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Sample records for high-uranium-loaded fuel plates

  1. High loading uranium fuel plate

    DOEpatents

    Wiencek, Thomas C.; Domagala, Robert F.; Thresh, Henry R.

    1990-01-01

    Two embodiments of a high uranium fuel plate are disclosed which contain a meat comprising structured uranium compound confined between a pair of diffusion bonded ductile metal cladding plates uniformly covering the meat, the meat having a uniform high fuel loading comprising a content of uranium compound greater than about 45 Vol. % at a porosity not greater than about 10 Vol. %. In a first embodiment, the meat is a plurality of parallel wires of uranium compound. In a second embodiment, the meat is a dispersion compact containing uranium compound. The fuel plates are fabricated by a hot isostatic pressing process.

  2. Fuel cell end plate structure

    DOEpatents

    Guthrie, Robin J.; Katz, Murray; Schroll, Craig R.

    1991-04-23

    The end plates (16) of a fuel cell stack (12) are formed of a thin membrane. Pressure plates (20) exert compressive load through insulation layers (22, 26) to the membrane. Electrical contact between the end plates (16) and electrodes (50, 58) is maintained without deleterious making and breaking of electrical contacts during thermal transients. The thin end plate (16) under compressive load will not distort with a temperature difference across its thickness. Pressure plate (20) experiences a low thermal transient because it is insulated from the cell. The impact on the end plate of any slight deflection created in the pressure plate by temperature difference is minimized by the resilient pressure pad, in the form of insulation, therebetween.

  3. Fuel cell cooler-humidifier plate

    DOEpatents

    Vitale, Nicholas G.; Jones, Daniel O.

    2000-01-01

    A cooler-humidifier plate for use in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack assembly is provided. The cooler-humidifier plate combines functions of cooling and humidification within the fuel cell stack assembly, thereby providing a more compact structure, simpler manifolding, and reduced reject heat from the fuel cell. Coolant on the cooler side of the plate removes heat generated within the fuel cell assembly. Heat is also removed by the humidifier side of the plate for use in evaporating the humidification water. On the humidifier side of the plate, evaporating water humidifies reactant gas flowing over a moistened wick. After exiting the humidifier side of the plate, humidified reactant gas provides needed moisture to the proton exchange membranes used in the fuel cell stack assembly. The invention also provides a fuel cell plate that maximizes structural support within the fuel cell by ensuring that the ribs that form the boundaries of channels on one side of the plate have ends at locations that substantially correspond to the locations of ribs on the opposite side of the plate.

  4. Separator plate for a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Petri, R.J.; Meek, J.; Bachta, R.P.; Marianowski, L.G.

    1996-04-02

    A separator plate is described for a fuel cell comprising an anode current collector, a cathode current collector and a main plate, the main plate disposed between the anode current collector and the cathode current collector. The anode current collector forms a flattened peripheral wet seal structure and manifold wet seal structure on the anode side of the separator plate and the cathode current collector forms a flattened peripheral wet seal structure and manifold wet seal structure on the cathode side of the separator plate. In this manner, the number of components required to manufacture and assemble a fuel cell stack is reduced. 9 figs.

  5. Separator plate for a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Petri, Randy J.; Meek, John; Bachta, Robert P.; Marianowski, Leonard G.

    1996-01-01

    A separator plate for a fuel cell comprising an anode current collector, a cathode current collector and a main plate, the main plate disposed between the anode current collector and the cathode current collector. The anode current collector forms a flattened peripheral wet seal structure and manifold wet seal structure on the anode side of the separator plate and the cathode current collector forms a flattened peripheral wet seal structure and manifold wet seal structure on the cathode side of the separator plate. In this manner, the number of components required to manufacture and assemble a fuel cell stack is reduced.

  6. Bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middelman, E.; Kout, W.; Vogelaar, B.; Lenssen, J.; de Waal, E.

    The bipolar plates are in weight and volume the major part of the PEM fuel cell stack, and are also a significant contributor to the stack costs. The bipolar plate is therefore a key component if power density has to increase and costs must come down. Three cell plate technologies are expected to reach targeted cost price levels, all having specific advantages and drawbacks. NedStack has developed a conductive composite materials and a production process for fuel cell plates (bipolar and mono-polar). The material has a high electric and thermal conductivity, and can be processed into bipolar plates by a proprietary molding process. Process cycle time has been reduced to less than 10 s, making the material and process suitable for economical mass production. Other development work to increase material efficiency resulted in thin bipolar plates with integrated cooling channels, and integrated seals, and in two-component bipolar plates. Total thickness of the bipolar plates is now less than 3 mm, and will be reduced to 2 mm in the near future. With these thin integrated plates it is possible to increase power density up to 2 kW/l and 2 kW/kg, while at the same time reducing cost by integrating other functions and less material use.

  7. Dual fuel gradients in uranium silicide plates

    SciTech Connect

    Pace, B.W.

    1997-08-01

    Babcock & Wilcox has been able to achieve dual gradient plates with good repeatability in small lots of U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} plates. Improvements in homogeneity and other processing parameters and techniques have allowed the development of contoured fuel within the cladding. The most difficult obstacles to overcome have been the ability to evaluate the bidirectional fuel loadings in comparison to the perfect loading model and the different methods of instilling the gradients in the early compact stage. The overriding conclusion is that to control the contour of the fuel, a known relationship between the compact, the frames and final core gradient must exist. Therefore, further development in the creation and control of dual gradients in fuel plates will involve arriving at a plausible gradient requirement and building the correct model between the compact configuration and the final contoured loading requirements.

  8. Innovative concepts for fuel plate fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Domagala, R.F.; Wiencek, T.C.; Thresh, H.R.

    1987-10-01

    A number of fabrication concepts have been and are being explored at ANL. Although specific processes were addressed with silicide fuels in mind, most are applicable to fabrication with any fuel type. Processes include improved comminution procedures for converting U-Si alloy ingots to powder using a roll crusher and an impact mill. Aluminizing of core compacts by ion vapor deposition techniques in vacuum offers prospects for improved plate quality. Other items examined include the possible use of coatings on fuel particles, matrices different from pure Al, and ductile fuel alloys which might be used to produce fuel plates with uranium loadings higher than possible with conventional dispersed-phase powder metallurgy technology.

  9. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, Jay Kevin

    1998-01-01

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprising corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant.

  10. Brazed bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Neutzler, J.K.

    1998-07-07

    A liquid-cooled, bipolar plate separating adjacent cells of a PEM fuel cell comprises corrosion-resistant metal sheets brazed together so as to provide a passage between the sheets through which a dielectric coolant flows. The brazement comprises a metal which is substantially insoluble in the coolant. 6 figs.

  11. Finite element analysis of advanced neutron source fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Luttrell, C.R.

    1995-08-01

    The proposed design for the Advanced Neutron Source reactor core consists of closely spaced involute fuel plates. Coolant flows between the plates at high velocities. It is vital that adjacent plates do not come in contact and that the coolant channels between the plates remain open. Several scenarios that could result in problems with the fuel plates are studied. Finite element analyses are performed on fuel plates under pressure from the coolant flowing between the plates at a high velocity, under pressure because of a partial flow blockage in one of the channels, and with different temperature profiles.

  12. Creep analysis of fuel plates for the Advanced Neutron Source

    SciTech Connect

    Swinson, W.F.; Yahr, G.T.

    1994-11-01

    The reactor for the planned Advanced Neutron Source will use closely spaced arrays of fuel plates. The plates are thin and will have a core containing enriched uranium silicide fuel clad in aluminum. The heat load caused by the nuclear reactions within the fuel plates will be removed by flowing high-velocity heavy water through narrow channels between the plates. However, the plates will still be at elevated temperatures while in service, and the potential for excessive plate deformation because of creep must be considered. An analysis to include creep for deformation and stresses because of temperature over a given time span has been performed and is reported herein.

  13. Cell separator plate used in fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Reznikov, G.L.

    1993-08-03

    In a fuel cell stack comprising a plurality of fuel cell units, each said fuel cell unit is described comprising an anode, a cathode, an electrolyte in contact on one side with the electrolyte facing face of said anode and in contact on the opposite side with the electrolyte facing face of said cathode, and a separator plate forming an anode chamber between the anode facing face of said separator plate and said separator plate facing face of said anode and said separator plate forming a cathode chamber between the opposite cathode facing face of said separator plate and the separator plate facing face of the cathode of an adjacent said fuel cell unit, said anode chamber in gas communication with fuel gas supply and outlet and said cathode chamber in gas communication with oxidant supply and outlet, the improvement comprising; said electrolyte terminating inwardly from the periphery of said separator plate, said separator plate having a electrolyte seal structure extending outwardly from each face, said electrolyte seal structure contacting the periphery of said electrolyte completely around the periphery of said electrolyte forming a separator plate/electrolyte seal under cell operating conditions, said separator plate extending beyond the periphery of said electrolyte and having a separator plate peripheral seal structure spaced beyond the periphery of said electrolyte and extending outwardly from each face of said separator plate, and sealing means at said separator plate peripheral seal structure to form with adjacent separator plates when in said fuel cell stack a peripheral separator plate seal completely around the periphery of said separator plate thereby forming a peripheral compartment between said separator plate/electrolyte seal and said peripheral separator plate seal.

  14. Status of high-density fuel plates fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Wiencek, T.C.; Domagala, R.F.; Thresh, H.R.

    1989-09-01

    Progress has continued on the fabrication of fuel plates with fuel zone loadings approaching 9gU/cm{sup 3}. Using Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIPping) successful diffusion bonds have been made with 110 Al and 6061 Al alloys. These bonds demonstrated the most critical processing step for proof-of-concept hardware. Two types of prototype highly-loaded fuel plates have been fabricated. First, a fuel plate in which 0.030 in. (0.76 mm) uranium compound wires are bonded within an aluminum cladding and second, a dispersion fuel plate with uniform cladding and fuel zone thickness. The successful fabrication of these fuel plates derives from the unique ability of the HIPping process to produce diffusion bonds with minimal deformation. 2 refs., 3 figs.

  15. Nuclear Fuel Plate Fabrication Employing Friction Welding

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas E. Burkes; Neil P. Hallinan; Curtis R. Clark

    2008-09-01

    This paper provides an overview of the friction bonding process, a novel modification of the more conventional friction stir welding process. The process has been modified to enable the fabrication of plate-type nuclear fuels for the conversion of research and test reactors currently operating using highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. Discussions related to the specific modifications of the friction bonding process have been provided, in addition to challenges associated with these modifications. Progression of the process and solutions to the challenges are provided so that users of the friction stir welding process and those investigating fabrication of other laminar composites, where joining of one or more layers is essential, might draw from the authors’ experiences discussed in this paper.

  16. PEM fuel cell bipolar plate material requirements for transportation applications

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, R.L.; Stroh, K.R.; Vanderborgh, N.E.

    1996-04-01

    Cost effective bipolar plates are currently under development to help make proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells commercially viable. Bipolar plates separate individual cells of the fuel cell stack, and thus must supply strength, be electrically conductive, provide for thermal control of the fuel stack, be a non-porous materials separating hydrogen and oxygen feed streams, be corrosion resistant, provide gas distribution for the feed streams and meet fuel stack cost targets. Candidate materials include conductive polymers and metal plates with corrosion resistant coatings. Possible metals include aluminium, titanium, iron/stainless steel and nickel.

  17. Analysis of hydraulic instability of ANS involute fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Sartory, W.K.

    1991-11-01

    Curved shell equations for the involute Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) fuel plates are coupled to two-dimensional hydraulic channel flow equations that include fluid friction. A complete set of fluid and plate boundary conditions is applied at the entrance and exit and along the sides of the plate and the channel. The coupled system is linearized and solved to assess the hydraulic instability of the plates.

  18. Composite Bipolar Plate for Unitized Fuel Cell/Electrolyzer Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittelsteadt, Cortney K.; Braff, William

    2009-01-01

    In a substantial improvement over present alkaline systems, an advanced hybrid bipolar plate for a unitized fuel cell/electrolyzer has been developed. This design, which operates on pure feed streams (H2/O2 and water, respectively) consists of a porous metallic foil filled with a polymer that has very high water transport properties. Combined with a second metallic plate, the pore-filled metallic plates form a bipolar plate with an empty cavity in the center.

  19. Fuel plate and fusion insulator irradiation test program

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, L.G.; Beeston, J.M.

    1980-11-01

    As the prices of fuel fabricating, shipping, and reprocessing continue to rise at rapid rates, research people look for alternate methods to keep their reactor fuel costs within limited funds. Extending fuel element lifetimes without jeopardizing reactor safety can reduce fuel costs by up to a factor of two. But to gain this factor, some fuel plate tests must be performed to the higher burnup to verify burnup fuel plate performance. In this proposed test, fuel plates will be constructed to a maximum fuel loading which can be produced on a commercial basis, contain a maximum boron content as used in ATR to reduce initial reactor reactivity, and will be loaded with UAl/sub 2/ to obtain higher uranium content and better operating performance over UAl/sub 3/.

  20. Catalytic bipolar interconnection plate for use in a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, P.A.

    1996-03-05

    A bipolar interconnection plate is described for use between adjacent fuel cell units in a stacked fuel cell assembly. Each plate is manufactured from an intermetallic composition, examples of which include NiAl or Ni{sub 3}Al which can catalyze steam reforming of hydrocarbons. Distributed within the intermetallic structure of the plate is a ceramic filler composition. The plate includes a first side with gas flow channels therein and a second side with fuel flow channels therein. A protective coating is applied to the first side, with exemplary coatings including strontium-doped or calcium-doped lanthanum chromite. To produce the plate, Ni and Al powders are combined with the filler composition, compressed at a pressure of about 10,000--30,000 psi, and heated to about 600--1000 C. The coating is then applied to the first side of the completed plate using liquid injection plasma deposition or other deposition techniques. 6 figs.

  1. Catalytic bipolar interconnection plate for use in a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.

    1996-01-01

    A bipolar interconnection plate for use between adjacent fuel cell units in a stacked fuel cell assembly. Each plate is manufactured from an intermetallic composition, examples of which include NiAl or Ni.sub.3 Al which can catalyze steam reforming of hydrocarbons. Distributed within the intermetallic structure of the plate is a ceramic filler composition. The plate includes a first side with gas flow channels therein and a second side with fuel flow channels therein. A protective coating is applied to the first side, with exemplary coatings including strontium-doped or calcium-doped lanthanum chromite. To produce the plate, Ni and Al powders are combined with the filler composition, compressed at a pressure of about 10,000-30,000 psi, and heated to about 600.degree.-1000.degree. C. The coating is then applied to the first side of the completed plate using liquid injection plasma deposition or other deposition techniques.

  2. Laser-Based Characterization of Nuclear Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    James A. Smith; David L. Cottle; Barry H. Rabin

    2013-07-01

    Ensuring the integrity of fuel-clad and clad-clad bonding in nuclear fuels is important for safe reactor operation and assessment of fuel performance, yet the measurement of bond strengths in actual fuels has proved challenging. The laser shockwave technique (LST) originally developed to characterize structural adhesion in composites is being employed to characterize interface strength in a new type of plate fuel being developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). LST is a non-contact method that uses lasers for the generation and detection of large-amplitude acoustic waves and is well suited for application to both fresh and irradiated nuclear-fuel plates. This paper will report on initial characterization results obtained from fresh fuel plates manufactured by different processes, including hot isostatic pressing, friction stir welding, and hot rolling.

  3. Laser-based characterization of nuclear fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, James A.; Cottle, Dave L.; Rabin, Barry H.

    2014-02-18

    Ensuring the integrity of fuel-clad and clad-clad bonding in nuclear fuels is important for safe reactor operation and assessment of fuel performance, yet the measurement of bond strengths in actual fuels has proved challenging. The laser shockwave technique (LST) originally developed to characterize structural adhesion in composites is being employed to characterize interface strength in a new type of plate fuel being developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). LST is a non-contact method that uses lasers for the generation and detection of large-amplitude acoustic waves and is well suited for application to both fresh and irradiated nuclear-fuel plates. This paper will report on initial characterization results obtained from fresh fuel plates manufactured by different processes, including hot isostatic pressing, friction stir welding, and hot rolling.

  4. Structural thermal tests on Advanced Neutron Source reactor fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Swinson, W.F.; Battiste, R.L.; Yahr, G.T.

    1995-08-01

    The thin aluminum-clad fuel plates proposed for the Advanced Neutron Source reactor are stressed by the high-velocity coolant flowing on each side of the plates and by the thermal gradients in the plates. The total stress, composed of the sum of the flow stress and the thermal stress at a point, could be reduced if the thermal loads tend to relax when the stress magnitude approaches the yield stress of the material. The potential of this occurring would be very significant in assessing the structural reliability of the fuel plates and has been investigated through experiment. The results of this investigation are given in this report.

  5. Fuel cell separator plate with bellows-type sealing flanges

    DOEpatents

    Louis, G.A.

    1984-05-29

    A fuel cell separator includes a rectangular flat plate having two unitary upper sealing flanges respectively comprising opposite marginal edges of the plate folded upwardly and back on themselves and two lower sealing flanges respectively comprising the other two marginal edges of the plate folded downwardly and back on themselves. Each of the sealing flanges includes a flat wall spaced from the plate and substantially parallel thereto and two accordion-pleated side walls, one of which interconnects the flat wall with the plate and the other of which steps just short of the plate, these side walls affording resilient compressibility to the sealing flange in a direction generally normal to the plane of the plate. Four corner members close the ends of the sealing flanges. An additional resiliently compressible reinforcing member may be inserted in the passages formed by each of the sealing flanges with the plate.

