Micro-cracks in fuel cells are either introduced from incoming substrates or created during various production steps, ultimately leading to product breakage and module cost increase. Cost reduction is a primary goal for new energy products to be competitive with fossil sources.
Ultrasonic Technologies, Inc. developed a new instrument for high volume in-line micro-crack inspection based on a novel methodology for advanced crack detection which includes the Resonance Ultrasonic Vibrations technique combined with the Activation Station (RUV-AS). Application of the RUV-AS system in fuel cell production dramatically increases production yield and reduces cost by screening out mechanically unstable ceramic plates caused by process flaws.
There are multiple locations in automatic production lines where RUV-AS equipment is a valuable cost-effective solution. These include testing of incoming ceramic substrates, processed wafers with deposited cathode/anode layers and finished fuel cells. Importantly, all locations can be covered by a single device platform.