Metallic bipolar plates have several advantages over bipolar plates made from graphite and composites due to their high conductivity, low material and production costs. Moreover, thin bipolar plates are possible with metallic alloys, and hence low fuel cell stack volume and mass are. Among existing fabrication methods for metallic bipolar plates, stamping and hydroforming are seen as prominent approaches for mass production scales. In this study, the effects of important process parameters of these manufacturing processes on the corrosion resistance of metallic bipolar plates made of SS304 were investigated. Specifically, the effects of punch speed, pressure rate, stamping force and hydroforming pressure were studied as they were considered to inevitably affect the bipolar plate micro-channel dimensions, surface topography, and hence the corrosion resistance. Corrosion resistance under real fuel cell conditions was examined using both potentiodynamic and potentiostatic experiments. The majority of the results exhibited a reduction in the corrosion resistance for both stamped and hydroformed plates when compared with non-deformed blank plates of SS304. In addition, it was observed that there exist an optimal process window for punch speed in stamping and the pressure rate in hydroforming to achieve improved corrosion resistance at a faster production rate.
- Metallic bipolar plates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering