Mechanical strength improvement of aluminum foam-reinforced matrix for molten carbonate fuel cells

Mihui Lee, Chang Whan Lee, Hyung Chul Ham, Jonghee Han, Sung Pil Yoon, Ki Bong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


During the cell operation of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs), matrix cracks caused by poor mechanical strength accelerate cell performance degradation. Therefore, for a stable long-term cell operation, the improvement of mechanical properties of matrix is highly required. In this study, aluminum foam was used to enhance the mechanical strength of the matrix as a 3D (three dimensional) support structure. Unlikely conventional matrix (pure α-LiAlO2 matrix) which has paste-like structure at the MCFC operating temperature, Al foam-reinforced α-LiAlO2 matrix has significantly strong mechanical strength because the 3D network structure of Al foam can form the harden alumina skin layer during a cell operation. As a result, the mechanical strength of the Al foam-reinforced α-LiAlO2 matrix was enhanced by 9 times higher than the pure α-LiAlO2 matrix in a 3-point bending test. In addition, thermal cycle test showed notable cell stability due to strong mechanical strength of Al foam-reinforced α-LiAlO2 matrix. The Al foam-reinforced α-LiAlO2 matrix shows appropriate microstructure to preserve the liquid electrolyte when performing the mercury porosimeter analysis and differential pressure test between anode and cathode. Moreover, evaluation of stability and durability for a long-term cell operation were demonstrated by single cell test for 1,000 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16235-16243
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 22


  • Aluminum foam
  • Matrix
  • Mechanical strength
  • Molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanical strength improvement of aluminum foam-reinforced matrix for molten carbonate fuel cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this