Development of a brazing process for the production of water- cooled bipolar plates made of chromium-coated metal foils for PEM fuel cells

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Mueller, M.; Hoehlich, D.; Scharf, I.; Lampke, T.; Hollaender, U. et al: Development of a brazing process for the production of water- cooled bipolar plates made of chromium-coated metal foils for PEM fuel cells. In: IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering 118 (2016), Nr. 1, 12005. DOI:

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Beside lithium batteries, PEM fuel cells are the most promising strategy as a power source to achieve the targets for introducing and increasing the usage of electric vehicles. Due to limited space and weight problems, water cooled, metallic bipolar plates in a fuel cell metal stack are preferred in motor vehicles. These plates are stamped metal sheets with a complex structure, interconnected media-tight. To meet the multiple tasks and requirements in use, complex and expensive combinations of materials are currently in use (carbon fiber composites, graphite, gold-plated nickel, stainless and acid resistant steel). The production of such plates is expensive as it is connected with considerable effort or the usage of precious metals. As an alternative, metalloid nitrides (CrN, VN, W2N, etc.) show a high chemical resistance, hardness and a good conductivity. So this material category meets the basic requirements of a top layer. However, the standard methods for their production (PVD, CVD) are expensive and have a slow deposition rate and a lower layer thicknesses. Because of these limitations, a full functionality over the life cycle of a bipolar plate is not guaranteed. The contribution shows the development and quantification of an alternative production process for bipolar plates. The expectation is to get significant advantages from the combination of chromium electrodeposition and thermochemical treatment to form chromium nitrides. Both processes are well researched and suitable for series production. The thermochemical treatment of the chromium layer also enables a process-integrated brazing.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0
Document Type: article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2016
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Maschinenbau

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