  6. Fuel cell separator plate with bellows-type sealing flanges

    DOEpatents

    Louis, George A.

    1986-08-05

    A fuel cell separator includes a rectangular flat plate having two unitary upper sealing flanges respectively comprising opposite marginal edges of the plate folded upwardly and back on themselves and two lower sealing flanges respectively comprising the other two marginal edges of the plate folded downwardly and back on themselves. Each of the sealing flanges includes a flat wall spaced from the plate and substantially parallel thereto and two accordion-pleated side walls, one of which interconnects the flat wall with the plate and the other of which stops just short of the plate, these side walls affording resilient compressibility to the sealing flange in a directiongenerally normal to the plane of the plate. Four corner members close the ends of the sealing flanges. An additional resiliently compressible reinforcing member may be inserted in the passages formed by each of the sealing flanges with the plate.

  7. Performance evaluation of the R6R018 fuel plate using PLATE code

    SciTech Connect

    Pavel G. Medvedev; Hakan Ozaltun

    2010-03-01

    The paper presents results of performance evaluation of the R6R018 fuel plate using PLATE code. R6R018 is a U-7Mo dispersion type mini-plate with Al-3.5Si matrix irradiated in the RERTR-9B experiment. The design of this plate is prototypical of the planned LEONIDAS irradiation test. Therefore, a detailed performance analysis of this plate is important to confirm acceptable behavior in pile, and to provide baseline and justification for further analysis and testing. Specific results presented in the paper include fuel temperature history, growth of the interaction layer between the U-Mo and the matrix, swelling, growth of the corrosion layer, and degradation of thermal conductivity. The methodology of the analysis will be discussed including the newly developed capability to account for the formation of the interaction layer during fuel fabrication.

  8. TESTING AND ACCEPTANCE OF FUEL PLATES FOR RERTR FUEL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    J.M. Wight; G.A. Moore; S.C. Taylor

    2008-10-01

    This paper discusses how candidate fuel plates for RERTR Fuel Development experiments are examined and tested for acceptance prior to reactor insertion. These tests include destructive and nondestructive examinations (DE and NDE). The DE includes blister annealing for dispersion fuel plates, bend testing of adjacent cladding, and microscopic examination of archive fuel plates. The NDE includes Ultrasonic (UT) scanning and radiography. UT tests include an ultrasonic scan for areas of “debonds” and a high frequency ultrasonic scan to determine the "minimum cladding" over the fuel. Radiography inspections include identifying fuel outside of the maximum fuel zone and measurements and calculations for fuel density. Details of each test are provided and acceptance criteria are defined. These tests help to provide a high level of confidence the fuel plate will perform in the reactor without a breach in the cladding.

  9. FULL SIZE U-10MO MONOLITHIC FUEL FOIL AND FUEL PLATE FABRICATION-TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

    SciTech Connect

    G. A. Moore; J-F Jue; B. H. Rabin; M. J. Nilles

    2010-03-01

    Full-size U10Mo foils are being developed for use in high density LEU monolithic fuel plates. The application of a zirconium barrier layer too the foil is applied using a hot co-rolling process. Aluminum clad fuel plates are fabricated using Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) or a Friction Bonding (FB) process. An overview is provided of ongoing technology development activities, including: the co-rolling process, foil shearing/slitting and polishing, cladding bonding processes, plate forming, plate-assembly swaging, and fuel plate characterization. Characterization techniques being employed include, Ultrasonic Testing (UT), radiography, and microscopy.

  10. Fuel cell repeater unit including frame and separator plate

    DOEpatents

    Yamanis, Jean; Hawkes, Justin R; Chiapetta, Jr., Louis; Bird, Connie E; Sun, Ellen Y; Croteau, Paul F

    2013-11-05

    An example fuel cell repeater includes a separator plate and a frame establishing at least a portion of a flow path that is operative to communicate fuel to or from at least one fuel cell held by the frame relative to the separator plate. The flow path has a perimeter and any fuel within the perimeter flow across the at least one fuel cell in a first direction. The separator plate, the frame, or both establish at least one conduit positioned outside the flow path perimeter. The conduit is outside of the flow path perimeter and is configured to direct flow in a second, different direction. The conduit is fluidly coupled with the flow path.

  11. Dynamic pressure approach to analysis of reactor fuel plate stability

    SciTech Connect

    Swinson, W.F.; Yahr, G.T.

    1990-01-01

    The dynamic pressure model can conveniently be used to evaluate the critical stress regions as a function of flow velocity. For some of the preliminary advanced neutron source reactor plate designs this could be very significant since the flow velocity could be limited by peak stresses in the plates more than by deflection or stability. The dynamic pressure results predicts the differential pressure across a plate as a function of flow velocity. The pressure differential can then be used to find the deflection and/or stress of the plate using traditional plate analyses. Instability would occur when plates are touching at mid-channel such that rapid oscillations of pressure can occur. The technique is conservative and gives a design limit for the plate. This model is one of several methods being used in the design of the ANS fuel elements. 10 refs., 4 figs.

  12. Development of electrolyte plate for molten carbonate fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Shoji, C.; Matsuo, T.; Suzuki, A.; Yamamasu, Y.

    1998-07-01

    It is important for the commercialization of molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) to improve the endurance and the reliability of the electrolyte plate. The electrolyte-loss in the electrolyte plate increases the cell resistance and deteriorates the cell voltage. The formulation of cracks in the electrolyte plate causes a gas cross leakage between the fuel gas and the oxidizer gas. The pore structure of electrolyte plate must be stable and fine to support liquid electrolyte under MCFC operation. It is necessary to prevent the formation of cracks in electrolyte plate during thermal cycling. The authors have improved the stability of electrolyte plate using advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder and improved the durability of electrolyte plate for thermal cycling by the addition of the ceramic fiber. The initial cell voltage using electrolyte plate with advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder was 820 mV at current density 150mA/cm{sup 2} and the decay rate of cell voltage was under 0.5%/1,000h for 8,800h. According to the post analyses, the pore structure of the electrolyte plate did not change. The stability of advanced LiAlO{sub 2} powder was confirmed. It was proved that the electrolyte plate reinforced with ceramic fiber is effective for thermal cycling.

  13. Laser Shockwave Technique For Characterization Of Nuclear Fuel Plate Interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    James A. Smith; Barry H. Rabin; Mathieu Perton; Daniel Lévesque; Jean-Pierre Monchalin; Martin Lord

    2012-07-01

    The US National Nuclear Security Agency is tasked with minimizing the worldwide use of high-enriched uranium. One aspect of that effort is the conversion of research reactors to monolithic fuel plates of low-enriched uranium. The manufacturing process includes hot isostatic press bonding of an aluminum cladding to the fuel foil. The Laser Shockwave Technique (LST) is here evaluated for characterizing the interface strength of fuel plates using depleted Uranium/Mo foils. LST is a non-contact method that uses lasers for the generation and detection of large amplitude acoustic waves and is therefore well adapted to the quality assurance of this process. Preliminary results show a clear signature of well-bonded and debonded interfaces and the method is able to classify/rank the bond strength of fuel plates prepared under different HIP conditions.

  14. Laser shockwave technique for characterization of nuclear fuel plate interfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Perton, M.; Levesque, D.; Monchalin, J.-P.; Lord, M.; Smith, J. A.; Rabin, B. H.

    2013-01-25

    The US National Nuclear Security Agency is tasked with minimizing the worldwide use of high-enriched uranium. One aspect of that effort is the conversion of research reactors to monolithic fuel plates of low-enriched uranium. The manufacturing process includes hot isostatic press bonding of an aluminum cladding to the fuel foil. The Laser Shockwave Technique (LST) is here evaluated for characterizing the interface strength of fuel plates using depleted Uranium/Mo foils. LST is a non-contact method that uses lasers for the generation and detection of large amplitude acoustic waves and is therefore well adapted to the quality assurance of this process. Preliminary results show a clear signature of well-bonded and debonded interfaces and the method is able to classify/rank the bond strength of fuel plates prepared under different HIP conditions.

  15. New electroplated aluminum bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Enin, Sanaa A. Abo; Abdel-Salam, Omar E.; El-Abd, Hammam; Amin, Ashraf M.

    Further improvement in the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells as a power source for automotive applications may be achieved by the use of a new material in the manufacture of the bipolar plate. Several nickel alloys were applied on the aluminum substrate, the use of aluminum as a bipolar plate instead of graphite is to reduce the bipolar plate cost and weight and the ease of machining. The electroplated nickel alloys on aluminum substrate produced a new metallic bipolar plate for PEM fuel cell with a higher efficiency and longer lifetime than the graphite bipolar plate due to its higher electrical conductivity and its lower corrosion rate. Different pretreatment methods were tested; the optimum method for pretreatment consists of dipping the specimen in a 12.5% NaOH for 3 min followed by electroless zinc plating for 2 min, then the specimen is dipped quickly in the electroplating bath after rinsing with distilled water. The produced electroplate was tested with different measurement techniques, chosen based on the requirement for a PEM fuel cell bipolar plate, including X-ray diffraction, EDAX, SEM, corrosion resistance, thickness measurement, microhardness, and electrical conductivity.

  16. Low Cost PEM Fuel Cell Metal Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Conghua

    2013-05-30

    Bipolar plate is an important component in fuel cell stacks and accounts for more than 75% of stack weight and volume. The technology development of metal bipolar plates can effectively reduce the fuel cells stack weight and volume over 50%. The challenge is the metal plate corrosion protection at low cost for the broad commercial applications. This project is aimed to develop innovative technological solutions to overcome the corrosion barrier of low cost metal plates. The feasibility of has been demonstrated and patented (US Patent 7,309,540). The plan is to further reduce the cost, and scale up the technology. The project is built on three pillars: 1) robust experimental evidence demonstrating the feasibility of our technology, 2) a team that consists of industrial leaders in fuel cell stack application, design, and manufactures; 3) a low-risk, significant-milestone driven program that proves the feasibility of meeting program objectives The implementation of this project will reduce the fuel cell stack metal bipolar separator plate cost which accounts 15-21% of the overall stack cost. It will contribute to the market adoption of fuel cell technologies. In addition, this corrosion protection technology can be used similar energy devices, such as batteries and electrolyzers. Therefore, the success of the project will be benefit in broad markets.

  17. Drying studies for corroded DOE aluminum plate fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Lords, R.E.; Windes, W.E.; Crepeau, J.C.; Sidwell, R.W.

    1996-05-01

    The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) currently stores a wide variety of spent nuclear fuel. The fuel was originally intended to be stored underwater for a short period of thermal cooling, then removed and reprocessed. However, it has been stored underwater for much longer thank originally anticipated. During this time dust and airborne desert soil have entered the oldest INEL pool, accumulating on the fuel. Also, the aluminum fuel cladding has corroded compromising the exposed surfaces of the fuel. Plans are now underway to move some the the more vulnerable aluminum plate type fuels into dry storage in an existing vented and filtered fuel storage facility. In preparation for dry storage of the fuel a drying and canning station is being built at the INEL. The two primary objectives of this facility are to determine the influence of corrosion products on the drying process and to establish temperature distribution inside the canister during heating.

  18. Characterization and Testing of Monolithic RERTR Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    D. D. Keiser; J. F. Jue; D. E. Burkes

    2007-03-01

    Monolithic fuel plates are being developed for application in research reactors throughout the world. These fuel plates are comprised of a U-Mo alloy foil encased in aluminum alloy cladding. Three different fabrication techniques have been looked at for producing monolithic fuel plates: hot isostatic pressing (HIP), transient liquid phase bonding (TLPB), and friction stir welding (FSW). Of these three techniques, HIP and FSW are currently being emphasized. As part of the development of these fabrication techniques, fuel plates are characterized and tested to determine properties like hardness and the bond strength at the interface between the fuel and cladding. Testing of HIPed samples indicates that the foil/cladding interaction behavior depends on the Mo content in the U-Mo foil, the measured hardness values are quite different for the fuel, cladding, and interaction zone phase and Ti, Zr and Nb are the most effective diffusion barriers. For FSW samples, there is a dependence of the bond strength at the foil/cladding interface on the type of tool that is employed for performing the actual FSW process.

  19. Fuel Cell Thermal Management Through Conductive Cooling Plates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony J.; Burke, Kenneth A.

    2008-01-01

    An analysis was performed to evaluate the concept of utilizing conductive cooling plates to remove heat from a fuel cell stack, as opposed to a conventional internal cooling loop. The potential advantages of this type of cooling system are reduced stack complexity and weight and increased reliability through the reduction of the number of internal fluid seals. The conductive cooling plates would extract heat from the stack transferring it to an external coolant loop. The analysis was performed to determine the required thickness of these plates. The analysis was based on an energy balance between the thermal energy produced within the stack and the heat removal from the cooling plates. To accomplish the energy balance, the heat flow into and along the plates to the cooling fluid was modeled. Results were generated for various numbers of cells being cooled by a single cooling plate. The results provided cooling plate thickness, mass, and operating temperature of the plates. It was determined that utilizing high-conductivity pyrolitic graphite cooling plates can provide a specific cooling capacity (W/kg) equivalent to or potentially greater than a conventional internal cooling loop system.

  20. Highly conductive composites for fuel cell flow field plates and bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Jang, Bor Z; Zhamu, Aruna; Song, Lulu

    2014-10-21

    This invention provides a fuel cell flow field plate or bipolar plate having flow channels on faces of the plate, comprising an electrically conductive polymer composite. The composite is composed of (A) at least 50% by weight of a conductive filler, comprising at least 5% by weight reinforcement fibers, expanded graphite platelets, graphitic nano-fibers, and/or carbon nano-tubes; (B) polymer matrix material at 1 to 49.9% by weight; and (C) a polymer binder at 0.1 to 10% by weight; wherein the sum of the conductive filler weight %, polymer matrix weight % and polymer binder weight % equals 100% and the bulk electrical conductivity of the flow field or bipolar plate is at least 100 S/cm. The invention also provides a continuous process for cost-effective mass production of the conductive composite-based flow field or bipolar plate.

  1. Conductivity fuel cell collector plate and method of fabrication

    DOEpatents

    Braun, James C.

    2002-01-01

    An improved method of manufacturing a PEM fuel cell collector plate is disclosed. During molding a highly conductive polymer composite is formed having a relatively high polymer concentration along its external surfaces. After molding the polymer rich layer is removed from the land areas by machining, grinding or similar process. This layer removal results in increased overall conductivity of the molded collector plate. The polymer rich surface remains in the collector plate channels, providing increased mechanical strength and other benefits to the channels. The improved method also permits greater mold cavity thickness providing a number of advantages during the molding process.

  2. UPDATE ON MECHANICAL ANALYSIS OF MONOLITHIC FUEL PLATES

    SciTech Connect

    D. E. Burkes; F. J. Rice; J.-F. Jue; N. P. Hallinan

    2008-03-01

    Results on the relative bond strength of the fuel-clad interface in monolithic fuel plates have been presented at previous RRFM conferences. An understanding of mechanical properties of the fuel, cladding, and fuel / cladding interface has been identified as an important area of investigation and quantification for qualification of monolithic fuel forms. Significant progress has been made in the area of mechanical analysis of the monolithic fuel plates, including mechanical property determination of fuel foils, cladding processed by both hot isostatic pressing and friction bonding, and the fuel-clad composite. In addition, mechanical analysis of fabrication induced residual stress has been initiated, along with a study to address how such stress can be relieved prior to irradiation. Results of destructive examinations and mechanical tests are presented along with analysis and supporting conclusions. A brief discussion of alternative non-destructive evaluation techniques to quantify not only bond quality, but also bond integrity and strength, will also be provided. These are all necessary steps to link out-of-pile observations as a function of fabrication with in-pile behaviours.

  3. Fuel cell plates with improved arrangement of process channels for enhanced pressure drop across the plates

    SciTech Connect

    Spurrier, Francis R.; Pierce, Bill L.; Wright, Maynard K.

    1986-01-01

    A plate for a fuel cell has an arrangement of ribs defining an improved configuration of process gas channels and slots on a surface of the plate which provide a modified serpentine gas flow pattern across the plate surface. The channels are generally linear and arranged parallel to one another while the spaced slots allow cross channel flow of process gas in a staggered fashion which creates a plurality of generally mini-serpentine flow paths extending transverse to the longitudinal gas flow along the channels. Adjacent pairs of the channels are interconnected to one another in flow communication. Also, a bipolar plate has the aforementioned process gas channel configuration on one surface and another configuration on the opposite surface. In the other configuration, there are not slots and the gas flow channels have a generally serpentine configuration.

  4. Fuel cell collector plate and method of fabrication

    DOEpatents

    Braun, James C.; Zabriskie, Jr., John E.; Neutzler, Jay K.; Fuchs, Michel; Gustafson, Robert C.

    2001-01-01

    An improved molding composition is provided for compression molding or injection molding a current collector plate for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The molding composition is comprised of a polymer resin combined with a low surface area, highly-conductive carbon and/or graphite powder filler. The low viscosity of the thermoplastic resin combined with the reduced filler particle surface area provide a moldable composition which can be fabricated into a current collector plate having improved current collecting capacity vis-a-vis comparable fluoropolymer molding compositions.

