Shape Memory Alloy / Glass Composite Seal for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Story, Christopher B.
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Widespread use of solid oxide fuel cells is hindered by a lack of long-term durability of seals between metallic and ceramic components caused by thermal expansion mismatch induced cracking. A novel gas seal design incorporating an engineered thermal expansion gradient in a SrO-La2O3-Al2O3-B2O3-SiO2 glass matrix with a TiNiHf shape memory alloy mesh for active stress relief and crack healing is being developed. Coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) measurements of the seal and fuel cell components shows the possibility for a thermal expansion gradient. Differential scanning calorimetry and microscopy have shown that the TiNiHf alloy has a shape memory transition in the desired range of 200-250ÂºC. The oxide glass partially crystallizes during thermal cycling which has been observed through X-ray diffraction and dilatometry. The CTE decreases from 9.3Ã 10-6/Â°C to 6.6Ã 10-6/Â°C after thermal cycling. Neutron diffraction data from TiNiHf /glass composite samples reveals that the TiNiHf alloy has the ability of absorbing residual stresses from a glass matrix during martensitic phase transition. There is evidence from microscopy that the glass composition is important in determining if reaction will occur with the TiNiHf alloy. The TiNiHf alloy mesh structures can be created using the 3D printing process. This process has been adapted to allow for printing of very thin wire mesh structures of Ni and NiTi powders with a more suitable binder solution. A bi-layer test fixture has been developed which will be useful for assessing leak rate through seal materials.
- Masters Theses