Low-Cost Automated Manufacturing of Hydrogen Production Components with Multi-Nozzle Abrasive-Waterjets
Stamping and photochemical machining have been two of common methods for manufacturing multiple flow channels in hydrogen reformers, heat exchangers, and fuel-cell stacks. These methods are too costly to help meet DoE's targeted untaxed price of $2.00-3.00/gge. This project will develop a multi-nozzle waterjet system for the automated machining of flow channels, on a stack of 30 or more thin shims, in one single run. In Phase I, a single-nozzle abrasive-waterjet system will be used to machine flow channels on a stack of 30 or more sheets of stainless steel shims. A cost reduction of at least 37% will be demonstrated. The ultimate goal will be the achievement of a cost reduction of at least one order of magnitude, along with significant productivity enhancement, using multiple abrasive slurry jets in Phase II. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new waterjet systems, operating in the multi-nozzle mode, should allow for the low cost manufacturing of hydrogen production components, thereby contributing to the early adoption of hydrogen as the green fuel of the future.
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