  5. Plate-Based Fuel Processing System Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Carlos Faz; Helen Liu; Jacques Nicole; David Yee

    2005-12-22

    On-board reforming of liquid fuels into hydrogen is an enabling technology that could accelerate consumer usage of fuel cell powered vehicles. The technology would leverage the convenience of the existing gasoline fueling infrastructure while taking advantage of the fuel cell efficiency and low emissions. Commercial acceptance of on-board reforming faces several obstacles that include: (1) startup time, (2) transient response, and (3) system complexity (size, weight and cost). These obstacles are being addressed in a variety of projects through development, integration and optimization of existing fuel processing system designs. In this project, CESI investigated steam reforming (SR), water-gas-shift (WGS) and preferential oxidation (PrOx) catalysts while developing plate reactor designs and hardware where the catalytic function is integrated into a primary surface heat exchanger. The plate reactor approach has several advantages. The separation of the reforming and combustion streams permits the reforming reaction to be conducted at a higher pressure than the combustion reaction, thereby avoiding costly gas compression for combustion. The separation of the two streams also prevents the dilution of the reformate stream by the combustion air. The advantages of the plate reactor are not limited to steam reforming applications. In a WGS or PrOx reaction, the non-catalytic side of the plate would act as a heat exchanger to remove the heat generated by the exothermic WGS or PrOx reactions. This would maintain the catalyst under nearly isothermal conditions whereby the catalyst would operate at its optimal temperature. Furthermore, the plate design approach results in a low pressure drop, rapid transient capable and attrition-resistant reactor. These qualities are valued in any application, be it on-board or stationary fuel processing, since they reduce parasitic losses, increase over-all system efficiency and help perpetuate catalyst durability. In this program, CESI

  6. NONDESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF FUEL PLATES FOR THE RERTR FUEL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    N.E. Woolstenhulme; S.C. Taylor; G.A. Moore; D.M. Sterbentz

    2012-09-01

    Nuclear fuel is the core component of reactors that is used to produce the neutron flux required for irradiation research purposes as well as commercial power generation. The development of nuclear fuels with low enrichments of uranium is a major endeavor of the RERTR program. In the development of these fuels, the RERTR program uses nondestructive examination (NDE) techniques for the purpose of determining the properties of nuclear fuel plate experiments without imparting damage or altering the fuel specimens before they are irradiated in a reactor. The vast range of properties and information about the fuel plates that can be characterized using NDE makes them highly useful for quality assurance and for analyses used in modeling the behavior of the fuel while undergoing irradiation. NDE is also particularly useful for creating a control group for post-irradiation examination comparison. The two major categories of NDE discussed in this paper are X-ray radiography and ultrasonic testing (UT) inspection/evaluation. The radiographic scans are used for the characterization of fuel meat density and homogeneity as well as the determination of fuel location within the cladding. The UT scans are able to characterize indications such as voids, delaminations, inclusions, and other abnormalities in the fuel plates which are generally referred to as debonds as well as to determine the thickness of the cladding using ultrasonic acoustic microscopy methods. Additionally, the UT techniques are now also being applied to in-canal interim examination of fuel experiments undergoing irradiation and the mapping of the fuel plate surface profile to determine fuel swelling. The methods used to carry out these NDE techniques, as well as how they operate and function, are described along with a description of which properties are characterized.

  7. Current conducting end plate of fuel cell assembly

    DOEpatents

    Walsh, Michael M.

    1999-01-01

    A fuel cell assembly has a current conducting end plate with a conductive body formed integrally with isolating material. The conductive body has a first surface, a second surface opposite the first surface, and an electrical connector. The first surface has an exposed portion for conducting current between a working section of the fuel cell assembly and the electrical connector. The isolating material is positioned on at least a portion of the second surface. The conductive body can have support passage(s) extending therethrough for receiving structural member(s) of the fuel cell assembly. Isolating material can electrically isolate the conductive body from the structural member(s). The conductive body can have service passage(s) extending therethrough for servicing one or more fluids for the fuel cell assembly. Isolating material can chemically isolate the one or more fluids from the conductive body. The isolating material can also electrically isolate the conductive body from the one or more fluids.

  8. Next Generation Bipolar Plates for Automotive PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Adrianowycz, Orest; Norley, Julian; Stuart, David J; Flaherty, David; Wayne, Ryan; Williams, Warren; Tietze, Roger; Nguyen, Yen-Loan H; Zawodzinski, Tom; Pietrasz, Patrick

    2010-04-15

    The results of a successful U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) funded two-year $2.9 MM program lead by GrafTech International Inc. (GrafTech) are reported and summarized. The program goal was to develop the next generation of high temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates for use in transportation fuel cell applications operating at temperatures up to 120 °C. The bipolar plate composite developed during the program is based on GrafTech’s GRAFCELL resin impregnated flexible graphite technology and makes use of a high temperature Huntsman Advanced Materials resin system which extends the upper use temperature of the composite to the DoE target. High temperature performance of the new composite is achieved with the added benefit of improvements in strength, modulus, and dimensional stability over the incumbent resin systems. Other physical properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity of the new composite are identical to or not adversely affected by the new resin system. Using the new bipolar plate composite system, machined plates were fabricated and tested in high temperature single-cell fuel cells operating at 120 °C for over 1100 hours by Case Western Reserve University. Final verification of performance was done on embossed full-size plates which were fabricated and glued into bipolar plates by GrafTech. Stack testing was done on a 10-cell full-sized stack under a simulated drive cycle protocol by Ballard Power Systems. Freeze-thaw performance was conducted by Ballard on a separate 5-cell stack and shown to be within specification. A third stack was assembled and shipped to Argonne National Laboratory for independent performance verification. Manufacturing cost estimate for the production of the new bipolar plate composite at current and high volume production scenarios was performed by Directed Technologies Inc. (DTI). The production cost estimates were consistent with previous DoE cost estimates performed by DTI for the

  9. Fluid flow plate for decreased density of fuel cell assembly

    DOEpatents

    Vitale, Nicholas G.

    1999-01-01

    A fluid flow plate includes first and second outward faces. Each of the outward faces has a flow channel thereon for carrying respective fluid. At least one of the fluids serves as reactant fluid for a fuel cell of a fuel cell assembly. One or more pockets are formed between the first and second outward faces for decreasing density of the fluid flow plate. A given flow channel can include one or more end sections and an intermediate section. An interposed member can be positioned between the outward faces at an interface between an intermediate section, of one of the outward faces, and an end section, of that outward face. The interposed member can serve to isolate the reactant fluid from the opposing outward face. The intermediate section(s) of flow channel(s) on an outward face are preferably formed as a folded expanse.

  10. Compact bipolar plate-free direct methanol fuel cell stacks.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xue; Takahashi, Motohiro; Nagao, Masahiro; Hibino, Takashi

    2011-05-14

    Fuel cells with a PtAu/C anode and a Pr-doped Mn(2)O(3)/C cathode were stacked without using a bipolar plate, and their discharge properties were investigated in a methanol aqueous solution bubbled with air. A three-cell stack exhibited a stack voltage of 2330 mV and a power output of 21 mW. PMID:21451850

  11. Fuel cell collector plates with improved mass transfer channels

    SciTech Connect

    Gurau, Vladimir; Barbir, Frano; Neutzler, Jay K.

    2003-04-22

    A fuel cell collector plate can be provided with one or more various channel constructions for the transport of reactants to the gas diffusion layer and the removal of water therefrom. The outlet channel can be arranged to have a reduced volume compared to the inlet channel, in both interdigitated and discontinuous spiral applications. The land width between an inlet channel and outlet channel can be reduced to improved mass flow rate in regions of deleted reactant concentrations. Additionally or alternatively, the depth of the inlet channel can be reduced in the direction of flow to reduce the diffusion path as the concentration of reactant is reduced.

  12. Hydraulic reinforcement of channel at lower tie-plate in BWR fuel bundle

    SciTech Connect

    Johansson, E.B.

    1989-12-26

    This patent describes an apparatus in a fuel bundle for confining fuel rods for the generation of steam in a steam water mixture passing interior of the fuel bundle. The fuel bundle includes: a lower tie-plate for supporting the fuel rods and permitting flow from the lower exterior portion of the fuel bundle into the interior portion of the fuel bundle; a plurality of fuel rods. The fuel rods supported on the lower tie-plate extending upwardly to and towards the upper portion of the fuel bundle for the generation of steam in a passing steam and water mixture interior of the fuel bundle; an upper tie-plate for maintaining the fuel rods in side-by-side relation and permitting a threaded connection between a plurality of the fuel rods with the threaded connection being at the upper and lower tie-plate. The upper tie-plate permitting escape of a steam water mixture from the top of the fuel bundle; a fuel bundle channel; and a labyrinth seal configured in the lower tie-plate.

  13. Surface modified stainless steels for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Wang, Heli [Littleton, CO; Turner, John A [Littleton, CO

    2007-07-24

    A nitridation treated stainless steel article (such as a bipolar plate for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell) having lower interfacial contact electrical resistance and better corrosion resistance than an untreated stainless steel article is disclosed. The treated stainless steel article has a surface layer including nitrogen-modified chromium-base oxide and precipitates of chromium nitride formed during nitridation wherein oxygen is present in the surface layer at a greater concentration than nitrogen. The surface layer may further include precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide. The surface layer in the treated article is chemically heterogeneous surface rather than a uniform or semi-uniform surface layer exclusively rich in chromium, titanium or aluminum. The precipitates of titanium nitride and/or aluminum oxide are formed by the nitriding treatment wherein titanium and/or aluminum in the stainless steel are segregated to the surface layer in forms that exhibit a low contact resistance and good corrosion resistance.

  14. Modeling Thermal and Stress Behavior of the Fuel-clad Interface in Monolithic Fuel Mini-plates

    SciTech Connect

    Gregory K. Miller; Pavel G. Medvedev; Douglas E. Burkes; Daniel M. Wachs

    2010-08-01

    As part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, a fuel development and qualification program is in process with the objective of qualifying very high density low enriched uranium fuel that will enable the conversion of high performance research reactors with operational requirements beyond those supported with currently available low enriched uranium fuels. The high density of the fuel is achieved by replacing the fuel meat with a single monolithic low enriched uranium-molybdenum fuel foil. Doing so creates differences in the mechanical and structural characteristics of the fuel plate because of the planar interface created by the fuel foil and cladding. Furthermore, the monolithic fuel meat will dominate the structural properties of the fuel plate rather than the aluminum matrix, which is characteristic of dispersion fuel types. Understanding the integrity and behavior of the fuel-clad interface during irradiation is of great importance for qualification of the new fuel, but can be somewhat challenging to determine with a single technique. Efforts aimed at addressing this problem are underway within the fuel development and qualification program, comprised of modeling, as-fabricated plate characterization, and post-irradiation examination. An initial finite element analysis model has been developed to investigate worst-case scenarios for the basic monolithic fuel plate structure, using typical mini-plate irradiation conditions in the Advanced Test Reactor. Initial analysis shows that the stress normal to the fuel-clad interface dominates during irradiation, and that the presence of small, rounded delaminations at the interface is not of great concern. However, larger and/or fuel-clad delaminations with sharp corners can create areas of concern, as maximum principal cladding stress, strain, displacement, and peak fuel temperature are all significantly increased. Furthermore, stresses resulting from temperature gradients that cause the plate to bow or buckle in

  15. Swelling of U-7Mo/Al-Si dispersion fuel plates under irradiation - Non-destructive analysis of the AFIP-1 fuel plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wachs, D. M.; Robinson, A. B.; Rice, F. J.; Kraft, N. C.; Taylor, S. C.; Lillo, M.; Woolstenhulme, N.; Roth, G. A.

    2016-08-01

    Extensive fuel-matrix interactions leading to plate pillowing have proven to be a significant impediment to the development of a suitable high density low-enriched uranium molybdenum alloy (U-Mo) based dispersion fuel for high power applications in research reactors. The addition of silicon to the aluminum matrix was previously demonstrated to reduce interaction layer growth in mini-plate experiments. The AFIP-1 project involved the irradiation, in-canal examination, and post-irradiation examination of two fuel plates. The irradiation of two distinct full size, flat fuel plates (one using an Al-2wt%Si matrix and the other an Al-4043 (∼4.8 wt% Si) matrix) was performed in the INL ATR reactor in 2008-2009. The irradiation conditions were: ∼250 W/cm2 peak Beginning Of Life (BOL) power, with a ∼3.5e21 f/cm3 peak burnup. The plates were successfully irradiated and did not show any pillowing at the end of the irradiation. This paper reports the results and interpretation of the in-canal and post-irradiation non-destructive examinations that were performed on these fuel plates. It further compares additional PIE results obtained on fuel plates irradiated in contemporary campaigns in order to allow a complete comparison with all results obtained under similar conditions. Except for a brief indication of accelerated swelling early in the irradiation of the Al-2Si plate, the fuel swelling is shown to evolve linearly with the fission density through the maximum burnup.

  16. Fuel plate stability experiments and analysis for the Advanced Neutron Source

    SciTech Connect

    Swinson, W.F.; Battiste, R.L.; Luttrell, C.R.; Yahr, G.T.

    1993-05-01

    The planned reactor for the Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) will use closely spaced arrays of involute-shaped fuel plates that will be cooled by water flowing through the channels between the plates. There is concern that at certain coolant flow velocities, adjacent plates may deflect and touch, with resulting failure of the plates. Experiments have been conducted at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to examine this potential phenomenon. Results of the experiments and comparison with analytical predictions are reported. The tests were conducted using full-scale epoxy plate models of the aluminum/uranium silicide ANS involute-shaped fuel plates. Use of epoxy plates and model theory allowed lower flow velocities and pressures to explore the potential failure mechanism. Plate deflections and channel pressures as functions of the flow velocity are examined. Comparisons with mathematical models are noted.

  17. Microstructural Analysis of Irradiated U-Mo Fuel Plates: Recent Results

    SciTech Connect

    D. D. Keiser, Jr.; J. Jue; B. D. Miller; J. Gan; A. B. Robinson; P. V. Medvedev

    2012-03-01

    Microstructural characterization of irradiated dispersion and monolithic RERTR fuel plates using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is being performed in the Electron Microscopy Laboratory at the Idaho National Laboratory. The SEM analysis of samples from U-Mo dispersion fuel plates focuses primarily on the behavior of the Si that has been added to the Al matrix to improve the irradiation performance of the fuel plate and on the overall behavior of fission gases (e.g., Xe and Kr) that develop as bubbles in the fuel microstructure. For monolithic fuel plates, microstructural features of interest, include those found in the U-Mo foil and at the U-Mo/Zr and Zr/6061 Al cladding interfaces. For both dispersion and monolithic fuel plates, samples have been produced using an SEM equipped with a Focused Ion Beam (FIB). These samples are of very high quality and can be used to uncover some very unique microstructural features that are typically not observed when characterizing samples produced using more conventional techniques. Overall, for the dispersion fuel plates with matrices that contained Si, narrower fuel/matrix interaction layers are typically observed compared to the fuel plates with pure Al matrix, and for the monolithic fuel plates microstructural features have been observed in the U-10Mo foil that are similar to what have been observed in the fuel particles found in U-Mo dispersion fuels. Most recently, more prototypic monolithic fuel samples have been characterized and this paper describes the microstructures that have been observed in these samples.

  18. MECHANICALLY-JOINED PLATE-TYPE ALUMINUM-CLAD FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Erwin, J.H.

    1962-12-11

    A method of fabricating MTR-type fuel elements is described wherein dove- tailed joints are used to fasten fuel plates to supporting side members. The method comprises the steps of dove-tailing the lateral edges of the fuel plates, inserting the dove-tailed edges into corresponding recesses which are provided in a pair of supporting side members, and compressing the supporting side members in a direction so as to close the recesses onto the dove-tailed edges. (AEC)

  19. Enhanced HFIR overpower margin through improvements in fuel plate homogeneity inspection

    SciTech Connect

    Rothrock, R.B.; Hale, R.E.; Knight, R.W.; Cheverton, R.D.

    1995-09-01

    Fuel homogeneity inspection techniques used on the HFIR fuel plates have recently been improved through conversion of the X-ray inspection device to acquire, store, and process data digitally. This paper reports some early results from using the improved equipment and describes future plans for obtaining enhanced fuel thermal performance by exploiting this improved inspection capability.

  20. U-Mo Foil/Cladding Interactions in Friction Stir Welded Monolithic RERTR Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    D.D. Keiser; J.F. Jue; C.R. Clark

    2006-10-01

    Interaction between U-Mo fuel and Al has proven to dramatically impact the overall irradiation performance of RERTR dispersion fuels. It is of interest to better understand how similar interactions may affect the performance of monolithic fuel plates, where a uranium alloy fuel is sandwiched between aluminum alloy cladding. The monolithic fuel plate removes the fuel matrix entirely, which reduces the total surface area of the fuel that is available to react with the aluminum and moves the interface between the fuel and cladding to a colder region of the fuel plate. One of the major fabrication techniques for producing monolithic fuel plates is friction stir welding. This paper will discuss the interactions that can occur between the U-Mo foil and 6061 Al cladding when applying this fabrication technique. It has been determined that the time at high temperatures should be limited as much as is possible during fabrication or any post-fabrication treatment to reduce as much as possible the interactions between the foil and cladding. Without careful control of the fabrication process, significant interaction between the U-Mo foil and Al alloy cladding can result. The reaction layers produced from such interactions can exhibit notably different morphologies vis-à-vis those typically observed for dispersion fuels.

  1. Development and compatibility of magnesium matrix fuel plates clad with 6061 aluminum alloy.

    SciTech Connect

    Wiencek, T. C.

