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Modeling Leakage With Mica-Based Compressive Seals for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher K. Green, Jeffrey L. Streator, Comas Haynes

Georgia Institute of Technology

Paper No. IMECE2006-15264, pp. 139-145; 7 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Tribology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, November 5 – 10, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Tribology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4782-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3790-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Fuel cells represent a promising energy alternative to the traditional combustion of fossil fuels. In particular, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have been of interest due to their high energy densities and potential for stationary power applications. One of the key obstacles precluding the maturation and commercialization of planar SOFCs has been the lack of a robust sealant. This paper presents a computational model of leakage with the utilization of mica-based compressive seals. A finite element model is developed to ascertain the macroscopic stresses and deformations in the interface. In conjunction with the finite element model is a microscale contact mechanics model that accounts for the role of surface roughness in determining the mean interfacial gap at the interface. An averaged Reynolds equation derived from mixed lubrication theory is applied to model the leakage flow across the rough, annular interface. The composite model is applied as a predictive tool for assessing how certain physical parameters (i.e., seal material composition, compressive applied stress, surface finish, and interfacial conformity) affect seal leakage rates.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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