The Characterization of the Resin Bonded Graphite Composite Bipolar Plate using Isotropic Graphite Powder for PEM Fuel Cell Cho, Kwang-Youn; Riu, Doh-Hyung; Hui, Seung-Hun; Kim, Hong-Suk; Chung, Yoon-Jung; Lim, Yun-Soo;
In this study, graphite composites were fabricated by warm press molding method to realize commercialization of PEM fuel cells. Graphite composites have been considered as alternative economic materials for bipolar plate of PEM fuel cells. Graphite powder that enables to provide electrical conductivity was selected as the main substance. The graphite powder was mixed with phenolic resin and the mixture was pressed using a warm press method. First of all, the graphite powder was pulverized with a ball mill for the dense packing of composite. As the ball milling time increases, the average size of particles decreases and the size distribution becomes narrow. This allows for improvement of the uniformity of graphite composite. However, the surface electrical resistivity of graphite composite increases as the ball milling time increases. It is due to that graphite particles with amorphous phase are generated on the surface due to the friction and collision of particles during pulverizing. We found that the contact electrical resistivity of graphite particles increases as the particle size decreases. The contact electrical resistivity of graphite powders was reduced due to high molding pressure by warm press molding. This leads to improvement of the mechanical properties of graphite composite. Hydrogen gas impermeability was measured with the graphite composite, showing a possibility of the application for bipolar plate in fuel cell. And, I-V curves of the graphite composite bipolar plate exhibit a similar performance to the graphite bipolar plate.