The Qualification of Sealability and Creep Relaxation of Additively Manufactured Zytel Gaskets for PEM Fuel Cells

Robert Anthony Lazarin, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of this thesis is to study the feasibility of low-cost additive manufacturing of gaskets for proton exchange membrane fuel cells exposed to extreme temperature conditions ranging from -55°C to 100°C. With the growing popularity and decreasing costs of additive manufacturing technologies, specifically Material Extrusion (ME), research is being conducted to determine the feasibility of ME components. Thermally cycled PEMFCs may exhibit accelerated gasket deterioration, therefore, the mechanical stability of material extruded gaskets following a harsh thermal cycle must be assessed. The feasibility of the material extruded gaskets will be proven by manufacturing optimization and mechanical testing. The target material for this study is Zytel by DuPont Chemical. The mechanical stability will be assessed via sealability and creep relaxation testing according to ASTM F37B and ASTM F38B respectively. Because the capabilities to conduct sealability testing at temperature were not available, each specimen was thermally soaked and allowed to return to room temperature prior to testing. As a result of sealability experiments, the 100°C-soaked specimens resulted in lower leak rates with a higher precision when compared to specimens soaked at -55°C and 22°C at across all compressive loads. It was observed from results from creep relaxation testing that there is thermal contraction and expansion occurring at 55°C and 100°C respectively, which can be observed by the resultant graphs. The recoverability of thermally cycled specimens are better than those that just experience a high temperature hold. After the seven-day thermal cycle, the samples stabilized and maintained their structure.

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering|Materials science|Energy|Thermodynamics

Recommended Citation

Lazarin, Robert Anthony, "The Qualification of Sealability and Creep Relaxation of Additively Manufactured Zytel Gaskets for PEM Fuel Cells" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI30242544.