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Highly conductive thermoplastic composites for rapid production of fuel cell bipolar plates

United States Patent

April 29, 2008
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
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.
Huang; Jianhua (Blacksburg, VA), Baird; Donald G. (Blacksburg, VA), McGrath; James E. (Blacksburg, VA)
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc. (Blacksburg, VA)
10/ 779,804
February 18, 2004
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.