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Non-destructive weld testing critical for hydrogen fuel cell components

by Last updated Nov 9, 2021 | Published on Jul 23, 2019Industries

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The call for cleaner energy gets louder every day, which is why Axenics puts a strong focus on welding and weld testing for hydrogen fuel cell components. Original equipment manufacturers demand the highest purity level for fuel cell technologies, and we deliver exceptional products by implementing tactics such as:

  • Continuing education for our welders and technicians
  • Eliminating potential contaminants by completing projects in a Class 100 cleanroom
  • Performing non-destructive weld testing on components during each step of the process

More OEMs are getting onboard with clean technology, including introducing hydrogen energy solutions into automobiles, construction vehicles and other modes of transportation. Aside from additional consumer vehicles receiving hydrogen power, we see an increase of vehicles that perform functions indoors using fuel cell technologies as well. For instance, food service companies use forklifts and other vehicles that transport products within warehouses powered with hydrogen technology. This solves the problem of chemical byproducts damaging the edible inventory. The byproduct of a hydrogen fuel cell is simply water.

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The increase in projects based around hydrogen fuel cell power systems does not translate to a decrease in Axenics’ in-house safety measures or productivity. Cross-training our team ensures there are many hands available for welding tasks. Staying on top of new techniques keeps our welders sharp as they tackle increasingly intricate weldments.

The delicate nature of hydrogen fuel cell components means we are performing much of the welding in a cleanroom setting, which is maintained daily. Potential contaminants such as dirt and dust particles are kept out, tooling is regularly cleaned and technicians wear protective gear to maintain the purity of your products.

Nondestructive testing on hydrogen fuel cell components

Non-destructive weld testing (NDT) is an essential part of the process in component production. Axenics’ technicians regularly perform NDT on three-pass heat exchanger hydrogen fuel cells, evaluating the performance of the components. NDT locates any potential defects and discontinuities, while maintaining the component’s functionality. These three variations of NDT are commonplace at Axenics:

Visual Weld Testing is just as it sounds — using trained eyes to find potential leaks. Technicians review the component for a range of possible problem areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Weld fissures
  • Surface flaws
  • Material corrosion
  • Banding distortion

Helium leak testing via pressure testing and vacuum testing are two NDT processes used to ensure your components are defect-free. Axenics’ performs helium leak tests on any component used to transport a gas, such as hydrogen.

Axenics accelerates hydrogen fuel cell component production to lower energy costs and provides longer lifetimes of products for our customers — to promote a cleaner environment for everyone.

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