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Research Papers

Effect of Channel Geometry on Formability of 304 Stainless Steel Bipolar Plates for Fuel Cells—Simulation and Experiments

[+] Author and Article Information
Ting-Yen Zhou

Advanced Institute of Manufacturing With
High-Tech Innovations and
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Chung Cheng University,
168, University Road, Minhsiung Township,
Chiayi 62102, Taiwan
e-mail: x_x5385@hotmail.com

Yong-Song Chen

Advanced Institute of Manufacturing With
High-Tech Innovations and
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
National Chung Cheng University,
168, University Road, Minhsiung Township,
Chiayi 62102, Taiwan
e-mail: imeysc@ccu.edu.tw

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 9, 2014; final manuscript received September 2, 2015; published online October 6, 2015. Editor: Wilson K. S. Chiu.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(5), 051001 (Oct 06, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1018; doi: 10.1115/1.4031538 History: Received February 09, 2014; Revised September 02, 2015

A bipolar plate (BP) is one of the key components of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and accounts for a major portion of their manufacturing cost. Stainless steel is considered as one of the candidate materials for the BPs of the cells because of the short manufacturing process. In this study, the effects of channel geometry on the formability of 304 stainless steel in a stamping process are investigated via numerical simulation and experiments. A finite element (FE) model using ansys, a commercial software, is developed to analyze the effects of selected channel geometry parameters on the formability of stamped stainless steel sheets. Modeling results are compared partly to the results of a series of stamping experiments. Both modeling and experimental results suggest that the draft angle has a greater influence on formability than other parameters in a stamping process.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Shape and dimensions of tensile specimen (mm); (b) photograph of fractured specimen after tensile test

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Fig. 2

True stress–true strain curve of SS 304 converted from tensile test data

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Fig. 3

(a) FE model consists of upper punch, blank, and lower die; (b) parameters of channel geometry defined in this study

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Fig. 4

Schematic of wavelike flow channel and definition of wave angle θ

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Fig. 5

Photograph of stamping die set and stamped sheet

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Fig. 6

Schematic of meshed model and definition of simulated channel length L

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Fig. 7

Effect of element number on strain distribution. Element number: (a) 1600, (b) 3173, (c) 7563, (d) 12,800, (e) 25,000, and (f) 55,124.

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Fig. 8

Effect of simulated channel length on strain distribution: (a) 1 mm, (b) 3 mm, and (c) 5 mm

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Fig. 9

Comparison of effect of fillet radius on strain distribution: (a) case A: R = 0.20 mm; (b) case B: R = 0.25 mm; and (c) case C: R = 0.30 mm

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Fig. 10

Comparison of effect of channel width on strain distribution: (a) case B: w = 1 mm; (b) case D: w = 1.5 mm; and (c) case E: w = 2 mm

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Fig. 11

Comparison of effect of draft angle on strain distribution: (a) case A: α= 0 deg; (b) case F: α= 10 deg; and (c) case G: α= 20 deg

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Fig. 15

Strain distribution in section B–B: (a) θ = 10 deg; (b) θ = 20 deg; (c) θ = 30 deg; and (d)θ = 40 deg

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Fig. 14

Strain distribution in section A–A: (a) θ  = 10 deg; (b) θ  = 20 deg; (c) θ  = 30 deg; and (d) θ = 40 deg

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Fig. 13

Comparison of effect of wave angle on strain distribution: (a) θ = 10 deg; (b)θ = 20 deg; (c) θ  = 30 deg; and (d) θ = 40 deg

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Fig. 12

Section view of stamped plate and thickness variation for different draft angles: (a) α= 0 deg; (b) α= 10 deg; and (c) α= 20 deg

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