Since 2007 ZBT is engaged in the cooperative development and characterization of metallic bipolar plates. Due to packaging-, weight and cost advantages for high-volume series production, metallic bipolar plates are especially suited for automotive applications. Regarding the material selection for metallic bipolar plates technical aspects like corrosion affinity, electrical conductivity and formability as well as economic aspects have to be considered.
ZBT focuses on the development of metallic bipolar plates and the characterization of bipolar plate and coating materials in in-situ and ex-situ tests.
ZBT develops application-specific optimized flowfield designs. By combining CFD-simulation and rapid-prototyping validation testing, significant cost and time savings can be realized compared to a tool-based iterative optimization process. In various Research and industrial-projects various designs for metallic bipolar plates and stacks have been developed and validated.
Ex-Situ and especially In-Situ Characterisation of metallic bipolar plates is complex due to the materials, designs and production methods. ZBT has developed methods for the validation of plates, components, substrates and coatings. The parameters derived are used accoring to DOE standards.
For the investigation of structured and unstructured metallic material samples the following tests can be performed:
In cooperation with industrial partners ZBT develops sealing solutions also for automotive stacks operating at elevated pressures. ZBT realizes fuel cell gaskets for small and medium quantities (e.g. via dispenser, screen printing). Based on the experience of gasketing solutions for various plate designs, ZBT offers this specific service (seal on plate solutions).