Hong Huang (Committee Member), Bor Jang (Committee Chair), Daniel Young (Committee Member)
Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)
Bipolar plates compose a large portion of the weight and manufacturing costs in fuel cells. Bipolar plates are metal plates that separate each membrane-electrode assembly in a fuel cell stack. They provide structural strength, contain flow channels for fuel transport, and conduct electricity in the fuel cell. Electricity also flows through the gas diffusion layer (GDL) which lies next to the bipolar plate. Because the GDL is separate from the bipolar plate, there is a contact resistance as the electricity flows from one to the other. The scope of this thesis is to research an efficient way of manufacturing a cheap and lightweight bipolar plate-GDL combination. This is to be done by using materials such as exfoliated graphite, a binding resin, and sacrificial additives. Processing temperatures and pressures as well as component ratios are variables to be investigated in order to easily and quickly make bipolar plate-GDL combinations.
Department or Program
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
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