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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Review of Materials and Characterization Methods for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Flow-Field Plates

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel J. L. Brett

Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UKd.brett@imperial.ac.uk

Nigel P. Brandon

Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 4(1), 29-44 (Mar 25, 2006) (16 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2393303 History: Received October 06, 2005; Revised March 25, 2006

The role of the flow-field plate is of major importance in determining the performance of a polymer electrolyte fuel cell. The flow-field plate constitutes the largest volumetric and gravimetric proportion of the fuel cell stack and has a strong bearing on the cost and efficiency of the system. This review considers the materials being used to make flow-field plates and the methods used to characterize materials properties and performance.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

(a) Fuel cell stack, (b) flow-field plate features, and (c) cross section of FFP showing channels and lands

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Figure 2

Cost breakdown of stack components based on analysis by (a) ADL and (b) Jeong and Oh

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Figure 3

Summary of the main developers of FFP materials

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Figure 4

Weight comparison for a 33kW stack made from (a) coated aluminum plates and (b) graphite plates

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Figure 5

Schematic of the fabrication process for carbon-carbon FFPs

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Figure 6

(a) Ticona’s liquid-crystal-polymer composite FFP and (b) the “all plastic” Ticona stack with Fortron end-plates

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Figure 7

Schematic of the molding process for carbon-polymer FFPs prepared by (a) compression molding and (b) injection molding

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Figure 8

Ex situ method of measuring the interfacial contact resistance of a FFP and GDL material using (a) two FFP sample and (b) a single FFP sample

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Figure 9

(a) Schematic of the CER measurement setup and (b) the three stages of a CER measurement

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Figure 10

Schematic representation of the kind of voltammetry observed for a stainless steel sample in acidic electrolyte along with the potential range of operation for the anode and cathode during fuel cell operation

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Figure 11

Apparatus for measuring the flexural strength of FFP materials

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