Freudenberg Sealing Technologies
Hydrogen
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Power for Sustainable Energy

Sealing Solutions for the Entire Energy Value Chain

Wind turbines, solar and hydroelectric plants, fuel cells, battery systems and switchgears. These are just a few energy applications that rely on technology innovations from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Working with customers around the world, experts at the company develop unique material and product solutions that solve tough industry challenges and help pave the way to a sustainable energy future.

Hydrogen Fuel-Cell

The Future Is Hydrogen

Sealing Solutions for Hydrogen Applications

The time has come to tap into green hydrogen’s potential contribution to a sustainable energy system. Rapid extensions of electrolyzer and fuel cell production capacities present new challenges for many components in the stack. Especially sealing solutions require a new and innovative approach to follow those developments in this dynamic market. As the industry moves from manual production to high volume semi or fully automated manufacturing, more suitable sealing solutions and materials are required. Ease of assembly and high production process safety with specialized materials that fulfil lifetime expectations in very harsh and aggressive environments are the key to support green hydrogen production and enable mass production. Freudenberg combines all of the skills, material expertise, design and process engineering, including industrialization know-how and capacities to support green hydrogen and fuel cell production deployment. Our selection of seal elastomers meets all requirements of the electrolyzer environment and lifetime operation for Alkaline, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) and Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) Electrolyzers.

photo of electrolyzer stack

Electrolyzer Applications

Innovative Sealing Solutions for Electrolyzer Applications to Enable High-Volume Mass Production

The production of electrolyzers requires a fast, repeatable and reliable process assembly. While much attention is paid to the cell frame design, the selection of gaskets (profiles and materials) is often underestimated, especially at high pressures.

We have more than 25 years of experience in designing and manufacturing integrated elastomeric seals and performance features for your electrolyzer stack. Integrated seals increase ease of handling, assembly robustness, and durability. Our elastomers are compatible with most materials used for frames and bipolar plates in electrolyzer stacks.

Our selection of seal elastomers meets all requirements of the electrolyzer environment and lifetime operation.

Product Range for Electrolyzer Applications

Seal on Thermoplastic Frame

Seal on Thermoplastic Frame

Elastomeric seals on thermoplastic frames channel the flow of gases and heat and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Portfolio of proprietary low permeation elastomers to address the unique performance requirements and electro-chemistries found in different types of electrolyzers
  • Material-specific bonding agents applied between the gasket and frame ensure the sealing function is optimized
  • Elastomeric seal integration increases ease of handling, assembly speed, and durability
Seal on Titanium Bipolar Plate

Seal on Titanium Bipolar Plate

Elastomeric seals on thermoplastic frames channel the flow of gases and heat and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Portfolio of proprietary low permeation elastomers to address the unique performance requirements and electro-chemistries found in different types of electrolyzers
  • Elastomeric seal integration increases ease of handling, assembly speed, and durability
  • Experience with automated series production of elastomeric seals on bipolar plates
Seal on Metal-Frame

Seal on Metal Frame

Elastomeric seals on metal frames channel the flow of gases and heat and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Portfolio of proprietary low permeation elastomers to address the unique performance requirements and electro-chemistries found in different types of electrolyzers
  • Elastomeric seals integration increases ease of handling, assembly speed, and durability
  • Metal frames can utilize both edge bonded and overmolded gaskets on the same frame
  • Experience with automated series production of elastomeric seals on metal frames for 40 years with over 20 million produced each year
Electrolyzer Loose-Gaskets

Loose Gaskets

Elastomeric seals prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Portfolio of proprietary elastomers to address the unique performance requirements and electro-chemistries found in different types of electrolyzers
  • Retention features hold the gasket inside the groove to facilitate automatic stack assembly
  • Experience with automated series production of loose gaskets
Wind Energy

Fuel Cell Systems

Sealing Solutions for Fuel Cell Systems

Low hydrogen permeation materials, tolerance compensation in the stack and vertical integration (various Freudenberg components) are all different forms of competencies and value we bring to our customers. We work as a partner to help develop customized solutions together with our customers.

Freudenberg has been developing its expertise in the field of fuel cells since the 1990s. We are known for the durability of our polymers that allow for different functions to be integrated. We support all stationary, transport and portable fuel cell applications.

Product Range for Fuel Cell Systems

Seal on GDL

Seal on Gas Diffusion Layer

Elastomeric seals on GDL prevent leakage and cross-over while effectively compensating for tolerances of the adjacent stack components and any thermal expansion/distortion.

