Fuel cell plates
Precision Micro has long-standing partnerships with a number of leading alternative energy providers who benefit from economic, accurate, burr- and stress-free photo etched fuel cell plates.
Precision Micro is the world’s leading supplier of ultra-thin chemically etched resistive heating elements used in a wide range of energy applications.
Complex channels and geometries can be photo etched onto individual heat exchanger plates economically, maximising thermal efficiency.
Meshes, filters and sieves
Where punch-perforated sheets are prone to distortion, photo etched mesh is burr- and stress-free, with zero material degradation.
The way in which energy is being produced and consumed is evolving. Whilst advanced technologies are opening up new sources of alternative energy which are clean and renewable, the challenge is to reduce cost and make these energy sources more affordable.
In partnering with a number of leading alternative energy providers, Precision Micro’s photo etching process is being used as an enabling technology for a number of sustainability projects, including automotive and domestic hydrogen fuel cell manufacture, lighter, more efficient aircraft engine components and electro-thermal ice protection systems, and next-generation photovoltaic technology.
Photo etching benefits for alternative energy applications
Many of the energy related products manufactured by Precision Micro are specified from metals which exhibit excellent strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance and low-coefficient of thermal expansion, such as aluminium, titanium and marine grade stainless steel. These metals are challenging to machine using conventional sheet metalworking and often require costly rework to remove undesirable recast layers, stresses and burrs.
As there is no significant thermal cycle when metal is processed using photo etching, complex channels and geometries can be photo etched onto individual heat exchanger and fuel cell plates simultaneously, maximising thermal efficiency. Plates which require subsequent brazing or bonding remain perfectly flat.
Photo etching offers consistent precision over both large and small area.
Resistive heating elements used in aircraft electro-thermal ice protection systems are photo etched defect-free from ultra-thin copper and nickel alloys to extremely tight resistance tolerances and in lengths up to 1500mm. The solution developed cut the energy typically consumed by a bleed air system by 50 per cent
A pocket-sized surveillance drone measuring less than 1 ounce operates using miniature motor laminations photo etched to ±0.020mm accuracy.
Precision Micro offers a number of added value technologies. Combining photo etching and diffusion bonding ensures complex cooling channels can be incorporated into heat exchangers at a fraction of the price of conventional machining or laser drilling.
Photo etching is the principle technology used in printed circuit heat exchanger systems (PHCEs). PCHEs are used in LNG carrier reliquefaction systems and are up to 85% smaller and lighter than traditional shell and tube technology.
Bi-polar fuel cell plates photo etched by Precision Micro powered the zero emission black cabs used to transport dignitaries during the London 2012 Olympic games.
Want to know more?
The basic principles of photo etching can be demonstrated in nine process steps.
Created to guide you through designing for the photo etching process, outlining achievable tolerances and component features.
With backgrounds which include CAD, machining, technical and operations planning, our sales engineers have the photo etching know-how to answer your questions.