The sealant is used to connect individual cells to form stacks.
The sealant is used to connect individual cells to form stacks.
 
A researcher dispenses a sealant onto an individual fuel cell using a commercial robotic arm.
A researcher dispenses a sealant onto an individual fuel cell using a commercial robotic arm.

DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and NASA Glenn Research Center are collaborating on advanced solid-oxide fuel cells. More specifically, the two research teams will develop sealing technologies for fuel-cell stacks.

The solid-oxide stacks are groups of thin ceramic cells separated by gas seals. The gas-separation seals prevent fuels and oxidants from intermixing.

"Our objective is to develop composite materials and designs that will improve the strength and fracture toughness of composite glass and glass-ceramic-based seals," says Ajay Misra, chief of NASA Glenn's ceramics branch. "The seals must stand up to the extremes of pressure, temperature, and other environmental conditions during extended operation," he adds. The solid-oxide fuel cells may serve in power generation systems as well as in aviation and space applications.