Fuel Cell Plates are photochemically machined.

Press Release Summary:

Photochemically-etched fuel cell plates are available in stainless steel, pure titanium, and other non-corrosive metals. Lightweight, impact-resistant plates can be stacked or layered, and come in thicknesses from 0.5-100 mil with features as small as 4 mil on 0.010 in. centers. Plates can be fabricated in various shapes and sizes with round or hexagonal holes, ovals and slots, and customized with customer's logo.

Original Press Release:

Photoetched Fuel Cell Plates

Photochemically-etched fuel cell plates are now available from PHOTOFABRICATION ENGINEERING, INC. (PEI), of Milford, MA, in a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, pure titanium, and other non-corrosive metals. PEI's photochemical machining process allows single- or double-sided plates to be etched without incurring the stresses associated with typical machining methods. Dimensions can be held to extremely high tolerances. The result is exceptionally smooth surfaces and channels, even with multiple channel depths on the same plate, with no burrs or other surface irregularities.

The range of thickness of these metal plates allows them to be stacked or layered, giving fuel cell manufacturers greater flexibility in design while providing improved durability and conductivity over non-metallic materials. Since they are lightweight and impact-resistant, manufacturers can produce longer-lived fuel cells with lower shipping costs. These plates also offer superior volumetric power density when compared with other materials.

PEI's fuel cell plates are available in thicknesses 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. They can be fabricated in myriad shapes and sizes with round or hexagonal holes, ovals and slots, and customized with the customer's logo.

A significant advantage of photochemical etching is the ability to reproduce large quantities of parts without tooling "wear," so the millionth part is exactly the same as the first part. Changes to tools can be implemented very quickly, and phototools are significantly less expensive than traditional tooling methods-ideal for manufacturing plates from prototype to production quantities.

PEI also offers manufacturers a complete turnkey operation, including phototool-making, plating, and forming. Because all processes are performed in-house, we offer extremely quick turnaround (quotes within 24 hours!) 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 90" percentile in internal quality, external quality, and on-time delivery to customers.

For more information about our fuel cell plates and other photoetched products, contact PHOTOFABRICATION ENGINEERING, INC., 500 Fortune Boulevard, Milford, MA 01757; telephone +(508) 478-2025; FAX +(508) 478-3582; or reach us at our Web site, www.photofabrication.com.

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