    1998-10-22

    Aluminum (Al) is a commonly used matrix for research reactor fuel plates. It has been found that a reaction between the fuel and the aluminum matrix may reduce or increase the irradiation stability of the fuel. To further understand the contribution of the reaction to the irradiation stability, experiments to develop a non-reacting matrix were performed. The work focused on magnesium (Mg), which is an excellent non-reacting matrix candidate and has a neutron absorption coefficient similar to Al. To avoid the formation of a liquid Al/Mg phase, improvements were made to the roll bonding process to achieve acceptable bonding at 415 C. After these methods were developed, fuel plates were produced with two fuels, uranium (U)-2 w/o molybdenum (Mo) and U-10-w/o Mo with two matrices, Al and Mg. A reaction between the magnesium and the 6061 Al cladding was discovered to take place during the processing at 415 C. To minimize the amount of reaction, methods were successfully developed to roll bond the fuel plates at 275 C. No reaction zone was observed in fuel plates processed at 275 C. Using this method, fuel plates with a Mg matrix are planned to be fabricated and included in the next irradiation matrix for the RERTR high density fuel development program.

  2. An Expert System to Analyze Homogeneity in Fuel Element Plates for Research Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Tolosa, S.C.; Marajofsky, A.

    2004-10-06

    In the manufacturing control of Fuel Element Plates for Research Reactors, one of the problems to be addressed is how to determine the U-density homogeneity in a fuel plate and how to obtain qualitative and quantitative information in order to establish acceptance or rejection criteria for such, as well as carrying out the quality follow-up. This paper is aimed at developing computing software which implements an Unsupervised Competitive Learning Neural Network for the acknowledgment of regions belonging to a digitalized gray scale image. This program is applied to x-ray images. These images are generated when the x-ray beams go through a fuel plate of approximately 60 cm x 8 cm x 0.1 cm thick. A Nuclear Fuel Element for Research Reactors usually consists of 18 to 22 of these plates, positioned in parallel, in an arrangement of 8 x 7 cm. Carrying out the inspection of the digitalized x-ray image, the neural network detects regions with different luminous densities corresponding to U-densities in the fuel plate. This is used in quality control to detect failures and verify acceptance criteria depending on the homogeneity of the plate. This modality of inspection is important as it allows the performance of non-destructive measurements and the automatic generation of the map of U-relative densities of the fuel plate.

  3. Fuel cell plates with skewed process channels for uniform distribution of stack compression load

    DOEpatents

    Granata, Jr., Samuel J.; Woodle, Boyd M.

    1989-01-01

    An electrochemical fuel cell includes an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, an electrolyte matrix sandwiched between electrodes, and a pair of plates above and below the electrodes. The plate above the electrodes has a lower surface with a first group of process gas flow channels formed thereon and the plate below the electrodes has an upper surface with a second group of process gas flow channels formed thereon. The channels of each group extend generally parallel to one another. The improvement comprises the process gas flow channels on the lower surface of the plate above the anode electrode and the process gas flow channels on the upper surface of the plate below the cathode electrode being skewed in opposite directions such that contact areas of the surfaces of the plates through the electrodes are formed in crisscross arrangements. Also, the plates have at least one groove in areas of the surfaces thereof where the channels are absent for holding process gas and increasing electrochemical activity of the fuel cell. The groove in each plate surface intersects with the process channels therein. Also, the opposite surfaces of a bipolar plate for a fuel cell contain first and second arrangements of process gas flow channels in the respective surfaces which are skewed the same amount in opposite directions relative to the longitudinal centerline of the plate.

  4. SEM Characterization of an Irradiated Monolithic U-10Mo Fuel Plate

    SciTech Connect

    D. D. Keiser, Jr.; J. F. Jue; A. B. Robinson

    2010-03-01

    Results of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) characterization of irradiated U-7Mo dispersion fuel plates with differing amounts of matrix Si have been reported. However, to date, no results of SEM analysis of irradiated U-Mo monolithic fuel plates have been reported. This paper describes the first SEM characterization results for an irradiated monolithic U-10Mo fuel plate. Two samples from this fuel plate were characterized. One sample was produced from the low-flux side of the fuel plate, and another was produced at the high-flux side of the fuel plate. This characterization focused on the microstructural features present at the U-10Mo foil/cladding interface, particularly the interaction zone that had developed during fabrication and irradiation. In addition, the microstructure of the foil itself was investigated, along with the morphology of the observed fission gas bubbles. It was observed that a Si-rich interaction layer was present at the U-10Mo foil/cladding interface that exhibited relatively good irradiation behavior, and within the U-10Mo foil the microstructural features differed in some respects from what is typically seen in the U-Mo powders of an irradiated dispersion fuel.

  5. Structural Behavior of Monolithic Fuel Plates During Hot Isostatic Pressing and Annealing

    SciTech Connect

    Pavel G. Medvedev; Hakan Ozaltun

    2010-03-01

    This paper presents results of the stress analysis in the monolithic fuel plates during thermal transients performed using COMSOL finite element analysis software. Large difference in the thermal expansion between the U-Mo foil and Al cladding is the main load origin during heating and cooling of the fuel plates. In addition, the mechanical behavior of the plate is affected by the difference in yield points between the foil and the cladding. This is manifested by the plastic deformation and permanent strains in the cladding, and elastic deformation of the foil. The results show existence of the critical temperature points at which the stresses change from compressive to tensile. The paper highlights principal differences in mechanical behavior between monolithic and dispersion fuel plates, underlines the need for mechanical property data, especially for the U-Mo alloys, and discusses the methodology for mechanical analysis of the monolithic plates.

  6. Comparison of traditional nondestructive analysis of RERTR fuel plates with digital radiographic techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Davidsmeier, T.; Koehl, R.; Lanham, R.; O'Hare, E.; Wiencek, T

    2008-07-15

    The current design and fabrication process for RERTR fuel plates utilizes film radiography during the nondestructive testing and characterization. Digital radiographic methods offer a potential increases in efficiency and accuracy. The traditional and digital radiographic methods are described and demonstrated on a fuel plate constructed with and average of 51% by volume fuel using the dispersion method. Fuel loading data from each method is analyzed and compared to a third baseline method to assess accuracy. The new digital method is shown to be more accurate, save hours of work, and provide additional information not easily available in the traditional method. Additional possible improvements suggested by the new digital method are also raised. (author)

  7. Corrosion-resistant, electrically-conductive plate for use in a fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Carter, J. David; Mawdsley, Jennifer R.; Niyogi, Suhas; Wang, Xiaoping; Cruse, Terry; Santos, Lilia

    2010-04-20

    A corrosion resistant, electrically-conductive, durable plate at least partially coated with an anchor coating and a corrosion resistant coating. The corrosion resistant coating made of at least a polymer and a plurality of corrosion resistant particles each having a surface area between about 1-20 m.sup.2/g and a diameter less than about 10 microns. Preferably, the plate is used as a bipolar plate in a proton exchange membrane (PEMFC) fuel cell stack.

  8. The potential pyrophoricity of BMI-SPEC and aluminum plate spent fuels retrieved from underwater storage

    SciTech Connect

    Ebner, M.A.

    1996-08-01

    Physical/chemical factors in U metal and hydride combustion, particularly pyrophoricity in ambient environment, were evaluated for BMI-SPEC and UAl{sub x} plate fuels. Some metal fuels may be highly reactive (spontaneously igniting in air) due to high specific surface area, high decay heat, or a high U hydride content from corrosion during underwater storage. However, for the BMI-SPEC and the aluminum plate fuels, this reactivity is too low to present a realistic threat of uncontrolled spontaneous combustion at ambient conditions. While residual U hydride is expected in these corroded fuels, the hydride levels are expected to be too low and the configuration too unfavorable to ignite the fuel meat when the fuels are retrieved from the basin and dried. Furthermore the composition and microstructure of the UAl{sub x} fuels further mitigate that risk.

  9. EVALUATION OF U10MO FUEL PLATE IRRADIATION BEHAVIOR VIA NUMERICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL BENCHMARKING

    SciTech Connect

    Samuel J. Miller; Hakan Ozaltun

    2012-11-01

    This article analyzes dimensional changes due to irradiation of monolithic plate-type nuclear fuel and compares results with finite element analysis of the plates during fabrication and irradiation. Monolithic fuel plates tested in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Lab (INL) are being used to benchmark proposed fuel performance for several high power research reactors. Post-irradiation metallographic images of plates sectioned at the midpoint were analyzed to determine dimensional changes of the fuel and the cladding response. A constitutive model of the fabrication process and irradiation behavior of the tested plates was developed using the general purpose commercial finite element analysis package, Abaqus. Using calculated burn-up profiles of irradiated plates to model the power distribution and including irradiation behaviors such as swelling and irradiation enhanced creep, model simulations allow analysis of plate parameters that are either impossible or infeasible in an experimental setting. The development and progression of fabrication induced stress concentrations at the plate edges was of primary interest, as these locations have a unique stress profile during irradiation. Additionally, comparison between 2D and 3D models was performed to optimize analysis methodology. In particular, the ability of 2D and 3D models account for out of plane stresses which result in 3-dimensional creep behavior that is a product of these components. Results show that assumptions made in 2D models for the out-of-plane stresses and strains cannot capture the 3-dimensional physics accurately and thus 2D approximations are not computationally accurate. Stress-strain fields are dependent on plate geometry and irradiation conditions, thus, if stress based criteria is used to predict plate behavior (as opposed to material impurities, fine micro-structural defects, or sharp power gradients), unique 3D finite element formulation for each plate is required.

  10. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  11. UPDATE ON FRICTION BONDING OF MONOLITHIC U-MO FUEL PLATES

    SciTech Connect

    D. E. Burkes; N. P. Hallinan; J. M. Wight; M. D. Chapple

    2007-09-01

    Friction Bonding (FB), formerly referred to as Friction Stir Welding, is an alternative plate fabrication technique to encapsulate monolithic U-Mo fuel foils inside 6061-T6 aluminum alloy cladding. Over the past year, significant progress has been made in the area of FB, including improvements in tool material, tool design, process parameters, cooling capability and capacity and modeling, all of which improve and enhance the quality of fabricated fuel plates, reproducibility of the fabrication process and bond quality of the fuel plates. Details of this progress and how it relates to the observed improvements and enhancements are discussed. In addition, details on how these improvements have been implemented into the last two RERTR mini-plate irradiation campaigns are also discussed.

  12. Update on friction bonding of monolithic U-Mo fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Burkes, D.E.; Hallinan, N.P.; Wight, J.M.; Chapple, M.D.

    2008-07-15

    Friction Bonding (FB), formerly referred to as Friction Stir Welding, is an alternative plate fabrication technique to encapsulate monolithic U-Mo fuel foils inside 6061-T6 aluminum alloy cladding. Over the past year, significant progress has been made in the area of FB, including improvements in tool material, tool design, process parameters, cooling capability and capacity and modeling, all of which improve and enhance the quality of fabricated fuel plates, reproducibility of the fabrication process and bond quality of the fuel plates. Details of this progress and how it relates to the observed improvements and enhancements are discussed. In addition, details on how these improvements have been implemented into the last two RERTR mini-plate irradiation campaigns are also discussed. (author)

  13. SEM and TEM Characterization of As-Fabricated U-7Mo Disperson Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    D. D. Keiser, Jr.; B. Yao; E. Perez; Y. H. Sohn

    2009-11-01

    The starting microstructure of a dispersion fuel plate can have a dramatic impact on the overall performance of the plate during irradiation. To improve the understanding of the as-fabricated microstructures of dispersion fuel plates, SEM and TEM analysis have been performed on RERTR-9A archive fuel plates, which went through an additional hot isostatic procsssing (HIP) step during fabrication. The fuel plates had depleted U-7Mo fuel particles dispersed in either Al-2Si or 4043 Al alloy matrix. For the characterized samples, it was observed that a large fraction of the ?-phase U-7Mo alloy particles had decomposed during fabrication, and in areas near the fuel/matrix interface where the transformation products were present significant fuel/matrix interaction had occurred. Relatively thin Si-rich interaction layers were also observed around the U-7Mo particles. In the thick interaction layers, (U)(Al,Si)3 and U6Mo4Al43 were identified, and in the thin interaction layers U(Al,Si)3, U3Si3Al2, U3Si5, and USi1.88-type phases were observed. The U3Si3Al2 phase contained some Mo. Based on the results of this work, exposure of dispersion fuel plates to relatively high temperatures during fabrication impacts the overall microstructure, particularly the nature of the interaction layers around the fuel particles. The time and temperature of fabrication should be carefully controlled in order to produce the most uniform Si-rich layers around the U-7Mo particles.

  14. Optimum design of bipolar plates for separate air flow cooling system of PEM fuel cells stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franco, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

    The paper discusses about thermal management of PEM fuel cells. The objective is to define criteria and guidelines for the design of the air flow cooling system of fuel cells stacks for different combination of power density, bipolar plates material, air flow rate, operating temperature It is shown that the optimization of the geometry of the channel permits interesting margins for maintaining the use of separate air flow cooling systems for high power density PEM fuel cells.

  15. Neutron diffraction measurement of residual stresses in Al-clad U-10Mo fuel plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, D. W.; Okuniewski, M. A.; Clausen, B.; Moore, G. A.; Sisneros, T. A.

    2016-06-01

    Neutron diffraction was used to determine residual stress in monolithic two Al-clad U 10 weight percent Mo mini-fuel plates and a full sized fuel plate. One mini-plate was cooled following hot isostatic pressing at a rate of 6.75 °C/min, the second at 0.675 °C/min. A non-traditional method of calibrating the neutron diffractometer at each measurement point was necessitated by the thin nature of the sample. The in-plane stresses in the U-10Mo foils are relatively large, -250 MPa in the U-10Mo foil of the fast cooled mini-plate,-150 MPa in the slow cooled mini-plate and -275 MPa in the full-sized plate. Likewise, the in-plane stresses in the Al-cladding of the fast-cooled mini-plate and full-sized plate were determined to reach ∼50 MPa, while in the slow-cooled sample the stresses in the Al cladding were on the level of the measurement uncertainty. The in-plane stresses in the Zr diffusion barrier were estimated to be as large as -300 MPa.

  16. Characterization of an Irradiated RERTR-7 Fuel Plate Using Transmission Electron Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    J. Gan; D. D. Keiser, Jr.; B. D. Miller; A. B. Robinson; P. Medvedev

    2010-03-01

    Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been used to characterize an irradiated fuel plate with Al-2Si matrix from the RERTR-7 experiment that was irradiated under moderate reactor conditions. The results of this work showed the presence of a bubble superlattice within the U-7Mo grains that accommodated fission gases (e.g., Xe). The presence of this structure helps the U-7Mo exhibit a stable swelling behaviour during irradiation. Furthermore, TEM analysis showed that the Si-rich interaction layers that develop around the fuel particles at the U-7Mo/matrix interface during fuel plate fabrication and irradiation become amorphous during irradiation, and in regions of the interaction layer that have relatively high Si concentrations the fission gas bubbles remain small and contained within the layer but in areas with lower Si concentrations the bubbles grow in size. An important question that remains to be answered about the irradiation behaviour of U-Mo dispersion fuels, is how do more aggressive irradiation conditions affect the behaviour of fission gases within the U-7Mo fuel particles and in the amorphous interaction layers on the microstructural scale that can be characterized using TEM? This paper discusses the results of TEM analysis that was performed on a sample taken from an irradiated RERTR-7 fuel plate with Al-2Si matrix. This plate was exposed to more aggressive irradiation conditions than was the sample taken from the RERTR-6 plate. The microstructural features present within the U-7Mo and the amorphous interaction layers will be discussed. The results of this analysis will be compared to what was observed in the earlier RERTR-6 fuel plate characterization.

  17. The Role of Friction Stir Welding in Nuclear Fuel Plate Fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    D Burkes; P Medvedev; M Chapple; A Amritkar; P Wells; I Charit

    2009-02-01

    The friction bonding process combines desirable attributes of both friction stir welding and friction stir processing. The development of the process is spurred on by the need to fabricate thin, high density, reduced enrichment fuel plates for nuclear research reactors. The work seeks to convert research and test reactors currently operating on highly enriched uranium fuel to operate on low enriched uranium fuel without significant loss in reactor performance, safety characteristics, or significant increase in cost. In doing so, the threat of global nuclear material proliferation will be reduced. Feasibility studies performed on the process show that this is a viable option for mass production of plate-type nuclear fuel. Adapting the friction stir weld process for nuclear fuel fabrication has resulted in the development of several unique ideas and observations. Preliminary results of this adaptation and process model development are discussed.

  18. Automated brush plating process for solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Long, Jeffrey William

    2003-01-01

    A method of depositing a metal coating (28) on the interconnect (26) of a tubular, hollow fuel cell (10) contains the steps of providing the fuel cell (10) having an exposed interconnect surface (26); contacting the inside of the fuel cell (10) with a cathode (45) without use of any liquid materials; passing electrical current through a contacting applicator (46) which contains a metal electrolyte solution; passing the current from the applicator (46) to the cathode (45) and contacting the interconnect (26) with the applicator (46) and coating all of the exposed interconnect surface.

  19. Laminated exfoliated graphite composite-metal compositions for fuel cell flow field plate or bipolar plate applications

    DOEpatents

    Zhamu, Aruna; Shi, Jinjun; Guo, Jiusheng; Jang, Bor Z

    2014-05-20

    An electrically conductive laminate composition for fuel cell flow field plate or bipolar plate applications. The laminate composition comprises at least a thin metal sheet having two opposed exterior surfaces and a first exfoliated graphite composite sheet bonded to the first of the two exterior surfaces of the metal sheet wherein the exfoliated graphite composite sheet comprises: (a) expanded or exfoliated graphite and (b) a binder or matrix material to bond the expanded graphite for forming a cohered sheet, wherein the binder or matrix material is between 3% and 60% by weight based on the total weight of the first exfoliated graphite composite sheet. Preferably, the first exfoliated graphite composite sheet further comprises particles of non-expandable graphite or carbon in the amount of between 3% and 60% by weight based on the total weight of the non-expandable particles and the expanded graphite. Further preferably, the laminate comprises a second exfoliated graphite composite sheet bonded to the second surface of the metal sheet to form a three-layer laminate. Surface flow channels and other desired geometric features can be built onto the exterior surfaces of the laminate to form a flow field plate or bipolar plate. The resulting laminate has an exceptionally high thickness-direction conductivity and excellent resistance to gas permeation.

