While there is a substantial amount of information regarding the electrochemical behavior of fuel cells and there components little to no information is available regarding the mechanical properties of fuel cell materials in stack setups. This set of experiments was set up to test mechanical properties of gas diffusion layer and bipolar plate materials in a one cell setup. Samples were clamped to specified pressures and deformation properties were observed and measured. Measurements were taken of impingements of the gas diffusion layers into the gas flow channels. A limit for compression of cell configurations was found to be approximately 300psi. Upon reaching the compression limit bipolar plates collapse and materials between plates show signs of breakage. Under compression diffusion media showed impingement into the gas flow channels as well as substantial compression of the three layer stack.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Materials Science & Engineering
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Flynn, Dara S., "Mechanical Behavior Analysis of a Carbon-Carbon Composite for Use in a Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell" (2004). Masters Theses (All Theses, All Years). 172.
fuel cell, carbon fiber paper, polymer electrolyte fuel cell, gas diffusion layer