Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates

Vernon Webb, Michael Anthony Hickner, Donald Baird, Scott Case, John Lesko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The electrical and mechanical properties of new lightweight graphite polymeric separator plates aged in a PEM fuel cell were investigated to assess their resistance to short-term durability. While the changes in electrical properties of great interest to the operation of the fuel cell, mechanical and dimensional stability over the life of the cell are critical. Thus, new polymeric based separator plates developed at Virginia Tech were aged under standard operating conditions in a PEM fuel cell over 300 hours at low pressure and 85°C. A comparison of conductivity, stiffness and strength of aged plates was made to as manufactured and unaged plates. Over the aging period, electrical conductivity did not decline even as the fuel cell performance showed some changes as evidenced by polarization curves. However, the mechanical strength of the monopolar plates was observed to declined less than 10% after 300 hours of fuel cell operation, due to the lack of stability of the polyester resin used to facilitate the rapid manufacturing of these new plates. These property changes were found to be independent of aging on the reduction and oxidation sides. Further work continues on plates formed through both fiber wet lay technology and those produced by compression molding of unique graphite filled epoxy systems, and to improve the electrochemical performance of cells fabricated using the resulting plates to levels comparable to those observed when using existing plate materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004
EditorsR.K. Shah, S.G. Kandlikar
Pages443-448
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Sep 13 2004
EventSecond International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - Rochester, NY, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2004Jun 16 2004

Publication series

NameFuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004

Other

OtherSecond International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
CountryUnited States
CityRochester, NY
Period6/14/046/16/04

Fingerprint

Fuel cells
Durability
Composite materials
Polymers
Separators
Graphite
Electric properties
Aging of materials
Polyester resins
Compression molding
Mechanical stability
Dimensional stability
Strength of materials
Stiffness
Polarization
Oxidation
Mechanical properties
Fibers

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Webb, V., Hickner, M. A., Baird, D., Case, S., & Lesko, J. (2004). Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates. In R. K. Shah, & S. G. Kandlikar (Eds.), Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004 (pp. 443-448). (Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004).
Webb, Vernon ; Hickner, Michael Anthony ; Baird, Donald ; Case, Scott ; Lesko, John. / Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates. Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004. editor / R.K. Shah ; S.G. Kandlikar. 2004. pp. 443-448 (Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004).
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abstract = "The electrical and mechanical properties of new lightweight graphite polymeric separator plates aged in a PEM fuel cell were investigated to assess their resistance to short-term durability. While the changes in electrical properties of great interest to the operation of the fuel cell, mechanical and dimensional stability over the life of the cell are critical. Thus, new polymeric based separator plates developed at Virginia Tech were aged under standard operating conditions in a PEM fuel cell over 300 hours at low pressure and 85°C. A comparison of conductivity, stiffness and strength of aged plates was made to as manufactured and unaged plates. Over the aging period, electrical conductivity did not decline even as the fuel cell performance showed some changes as evidenced by polarization curves. However, the mechanical strength of the monopolar plates was observed to declined less than 10{\%} after 300 hours of fuel cell operation, due to the lack of stability of the polyester resin used to facilitate the rapid manufacturing of these new plates. These property changes were found to be independent of aging on the reduction and oxidation sides. Further work continues on plates formed through both fiber wet lay technology and those produced by compression molding of unique graphite filled epoxy systems, and to improve the electrochemical performance of cells fabricated using the resulting plates to levels comparable to those observed when using existing plate materials.",
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Webb, V, Hickner, MA, Baird, D, Case, S & Lesko, J 2004, Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates. in RK Shah & SG Kandlikar (eds), Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004. Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004, pp. 443-448, Second International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, Rochester, NY, United States, 6/14/04.

Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates. / Webb, Vernon; Hickner, Michael Anthony; Baird, Donald; Case, Scott; Lesko, John.

Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004. ed. / R.K. Shah; S.G. Kandlikar. 2004. p. 443-448 (Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Webb V, Hickner MA, Baird D, Case S, Lesko J. Durability and performance of press molded polymer composite monopolar plates. In Shah RK, Kandlikar SG, editors, Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004. 2004. p. 443-448. (Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology - 2004).