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Investigating the Use of Stamped Metal Foils as Bipolar Plates in PEM Fuel Cell Stacks

[+] Author Affiliations
Rachel T. Backes, David T. McMillan, Andrew M. Herring, John R. Berger

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

John A. Turner, Heli Wang

National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO

Paper No. FuelCell2008-65116, pp. 47-54; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • ASME 2008 6th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, June 16–18, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4318-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3822-6
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government


The process of stamping stainless steel bipolar plates is developed from initial plate design through manufacturing and use in a fuel cell stack. A stamped design incorporating a serpentine flow field for the cathode and an interdigitated flow field for the anode is designed. This bipolar plate consists of only one piece of thin stainless steel sheet. The process of rubber-pad stamping was chosen to reduce shearing of the thin sheet. Dies were designed and made. Stainless steel plates were stamped, but stress were higher than anticipated and die failure was observed. The plates were tested both in-situ and by doing simulated fuel cell testing. Although sealing was an issue due to lack of proper gaskets and endplates, tests determined that the stamped bipolar plates will work in a PEM fuel cell stack. Dies were redesigned to improve durability. Gaskets and endplates were designed to complete the stack construction.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME and U.S. Government



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