Process Model for Multilayer Slide Coating of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Kristianto Tjiptowidjojo, Janghoon Park, Scott Mauger, Michael Ulsh, Peter Schunk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Slide coating is a precision method suitable for depositing multiple liquid-film layers simultaneously. Originally developed in the photographic film industry, it has been deployed for manufacturing of other products that benefit from multilayer coatings. One emerging application is the manufacture of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), which are used to produce electricity through electrochemical reactions of hydrogen and oxygen gas. The membrane-electrode assembly (MEA), in which key electrochemical reactions occur, consists of three layers that are typically deposited separately in serial fashion and then laminated together to form the three-layer MEA, i.e., three sequential steps of coat and dry. Adapting the process to simultaneous, multilayer slide coating of all three layers will save equipment cost and space while minimizing possible exposure to contaminants during transition between the steps. We are developing a three-layer slide coating model to aid the manufacturing process design of PEMFC. The model accounts for rheology of each layer, which typically exhibit shear thinning behavior. Model predictions are used to investigate simultaneous coatability of catalyst inks and to determine the best layer-by-layer ink selection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Coatings Technology and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American Coatings Association.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-78952


  • Coating window
  • Finite element
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Slide coating


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