  20. Highly conductive thermoplastic composites for rapid production of fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Huang, Jianhua [Blacksburg, VA; Baird, Donald G [Blacksburg, VA; McGrath, James E [Blacksburg, VA

    2008-04-29

    A low cost method of fabricating bipolar plates for use in fuel cells utilizes a wet lay process for combining graphite particles, thermoplastic fibers, and reinforcing fibers to produce a plurality of formable sheets. The formable sheets are then molded into a bipolar plates with features impressed therein via the molding process. The bipolar plates formed by the process have conductivity in excess of 150 S/cm and have sufficient mechanical strength to be used in fuel cells. The bipolar plates can be formed as a skin/core laminate where a second polymer material is used on the skin surface which provides for enhanced conductivity, chemical resistance, and resistance to gas permeation.

  1. Preparation and properties of high performance nanocomposite bipolar plate for fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yen, Chuan-Yu; Liao, Shu-Hang; Lin, Yu-Feng; Hung, Chih-Hung; Lin, Yao-Yu; Ma, Chen-Chi M.

    This study aims at developing lightweight and high performance composite bipolar plates for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The thin polymer composite bipolar plates (the thickness <1.5 mm) containing of vinyl ester resin, graphite powder, organoclay have been fabricated by bulk molding compound (BMC) process. Organoclay was prepared by ionic exchange of montmorillonite (MMT) with three different molecular weight (M w) of poly(oxypropylene)-backboned diamine intercalating agents. Results indicate that the basal spacing and content of MMT varied with M w of POP-diamines are critical in determining the resultant mechanical properties for bipolar plates. Flexural strength of MMT composite plates was increased from 30.21 to 45.66 MPa by adding 2 phr of MMT. The flexural strength of the plate was also ca. 38% higher than the pristine graphite plate as the basal spacing of MMT was increased from 1.71 to 5.43 nm. Meanwhile, the unnotched impact strength of the composite plates was increased from 58.11 to 80.21 J m -1. The unnotched impact strength of the plate was ca. 30% higher than that of the original graphite plates as the basal spacing of MMT was increased from 1.71 to 5.43 nm. The limiting oxygen index (LOI) and the UL-94 test revealed that the bipolar plate possesses excellent flame retardant with LOI >50 and UL-94-V0. The thermal decomposition temperature of each MMT composite plate is also higher than 250 °C. In addition, the bulk electrical conductivity of the bipolar plate with different MMT contents and basal spacing of MMT is higher than 100 S cm -1. The corrosion current is less than 10 -7 A cm -2. Results confirm that the addition of MMT leads to a significant improvement on the performance of the composite bipolar plate.

  2. Edge seal for a porous gas distribution plate of a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Feigenbaum, Haim; Pudick, Sheldon; Singh, Rajindar

    1984-01-01

    In an improved seal for a gas distribution plate of a fuel cell, a groove is provided extending along an edge of the plate. A member of resinous material is arranged within the groove and a paste comprising an immobilized acid is arranged surrounding the member and substantially filling the groove. The seal, which is impervious to the gas being distributed, is resistant to deterioration by the electrolyte of the cell.

  3. Analysis on the design and property of flow field plates of innovative direct methanol fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ho; Kao, Mu-Jung; Chen, Chih-Hao; Kuo, Chin-Guo; Lee, Kuang-Ying

    2014-10-01

    The paper uses technology of lithography process to etch flow fields on single side of a printed circuit board (PCB), and combines flow field plate with collector plate to make innovative anode flow field plates and cathode flow field plates required in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), and meanwhile makes membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and methanol fuel plate. The flow field plates are designed to be in the form of serpentine flow field. The paper measured the assembled DMFC to achieve the overall efficiency of DMFC under the conditions of different screw torques and different concentration, flow rate and temperature of methanol. Experimental results show that when the flow field width of flow field plate is 1 mm, the screw torque is 16 kgf/cm, and the concentration, flow rate and temperature of methanol-water are 1 M, 180 ml/h and 50 degrees C respectively, the prepared DMFC can have better power density of 5.5 mW/cm2, 5.4 mW/cm2, 11.2 mW/cm2 and 11.8 mW/cm2. Besides, the volume of the DMFC designed and assembled by the study is smaller than the generally existing DMFC by 40%. PMID:25942924

  4. A study of the effect of fabrication variables on the void content and quality of fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Wiencek, T.C.

    1986-10-01

    The control of void content and quality of dispersion type fuel plates fabricated for research and test reactors are issues of concern to plate fabricators. These two variables were studied by examining the data for various geometries of fuel plates fabricated at ANL. It was found that the porosity of a fuel plate can be increased by: (1) decreasing the fuel particle size, (2) increasing the fuel particle surface roughness, (3) increasing the matrix strength, (4) decreasing the rolling temperature, (5) decreasing the final fuel zone thickness, and (6) increasing the volume percentage of the fuel. Porosity formation is controlled by bulk movement and deformation and/or fracture of particles. The most important factor is the flow stress of the matrix material. Lowering the flow stress will decrease the plate porosity. The percentage of plates with fuel-out-of-zone is a function of the fuel material and the loading. The highest percentage of plates with fuel-out-of-zone were those with U3Si2 which is at this time the most commonly used silicide fuel.

  5. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates. Part 2: Single-cell fuel cell evaluation of stamped plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toops, Todd J.; Brady, Michael P.; Tortorelli, Peter F.; Pihl, Josh A.; Estevez, Francisco; Connors, Daniel; Garzon, Fernando; Rockward, Tommy; Gervasio, Don; Mylan, William; Kosaraju, Sree Harsha

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flow field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited ∼5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.

  6. Performance evaluation and characterization of metallic bipolar plates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Yue

    Bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) are the two most repeated components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack. Bipolar plates comprise more than 60% of the weight and account for 30% of the total cost of a fuel cell stack. The bipolar plates perform as current conductors between cells, provide conduits for reactant gases, facilitate water and thermal management through the cell, and constitute the backbone of a power stack. In addition, bipolar plates must have excellent corrosion resistance to withstand the highly corrosive environment inside the fuel cell, and they must maintain low interfacial contact resistance throughout the operation to achieve optimum power density output. Currently, commercial bipolar plates are made of graphite composites because of their relatively low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and high corrosion resistance. However, graphite composite's manufacturability, permeability, and durability for shock and vibration are unfavorable in comparison to metals. Therefore, metals have been considered as a replacement material for graphite composite bipolar plates. Since bipolar plates must possess the combined advantages of both metals and graphite composites in the fuel cell technology, various methods and techniques are being developed to combat metallic corrosion and eliminate the passive layer formed on the metal surface that causes unacceptable power reduction and possible fouling of the catalyst and the electrolyte. The main objective of this study was to explore the possibility of producing efficient, cost-effective and durable metallic bipolar plates that were capable of functioning in the highly corrosive fuel cell environment. Bulk materials such as Poco graphite, graphite composite, SS310, SS316, incoloy 800, titanium carbide and zirconium carbide were investigated as potential bipolar plate materials. In this work, different alloys and compositions of chromium carbide coatings on aluminum and SS316

  7. Materials and design development for bipolar/end plates in fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Atul; Reddy, Ramana G.

    Bipolar/end plate is one of the most important and costliest components of the fuel cell stack and accounts to more than 80% of the total weight of the stack. In the present work, we focus on the development of alternative materials and design concepts for these plates. A prototype one-cell polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack made out of SS-316 bipolar/end plate was fabricated and assembled. The use of porous material in the gas flow-field of bipolar/end plates was proposed, and the performance of these was compared to the conventional channel type of design. Three different porous materials were investigated, viz. Ni-Cr metal foam (50 PPI), SS-316 metal foam (20 PPI), and the carbon cloth. It was seen that the performance of fuel cell with Ni-Cr metal foam was highest, and decreased in the order SS-316 metal foam, conventional multi-parallel flow-field channel design and carbon cloth. This trend was explained based on the effective permeability of the gas flow-field in the bipolar/end plates. The use of metal foams with low permeability values resulted in an increased pressure drop across the flow-field which enhanced the cell performance.

  8. Microstructural Characterization of Burnable Absorber Materials Being Evaluated for Application in LEU U-Mo Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    J. F. Jue; B. Miller; B. Yao; E. Perez; Y. H. Sohn

    2011-03-01

    The starting microstructure of a fuel plate will impact how it performs during irradiation. As a result, microstructural characterization has been performed on as-fabricated monolithic fuel plates to determine the changes in fuel plate microstructure that may result from changes in fabrication parameters. Particular focus has been given to the fuel plate U-10Mo/Zr and Zr/AA6061 cladding interfaces, since the integrity of these interfaces will play a big role in determining the overall performance of the fuel plate during irradiation. In addition, burnable absorber materials for potential incorporation into monolithic fuel plates have been characterized to identify their as-fabricated microstructures. This information will be important when trying to understand the PIE data from fuel plates with burnable absorbers that are irradiated in future irradiation experiments. This paper will focus on the microstructures observed using optical metallography, X-ray diffraction, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy for monolithic fuel plates exposed to different fabrication parameters and for as-fabricated burnable absorber materials.

  9. Evaluation of silver-coated stainless steel bipolar plates for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Ing-Bang

    In this study, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology were applied to develop and produce stainless steel bipolar plates for DMFC (direct methanol fuel cell). Effect of surface modification on the cell performance of DMFC was investigated. Surface modifications of the stainless steel bipolar plates were made by the electroless plating method. A DMFC consisting of silver coated stainless steel as anode and uncoated stainless steel as cathode was assembled and evaluated. The methanol crossover rate (R c) of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) was decreased by about 52.8%, the efficiency (E f) of DMFC increased about 7.1% and amounts of methanol electro-oxidation at the cathode side (M co) were decreased by about 28.6%, as compared to uncoated anode polar plates. These measurements were determined by the transient current and mathematical analysis.

  10. Carbon composite bipolar plate for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dongyoung; Lee, Dai Gil

    2016-09-01

    A carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plate is an ideal substitute for the brittle graphite bipolar plate for lightweight proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) because of its high specific strength and stiffness. However, conventional carbon/epoxy composite bipolar plates are not applicable for high-temperature PEMFCs (HT-PEMFCs) because these systems are operated at higher temperatures than the glass transition temperatures of conventional epoxies. Therefore, in this study, a cyanate ester-modified epoxy is adopted for the development of a carbon composite bipolar plate for HT-PEMFCs. The composite bipolar plate with exposed surface carbon fibers is produced without any surface treatments or coatings to increase the productivity and is integrated with a silicone gasket to reduce the assembly cost. The developed carbon composite bipolar plate exhibits not only superior electrical properties but also high thermo-mechanical properties. In addition, a unit cell test is performed, and the results are compared with those of the conventional graphite bipolar plate.

  11. Low-Cost Composite Materials for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Busick, D.N.; Wilson, M.S.

    1998-11-01

    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCS) are under widespread development to produce electrical power for a variety of stationary and transportation applications. To date, the bipolar plate remains the most problematic and costly component of PEFC stacks (1). In addition to meeting cost constraints, bipolar plates must possess a host of other properties, the most important of which are listed in Table 1. The most commonly used material for single cell testing is machined graphite, which is expensive and costly to machine. The brittle nature of graphite also precludes the use of thin components for reducing stack size and weight, which is particularly important for transportation applications. Other stack designs consider the use of metal hardware such as stainless steel (2,3). But a number of disadvantages are associated with stainless steel, including high density, high cost of machining, and possible corrosion in the fuel cell environment. In light of these difficulties, much of the recent work on fuel cell bipolar plate materials has concentrated on graphite/polymer composites (4--8). Composite materials offer the potential advantages of lower cost, lower weight, and greater ease of manufacture than traditional graphite and metal plates. For instance, flow fields can be molded directly into these composites, thereby eliminating the costly and difficult machining step required for graphite or metal hardware.

  12. Nonlinear analysis of hydraulic buckling instability of ANS involute fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Sartory, W.K.

    1993-03-01

    The hydraulic buckling instability of the involute fuel plates and hydraulic coolant channels in the Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) uranium fission reactor is analyzed nonlinearly using the commercial ABAQUS finite element computer program for the fuel plates in conjunction with a user-written element for the two-dimensional fluid flow in the coolant channels. This methodology has been used for several purposes, including determination of the effect of the aluminum-clad plate plastic behavior and the effect of three-dimensional plate temperature distributions on hydraulic buckling. The present report concentrates on a study of the effect of hydraulic channel imperfections on buckling. The specific form of imperfection considered is an error in fluid channel thickness that is uniform within any one channel but that varies from one channel to the next. The calculated bifurcation (linear buckling) coolant velocity is about 45 m/s, whereas the present design coolant velocity is 25 m/s. At the design velocity, the calculated fluid-induced plate deflection due to the imperfection is somewhat less in magnitude and opposite in direction from the imperfection itself.

  13. Characterization of commercially pure aluminum powder for research reactor fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, V.D. ); Wiencek, T.C. )

    1992-01-01

    Aluminum powder is used as the matrix material in the production of uranium aluminide, oxide, and silicide dispersion fuel plates for research and test reactors. variability in the characteristics of the aluminum powder, such as moisture content and particle-size distribution, influences blending and compacting of the aluminum/fuel powder. A detailed study was performed to characterize the physical properties of three aluminum powder lots. An angle-of-shear test was devised to characterize the cohesiveness of the aluminum powder. Flow-rate measurements, apparent density determination, subsieve analysis, surface area measurements, and scanning electron microscopy were also used in the study. It was found that because of the various types of commercially available powders, proper specification of powder variables will ensure the receipt of consistent raw materials. Improved control of the initial powder will reduce the variability of fuel-plate production and will improve overall plate reproducibility. It is recommended that a standard specification be written for the aluminum powder and silicide fuel.

  14. Characterization of commercially pure aluminum powder for research reactor fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, V.D.; Wiencek, T.C.

    1992-11-01

    Aluminum powder is used as the matrix material in the production of uranium aluminide, oxide, and silicide dispersion fuel plates for research and test reactors. variability in the characteristics of the aluminum powder, such as moisture content and particle-size distribution, influences blending and compacting of the aluminum/fuel powder. A detailed study was performed to characterize the physical properties of three aluminum powder lots. An angle-of-shear test was devised to characterize the cohesiveness of the aluminum powder. Flow-rate measurements, apparent density determination, subsieve analysis, surface area measurements, and scanning electron microscopy were also used in the study. It was found that because of the various types of commercially available powders, proper specification of powder variables will ensure the receipt of consistent raw materials. Improved control of the initial powder will reduce the variability of fuel-plate production and will improve overall plate reproducibility. It is recommended that a standard specification be written for the aluminum powder and silicide fuel.

  15. Nuclear reactor fuel structure containing uranium alloy wires embedded in a metallic matrix plate

    DOEpatents

    Travelli, A.

    1985-10-25

    A flat or curved plate structure, to be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor, comprises elongated fissionable wires or strips embedded in a metallic continuous non-fissionable matrix plate. The wires or strips are made predominantly of a malleable uranium alloy, such as uranium silicide, uranium gallide or uranium germanide. The matrix plate is made predominantly of aluminum or an aluminum alloy. The wires or strips are located in a single row at the midsurface of the plate, parallel with one another and with the length dimension of the plate. The wires or strips are separated from each other, and from the surface of the plate, by sufficient thicknesses of matrix material, to provide structural integrity and effective fission product retention, under neutron irradiation. This construction makes it safely feasible to provide a high uranium density, so that the uranium enrichment with uranium 235 may be reduced below about 20%, to deter the reprocessing of the uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

  16. Nuclear reactor fuel structure containing uranium alloy wires embedded in a metallic matrix plate

    DOEpatents

    Travelli, Armando

    1988-01-01

    A flat or curved plate structure, to be used as fuel in a nuclear reactor, comprises elongated fissionable wires or strips embedded in a metallic continuous non-fissionable matrix plate. The wires or strips are made predominantly of a malleable uranium alloy, such as uranium silicide, uranium gallide or uranium germanide. The matrix plate is made predominantly of aluminum or an aluminum alloy. The wires or strips are located in a single row at the midsurface of the plate, parallel with one another and with the length dimension of the plate. The wires or strips are separated from each other, and from the surface of the plate, by sufficient thicknesses of matrix material, to provide structural integrity and effective fission product retention, under neutron irradiation. This construction makes it safely feasible to provide a high uranium density, so that the uranium enrichment with uranium 235 may be reduced below about 20%, to deter the reprocessing of the uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

  17. Analytical and experimental investigation of the dispersion process during rapid transients for the aluminum-based nuclear fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Georgevich, V.; Taleyarkhan, R.P.; Kim, S.H.; Fuketa, T.; Soyama, K.; Ishijima, K.

    1995-06-01

    A thermally induced fuel-plate dispersion model was developed to analyze for dispersive potential and determine the onset of fuel plate dispersion for aluminum-based research and test reactor fuels. The effect of rapid energy deposition in a fuel plate was simulated. Several data types for aluminum-based fuels tested in the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor (NSRR) facility in Japan and in the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility in Idaho, US, were reviewed. Analyses of experiments show that the onset of fuel dispersion is clearly linked to a sharp rise in the predicted strain rate, which further coincides with the onset of aluminum vaporization. Analysis also shows that aluminum oxidation and exothermal chemical reaction between the fuel and aluminum can significantly affect: the energy deposition characteristics and, therefore dispersion onset connected with aluminum vaporization, and the onset of aluminum vaporization.

