Injection moulding of graphite composite bipolar plates

A. Müller, Pertti Kauranen, A. von Ganski (Corresponding Author), B. Hell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

SGL Technologies GmbH has been developing different moulding technologies for graphite composite bipolar plates (BPP) for PEM fuel cells since 1997. Injection moulding of polypropylene (PP) and phenolic (PF) bonded graphite compounds have been identified as most promising and cost-effective production processes.

SGL Technologies has invested in injection moulding machines for moulding both thermoplastic and thermoset materials. In addition, materials and processes have been developed in order to mould highly filled compounds with a graphite filler content above 80 wt.% needed for the BPP application.

The PP bonded compound ®Sigracet PPG86 can be mould with complicated flow field structures and manifold through holes in a single process step. The material and process can be considered production ready for the low temperature (T ≤ 80 °C) PEMFC application.

The PF bonded compound ®Sigracet BBP4 shows improved electrical conductivity and temperature stability over PPG86. It has been so far available as compression moulded plates only. However, our recent developments show that BBP4 can be injection moulded without major change of the attractive properties in comparison to the compression moulded plates. Anyhow, the injection moulded BBP4 will remain more expensive than PPG86 due to more complicated processing and a longer cycle time.

The pros and cons of the two materials and processes will be discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume154
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • bipolar plate
  • BPP
  • graphite composite
  • injection moulding
  • fuel cells
  • PEM fuel cell
  • PEM
  • hydrogen fuel cells

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