Novel and patented electroless plating and co-deposition methods have been invented at Edinburgh Napier University.
Alan Davidson, Dr. Neil Shearer & Dr. Callum Wilson
Materials: Surface Coatings & Plating
Novel and patented electroless plating and co-deposition methods have been invented at Edinburgh Napier University to process the surfaces of the electrodes in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC). These materials are key to chemical reactions rates that take place within the cells and overcome some of the materials engineering barriers and reduce manufacturing cost of the fuel cells.
Edinburgh Napier University developed the process using an electroless co-deposition of nickel and ceramic powders to give the electrode coatings a high porosity without the need for thermal consolidation treatment. Anodes and cathodes of both planar and tubular designs of SOFCs have been successfully manufactured using this technique. Process variables include ceramic particle size, bath pH, and ceramic loading.
The current challenges are to fabricate coatings to a specific user specification (customisation) i.e. adjusting the chemistry to suit application, and the industrialisation of laboratory scale work.
The process will be further developed and utilised in the new area of self-healing coatings. The research group is working with external bodies to trial and exploit this high impact research in an industrial environment.