  18. Validation of ATR Fission Power Deposition Fraction in HEU and LEU Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    G. S. Chang

    2008-09-01

    The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a high power (250 MW), high neutron flux research reactor operating in the United States. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum unperturbed thermal neutron flux rating of 1.0 x 1015 n/cm2–s. Because of its high power and large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting an HEU driven reactor to a low-enriched core. A detailed plate-by-plate MCNP ATR full core model has been developed and validated for the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel conversion feasibility study. Using this model, an analysis has been performed to determine the LEU density and U-235 enrichment required in the fuel meat to yield equivalent K-eff versus effective full power days (EFPDs) between the HEU and LEU cores. This model has also been used to optimize U-235 content of the LEU core, minimizing the differences in K-eff and heat flux profile between the HEU and LEU cores at 115 MW total core power for 125 EFPDs. The LEU core conversion feasibility study evaluated foil type (U-10Mo) fuel with the LEU reference design of 19.7 wt% U-235 enrichment. The LEU reference design has a fixed fuel meat thickness of 0.330 mm and can sustain the same operating cycle length as the HEU fuel. Heat flux and fission power density are parameters that are proportional to the fraction of fission power deposited in fuel. Thus, the accurate determination of the fraction of fission power deposited in the fuel is important to ATR nuclear safety. In this work, a new approach was developed and validated, the Tally Fuel Cells Only (TFCO) method. This method calculates and compares the fission power deposition fraction between HEU and LEU fuel plates. Due to the high density of the U-10Mo LEU fuel, the fission ?-energy deposition fraction is 37.12%, which is larger than the HEU’s ?-energy deposition fraction of 19.7%. As a result, the fuel decay heat cooling will need to be improved

  19. Two-Dimensional Diffusion Theory Analysis of Reactivity Effects of a Fuel-Plate-Removal Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gotsky, Edward R.; Cusick, James P.; Bogart, Donald

    1959-01-01

    Two-dimensional two-group diffusion calculations were performed on the NASA reactor simulator in order to evaluate the reactivity effects of fuel plates removed successively from the center experimental fuel element of a seven- by three-element core loading at the Oak Ridge Bulk Shielding Facility. The reactivity calculations were performed by two methods: In the first, the slowing-down properties of the experimental fuel element were represented by its infinite media parameters; and, in the second, the finite size of the experimental fuel element was recognized, and the slowing-down properties of the surrounding core were attributed to this small region. The latter calculation method agreed very well with the experimented reactivity effects; the former method underestimated the experimental reactivity effects.

  20. Thermal Hydraulic Characteristics of Fuel Defects in Plate Type Nuclear Research Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Bodey, Isaac T

    2014-05-01

    Turbulent flow coupled with heat transfer is investigated for a High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) fuel plate. The Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes Models are used for fluid dynamics and the transfer of heat from a thermal nuclear fuel plate using the Multi-physics code COMSOL. Simulation outcomes are compared with experimental data from the Advanced Neutron Source Reactor Thermal Hydraulic Test Loop. The computational results for the High Flux Isotope Reactor core system provide a more physically accurate simulation of this system by modeling the turbulent flow field in conjunction with the diffusion of thermal energy within the solid and fluid phases of the model domain. Recommendations are made regarding Nusselt number correlations and material properties for future thermal hydraulic modeling efforts

  1. An experimental investigation of the interaction of primary and secondary stresses in fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Swinson, W.F.; Battiste, R.L.; Yahr, G.T.

    1996-02-01

    If the load is not relieved as a structure starts to yield, the induced stress is defined as primary stress. If the load relaxes, as a structure begins yield the induced stress is defined as secondary stress. In design it is not uncommon to give more weight to primary stresses than to secondary stresses. However, knowing when this is good design practice and when it is not good design practice represents a problem. In particular, the fuel plates in operating reactors contain both primary stresses and secondary stresses and to properly assess a design there is a need to assign design weights to the stresses. Tests were conducted on reactor fuel plates intended for the Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) to determine the potential of giving different design weights to the primary and secondary stresses. The results of these tests and the conclusion that the stresses should be weighted the same are given in this paper.

  2. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2000-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  3. Bipolar plate/diffuser for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Besmann, Theodore M.; Burchell, Timothy D.

    2001-01-01

    A combination bipolar plate/diffuser fuel cell component includes an electrically conducting solid material having: a porous region having a porous surface; and a hermetic region, the hermetic region defining at least a portion of at least one coolant channel, the porous region defining at least a portion of at least one reactant channel, the porous region defining a flow field medium for diffusing the reactant to the porous surface.

  4. Design and performance of tubular flat-plate solid oxide fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Matsushima, T.; Ikeda, D.; Kanagawa, H.

    1996-12-31

    With the growing interest in conserving the environmental conditions, much attention is being paid to Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), which has high energy-conversion efficiency. Many organizations have conducted studies on tubular and flat type SOFCs. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) has studied a combined tubular flat-plate SOFC, and already presented the I-V characteristics of a single cell. Here, we report the construction of a stack of this SOFC cell and successful generation tests results.

  5. Cost and performance prospects for composite bipolar plates in fuel cells and redox flow batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minke, Christine; Hickmann, Thorsten; dos Santos, Antonio R.; Kunz, Ulrich; Turek, Thomas

    2016-02-01

    Carbon-polymer-composite bipolar plates (BPP) are suitable for fuel cell and flow battery applications. The advantages of both components are combined in a product with high electrical conductivity and good processability in convenient polymer forming processes. In a comprehensive techno-economic analysis of materials and production processes cost factors are quantified. For the first time a technical cost model for BPP is set up with tight integration of material characterization measurements.

  6. Development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Shiauh-Ping; Lee, Chun-I.; Chen, Chi-Chang; Chang, Wen-Sheng; Yang, Chang-Chung

    2015-06-01

    This study presents the development of novel proton exchange membrane fuel cells using stamped metallic bipolar plates. To achieve uniformly distributed and low pressure-drop flow fields within fuel cells, a novel bipolar plate with straight channels is designed and verification of a fuel-cell short stack using this bipolar plate is performed. In the experiments, low-temperature and low-humidity operations and high-temperature and high-humidity operations are adopted to evaluate effects of stack temperature and inlet relative humidity on performance at various outlet pressures. Experimental results show that under low-temperature and low-humidity operations, increasing the outlet pressure enhances stack performance and reduces performance differences between various stack temperatures. Under high-temperature and high-humidity operations, stack performance increases with increasing outlet pressures, while the extent of their increase becomes smaller. Compared to low-temperature and low-humidity operations, high-temperature and high-humidity operations have better electrochemical reactions and membrane hydration and, thus, better stack performance. In this study, the operation with a stack temperature of 80 °C and outlet pressure of 4 atm produces the best performance of 1100 mA cm-2 at 0.646 V.

  7. Anticorrosion properties of tin oxide coatings for carbonaceous bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinumoto, Taro; Nagano, Keita; Yamamoto, Yuji; Tsumura, Tomoki; Toyoda, Masahiro

    2014-03-01

    An anticorrosive surface treatment of a carbonaceous bipolar plate used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) was demonstrated by addition of a tin oxide surface coating by liquid phase deposition (LPD), and its effectiveness toward corrosion prevention was determined. The tin oxide coating was deposited by immersion in tin fluoride and boric acid solutions, without any observable decrease in the bipolar plate electrical conductivity. Anticorrosion properties of a flat carbonaceous bipolar plate were investigated in an aqueous HClO4 electrolyte solution (10 μmol dm-3) at 80 °C. CO2 release due to corrosion was significant for the bare specimen above 1.3 V, whereas no CO2 release was noted for the tin-oxide-coated specimen, even approaching 1.5 V. Moreover, minimal changes in contact angle against a water droplet before and after treatment indicated suppressed corrosion of the surface-coated specimen. Anticorrosion properties were also confirmed for a model bipolar plate having four gas flow channels. The tin oxide layer remained on the channel surfaces (inner walls, corners and intersections) after durability tests. Based on these results, tin-oxide-based surface coatings fabricated by LPD show promise as an anticorrosion technique for carbonaceous bipolar plates for PEMFCs.

  8. Fluid-Structure Interaction Modeling of High-Aspect Ratio Nuclear Fuel Plates Using COMSOL

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, Franklin G; Ekici, Kivanc; Freels, James D

    2013-01-01

    The High Flux Isotope Reactor at the Oak Ridge National Lab is in the research stage of converting its fuel from high-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. Due to different physical properties of the new fuel and changes to the internal fuel plate design, the current safety basis must be re-evaluated through rigorous computational analyses. One of the areas being explored is the fluid-structure interaction phenomenon due to the interaction of thin fuel plates (50 mils thickness) and the cooling fluid (water). Detailed computational fluid dynamics and fluid-structure interaction simulations have only recently become feasible due to improved numerical algorithms and advancements in computing technology. For many reasons including the already built-in fluid-structure interaction module, COMSOL has been chosen for this complex problem. COMSOL's ability to solve multiphysics problems using a fully-coupled and implicit solution algorithm is crucial in obtaining a stable and accurate solution. Our initial findings show that COMSOL can accurately model such problems due to its ability to closely couple the fluid dynamics and the structural dynamics problems.

  9. Study on the mesocarbon microbeads/polyphenylene sulfide composite bipolar plates applied for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Tao; Shi, Pengfei

    Thermoplastic/graphite composite bipolar plates based on polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) and mesocarbon microbeads (MCMB) were prepared by compression molding at a pressure of 40 MPa and 400 °C. Electrical conductivity, bulk density, flexural strength, water and ethanol absorption were determined as function of PPS content. The influences of molding time, actived carbon and carbon fiber on the properties of the composite bipolar plates were investigated, the cross section of the composite plates were analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). We found that the optimized PPS content is 20 wt% and the required molding time is 30 min. In particular, the composite plates containing 20 wt% PPS demonstrated in-plane conductivity as high as 133.7 S cm -1, through-plane conductivity 21.37 S cm -1, in addition to showing the value of density, flexural strength, water and ethanol absorption as 1.98 g cm -3, 38.82 MPa, 0.0409 and 0.352 g cm -3. The addition of actived carbon degraded all the performance of the bipolar plate, while addition of carbon fiber improved almost all the performance of bipolar plate except bulk density and through-plane conductivity. The performances of fuel cell with this composite bipolar plate were tested, no distinct variation occurred after the composite plates operating in fuel cell. These data indicates the chemical and mechanical stability of the composite plates and their potential application in fuel cell.

  10. Applications of profile filtering in the dimensional metrology of fuel cell plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muralikrishnan, Bala; Ren, Wei; Stanfield, Eric; Everett, Dennis; Zheng, Alan; Doiron, Ted

    2013-06-01

    We describe the application of several surface profile filters as an enabling tool in the dimensional measurements of an engineering artifact, namely, a fuel cell plate. We recently reported work on the development of a non-contact system for dimensional metrology of bipolar fuel cell plates. That system comprises two laser spot triangulation probes that acquire profile data across a plate. While the non-contact system provides rapid measurements (measurement speed of 100 mm s-1 to 500 mm s-1), the data are noisy and cannot be used directly to obtain features of interest such as channel depth and width. In this paper, we show how different surface profile filters such as the spline, morphological, and robust filters, can be employed to identify and suppress outliers and to produce a mean line that serves as a substitute geometry from which we can determine features of interest. Further, we compare the non-contact probe data against contact probe measurements made using a coordinate measuring machine. Surface profile filters are again useful in correcting the reference data for tip size and also in removing any free form deformation in both data sets prior to parameter evaluation and comparison.

  11. Irradiation Performance of U-Mo Alloy Based ‘Monolithic’ Plate-Type Fuel – Design Selection

    SciTech Connect

    A. B. Robinson; G. S. Chang; D. D. Keiser, Jr.; D. M. Wachs; D. L. Porter

    2009-08-01

    A down-selection process has been applied to the U-Mo fuel alloy based monolithic plate fuel design, supported by irradiation testing of small fuel plates containing various design parameters. The irradiation testing provided data on fuel performance issues such as swelling, fuel-cladding interaction (interdiffusion), blister formation at elevated temperatures, and fuel/cladding bond quality and effectiveness. U-10Mo (wt%) was selected as the fuel alloy of choice, accepting a somewhat lower uranium density for the benefits of phase stability. U-7Mo could be used, with a barrier, where the trade-off for uranium density is critical to nuclear performance. A zirconium foil barrier between fuel and cladding was chosen to provide a predictable, well-bonded, fuel-cladding interface, allowing little or no fuel-cladding interaction. The fuel plate testing conducted to inform this selection was based on the use of U-10Mo foils fabricated by hot co-rolling with a Zr foil. The foils were subsequently bonded to Al-6061 cladding by hot isostatic pressing or friction stir bonding.

  12. Mathematical model of a plate fin heat exchanger operating under solid oxide fuel cell working conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaniowski, Robert; Poniewski, Mieczysław

    2013-12-01

    Heat exchangers of different types find application in power systems based on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Compact plate fin heat exchangers are typically found to perfectly fit systems with power output under 5 kWel. Micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) units with solid oxide fuel cells can exhibit high electrical and overall efficiencies, exceeding 85%, respectively. These values can be achieved only when high thermal integration of a system is assured. Selection and sizing of heat exchangers play a crucial role and should be done with caution. Moreover, performance of heat exchangers under variable operating conditions can strongly influence efficiency of the complete system. For that reason, it becomes important to develop high fidelity mathematical models allowing evaluation of heat exchangers under modified operating conditions, in high temperature regimes. Prediction of pressure and temperatures drops at the exit of cold and hot sides are important for system-level studies. Paper presents dedicated mathematical model used for evaluation of a plate fin heat exchanger, operating as a part of micro-CHP unit with solid oxide fuel cells.

  13. Design and simulation of novel flow field plate geometry for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruan, Hanxia; Wu, Chaoqun; Liu, Shuliang; Chen, Tao

    2015-12-01

    Bipolar plate is one of the many important components of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks as it supplies fuel and oxidant to the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA), removes water, collects produced current and provides mechanical support for the single cells in the stack. The flow field design of a bipolar plate greatly affects the performance of a PEMFC. It must uniformly distribute the reactant gases over the MEA and prevent product water flooding. This paper aims at improving the fuel cell performance by optimizing flow field designs and flow channel configurations. To achieve this, a novel biomimetic flow channel for flow field designs is proposed based on Murray's Law. Computational fluid dynamics based simulations were performed to compare three different designs (parallel, serpentine and biomimetic channel, respectively) in terms of current density distribution, power density distribution, pressure distribution, temperature distribution, and hydrogen mass fraction distribution. It was found that flow field designs with biomimetic flow channel perform better than that with convectional flow channel under the same operating conditions.

  14. Thin graphite bipolar plate with associated gaskets and carbon cloth flow-field for use in an ionomer membrane fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Marchetti, George A.

    2003-01-03

    The present invention comprises a thin graphite plate with associated gaskets and pieces of carbon cloth that comprise a flow-field. The plate, gaskets and flow-field comprise a "plate and gasket assembly" for use in an ionomer membrane fuel cell, fuel cell stack or battery.

  15. Irradiation behavior of the CNEA's experimental uranium silicide dispersion fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Hofman, G.L.; Marajofsky, A.; Kohut, C.; Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica, Buenos Aires )

    1988-01-01

    Since 1978 the CNEA ECBE project has been involved in the development of dispersion fuel plates with four types of fuel materials -- UAl{sub x}, U{sub 3}O{sub 8}, U{sub 3}Si, and U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} -- to be used in low enriched (LEU < 20% {sup 235}U) fuel elements for research reactors. Miniplates with these fuel materials were manufactured at CNEA and were irradiated in the ORR in three series of irradiations as part of the RERTR miniplate irradiation program. The first irradiation contained U{sub 3}O{sub 8} and UAl{sub x} fuel, the second U{sub 3}O{sub 8}, UAl{sub x} and U{sub 3}Si, while the third irradiation test consisted of six U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} miniplates and one U{sub 3}Si miniplate. This third test is the subject of this paper. The present results compare favorably with other irradiations performed in the RERTR program{sup 1,2} showing in particular the excellent behavior of the U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}. The overall data accumulated support the qualification of the CNEA fabrication techniques. 5 refs., 13 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. Characterization of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Polypropylene-Based Composites for Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates and Development of Educational Tools in Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez Gaxiola, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    In this project we developed conductive thermoplastic resins by adding varying amounts of three different carbon fillers: carbon black (CB), synthetic graphite (SG) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) to a polypropylene matrix for application as fuel cell bipolar plates. This component of fuel cells provides mechanical support to the stack,…

  17. Materials, design, and modeling for bipolar/end plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Atul

    New vehicle technologies are required to improve upon conventional internal combustion engine technologies. In this regard, the development of fuel cell (polymer electrolyte membrane type) vehicles with improved efficiency and reliability seems promising. However, some technical issues exist that hinder the commercialization of this technology. One such issue is the high cost, volume, and mass of the bipolar/end plates in the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack. This research, therefore, focuses on materials, design, and modeling for bipolar/end plates in PEMFC stack. Alternative materials were tested that can replace the conventionally used graphite in the PEMFC stack. With regards to these, a two-cell PEMFC stack was fabricated with SS-316 multi-parallel flow-field (MPFF) designed bipolar/end plates. The stack was run for over 1000 hours and showed no appreciable drop in performance. To enhance the understanding and for determining the effect of operating parameters in PEMFC, a single cell model was developed. The model results agree well with the experimental data. The gas flow-field in bipolar/end plates of the PEMFC was optimized with respect to channel dimensions, channel shape, flow-field design, and flow-field permeability. It was seen that lower the flow-field permeability better is the fuel cell performance. Based on this, the concept of use of metal foams in the gas flow-field was proposed. Experiments were carried out to test the feasibility of metal foams in the gas flow-field of bipolar/end plates in PEMFC stack. Three different porous materials, viz. Ni-Cr metal foam (50 P PI, pores per inch), S S-316 metal foam (20 PPI), and carbon cloth were tested, and the results were compared to the conventional MPFF channel design concept. It was seen that the performance with Ni-Cr metal foam was highest, and decreased in the order of SS-316 metal foam, conventional MPFF design, and carbon cloth. This trend was explained based on the effective

  18. Hot Isostatic Press Manufacturing Process Development for Fabrication of RERTR Monolithic Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Crapps, Justin M.; Clarke, Kester D.; Katz, Joel D.; Alexander, David J.; Aikin, Beverly; Vargas, Victor D.; Montalvo, Joel D.; Dombrowski, David E.; Mihaila, Bogdan

    2012-06-06

    We use experimentation and finite element modeling to study a Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) manufacturing process for U-10Mo Monolithic Fuel Plates. Finite element simulations are used to identify the material properties affecting the process and improve the process geometry. Accounting for the high temperature material properties and plasticity is important to obtain qualitative agreement between model and experimental results. The model allows us to improve the process geometry and provide guidance on selection of material and finish conditions for the process strongbacks. We conclude that the HIP can must be fully filled to provide uniform normal stress across the bonding interface.

