A dielectric assembly for electrically insulating a manifold or other component from a liquid electrolyte fuel cell stack wherein the dielectric assembly includes a substantially impermeable dielectric member over which electrolyte is able to flow and a barrier adjacent the dielectric member and having a porosity of less than 50% and greater than 10% so that the barrier is able to measurably absorb and chemically react with the liquid electrolyte flowing on the dielectric member to form solid products which are stable in the liquid electrolyte. In this way, the barrier inhibits flow or creepage of electrolyte from the dielectric member to the manifold or component to be electrically insulated from the fuel cell stack by the dielectric assembly.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-FC21-95MC31184 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.