AP&T will be in Tokyo at the world’s largest expo on technology related to hydrogen and fuel cells when it kicks off the first week in March. The aim is to present the new concept for large-scale and cost-efficient manufacturing of fuel cell plates that the company has developed together with Cell Impact and Sandvik.
“We have a fantastic opportunity to establish new contacts in the market that is at the forefront in terms of applying environmentally friendly automotive engineering based on fuel cells,” says Jan Jonasson, senior advisor marketing and sales at AP&T.
Breakthrough for fuel cell-operated vehicles
After decades of development work, there are strong indicators that vehicles that operate on hydrogen and fuel cells are on the brink of a commercial breakthrough. Japanese car manufacturers are entering the industry and have already launched several hydrogen-operated car models on the market. The growing potential for this type of vehicle also means that demand for solutions that promote rational and large-scale production of components is also increasing.
Cost-efficient manufacturing of fuel cell plates
As recently as last summer, a new concept, developed by AP&T, Cell Impact and Sandvik, was presented for cost-efficient mass production of fuel cell plates. A great deal of interest was expressed in the concept at European Fuel Cell Forum in Lucerne in June 2015 and at Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition in Los Angeles in November. It will be time to show the new concept again the first week in March 2016 at Fuel Cell Expo 2016 in Tokyo. This is the world’s largest expo of its kind, and perhaps also the most important meeting place for players interested in taking part in the imminent shift in technology.
“This extremely exciting development is now gaining momentum in the automotive industry. During the past six months alone, interest in fuel cell-based technology has grown significantly, and we have received several new inquiries. This probably means that we will take the step from concept to commercial production solution earlier than planned,” says Jan Jonasson.
The concept, which will be presented virtually at AP&T's booth, includes material, forming technology and production process. Sandvik has produced a new method for coating stainless steel strip steel. The material is delivered with a finished surface, which eliminates the necessity of individually coating each piece and handling formed plates. Cell Impact's technology for high-speed forming increases the steel's formability and enables more complex and exact patterns to be created or material thickness to be reduced. AP&T has integrated the different parts into a complete production process based on the company's extensive experience in production lines for heat exchanger plates.
Fuel cell benefits
Fuel cell technology enables vehicles to be operated with electricity without the necessity of heavy batteries. The electricity is produced when hydrogen reacts with oxygen in a fuel cell. The process does not produce any exhaust; the only residual product is water.