  19. The formation of protective nitride surfaces for PEM fuel cell metallic bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Yang, B.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; More, K. L.; Wilson, M.; Garzon, F.

    2006-08-01

    The selective gas nitridation of model nickel-based alloys was used to form dense, electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride surface layers, including TiN, VN, CrN, Cr2N, as wellas a complex NiNbVN phase. Evaluation for use as a protective surface for metallic bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) indicated that CrN/Cr2N based surfaces holdpromise to meet U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) performance goals for automative applications. The thermally grown CrN/Cr2N surface formed on model Ni-Cr based alloys exhibited good stability and low electrical resistance in single-cell fuel cell testing under simulated drive-cycle conditions. Recent results indicate that similar protective chromium nitride surfaces can be formed on less expensive Fe-Cr based alloys potentially capable of meeting DOE cost goals.

  20. Bipolar plate materials in molten carbonate fuel cells. Final CRADA report.

    SciTech Connect

    Krumpelt, M. Gorelov, A. M.

    2004-06-01

    Advantages of implementation of power plants based on electrochemical reactions are successfully demonstrated in the USA and Japan. One of the msot promising types of fuel cells (FC) is a type of high temperature fuel cells. At present, thanks to the efforts of the leading countries that develop fuel cell technologies power plants on the basis of molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are really close to commercialization. One of the problems that are to be solved for practical implementation of MCFC and SOFC is a problem of corrosion of metal components of stacks that are assembled of a number of fuel cells. One of the major components of MCFC and SOFC stacks is a bipolar separator plate (BSP) that performs several functions - it is separation of reactant gas flows sealing of the joints between fuel cells, and current collection from the surface of electrodes. The goal of Task 1 of the project is to develop new cost-effective nickel coatings for the Russian 20X23H18 steel for an MCFC bipolar separator plate using technological processes usually implemented to apply corrosion stable coatings onto the metal parts for products in the defense. There was planned the research on production of nickel coatings using different methods, first of all the galvanic one and the explosion cladding one. As a result of the works, 0.4 x 712 x 1296 mm plates coated with nickel on one side were to be made and passed to ANL. A line of 4 galvanic baths 600 liters was to be built for the galvanic coating applications. The goal of Task 2 of the project is the development of a new material of an MCFC bipolar separator plate with an upgraded corrosion stability, and development of a technology to produce cold roll sheets of this material the sizes of which will be 0.8 x 712x 1296 mm. As a result of these works, a pilot batch of the rolled material in sheets 0.8 x 712 x 1296 mm in size is to be made (in accordance with the norms and standards of the Russian

  1. Characterization of Bond Strength of U-Mo Fuel Plates Using the Laser Shockwave Technique: Capabilities and Preliminary Results

    SciTech Connect

    J. A. Smith; D. L. Cottle; B. H. Rabin

    2013-09-01

    This report summarizes work conducted to-date on the implementation of new laser-based capabilities for characterization of bond strength in nuclear fuel plates, and presents preliminary results obtained from fresh fuel studies on as-fabricated monolithic fuel consisting of uranium-10 wt.% molybdenum alloys clad in 6061 aluminum by hot isostatic pressing. Characterization involves application of two complementary experimental methods, laser-shock testing and laser-ultrasonic imaging, collectively referred to as the Laser Shockwave Technique (LST), that allows the integrity, physical properties and interfacial bond strength in fuel plates to be evaluated. Example characterization results are provided, including measurement of layer thicknesses, elastic properties of the constituents, and the location and nature of generated debonds (including kissing bonds). LST provides spatially localized, non-contacting measurements with minimum specimen preparation, and is ideally suited for applications involving radioactive materials, including irradiated materials. The theoretical principles and experimental approaches employed in characterizing nuclear fuel plates are described, and preliminary bond strength measurement results are discussed, with emphasis on demonstrating the capabilities and limitations of these methods. These preliminary results demonstrate the ability to distinguish bond strength variations between different fuel plates. Although additional development work is necessary to validate and qualify the test methods, these results suggest LST is viable as a method to meet fuel qualification requirements to demonstrate acceptable bonding integrity.

  2. Protective nitride formation on stainless steel alloys for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, B.; Brady, M. P.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; More, K. L.; Young, D. J.; Tortorelli, P. F.; Payzant, E. A.; Walker, L. R.

    Gas nitridation has shown excellent promise to form dense, electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant Cr-nitride surface layers on Ni-Cr base alloys for use as proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. Due to the high cost of nickel, Fe-base bipolar plate alloys are needed to meet the cost targets for many PEMFC applications. Unfortunately, nitridation of Fe-base stainless steel alloys typically leads to internal Cr-nitride precipitation rather than the desired protective surface nitride layer formation, due to the high permeability of nitrogen in these alloys. This paper reports the finding that it is possible to form a continuous, protective Cr-nitride (CrN and Cr 2N) surface layer through nitridation of Fe-base stainless steel alloys. The key to form a protective Cr-nitride surface layer was found to be the initial formation of oxide during nitridation, which prevented the internal nitridation typically observed for these alloys, and resulted in external Cr-nitride layer formation. The addition of V to the alloy, which resulted in the initial formation of V 2O 3-Cr 2O 3, was found to enhance this effect, by making the initially formed oxide more amenable to subsequent nitridation. The Cr-nitride surface layer formed on model V-modified Fe-27Cr alloys exhibited excellent corrosion resistance and low interfacial contact resistance under simulated PEMFC bipolar plate conditions.

  3. Fuel swelling and interaction layer formation in the SELENIUM Si and ZrN coated U(Mo) dispersion fuel plates irradiated at high power in BR2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leenaers, A.; Van den Berghe, S.; Koonen, E.; Kuzminov, V.; Detavernier, C.

    2015-03-01

    In the framework of the SELENIUM project two full size flat fuel plates were produced with respectively Si and ZrN coated U(Mo) particles and irradiated in the BR2 reactor at SCK•CEN. Non-destructive analysis of the plates showed that the fuel swelling profiles of both SELENIUM plates were very similar to each other and none of the plates showed signs of pillowing or excessive swelling at the end of irradiation at the highest power position (local maximum 70% 235U). The microstructural analysis showed that the Si coated fuel has less interaction phase formation at low burn-up but at the highest burn-ups, defects start to develop on the IL-matrix interface. The ZrN coated fuel, shows a virtual absence of reaction between the U(Mo) and the Al, up to high fission densities after which the interaction layer formation starts and defects develop in the matrix near the U(Mo) particles. It was found and is confirmed by the SELENIUM (Surface Engineering of Low ENrIched Uranium-Molybdenum) experiment that there are two phenomena at play that need to be controlled: the formation of an interaction layer and swelling of the fuel. As the interaction layer formation occurs at the U(Mo)-matrix interface, applying a diffusion barrier (coating) at that interface should prevent the interaction between U(Mo) and the matrix. The U(Mo) swelling, observed to proceed at an accelerating rate with respect to fission density accumulation, is governed by linear solid state swelling and fission gas bubble swelling due to recrystallization of the fuel. The examination of the SELENIUM fuel plates clearly show that for the U(Mo) dispersion fuel to be qualified, the swelling rate at high burn-up needs to be reduced.

  4. Novel, low-cost separator plates and flow-field elements for use in PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Edlund, D.J.

    1996-12-31

    PEM fuel cells offer promise for a wide range of applications including vehicular (e.g., automotive) and stationary power generation. The performance and cost targets that must be met for PEM technology to be commercially successful varies to some degree with the application. However, in general the cost of PEM fuel cell stacks must be reduced substantially if they are to see widespread use for electrical power generation. A significant contribution to the manufactured cost of PEM fuel cells is the machined carbon plates that traditionally serve as bipolar separator plates and flow-field elements. In addition, carbon separator plates are inherently brittle and suffer from breakage due to shock, vibration, and improper handling. This report describes a bifurcated separator device with low resistivity, low manufacturing cost, compact size and durability.

  5. Monopolar fuel cell stack coupled together without use of top or bottom cover plates or tie rods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Valdez, Thomas I. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    A monopolar fuel cell stack comprises a plurality of sealed unit cells coupled together. Each unit cell comprises two outer cathodes adjacent to corresponding membrane electrode assemblies and a center anode plate. An inlet and outlet manifold are coupled to the anode plate and communicate with a channel therein. Fuel flows from the inlet manifold through the channel in contact with the anode plate and flows out through the outlet manifold. The inlet and outlet manifolds are arranged to couple to the inlet and outlet manifolds respectively of an adjacent one of the plurality of unit cells to permit fuel flow in common into all of the inlet manifolds of the plurality of the unit cells when coupled together in a stack and out of all of the outlet manifolds of the plurality of unit cells when coupled together in a stack.

  6. 3D COMSOL Simulations for Thermal Deflection of HFIR Fuel Plate in the "Cheverton-Kelley" Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Jain, Prashant K; Freels, James D; Cook, David Howard

    2012-08-01

    Three dimensional simulation capabilities are currently being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory using COMSOL Multiphysics, a finite element modeling software, to investigate thermal expansion of High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) s low enriched uranium fuel plates. To validate simulations, 3D models have also been developed for the experimental setup used by Cheverton and Kelley in 1968 to investigate the buckling and thermal deflections of HFIR s highly enriched uranium fuel plates. Results for several simulations are presented in this report, and comparisons with the experimental data are provided when data are available. A close agreement between the simulation results and experimental findings demonstrates that the COMSOL simulations are able to capture the thermal expansion physics accurately and that COMSOL could be deployed as a predictive tool for more advanced computations at realistic HFIR conditions to study temperature-induced fuel plate deflection behavior.

  7. Highly conductive, multi-layer composite precursor composition to fuel cell flow field plate or bipolar plate

    SciTech Connect

    Jang, Bor Z.; Zhamu, Aruna; Guo, Jiusheng

    2011-02-15

    This invention provides a moldable, multiple-layer composite composition, which is a precursor to an electrically conductive composite flow field plate or bipolar plate. In one preferred embodiment, the composition comprises a plurality of conductive sheets and a plurality of mixture layers of a curable resin and conductive fillers, wherein (A) each conductive sheet is attached to at least one resin-filler mixture layer; (B) at least one of the conductive sheets comprises flexible graphite; and (C) at least one resin-filler mixture layer comprises a thermosetting resin and conductive fillers with the fillers being present in a sufficient quantity to render the resulting flow field plate or bipolar plate electrically conductive with a conductivity no less than 100 S/cm and thickness-direction areal conductivity no less than 200 S/cm.sup.2.

  8. Preparation and properties of carbon nanotube-reinforced vinyl ester/nanocomposite bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Shu-Hang; Hung, Chih-Hung; Ma, Chen-Chi M.; Yen, Chuan-Yu; Lin, Yu-Feng; Weng, Cheng-Chih

    Novel multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) were prepared using poly(oxypropylene)-backboned diamines of molecular weights M w 400 and 2000 to disperse acid-treated MWNTs, improving the performance of composite bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. A lightweight polymer composite bipolar plate that contained vinyl ester resin, graphite powder and MWNTs was fabricated using a bulk molding compound (BMC) process. Results demonstrate that the qualitative dispersion of MWNTs crucially determined the resultant bulk electrical conductivity, the mechanical properties and the physical properties of bipolar plates. The flexural strength of the composite bipolar plate with 1 phr of MWNTs was approximately 48% higher than that of the original composite bipolar plate. The coefficient of thermal expansion of the composite bipolar plate was reduced from 37.00 to 20.40 μm m -1 °C -1 by adding 1 phr of MWNTs, suggesting that the composite bipolar plate has excellent thermal stability. The porosity of the composite bipolar plate was also evaluated. Additionally, the bulk electrical conductivity of the composite bipolar plate with different MWNTs types and contents exceeds 100 S cm -1. The results of the polarization curves confirm that the addition of MWNTs leads to a significant improvement on the single cell performance.

  9. End plate assembly having a two-phase fluid-filled bladder and method for compressing a fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Carlstrom, Jr., Charles M.

    2001-01-01

    An end plate assembly is disclosed for use in a fuel cell assembly in which the end plate assembly includes a housing having a cavity, and a bladder receivable in the cavity and engageable with the fuel cell stack. The bladder includes a two-phase fluid having a liquid portion and a vapor portion. Desirably, the two-phase fluid has a vapor pressure between about 100 psi and about 600 psi at a temperature between about 70 degrees C. to about 110 degrees C.

  10. Metallic plate corrosion and uptake of corrosion products by nafion in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Bozzini, Benedetto; Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Kaulich, Burkhard; Kiskinova, Maya; Prasciolu, Mauro; Sgura, Ivonne

    2010-07-19

    Nafion contamination by ferrous-alloy corrosion products, resulting in dramatic drops of the Ohmic potential, is a suspected major failure mode of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells that make use of metallic bipolar plates. This study demonstrates the potential of scanning transmission X-ray microscopy combined with X-ray absorption and fluorescence microspectroscopy for exploring corrosion processes of Ni and Fe electrodes in contact with a hydrated Nafion film in a thin-layer cell. The imaged morphology changes of the Ni and Fe electrodes and surrounding Nafion film that result from relevant electrochemical processes are correlated to the spatial distribution, local concentration, and chemical state of Fe and Ni species. The X-ray fluorescence maps and absorption spectra, sampled at different locations, show diffusion of corrosion products within the Nafion film only in the case of the Fe electrodes, whereas the Ni electrodes appear corrosion resistant. PMID:20564283

  11. Iron-based alloy and nitridation treatment for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P [Oak Ridge, TN; Yang, Bing [Oak Ridge, TN; Maziasz, Philip J [Oak Ridge, TN

    2010-11-09

    A corrosion resistant electrically conductive component that can be used as a bipolar plate in a PEM fuel cell application is composed of an alloy substrate which has 10-30 wt. % Cr, 0.5 to 7 wt. % V, and base metal being Fe, and a continuous surface layer of chromium nitride and vanadium nitride essentially free of base metal. A oxide layer of chromium vanadium oxide can be disposed between the alloy substrate and the continuous surface nitride layer. A method to prepare the corrosion resistant electrically conductive component involves a two-step nitridization sequence by exposing the alloy to a oxygen containing gas at an elevated temperature, and subsequently exposing the alloy to an oxygen free nitrogen containing gas at an elevated temperature to yield a component where a continuous chromium nitride layer free of iron has formed at the surface.

  12. Technical investigation of a pyrophoric event involving corrosion products from HEU ZPPR fuel plates

    SciTech Connect

    Totemeier, T. C.

    2000-02-02

    A pyrophoric event recently occurred which involved corrosion products collected from highly-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel plates used in the Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR). This paper summarizes the event and its background, and presents the results of an investigation into its source and mechanism. The investigation focused on characterization of corrosion product samples similar to those involved in the event using thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA). Burning curve TGA tests were performed to measure the ignition temperature and hydride fractions of corrosion products in several different conditions to assess the effects of passivation treatment and long-term storage on chemical reactivity. The hydride fraction and ignition temperature of the corrosion products were found to be strongly dependent on the corrosion extent of the source metal. The results indicate that the energy source for the event was a considerable quantity of uranium hydride present in the corrosion products, but the specific ignition mechanism could not be identified.

  13. Method of producing exfoliated graphite composite compositions for fuel cell flow field plates

    DOEpatents

    Zhamu, Aruna; Shi, Jinjun; Guo, Jiusheng; Jang, Bor Z

    2014-04-08

    A method of producing an electrically conductive composite composition, which is particularly useful for fuel cell bipolar plate applications. The method comprises: (a) providing a supply of expandable graphite powder; (b) providing a supply of a non-expandable powder component comprising a binder or matrix material; (c) blending the expandable graphite with the non-expandable powder component to form a powder mixture wherein the non-expandable powder component is in the amount of between 3% and 60% by weight based on the total weight of the powder mixture; (d) exposing the powder mixture to a temperature sufficient for exfoliating the expandable graphite to obtain a compressible mixture comprising expanded graphite worms and the non-expandable component; (e) compressing the compressible mixture at a pressure within the range of from about 5 psi to about 50,000 psi in predetermined directions into predetermined forms of cohered graphite composite compact; and (f) treating the so-formed cohered graphite composite to activate the binder or matrix material thereby promoting adhesion within the compact to produce the desired composite composition. Preferably, the non-expandable powder component further comprises an isotropy-promoting agent such as non-expandable graphite particles. Further preferably, step (e) comprises compressing the mixture in at least two directions. The method leads to composite plates with exceptionally high thickness-direction electrical conductivity.

