The stainless steel bipolar plate has received much attention due to the cost of graphite bipolar plates. Since the micro-channel of bipolar plates plays the role of fuel flow field, electric connector and fuel sealing, an investigation of the deep drawing process for stainless steel micro-channel arrays is reported in this work. The updated Lagrangian formulation, degenerated shell finite element analysis, and the r
-minimum rule have been employed to study the relationship between punch load and stroke, distributions of stress and strain, thickness variations and depth variations of individual micro-channel sections. A micro-channel array is practically formed, with a width and depth of a single micro-channel of 0.75 mm and 0.5 mm, respectively. Fractures were usually observed in the fillet corner of the micro-channel bottom. According to the experimental results, more attention should be devoted to the fillet dimension design of punch and die. A larger die fillet can lead to better formability and a reduction of the punch load. In addition, the micro-channel thickness and the fillet radius have to be taken into consideration at the same time. Finally, the punch load estimated by the unmodified metal forming equation is higher than that of experiments.
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