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Title: Integral gas seal for fuel cell gas distribution assemblies and method of fabrication

Abstract

A porous gas distribution plate assembly for a fuel cell, such as a bipolar assembly, includes an inner impervious region wherein the bipolar assembly has good surface porosity but no through-plane porosity and wherein electrical conductivity through the impervious region is maintained. A hot-pressing process for forming the bipolar assembly includes placing a layer of thermoplastic sealant material between a pair of porous, electrically conductive plates, applying pressure to the assembly at elevated temperature, and allowing the assembly to cool before removing the pressure whereby the layer of sealant material is melted and diffused into the porous plates to form an impervious bond along a common interface between the plates holding the porous plates together. The distribution of sealant within the pores along the surface of the plates provides an effective barrier at their common interface against through-plane transmission of gas.

Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (E. Hanover, NJ)
  2. (Chatham Township, Morris County, NJ)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
ENGELHARD CORP
OSTI Identifier:
865378
Patent Number(s):
US 4505992
Application Number:
06/484,014
Assignee:
Engelhard Corporation (Iselin, NJ) OSTI
DOE Contract Number:
AC01-78ET15366
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
integral; gas; seal; fuel; cell; distribution; assemblies; method; fabrication; porous; plate; assembly; bipolar; inner; impervious; region; surface; porosity; through-plane; electrical; conductivity; maintained; hot-pressing; process; forming; placing; layer; thermoplastic; sealant; material; pair; electrically; conductive; plates; applying; pressure; elevated; temperature; allowing; cool; removing; whereby; melted; diffused; form; bond; common; interface; holding; pores; provides; effective; barrier; transmission; sealant material; bipolar assembly; porous plates; fuel cell; electrically conductive; elevated temperature; electrical conductivity; plate assembly; cell gas; distribution plate; applying pressure; gas distribution; gas seal; conductive plates; impervious region; porous gas; effective barrier; conductive plate; inner impervious; integral gas; distribution assemblies; /429/

Citation Formats

Dettling, Charles J., and Terry, Peter L. Integral gas seal for fuel cell gas distribution assemblies and method of fabrication. United States: N. p., 1985. Web.
Dettling, Charles J., & Terry, Peter L. Integral gas seal for fuel cell gas distribution assemblies and method of fabrication. United States.
Dettling, Charles J., and Terry, Peter L. Tue . "Integral gas seal for fuel cell gas distribution assemblies and method of fabrication". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/865378.
@article{osti_865378,
title = {Integral gas seal for fuel cell gas distribution assemblies and method of fabrication},
author = {Dettling, Charles J. and Terry, Peter L.},
abstractNote = {A porous gas distribution plate assembly for a fuel cell, such as a bipolar assembly, includes an inner impervious region wherein the bipolar assembly has good surface porosity but no through-plane porosity and wherein electrical conductivity through the impervious region is maintained. A hot-pressing process for forming the bipolar assembly includes placing a layer of thermoplastic sealant material between a pair of porous, electrically conductive plates, applying pressure to the assembly at elevated temperature, and allowing the assembly to cool before removing the pressure whereby the layer of sealant material is melted and diffused into the porous plates to form an impervious bond along a common interface between the plates holding the porous plates together. The distribution of sealant within the pores along the surface of the plates provides an effective barrier at their common interface against through-plane transmission of gas.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Mar 19 00:00:00 EST 1985},
month = {Tue Mar 19 00:00:00 EST 1985}
}

Patent:

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  • A porous gas distribution plate assembly for a fuel cell, such as a bipolar assembly, includes an inner impervious region wherein the bipolar assembly has good surface porosity but no through-plane porosity and wherein electrical conductivity through the impervious region is maintained. A hot-pressing process for forming the bipolar assembly includes placing a layer of thermoplastic sealant material between a pair of porous, electrically conductive plates, applying pressure to the assembly at elevated temperature, and allowing the assembly to cool before removing the pressure whereby the layer of sealant material is melted and diffused into the porous plates to formmore » an impervious bond along a common interface between the plates holding the porous plates together. The distribution of sealant within the pores along the surface of the plates provides an effective barrier at their common interface against through-plane transmission of gas.« less
  • A porous gas distribution plate assembly for a fuel cell, such as a bipolar assembly, includes an inner impervious region wherein the bipolar assembly has good surface porosity but no through-plane porosity and wherein electrical conductivity through the impervious region is maintained. A hot-pressing process for forming the bipolar assembly includes placing a layer of thermoplastic sealant material between a pair of porous, electrically conductive plates, applying pressure to the assembly at elevated temperature, and allowing the assembly to cool before removing the pressure whereby the layer of sealant material is melted and diffused into the porous plates to formmore » an impervious bond along a common interface between the plates holding the porous plates together. The distribution of sealant within the pores along the surface of the plates provides an effective barrier at their common interface against through-plane transmission of gas.« less
  • A method of producing a bipolar assembly for use in a fuel cellstack wherein contiguous plates are provided to distribute oxidant and reactant gas respectively to adjacent cells of the stack is described comprising the steps of providing at least two electrically conductive distribution plates having a foraminous structure suitable for transporting gas therethrough; disposing a layer of thermally sensitive, insulative sealant material between the plates; applying pressure and elevated temperature to the plates and layer of thermally sensitive sealant material sufficient to render the layer deformable and bond the plates together upon redistribution of the sealant within the poresmore » of the plates; the layer of insulative sealant material being present in such amount to impregnate the pores of the plates and form a substantially gas-impermeable barrier at the interface between the plates, the plates being bonded so that they are in contact with one another in electroconductive registry.« less
  • A bipolar gas reactant distribution assembly for use in a fuel cell is disclosed, the assembly having a solid edge seal to prevent leakage of gaseous reactants wherein a pair of porous plates are provided with peripheral slits generally parallel to, and spaced apart from two edges of the plate, the slit being filled with a solid, fusible, gas impervious edge sealing compound. The plates are assembled with opposite faces adjacent one another with a layer of a fusible sealant material therebetween the slits in the individual plates being approximately perpendicular to one another. The plates are bonded to eachmore » other by the simultaneous application of heat and pressure to cause a redistribution of the sealant into the pores of the adjacent plate surfaces and to cause the edge sealing compound to flow and impregnate the region of the plates adjacent the slits and comingle with the sealant layer material to form a continuous layer of sealant along the edges of the assembled plates.« less
  • A process is described for the preparation of a bipolar gas reactant distribution assembly having solid, gas impervious edge seals to prevent leakage of gaseous reactants, which comprises providing a pair of porous plate members provided with peripheral slits, the slits being generally parallel to, and spaced from each of two edges of the plate, filling the slits with a non-porous, fusible gas impervious edge sealing compound, assembling the plate members with the slits therein approximately perpendicular to one another and a layer of fusible sealing material interposed therebetween, hot pressing the assembly at a temperature sufficient to cause amore » redistribution of the sealant layer into the pores of the adjacent plate surfaces and the edge sealing compound to flow and impregnate the region of the plates adjacent the slits and comingle with the redistributed sealant material to form a continuous layer of sealant along the edges of the assembly.« less