  • Polyolefin elastomer with low permeation, high adhesion, and enhanced compression set to meet the durability and performance requirements of the stack system
  • Three-dimensional seal pattern to uniformly distribute the linear load and prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases
  • Elastomers compatible with many nonwoven GDLs, including the wide range of Freudenberg-manufactured GDL materials
  • Experience with automated series production of elastomeric seals on GDL materials
Seal on Bipolar Plate

Seal on Bipolar Plate

Elastomeric seals on bipolar plates prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Low permeation elastomers compatible with most materials used for bipolar plates
  • Accurate thickness distribution combined with low durometer compound for greater compensation of manufacturing tolerances in the stack
  • Custom designed and precision-molded seal profiles channel the flow of gases and heat in the cell
  • Experience with automated series production of elastomeric seals on bipolar plates
Seal on PEN Film

Seal on PEN Film

Elastomeric seals on PEN film prevent leakage and cross-over while effectively compensating for tolerances of the adjacent stack. High potential for further system integration e.g. MEA components.

  • Elastomeric seal integration increases ease of handling, assembly robustness, and durability
  • Polyolefin elastomer with low permeation, high adhesion, and enhanced compression set to meet the durability and performance requirements of the stack system
  • Accurate thickness distribution combined with low durometer compound for greater compensation of manufacturing tolerances in the stack
  • Custom designed and precision-molded seal profiles channel the flow of gases and heat in the cell
Fuel Cell Loose Gaskets

Loose Gaskets

Elastomeric seals prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases and compensate for manufacturing tolerances of the adjacent stack components.

  • Low permeation elastomers compatible with most materials used for stacks
  • Accurate thickness and precision-molded seal for greater compensation of manufacturing tolerances in the stack
  • Experience with automated series production of loose gaskets
Plug & Seal

Plug & Seal

Plug & Seals are rubber-coated pipe sections that create a safe, leak-free connection between housings. A secure, low-cost solution for the transport of air, water, and oils, they can combine several functions in a single component and compensate for conduit misalignment and tolerance variations. Plug & Seals are available in a wide variety of elastomer coatings.

Plug & Seal plug connections from Freudenberg Sealing Technologies provide many technical and cost benefits:

  • Create a reliable seal even in high-pressure applications
  • Give simple, secure, and low-cost fitting
  • Ensure acoustic and mechanical decoupling
Fuel Cell End Plate Manifold Gaskets bluelight

End Plate & Manifold Gaskets

End plate & manifold gaskets prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases from balance-of-plant components.

  • Low permeation elastomers compatible with most materials used for fuel cell systems
  • Homogenous rubber gaskets designed to be used with a machined or as-cast groove
  • The groove locates the gasket in the correct position. The gasket cross section defines the sealing characteristics
  • Ideal for composite housings designed to accommodate a groove for the gasket
Gas Diffusion Layer

Gas Diffusion Layers

Find out more about Gas Diffusion Layer ‒ a key component of fuel cells ‒ by Freudenberg Performance Materials. Please click here.

FFT FC Filter

Air Filters and Humidifiers

Find out more about Air Filters and Humidifiers by Freudenberg Filtration Technologies Please click here.

One Stop Solution: Design and Development Expertise from FST

With full-service in-house engineering design teams and a network of experienced manufacturing locations worldwide, we can support the design and development of stack sealing solutions for your program. Whether you are working with fuel cells or electrolyzers, our team can provide invaluable insights into the development of high-performance integrated stack seals and balance-of-plant gaskets.

Design

Our design teams have the expertise and experience to develop the best sealing solution for you. Designed to uniformly distribute linear load, elastomer seals prevent leakage of coolant and reactant gases. Seals patterns are often used to separate the flow of gases and heat in the system. Let us work with you early in the development process to help ensure the best manufacturable seal profiles for your stack applications.

Materials

We have developed low-permeation, low-leach elastomers compatible with the chemistries in fuel cell and electrolyzer stacks. To withstand the electrolyzer environment, our high-performance elastomers are resistant to high temperatures and pressures, compressive deformation, and aggressive fluids/gases. As the basis for application-specific elastomer development, we can draw on more than 1,500 production formulations. Our expertise in materials and processes makes us a valued partner to help our customers at critical points in the development and meet extended durability targets.

Testing

The Freudenberg material test stand can simulate accelerated elastomer aging in specific electrolyzer or fuel cell conditions. It shows the interactive effect of high temperatures, potassium hydroxide or sulfuric acid, along with oxygen at high pressure, in a condensed timeframe. The test stand demonstrates the reliability and lifespan of both seals and thermoplastic frames. This allows for accelerated elastomer development for these applications.

Related Documents

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