Successful Development of Graphite-Based Bipolar Plate Foils for Fuel Cells

By August 15, 2021 2   min read  (261 words)

August 15, 2021 |

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Within the BMWi project “InduRex”, ZBT produced bipolar plate foils based on graphite-compounds and successfully demonstrated their stability in fuel cell operation for the first time.

Bipolar plate foil in situ testing

As part of the “InduRex” project, graphitic bipolar plate foils are being tested in PEM fuel cell stacks. The production of graphite-polymer compounds and their shaping into thin-walled foils that can be processed into structured bipolar plates as an alternative to metallic bipolar plates is one goal of the project. The focus is on highly filled compound materials and process techniques for producing thin-walled, formed bipolar plate foils. The bipolar plate foils developed have a maximum thickness of 700 µm and were able to successfully pass the high requirements in fuel cell stack operation.

Key facts:

  • csm indurex 2 7fbc325206

    production of bipolar plate foils 250 mm width

    Continuous production of highly filled foils (min. thickness 300 µm)

  • Structured bipolar plate foils (700 µm thickness) successfully qualified in NT-PEM fuel cell
  • Bipolar plate foils meet the electrical, thermal, mechanical requirements of a PEM FC and are gas-tight against hydrogen even at 300 µm thickness
  • Cell performance in the relevant voltage range above 650mV is close to gold-coated metallic BPP, further optimization potential regarding material composition available
  • Foils with 1/3 thickness compared to injection molded bipolar plates have similar resistance values
  • Savings of up to 65% in weight, volume and material costs compared to injection molded BPP with more than 2 mm thickness

IV & PI curves of grafitic foil based plates compared to metal plates / PVD Gold coated



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