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Research Papers

Formability Evaluation of Microchannels of Aluminum Bipolar Plate Stamped Under Pulsating Load

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Y. Koo

Precision Manufacturing System Division,
Pusan National University,
Pusan 609-735, Korea
e-mail: jykoo@pusan.ac.kr

H. H. Kim

Precision Manufacturing System Division,
Pusan National University,
Pusan 609-735, Korea
e-mail: gn777me@pusan.ac.kr

Y. P. Jeon

Precision Manufacturing System Division,
Pusan National University,
Pusan 609-735, Korea
e-mail: ypjeon@pusan.ac.kr

C. G. Kang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Pusan National University,
Pusan 609-735, Korea
e-mail: cgkang@pusan.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Materials Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received April 24, 2012; final manuscript received August 12, 2014; published online August 27, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Marwan K. Khraisheh.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 136(4), 041004 (Aug 27, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: MATS-12-1079; doi: 10.1115/1.4028336 History: Received April 24, 2012; Revised August 12, 2014

The weight of a bipolar plate is one of the most crucial properties from the viewpoint of improving the power density of a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack. Aluminum alloys have good material characteristics such as low electrical resistivity, high thermal conductivity, and low density. Furthermore, they are less expensive and easily machinable compared to graphite when used for fabricating bipolar plates. In this study, the use of AA5052 for fabricating a bipolar plate was investigated. The results of the feasibility experiments conducted to develop fuel cells with AA5052 bipolar plates having multiple microchannels were presented. The formability of microchannels under various types of pulsating loads was estimated for different punch loads and die radii using 0.3 mm thick AA5052 sheets. For a 0.1 mm die radius, the optimum formability was obtained for five cycles of sine wave dynamic loading with a maximum load of 90 kN. The experimental results demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed technique for fabricating bipolar plates.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of stamping die

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Fig. 2

Sketch of stamping process

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Fig. 3

Pulsating load curves as a function of time and displacement. (a) The load–time curves regarding different type of dynamic load and (b) the load–displacement curves at stamping, sine, square, and ramp dynamic load.

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Fig. 4

The criteria for the specimens of the stamping process

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Fig. 5

Forming results according to dynamic load (sine) 0.5 Hz

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Fig. 6

Forming results with regard to dynamic load (square) 0.5 Hz

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Fig. 7

Forming results depending on dynamic load (ramp) 0.5 Hz

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Fig. 8

Observation points for measuring the stamping depth

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Fig. 9

Channel depth in terms of different loads of bipolar plate (sine, five cycles)

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Fig. 10

Relation between number of cycles (sine, 50–90 kN) and channel depth

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Fig. 11

Variation in forming depth according to the number of forming cycles for different load types and fillet radii

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Fig. 12

Channel depth as a function of load type for inner fillet radii (a) 0.1 mm and (b) 0.3 mm

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Fig. 13

Channel depth as a function of the position of bipolar plate (a) 0.1 mm and (b) 0.3 mm

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Fig. 14

The definition of thinning factor: (a) without thickness variation (t0) and (b) thickness variation (tr)

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Fig. 15

Cross-sectional view in horizontal direction depending on microchannel radii and load types (punch load: 90 kN; punch velocity: 1 mm/s; dynamic load frequency: 0.5 Hz)

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Fig. 16

Comparison of thinning (th) in horizontal direction between conventional stamping and dynamic load stamping

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Fig. 17

Cross-sectional view in horizontal direction with regard to sine dynamic load for the prescribed number of cycles (punch load: 50–90 kN; frequency: 0.5 Hz)

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Fig. 18

Thinning factor as a function of the number of loading cycles for fillet radii 0.1 mm and 0.3 mm

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