Numerical-experimental study on the Failure Behavior of Graphite-Based Composite Bipolar Plate for PEM fuel cells

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Martial and Construction Technologies, Malek Ashtar University of technology, Iran

2 Northern Research Center for Science and Technology, Malek Ashtar University of Technology, Iran



In this study, the fracture method is used to numerically and experimentally investigate the bending load of graphite-based composite bipolar plates of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. First, simple and perforated composite bipolar plates were tested and simulated to determine flexural stability under static load. Then, mechanical simulation using the finite element method and Abaqus software was used for the numerical analysis. Next, an experimental three-point bending test was performed on the manufactured samples to validate the simulation results. Finally, the results of the numerical and experimental analyzes of the flexural behavior of composite bipolar plates were compared. The results demonstrated that the numerical results acceptably agreed with the experimental data. In addition, the presence of a high percentage of graphite and high fragility weakened the body due to the molecular bond of graphite, which caused the graphite to slip.


Main Subjects

  1. Barbir F, Yazici S. “Status and development of PEM fuel cell technology”. International Journal of Energy Research. 32, No. 5, (2008), 369-78. DOI: 10.1002/er.1371.
  2. Thompson ST, James BD, Huya-Kouadio JM, Houchins C, DeSantis DA, Ahluwalia R, et al. "Direct hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle cost analysis: System and high-volume manufacturing description, validation, and outlook". Journal of Power Sources. 2018;399:304-13. DOI: 1016/j.jpowsour.2018.07.100
  3. Porstmann S, Wannemacher T, Drossel WG. "A comprehensive comparison of state-of-the-artmanufacturing methods for fuel cell bipolar plates including anticipated future industry trends". Journal of Manufacturing Processes. 2020;60:366-83. DOI: 1016/j.jmapro.2020.10.041.
  4. Dundar F, Dur E, Mahabunphachai S, Koç M. "Corrosion resistance characteristics of stamped and hydroformed proton exchange membrane fuel cell metallic bipolar plates". Journal of Power Sources. 2010;195:3546-52. DOI: 1016/j.jpowsour.2009.12.040.
  5. Barzegari MM, Mohammadalitabar Khoshrodi A, Ghadimi M, Sedighi M. “Investigation of Morphology, Electrical and Electrochemical Properties of Gold Coating on Metallic Bipolar Plates of Fuel Cells” Advanced Materials and New Coatings, Vol. 8, No. 32, (2020), 2334-2335.
  6. Belali Owsia M, Jamal Hosseinipour S, Bakhshi Jooybari M, Gorji A. “Forming of metallic bipolar plate with pin-type pattern

         by using hydroforming process in convex die” Modares Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 10, (2015), 319-327.

  1. Saadat N, Dhakal HN, Tjong J, Jaffer S, Yang W, Sain M. Recent advances and future perspectives of carbon materials for fuel cell. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2021;138. DOI: 1016/j.rser.2020.110535.
  2. Chen, H., Xia, X. H., Yang, L., & Liu, H. B. “Preparation and characterization of graphite/resin composite bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells” Science and Engineering of Composite Materials, Vol. 23, No. 1, (2016), 21-28. DOI: 10.1515/secm-2013-0306.
  3. Okhawilai M, Pengdam A, Plengudomkit R, Rimdusit S. “Effects of Graphene and Graphite on Properties of Highly Filled Polybenzoxazine Bipolar Plate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell: A Comparative Study” InCarbon-related Materials in Recognition of Nobel Lectures by Prof. Akira Suzuki in ICCE, (2017), 211-259. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.08.006.
  4. Kang S.-J, Kim D. O., Lee J.-H, Lee P.-C, M.-H. Lee, Y.Lee, J. Y. Lee, H. R. Choi, J.-H. Lee, Y.-S. Oh, J.-D. Nam, Solvent-assisted graphite loading for highly conductive phenolic resin bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Journal of Power Sources, 195(12), (2010), 3794-3801.
  5. Khaerudini DS, Prakoso GB, Insiyanda DR, Widodo H, Destyorini F, Indayaningsih N. “Effect of graphite addition into mill scale waste as a potential bipolar plates material of proton exchange membrane fuel cells” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 985, No. 1, (2018), 120-126.
  6. Radzuan NA, Sulong AB, Somalu MR, Abdullah AT, Husaini T, Rosli RE, Majlan EH, Rosli MI. “Fibre orientation effect on polypropylene/milled carbon fiber composites in the presence of carbon nanotubes or graphene as a secondary filler: Application on PEM fuel cell bipolar plate” International journal of hydrogen energy. Vol. 44, No. 58, (2019), 30618-30626.
  7. Liang, P, Qiu, D, Peng, L, Yi, P, Lai, X, Ni, J. “Contact resistance prediction of proton exchange membrane fuel cell considering fabrication characteristics of metallic bipolar plates”. Energy conversion and management, Vol. 169, 2, (2018), 334-344. DOI: 1016/j.enconman.2018.05.069
  9. Kacar, Ilyas, FAHRETTÄ°N ÖZTÜRK, Serkan Toros, and Suleyman Kilic. "Prediction of strain limits via the marciniak-kuczynski model and a novel semi-empirical forming limit diagram model for dual-phase DP600 advanced high strength steel." Strojniski Vestnik/Journal of Mechanical Engineering. Vol.66, 10, (2020), 602-612. DOI:5545/sv-jme.2020.6755