fbpx

Photoetched Metal Parts for Energy/Power

Photoetched Metal Parts for Fuel Cells

PEI produces photochemically-etched fuel cell plates in a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, pure titanium, and other non-corrosive metals, for the solar and energy generation markets. Our photochemical machining process allows very large, very thin single- or double-sided plates to be etched without incurring the stresses typical of other machining methods. Dimensions can be held to extremely high tolerances, and the process yields exceptionally smooth surfaces and channels (even with multiple channel depths on the same plate), free of burrs and other surface irregularities.

The thickness of these metal fuel cell plates ranges from 0.5 mil (0.0127 mm) to 100 mil (2.54 mm), with features as small as 4 mil (0.10 mm) on 0.010 in. (0.254 mm) centers.  Because they can be stacked or layered, fuel cell plates produced in this way give fuel cell manufacturers much greater flexibility in designing their products, while providing improved durability and conductivity over non-metallic materials. Since the plates are lightweight and impact-resistant, manufacturers can produce longer-lived fuel cells with lower shipping costs. PEI’s fuel cell plates also offer superior volumetric power density when compared with other materials, and can be fabricated in a myriad of shapes and sizes with round or hexagonal holes, ovals and slots.  They can easily be customized with the customer’s logo.

PEI provides manufacturers with a complete turnkey operation, including toolmaking, plating, and forming, so we can make deliveries with extremely quick turnaround times at competitive prices. Our manufacturing equipment and test equipment are in compliance with MIL-STD-45662, and our sampling procedures allow for individual customers’ specifications, as well as MIL-STD-105. We have complete first-piece inspection report capability, and submit to annual or bi-annual quality systems and calibration auditing by our customers.

PEI’s executive staff meets twice a year to conduct a management review of our ISO system. PEI is in the high 90th percentile in internal quality, external quality, and on-time delivery to customers.

Photoetched Metal Parts for Solar Energy

Photofabrication Engineering (PEI) etches pure titanium to create anodes and cathodes for the fuel cell industry. As the leading expert in etching exotic materials and titanium for a broad variety of solar and energy generation applications (including fuel cells, batteries, and nuclear and desalination systems), PEI’s unique capabilities allow us to etch metals to multiple depths without the resist failures common to this etching process.

PEI is able to do this because our photochemical etching machines were developed specifically to meet the demanding requirements of exotic metal etching. Our machines are 30 in. (762 mm) wide, and either two- or four-chambered for high production quantities. The internal parts of these etching machines are constructed of special proprietary alloys, so that they are unaffected by our patented copper-based etchant.

PEI’s executive staff meets twice a year to conduct a management review of the ISO system. PEI is in the 90th percentile in internal quality, external quality, and on-time delivery to customers.

Titanium fuel cells, oxygen generators and hydrogen generators represent a giant step in the development of clean energy technology. Used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical systems, biotechnology, wastewater treatment, and pulp and paper (bleaching), these products are becoming increasingly cost-effective as well as environmentally desirable. PEI’s unique ability to produce lightweight photoetched titanium parts in production quantities allows solar product manufacturers to meet high-volume, low-cost manufacturing goals to accelerate the commercial viability of fuel cells as well as oxygen and hydrogen generators, as mandated by the U.S. Energy Department.