Functional surface finishing solutions


for hydrogen technologies


Electrolyzers and fuel cells

Reliable surface finishing solutions for hydrogen technologies

Hydrogen is a promising technology for carbon-neutral energy generation. It boasts a high energy density and generates zero emissions during consumption. Yet in spite of its immense potential, the industry still faces significant challenges when it comes to the production, storage, transport, and utilization of this new technology. Our functional surface finishing solutions help overcome those challenges by providing excellent chemical and corrosion resistance to metal substrates, even in the harshest environments.

Hydrogen generation and conversion systems operating under dynamic and harsh conditions must fulfill the most demanding requirements for reliability, durability, and effectiveness. Factors like freezing, thawing, humidity, or the presence of impurities place stress on the chemical and mechanical stability of the system’s materials and components. Meeting such challenging application demands is crucial in facilitating the widespread adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy source.

Ideal solutions for hydrogen generation, storage, and conversion applications. Our reliable, high-quality processes provide excellent corrosion protection, chemical resistance, and outstanding performance to various metal components.

Sustainable surface finishing solutions for hydrogen technologies together with our regeneration equipment reduce chemical consumption and waste generation.

We have developed hydrogen technology solutions to support customers in overcoming their technical challenges associated with hydrogen generation, storage, transport, and conversion.

Functional surface finishing solutions for reliable hydrogen technologies

MKS supports the hydrogen industry in overcoming the technical challenges posed by generation and conversion technology. Our Atotech pretreatment and plating processes for hydrogen systems provide highly corrosion-resistant metal deposits while supporting electrical conductivity and extending stack life. Our range includes reliable and sustainable metallization solutions, including substrate pretreatment as well as electrolytic nickel, electroless nickel, gold, and platinum processes. Our electroless nickel process features groundbreaking technology that regenerates the bath by removing byproducts and keeping all ingredients in a steady state. This facilitates consistent deposit quality over a potentially unlimited bath life while reducing chemical consumption and waste.

During electrolysis, the electrolyzer system that enables the chemical reaction uses direct electric currents to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. Depending on the technology used, the bipolar metal plates, which are submerged within the electrolyzer in severely acidic or alkaline conditions, are prone to heavy corrosion, which may negatively impact the system’s performance and efficiency. Selecting the right materials is key to preventing corrosion in electrolyzers. That’s why alkaline and acidic electrolyzer systems employ high-alloy stainless steels, carbon steels, or titanium, all of which require the corrosion protection that our surface finishing solutions deliver.

Pretreatment and functional plating solutions

Pretreatment and electroless nickel processes for AWE electrolyzers

Our product portfolio offers high-performance electroless nickel processes for bipolar plates, end plates, current collectors, frames, gas separation tanks (H2/O2) and fasteners used in alkaline water electrolysis (AWE). These processes reliably provide outstanding quality performance.

Pretreatment processes for all types of substrates:
Our full range of processes effectively prepares the substrate, providing defect-free surfaces for coatings and ensuring excellent adhesion

ELeVEN® LP 350: Low-phosphorus electroless nickel process that provides high corrosion resistance and excellent electrical conductivity

Nichem® HP 1170:High-phosphorus electroless nickel process that offers exceptional resistance against corrosive environments

EDEN® HP 115: High-phosphorus electroless nickel process with a long bath life that combines chemistry and technology to maximize quality and sustainability

Pretreatment and plating processes for PEM electrolyzers and fuel cells

PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolyzers and fuel cells commonly use bipolar plates manufactured from titanium substrates. The acidic electrochemical environment makes them prone to corrosion, which can affect the service life of the stack. Our gold and platinum processes protect these plates from corrosive environments. Uniform and high-adhesion coatings significantly increase stack lifetime. We are currently exploring development opportunities for cost-effective stainless-steel substrates and alternative coatings to replace the PGM (platinum group metal) for this application.

Pretreatment: Our full range of processes effectively prepares the substrate, providing a defect-free surface for coating and ensuring excellent adhesion

Platinor®: Platinum plating process designed to provide thin, pure, highly conductive platinum deposits that offer outstanding corrosion protection and improved service life for titanium substrates in acidic chemical environments

Aurotron® B 100: Pure gold plating process that provides excellent corrosion protection in acidic chemical environments and features highly conductive ductile layers that are both uniform and thin

Hydrogen technologies 
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