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Numerical Study on the Formability of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells

1
CEMMPRE, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Luís Reis Santos, Pinhal de Marrocos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
2
CMEMS, Microelectromechanical Systems Research Unit, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(7), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9070810
Received: 10 July 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 21 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling and Simulation of Sheet Metal Forming Processes)
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Abstract

Thin stamped bipolar plates (BPPs) are viewed as promising alternatives to traditional graphite BPPs in proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Metallic BPPs provide good thermal/electrical conductivity and exhibit high mechanical strength, to support the loads within the stack. However, BPPs manufactured by stamping processes are prone to defects. In this study, the effect of the tool’s geometry on the thin sheet formability is investigated through finite element simulation. Despite the broad variety of flow field designs, most of BPPs comprise two representative zones. Hence, in order to reduce the computational cost, the finite element analysis is restricted to these two zones, where the deformation induced by the stamping tools is investigated. The channel/rib width, the punch/die fillet radii, and the channel depth are the parameters studied. The analysis is conducted for a stainless steel SS304 with a thickness of 0.15 mm. The results show that the maximum value of thinning occurs always in the U-bend channel section, specifically in the fillet radius of the die closest to the axis of revolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: numerical simulation; stamping; formability; metallic bipolar plate; fuel cells numerical simulation; stamping; formability; metallic bipolar plate; fuel cells
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Neto, D.M.; Oliveira, M.C.; Alves, J.L.; Menezes, L.F. Numerical Study on the Formability of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells. Metals 2019, 9, 810.

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