HZwo FlexGDL

NIP II: Manufacturing of flexible adaptable gas diffusion layer (GDL) made out of carbonized roving for improved electrical and mechanical properties and cost saving


To improve the electrical and mechanical properties of fuel cells gas diffusion layers (GDL) in regard to conventional structures, as like nonwoven or paper-like textiles, a carbonized endless roving is used to reduce the electrical resistance, homogenize distribution of current, as well as prevent intrusion of the GDL into the flow-field-channels of bipolar plates. A combination of automated fibre placement, water jet binding and coating methods, enables a specific and local adaption of GDL structures in regard to their electrical and mechanical characteristics, and additionally peripheral components, as well as energy-power classes of fuel cells.

Benefitable, the usage of a roving as framework enables a reduced production cost, by transferring the cost-intensive carbonization process of nonwoven, to a more cost-effective process of roving material. These provisions lead to an increased life period and durability, which leads to a better competitive capacity of the fuel cell system in regard to its competitors.




  • Improving the electrical properties of GDL-structures
  • Adopting of the GDL-structure in regard to peripheral components and energy-power classes
  • Reduction of manufacturing cost
  • Expansion of research fields and key market of the partners
  • Strengthening the market position of the fuel cell technology


Aims of the project:

  • Local defined adaption of the electrical properties of GDLs
    • Homogeneous distribution of current density
    • Reduction of corrosion effect at the bipolar plate
  • Improvement of mechanical properties of GDL-Structures
    • Minimizing of deformation and intrusion of the GDL into the flow-field-channels
    • Reduction of handling induced defects
  • Cost savings
    • Forward displacement of cost intensive processes
    • Usage of common roving materials




1st of June 2021 until 30st of November 2023


Project funding organisation and project executing organisation:

Project Management Jülich, NIP II, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure


Associate partners:

Norafin Industries (Germany) GmbH

Vowalon Beschichtung GmbH


Contact Person:

Conrad Ehemannn, conrad.ehemannn@mb.tu-chemnitz.de