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Investigation on Contact Behavior of PEMFC with Different Bipolar Plate Section Shapes under Assembly Conditions

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    This study aimed to investigate the effect of bipolar plate geometry on the contact behavior of PEMFC. The bipolar plate compression test and the corresponding finite element (FE) model were developed taking a metal bipolar plate as an objective. The effectiveness of the FE model was validated against the experimental data collected by pressure-sensitive films. Then, the FE models of bipolar plates with trapezoidal, rectangular, and wavy section shapes and the corresponding compression tests were established, respectively. The effect of bipolar plate section shape on contact behavior under different assembly pressure was investigated by FE simulations. The results demonstrated that the assembly pressure and the section shape of the bipolar plate had a significant effect on the contact behavior between the bipolar plate and the gas diffusion layer (GDL). Under different assembly pressure, the amplitudes of GDL surface contact pressure beneath the ribs of three kinds of the bipolar plate were between 0.5-2 MPa, which can meet the assembly requirements. The rib width of the bipolar plate is the critical factor that determines the amplitude of the overall average contact pressure between the bipolar plate and GDL as well as the average intrusion area of GDL. Among those three kinds of bipolar plates, the contact behavior under the rectangular bipolar plate is more sensitive than others, while the uniformity of average contact pressure distribution is the worst.

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  • Online: March 06,2023
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