Document 204616

Polymer composites bipolar plates for PEFMCs :
how to improve their performance and their durability?
E. Planes1, L. Flandin, N. Alberola
Grenoble INP - Universit´e Joseph Fourier - Universit´e de Savoie Campus Scientifique, Bat. IUT F73376 Le Bourget-du-Lac Cedex, France
Bipolar Plates (BPs) are the most significant part in PEFMCs.
The standard material is graphite BUT alternative materials are considered to optimize
the balance of required properties
Carbon fillers[4]
• Thermosetting resins : epoxy, phenolic and vinylester resins
Key properties of BPs materials[1,
2, 3] :
,Low viscosity during process, High filler content
/Use of solvent, Long cycle time (post-curing necessary)
• High electrical conductivity
• Thermoplastics : Polypropylene (PP), Poly(phenylene) sulfide
(PPS), Liquid crystal polymer (LCP)
• High thermal conductivity
• Good mechanical properties
,Injection process → Short cycle time
/Lower filler content, Properties dependent on the process conditions
• To improve electrical properties : Graphite, Carbon nanotubes
• To improve mechanical properties : Carbon fibers, Carbon nanotubes
⇒ Use of polymer composites, combining one or several conductive
fillers to a polymer resin
1st way to improve the electrical properties : Increase the carbon filler content
Carbon Polymer Composites*
With one type of fillers[5, 6]
Graphite filled Composites*
Electrical properties depend on :
• Type of fillers (,→ Gr)
• Filler content (,→ the highest possible)
Decrease in flexural strength with an increasing graphite content
⇒ Difficult to couple high electrical and mechanical properties
way to improve the electrical properties : Combination of several carbon fillers
Combination of two fillers (d,D)[5, 6]
Graphite - Carbon Black filled Composites*
Addition of CB in the Graphite filled composites
⇒ Improvement of the electrical properties
⇒ Graphite - Carbon Black synergy
Graphite - Carbone Fibers filled Composites*
Addition of CF in the Graphite filled composites
⇒ Improvement of the mechanical properties
⇒ Use of mix of several carbon filler types (3)
Ex : Graphite - Carbon Black - Carbon Fibers
• HYPLATE FUI Project financed by Feder, R´egion Rhˆone-Alpes
• Special thanks to all industrial partners of this project :
AD Majoris, Axane - Air Liquide, IDI, Nief Plastic
• Electrical properties required by the application (DOE)
are very often reached
• CONTRARY to the mechanical properties
⇒ Use the combination of carbon fillers :
Graphite - Carbon Black - Carbon fibers
BUT sparsely studied in the litterature
[1] B. D. Cunningham, J. Huang, and D. G. Baird. Review of materials and processing methods used in the
production of bipolar plates for fuel cells. Int. Mater. Rev., 52(1):1–13, JAN 2007.
[2] A Hermann, T Chaudhuri, and P Spagnol. Bipolar plates for pem fuel cells: A review. Int. J. Hydrogen
Energy, 30(12):1297–1302, SEP 2005. International Symposium On Solar-Hydrogen-Fuel Cell, Cancun,
MEXICO, 2003.
[3] JH Huang, DG Baird, and JE McGrath. Development of fuel cell bipolar plates from graphite filled wet-lay
thermoplastic composite materials. J. Power Sources, 150:110–119, OCT 4 2005.
[4] G Wypych. Handbook Of Fillers. Chem Tech Publishing, 1999.
[5] Shen Chunhui, Pan Mu, and Yuan Runzhang. The effect of particle size gradation of conductive fillers on
the conductivity and the flexural strength of composite bipolar plate. International Journal of Hydrogen
Energy, 33(3):1035 – 1039, 2008.
[6] SI Heo, JC Yun, KS Oh, and KS Han. Influence of particle size and shape on electrical and mechanical
properties of graphite reinforced conductive polymer composites for the bipolar plate of pem fuel cells.
Advanced Composite Materials, 15(1):115–126, 2006.
1 [email protected] *Gr : Graphite, EG : Expanded Graphite, GNP : Graphite Nanoplatelets, CB : Carbon Black, CF : Carbon Fibers, CNT : Carbon Nanotubes