Masters Theses


"This thesis focuses on design and manufacturing of Fuel cell components using Additive Manufacturing techniques and then in the later part on design and manufacturing of Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) which is a very important component in fuel cells. Additive manufacturing methods are fast and efficient manufacturing methods which are additive building up components layer by layer instead of conventional subtractive manufacturing techniques. This ensures low cost and faster manufacturing. Additive manufacturing is important for fuel cell component manufacturing since it is important in fuel cells to minimize wastage and reduce the cost. MEA is the basis of the cost factor in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. It contributes for more than 50% of the cost in a fuel cell. In order to reduce the cost of a fuel cell/kW, it is necessary to achieve the maximum performance of the fuel cell using least amount of the platinum catalyst. The best way to achieve that is to achieve a uniform loading of the catalyst through the entire area of the MEA. Along with this, it is important to have an efficient and at the same time a fast manufacturing method for MEA's. This thesis discusses two methods, namely Direct Deposition Process (DDP) and Electro-Write Process (EWP) and compares the efficiencies of the two using a novel way employing Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) techniques. This thesis also focuses on the importance of cost model and efficiency measurement techniques for monitoring a manufacturing method in order to know the impact of every manufacturing method of individual components on the total cost of the product"--Abstract, page iv.


Liou, Frank W.

Committee Member(s)

Chandrashekhara, K.
Newkirk, Joseph William


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio)


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Fuel cell development using additive manufacturing techniques - a review
  • Comparison of direct deposition process and electro-write process for proton exchange membrane fuel cell MEA manufacturing


xi, 68 pages


© 2011 Nikhil Pramod Kulkarni, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Manufacturing processes -- Methodology
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells -- Design and construction

Thesis Number

T 9830

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