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Issue 2, 2009
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A review of metal separator plate materials suitable for automotive PEMfuel cells

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Abstract

In this paper we review the range of materials which have been studied for use as separator plates in automotive PEM fuel cells, with particular emphasis on metals. For commercial application separator plates must be resistant to corrosion, durable and offer low contact resistance in a fuel cell stack. Graphite and carbon composite materials have been widely used, as they offer durability and give reliable performance. For portable and transport applications, new materials offering reduced cost, weight and volume are needed. Metal plates may offer a compact, low cost alternative to graphite and carbon based composites. However in the aggressive fuel cell environment, corrosion of metal plates can significantly effect fuel cell performance while passivation can also lead to increased ohmic losses. The only metal plate material studied in the literature which meets the performance targets for contact resistance and corrosion is gold coated stainless steel. New corrosion resistant coatings are being developed in order to address these significant issues and this review paper evaluates them in the context of the DOE targets established for 2010.

Graphical abstract: A review of metal separator plate materials suitable for automotive PEM fuel cells

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Article information


Submitted
30 Jul 2008
Accepted
06 Oct 2008
First published
14 Nov 2008

Energy Environ. Sci., 2009,2, 206-214
Article type
Perspective

A review of metal separator plate materials suitable for automotive PEM fuel cells

N. de las Heras, E. P. L. Roberts, R. Langton and D. R. Hodgson, Energy Environ. Sci., 2009, 2, 206
DOI: 10.1039/B813231N

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