Investigations on the variation of corrosion and contact resistance characteristics of metallic bipolar plates manufactured under long-run conditions

Peker M. F., CORA Ö. N., Koc M.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYDROGEN ENERGY, vol.36, no.23, pp.15427-15436, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 23
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2011.08.067
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15427-15436
  • Keywords: PEMFC, Bipolar plate, Micro-stamping, Surface topography, Corrosion resistance, Contact resistance, PEM FUEL-CELL, STAINLESS-STEEL
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Tribological variations, surface conditions (roughness, hardness, coating) and surface interactions between micro-stamping dies and bipolar plate blanks play a critical role in determining the surface quality, channel formation and precision of bipolar plates. This study is aimed to understand the cause, mechanism and consequences of interactions between micro-stamping process conditions and bipolar plate quality. A total of 2000 repeated micro-stamping of 51 mu m-thick uncoated and 1 mu m-thick ZrN coated SS316L sheet blanks into an array of 750 mu m micro-channels were performed using 175-220 kN force levels with constant stamping speed of 1 mm/s. Microscopic examinations were conducted periodically on both die and coated & uncoated plate surfaces to observe topographic variations. In addition, corrosion and contact resistance tests were carried out in the same intervals. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) technique was used to determine the significance of the process parameters on channel height, roughness, corrosion and contact resistance differences. The results revealed similar roughness trends for die and plate surfaces during 2000 micro-stampings. ZrN coating with 1 pm thickness dramatically improved corrosion and contact resistance behavior of plates. Copyright (C) 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.