Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) can be used to fabricate graphite composite bipolar plates with complex flow fields for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The additive manufacturing process can significantly reduce the time and cost associated with the research and development of bipolar plates as compared to other fabrication methods such as compression molding. In this study, bipolar plates with three different designs, i.e., parallel in series, interdigitated, and bio-inspired, were fabricated using the SLS process. The performance of these SLS-fabricated bipolar plates was studied experimentally within a fuel cell assembly under various operating conditions. The effect of temperature, relative humidity, and pressure on fuel cell performance was investigated. In the tests conducted for this study, the best fuel cell performance was achieved with a temperature of 75 ⁰C, relative humidity of 100%, and back pressure of 2 atm.

Meeting Name

23rd Annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium -- An Additive Manufacturing Conference (2012: Aug. 6-8, Austin, TX)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


This project is funded by the National Science Foundation grant #CMMI-1131659.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type




Publication Date

08 Aug 2012

Included in

Manufacturing Commons