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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 828070, 22 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/828070
Review Article

A Review of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells: Materials and Fabrication Methods

1Alternative Energy Engineering Technology Program, Lambton College, 1457 London Road, Sarnia, ON, Canada N7S 6K4
2Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 200 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3E5

Received 20 March 2012; Accepted 13 June 2012

Academic Editor: Meilin Liu

Copyright © 2012 Shahram Karimi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The proton exchange membrane fuel cell offers an exceptional potential for a clean, efficient, and reliable power source. The bipolar plate is a key component in this device, as it connects each cell electrically, supplies reactant gases to both anode and cathode, and removes reaction products from the cell. Bipolar plates have been fabricated primarily from high-density graphite, but in recent years, much attention has been paid to developing cost-effective and feasible alternative materials. Two different classes of materials have attracted attention: metals and composites. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the current research being carried out on metallic bipolar plates, covering materials and fabrication methods.