Discover the power of our innovative surface coatings and elevate the performance of your fuel cells to new heights.

Introducing our cutting-edge surface coatings for Bipolar Plates: Proven, Durable, and Cost-Effective.

HEF teams have been working for 5 years in a dedicated fuel cell laboratory to develop a high-performance surface material for use on bipolar plates, an essential component of fuel cells.

This carbon-based material offers a number of differentiating advantages. It can be applied directly on stainless steel plates (manufactured by HEF customers) and is available worldwide at affordable prices.

This solution not only demonstrates economic viability but also guarantees robustness by leveraging established technologies within our Group. Furthermore, sustainability is at the forefront, as this non-critical and recyclable material aligns with requirements for a greener future.

How does a hydrogen vehicle work?

The principle of a hydrogen-powered vehicle is based on the conversion of the chemical energy of the H2 molecule into electrical energy. 

This is achieved through a fuel cell, which combines oxygen from the air with hydrogen stored in a pressurized tank. 

The produced electricity is used to power a buffer battery and the electric powertrain. Water is the only by-product, making it an environmentally friendly electric vehicle with no CO2 emissions.*

*This is true when using green hydrogen derived from renewable energies (such as solar or wind power).

What is a PEMFC?

A fuel cell consists of a membrane-electrode assembly and two bipolar plates that generate a voltage of approximately 0.65 V. 

To increase voltage and power output, individual fuel cells are stacked together, forming a fuel cell stack. This stack enables higher electrical output similar to how multiple batteries can be connected in series.

Why a PEMFC rather than another type of fuel cell?

The PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) is is the preferred choice for automobile manufacturers because it offers strong advantages/performance:

  • Operates at low temperature (around 80°C)
  • No need for preheating, quick startup 
  • Durability (between 5 and 8,000 hours for cars and between 25 to 30,000 hours for trucks)
  • Compactness 

Materials for bipolar plates:

To improve compactness, the most considered approach is the use of metallic bipolar plates (titanium, stainless steel, or even aluminum). However, these plates need protection against corrosion while maintaining optimal electrical conductivity over extended periods of use.

Vacuum treatment is a promising method for achieving very dense layers with low impurities contamination that meet the required specifications. 

To address these objectives, HEF has devoted significant efforts from its teams to develop and industrialize an optimal and cost-effective solution to support its future customers worldwide.