cell metal plate coatings. The system produces a high-quality coating using a compact platform, with short cycle times that allow easy integration in automated production.
The new INLINECOATER™ IC2000 is built upon the same proven system architecture. It is scaled to provide increased productivity, coating up to 3 million PEM fuel cell plates per year, depending on parameters like plate size, coating type and thickness, working days and shifts. The IC2000 system is compact, with a footprint of only 6.2 x 2.2 meters. It has fewer critical components, such as vacuum pumps and power supplies, than traditional large scale industry solutions. Installing additional coating systems is easy as production scales up, resulting in high reliability through redundancy and cost-efficient volume manufacturing of the critical metal plate components.
Impact Coatings is a center of expertise and a leading provider of coating solutions for metal plates to customers globally, with fuel cell coating development starting over fifteen years ago. The company’s Ceramic MAXPHASE™ noble metal-free coating for PEM fuel cell plates has almost a decade of field qualification in automotive applications. Today, the company continues its work with customers on coating development to meet coming market needs for both fuel cells and electrolyzers.
The company supports hydrogen industry customers with scalable production solutions for metal plate coatings, including coating services and coating technology and systems for volume production. Leveraging on experience from its Coating Service Center in Linköping, Sweden, the company is currently preparing launch of a second Coating Service Center in Shanghai, China.