Masters Theses


"Bipolar plates are one of the most expensive components of a PEM fuel cell and by far the heaviest. Bipolar plates are responsible for providing flow fields for reaction gases, acting as current collectors for electrons liberated during the chemical reaction inside the cell, and providing structural support for the fuel cell stack. Current PEM fuel cell bipolar plate technology is built on the use of sintered graphite which is costly and requires time-consuming machining. Furthermore, due to the brittle nature of graphite, plates must be made relatively thick which adds significant weight and volume to larger stacks, such as those required for automobiles. Hybrid composite bipolar plates were developed with the goal of providing an alternative material which offers sufficient conductivity, corrosion resistance, and mechanical strength. A conductive resin system using epoxy, polyaniline, carbon black, and milled carbon fibers was developed to serve as a matrix for continuous carbon fiber reinforcement which enhanced both strength and conductivity above what is possible to achieve through the use of chopped fibers. The developed conductive resin system showed a high glass transition temperature (above 180⁰C) and tensile strength greater than or equal to 41 MPa. The developed hybrid composite material showed conductivity greater than 100 S/cm and excellent tensile and flexural strength, far exceeding industry targets"--Abstract, page iii.


Chandrashekhara, K.

Committee Member(s)

Liou, Frank W.
Schuman, Thomas P.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


Air Force Research Laboratory (Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio)
Missouri Space Grant Consortium


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date



viii, 47 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-64).


© 2011 Nathaniel James Richie, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells -- Design
Fuel cells
Composite materials
Electric conductivity

Thesis Number

T 10214

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #