Company News

Ultrasonic Spray for Fuel Cell Platinum Catalyst Coatings

Look for Sono-Tek’s Technical Brief article in this February 2012 issue of ASME’s Journal of Fuel Cell Science and technology. The article, entitled “Maximizing the Use of Platinum Catalyst by Ultrasonic Spray Application”, was written by Robb Engle, director of Engineering, and focuses on the advantages that Ultrasonic Spray processes offer in the deposition of carbon black catalyst suspensions onto fuel cell PEM membranes.

The following is a brief excerpt from the article:

“By using a technology that is self cleaning, the atomizers are able to run processes without the risk of clogging. The core detriment of processing with nozzles that will clog is not when they fail, but in the event of slowly clogging, the spray characteristics are changing. Ultrasonic atomizers do not clog and therefore do not vary.

In addition, the delivery means to the atomizers are from closed volumes using precision metering pumps. The accuracy of and repeatability of material delivered to the substrate can be related to the fidelity of a quality pump. Moreover, keeping the material in a closed reservoir prevents loss of solvent by evaporation to atmosphere and subsequent changes during the process.

The net effect is that a properly run ultrasonic coating process maximizes stability and repeatability, thus maximizing efficient exposure of platinum.”

The full article can be found here:

For more information regarding Sono-Tek’s spray systems for fuel cell manufacturing, go to or email