A low cost method of fabricating bipolar plates for use in fuel cells utilizes a wet lay process for combining graphite particles, thermoplastic fibers, and reinforcing fibers to produce a plurality of formable sheets. The formable sheets are then molded into a bipolar plates with features impressed therein via the molding process. The bipolar plates formed by the process have conductivity in excess of 150 S/cm and have sufficient mechanical strength to be used in fuel cells. The bipolar plates can be formed as a skin/core laminate where a second polymer material is used on the skin surface which provides for enhanced conductivity, chemical resistance, and resistance to gas permeation.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC05-000R22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.