Low-Cost Composite Materials for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

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Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCS) are under widespread development to produce electrical power for a variety of stationary and transportation applications. To date, the bipolar plate remains the most problematic and costly component of PEFC stacks (1). In addition to meeting cost constraints, bipolar plates must possess a host of other properties, the most important of which are listed in Table 1. The most commonly used material for single cell testing is machined graphite, which is expensive and costly to machine. The brittle nature of graphite also precludes the use of thin components for reducing stack size and weight, which ... continued below

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4 p.

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Busick, D.N. & Wilson, M.S. November 1, 1998.

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Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCS) are under widespread development to produce electrical power for a variety of stationary and transportation applications. To date, the bipolar plate remains the most problematic and costly component of PEFC stacks (1). In addition to meeting cost constraints, bipolar plates must possess a host of other properties, the most important of which are listed in Table 1. The most commonly used material for single cell testing is machined graphite, which is expensive and costly to machine. The brittle nature of graphite also precludes the use of thin components for reducing stack size and weight, which is particularly important for transportation applications. Other stack designs consider the use of metal hardware such as stainless steel (2,3). But a number of disadvantages are associated with stainless steel, including high density, high cost of machining, and possible corrosion in the fuel cell environment. In light of these difficulties, much of the recent work on fuel cell bipolar plate materials has concentrated on graphite/polymer composites (4--8). Composite materials offer the potential advantages of lower cost, lower weight, and greater ease of manufacture than traditional graphite and metal plates. For instance, flow fields can be molded directly into these composites, thereby eliminating the costly and difficult machining step required for graphite or metal hardware.

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4 p.

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OSTI as DE00759264

Medium: P; Size: 4 pages

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  • 1998 Fuel Cell Seminar, Palm Springs, CA (US), 11/1998

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-98-4129
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 759264
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc707902

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  • November 1, 1998

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 8:14 p.m.

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Busick, D.N. & Wilson, M.S. Low-Cost Composite Materials for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates, article, November 1, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc707902/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.