  14. 78 FR 33132 - Quality Verification for Plate-Type Uranium-Aluminum Fuel Elements for Use in Research and Test...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-03

    ...The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a revision to Regulatory Guide (RG) 2.3, ``Quality Verification for Plate-Type Uranium-Aluminum Fuel Elements for Use in Research and Test Reactors.'' This guide describes a method that the staff of the NRC considers acceptable for complying with the Commission's regulations concerning establishing and executing a quality assurance......

  15. Effect of pervaporation plate thickness on the rate of methanol evaporation in a passive vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fauzi, N. F. I.; Hasran, U. A.; Kamarudin, S. K.

    2015-09-01

    In a passive vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), methanol vapor is typically obtained using a pervaporation plate in a process by which liquid methanol contained in the fuel reservoir undergoes a phase change to vapor in the anodic vapor chamber. This work investigates the effect of pervaporation plate thickness on the rate of methanol evaporation using a three-dimensional simulation model developed by varying the plate thickness. A. The rate of methanol evaporation was measured using Darcy's law. The rate of methanol evaporation was found to be inversely proportional to the plate thickness, where the decrease in thickness inevitably lowers the resistance along the plate and consequently increases the methanol transport through the plate. This shows that the plate thickness has a significant influence on the rate of methanol evaporation and thereby plays an important role in improving the performance of the passive vapor-feed direct methanol fuel cell.

  16. Electrically conductive LCP-carbon composite with low carbon content for bipolar plate application in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, H.; Willert-Porada, M.

    Lightweight polymer-carbon composites with high specific electrical conductivity at a carbon content below 40 vol.% were developed. The electrical and mechanical properties and the hydrogen permeability of carbon fiber and particle reinforced liquid crystalline polymers were examined. Vectra ® A 950, SIGRAFIL ® carbon fibers and Vulcan ® XC 72 R carbon black were employed. The composites are found to have sufficient mechanical properties and a hydrogen permeability low enough to be utilised as bipolar plate material in fuel cell applications. The density of the new composite is 20% lower than the density of commercial bipolar plates made from carbon reinforced polymeric composite materials, due to the lower carbon content. The current density at 0.5 V in an operating fuel cell is only 20% lower compared to commercial materials with more than 80 vol.% carbon content and meets the requirements for bipolar plate application.

  17. Effect of the fabrication process on fatigue performance of U 3Si 2 fuel plate with sandwich structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xi-Shu; Li, Shuang-Shou; Wang, Qing-Yuan; Xu, Yong

    2005-06-01

    U 3Si 2-Al fuel plate is one of the dispersion fuel structure materials recently developed and widely used in research reactors. The mechanical properties of this structural material, especially the fatigue performance, are strongly dependent on its fabrication process. To investigate the effects of these processing technologies, the fatigue tests for the different specimens were carried out. The S- N curves indicate that the fabrication processing technologies of U 3Si 2 fuel plate, such as the addition of U 3Si 2 particles into aluminum powder to form the fuel meat, holding and rolling the processes of meat and cladding of 6061-Al alloy, plays an important role in improving the mechanical properties and fatigue performance of this fuel plate. In addition, some factors that influence the crack initiation and propagation are summarized based on the fatigue images that are in situ observations with SEM. The critical criterion for fatigue damage is proposed based on the fatigue data of the structural material, which were obtained at the different conditions.

  18. Dry gas operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with parallel channels: Non-porous versus porous plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litster, Shawn; Santiago, Juan G.

    We present a study of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with parallel channel flow fields for the cathode, dry inlet gases, and ambient pressure at the outlets. The study compares the performance of two designs: a standard, non-porous graphite cathode plate design and a porous hydrophilic carbon plate version. The experimental study of the non-porous plate is a control case and highlights the significant challenges of operation with dry gases and non-porous, parallel channel cathodes. These challenges include significant transients in power density and severe performance loss due to flooding and electrolyte dry-out. Our experimental study shows that the porous plate yields significant improvements in performance and robustness of operation. We hypothesize that the porous plate distributes water throughout the cell area by capillary action; including pumping water upstream to normally dry inlet regions. The porous plate reduces membrane resistance and air pressure drop. Further, IR-free polarization curves confirm operation free of flooding. With an air stoichiometric ratio of 1.3, we obtain a maximum power density of 0.40 W cm -2, which is 3.5 times greater than that achieved with the non-porous plate at the same operating condition.

  19. Analysis of the effect of transverse power distribution in an involute fuel plate with and without oxide film formation.

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R. S.

    1998-10-27

    Existing thermal hydraulics computer codes can account for variations in power and temperature in the axial and thickness directions but variations across the width of the plate cannot be accounted for. In the case of fuel plates in an annular core this can lead to significant errors which are accentuated by the presence of an oxide layer that builds up on the aluminum cladding with burnup. This paper uses a three dimensional SINDA model to account for the transverse variations in power. The effect of oxide thickness on these differences is studied in detail. Power distribution and fuel conductivity are also considered. The lower temperatures predicted with the SINDA model result in a greater margin to clad and fuel damage.

  20. A conductive and hydrophilic bipolar plate coating for enhanced proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance and water management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Andrew P.; Salguero, Tina T.; Kirby, Kevin W.; Zhong, Feng; Blunk, Richard H. J.

    2012-07-01

    Electrically conductive and hydrophilic coatings for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stainless steel bipolar plates have been developed in order to minimize voltage losses at the plate and gas diffusion layer (GDL) interface and facilitate liquid water transport in plate channels for efficient stack operation. The coatings are based on a multifunctional silane, 1,2-bis(triethoxysilyl)ethane (BTSE), mixed with conductive, hydrophilic carbon black. Vulcan® XC72 carbon black was modified with either polar phenylsulfonic acid (PSA) or carboxylic acid (COOH) groups to increase hydrophilic character and wetting behavior. Wetting and electrical contact resistance performance was compared with coatings based on nano-particle titania and silica. These conductive silane and carbon composite coating precursors are conveniently formulated in alcohol solution for scalable application via spray coating. Cured films exhibit negligible contact resistance increase (<2 mΩ cm2) at 1.4 MPa when deposited on both physical vapor deposited (PVD) carbon and electroplated gold coated stainless steel. The coatings were tested for hydrophilicity retention under wet and dry fuel cell conditions where the BTSE-COOH coating remained hydrophilic on stamped stainless steel bipolar plate prototypes after greater than 1200 h of simulated fuel cell testing with only moderate loss of hydrophilicity.

  1. Durability and characterization studies of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell's coated aluminum bipolar plates and membrane electrode assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Y.; Tawfik, H.; Mahajan, D.

    Coated aluminum bipolar plates demonstrate better mechanical strength, ease of manufacturability, and lower interfacial contact resistance (ICR) than graphite composite plates in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications. In this study, coated aluminum and graphite composite bipolar plates were installed in separate single PEM fuel cells and tested under normal operating conditions and cyclic loading. After 1000 h of operation, samples of both the bipolar plates and the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) were collected from both the cathode and the anode sides of the cell and characterized to examine the stability and integrity of the plate coating and evaluate possible changes of the ionic conductivity of the membrane due any electrochemical reaction with the coating material. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis were performed on the land and valley surfaces of the reactant flow fields at both the anode and the cathode sides of the bipolar plates. The measurements were superimposed on the reference to identify possible zones of anomalies for the purpose of conducting focused studies in these locations. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of samples scraped from the anode and cathode electrodes of the MEA showed the tendency for catalyst growth that could result in power degradation. Samples of the by-product water produced during the single fuel cell operation were also collected and tested for the existence of chromium, nickel, carbon, iron, sulfur and aluminum using mass spectroscopy techniques. The EDX measurements indicated the possibility of dissociation and dissolution of nickel chrome that was used as the binder for the carbide-based corrosion-resistant coating with the aluminum substrate.

  2. In Vitro Dissolution Tests of Plutonium and Americium Containing Contamination Originating From ZPPR Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    William F. Bauer; Brian K. Schuetz; Gary M. Huestis; Thomas B. Lints; Brian K. Harris; R. Duane Ball; Gracy Elias

    2012-09-01

    Assessing the extent of internal dose is of concern whenever workers are exposed to airborne radionuclides or other contaminants. Internal dose determinations depend upon a reasonable estimate of the expected biological half-life of the contaminants in the respiratory tract. One issue with refractory elements is determining the dissolution rate of the element. Actinides such as plutonium (Pu) and Americium (Am) tend to be very refractory and can have biological half-lives of tens of years. In the event of an exposure, the dissolution rates of the radionuclides of interest needs to be assessed in order to assign the proper internal dose estimates. During the November 2011 incident at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) involving a ZPPR fuel plate, air filters in a constant air monitor (CAM) and a giraffe filter apparatus captured airborne particulate matter. These filters were used in dissolution rate experiments to determine the apparent dissolution half-life of Pu and Am in simulated biological fluids. This report describes these experiments and the results. The dissolution rates were found to follow a three term exponential decay equation. Differences were noted depending upon the nature of the biological fluid simulant. Overall, greater than 95% of the Pu and 93% of the Am were in a very slow dissolving component with dissolution half-lives of over 10 years.

  3. Corrosion behavior and interfacial resistivity of bipolar plate materials under simulated molten carbonate fuel cell conditions.

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeler, A. C.; Kaun, T. D.; Bloom, I.; Lanagan, M.; Krumpelt, M.

    2000-03-01

    A material is needed for bipolar plate materials in molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) that combines the low oxide resistivity of 316L stainless steel (SS) with the low corrosion rate of the type 310 SS. We tested a group of materials that included Nitronic 50 SS and a newly developed high-temperature nickel-rich alloy, having chromium contents ranging from 16 to 31 wt %. Our results indicate that chromium content is the primary determinant of oxide scale composition and resistivity. In the MCFC cathode compartment, all tested alloys formed a duplex structure with an inner Cr-rich layer and an outer Fe-rich one. The composition of the inner Cr-rich layer was determined by the chromium content of the base alloy and has a controlling effect on scale resistivity. Oxide scale resistivity was measured for three electrolyte compositions: Li/K, Li/Na, and newly developed (Li, Na, Ca, Ba) carbonates. Changes in the physical/mechanical properties (spallation/cracking) in the oxide scale of 316L SS provided an understanding of its resistivity fluctuations over time.

  4. Corrosion behavior and interfacial resistivity of bipolar plate materials under molten carbonate fuel cell cathode conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeler, A.C.; Kaun, T.D.; Bloom, I.; Lanagan, M.; Krumpelt, M.

    2000-03-01

    A material is needed for bipolar plate materials in molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) that combines the low oxide resistivity of 316L stainless steel (SS) with the low corrosion rate of the type 310 SS. The authors tested a group of materials that included Nitronic 50 SS and a newly developed high-temperature nickel-rich alloy, having chromium contents ranging from 16 to 31 wt %. Their results indicate that chromium content is the primary determinant of oxide scale composition and resistivity. In the MCFC cathode compartment, all tested alloys formed a duplex structure with an inner Cr-rich layer and an outer Fe-rich one. The composition of the inner Cr-rich layer was determined by the chromium content of the base alloy and has a controlling effect on scale resistivity. Oxide scale resistivity was measured for three electrolyte compositions: Li/K, Li/Na, and newly developed (Li, Na, Ca, Ba) carbonates. Changes in the physical/mechanical properties (spallation/cracking) in the oxide scale of 316L SS provided an understanding of its resistivity fluctuations over time.

  5. Resistivity of bipolar plate materials at the cathode interface in molten carbonate fuel cells.

    SciTech Connect

    Kaun, T. D.

    1998-11-18

    Measurements of oxide scale resistivity for prospective bipolar plate materials in the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) are coupled with observations of microstructural/compositional change over time. This work searches for a compromise to the high corrosion rate of Type 316L and the high oxide scale resistance of Type 310S. We tested a group of materials having chromium content ranging from 16 to 31 wt%, including Nitronic 50 and NKK, a Ni-Cr-Fe alloy. Chromium content was found to be the primary determinant of oxide scale composition. In the MCFC cathode compartment, stainless steels generally formed a duplex structure with an inner Cr-rich layer and an outer, Fe-rich layer. The composition of the inner Cr-rich layer was related to the base alloy and had a controlling effect on scale resistivity. Oxide scale resistivity was measured for two electrolyte compositions: Li/K and Li/Na carbonates. Changes in the physical/mechanical properties (spallation/cracking) in the oxide scale of Type 316L provided an understanding of its resistivity fluctuations over time.

  6. A new model for thermal contact resistance between fuel cell gas diffusion layers and bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghifar, Hamidreza; Djilali, Ned; Bahrami, Majid

    2014-11-01

    A new analytical model is developed to predict the thermal contact resistance (TCR) between fibrous porous media such as gas diffusion layers (GDLs) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and flat surfaces (bipolar plates). This robust model accounts for the salient geometrical parameters of GDLs, mechanical deformation, and thermophysical properties of the contacting bodies. The model is successfully validated against experimental data, and is used to perform in a comprehensive parametric study to investigate the effects of fiber parameters such as waviness and GDL properties on the TCR. Fiber waviness, diameter and surface curvature, as well as GDL porosity, are found to have a strong influence on TCR whereas fiber length does not affect the TCR when the porosity is kept constant. Such findings provide useful guidance for design and manufacturing of more effective GDLs for PEMFC heat management. The analytic model can be readily implemented in simulation and modeling of PEMFCs, and can be extended with minor modifications to other fibrous porous media such as fibrous catalysts, insulating media and sintered metals.

  7. Improvements of electrical properties containing carbon nanotube in epoxy/graphite bipolar plate for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Lee, HongKi; Rim, HyungRyul; Lee, JaeYoung; Lee, Jongmin; Yoon, JeongMo; Bae, WooJung; Yang, SeungWeon

    2008-10-01

    The epoxy based graphite bipolar plate containing carbon nanotube (CNT) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) has been prepared and the electrical properties were compared. The density of graphite composite bipolar plate showed from 1.85 to 0.94 as expanded graphite content is increased from 10 to 50 w/o. The improvement of electrical properties was accomplished by addition of CNT. Rapid increase of conductivity was found due to the compensation between increases of the electrical pathway by addition of CNT and sufficient electrical contact among isolated large graphite particle. The polarisation curves of bipolar plate were measured at 1 M H2SO4 solution with 1 mV/sec of scan rate and the value of 1.903 uA/cm2 of corrosion rate was obtained. PMID:19198477

  8. Non-destructive evaluation of the cladding thickness in LEU fuel plates by accurate ultrasonic scanning technique

    SciTech Connect

    Borring, J.; Gundtoft, H.E.; Borum, K.K.; Toft, P.

    1997-08-01

    In an effort to improve their ultrasonic scanning technique for accurate determination of the cladding thickness in LEU fuel plates, new equipment and modifications to the existing hardware and software have been tested and evaluated. The authors are now able to measure an aluminium thickness down to 0.25 mm instead of the previous 0.35 mm. Furthermore, they have shown how the measuring sensitivity can be improved from 0.03 mm to 0.01 mm. It has now become possible to check their standard fuel plates for DR3 against the minimum cladding thickness requirements non-destructively. Such measurements open the possibility for the acceptance of a thinner nominal cladding than normally used today.

  9. Properties of graphite-stainless steel composite in bipolar plates in simulated anode and cathode environments of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Włodarczyk, Renata

    2014-09-01

    The use of a graphite-stainless steel composite as bipolar plates (BP) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) has been evaluated. The study covers measurements of mechanical properties, microstructural examination, analysis of surface profile, wettability, porosity and corrosion resistance of the composite. The corrosion properties of the composite were examined in 0.1 mol·dm-3 H2SO4 + 2 ppm F- saturated with H2 or with O2 and in solutions with different pH: in Na2SO4+ 2 ppm F- (pH = 1.00, 3.00, 5.00) at 80 °C. The performed tests indicate that the graphite modified with stainless steel can be a good choice to be used as a bipolar plate in PEM fuel cells.

  10. Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis of Fuel/Matrix Interaction Layers in Highly-Irradiated U–Mo Dispersion Fuel Plates with Al and Al–Si Alloy Matrices

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis D. Keiser, Jr.; Jan-Fong Jue; Brandon D. Miller; Jian Gan; Adam B. Robinson; Pavel Medvedev; James Madden; Dan Wachs; Mitch Meyer

    2014-04-01

    In order to investigate how the microstructure of fuel/matrix-interaction (FMI) layers change during irradiation, different U–7Mo dispersion fuel plates have been irradiated to high fission density and then characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Specifially, samples from irradiated U–7Mo dispersion fuel elements with pure Al, Al–2Si and AA4043 (~4.5 wt.%Si) matrices were SEM characterized using polished samples and samples that were prepared with a focused ion beam (FIB). Features not observable for the polished samples could be captured in SEM images taken of the FIB samples. For the Al matrix sample, a relatively large FMI layer develops, with enrichment of Xe at the FMI layer/Al matrix interface and evidence of debonding. Overall, a significant penetration of Si from the FMI layer into the U–7Mo fuel was observed for samples with Si in the Al matrix, which resulted in a change of the size (larger) and shape (round) of the fission-gas bubbles. Additionally, solid-fission-product phases were observed to nucleate and grow within these bubbles. These changes in the localized regions of the microstructure of the U–7Mo may contribute to changes observed in the macroscopic swelling of fuel plates with Al–Si matrices.

  11. FINITE ELEMENT SIMULATION FOR STRUCTURAL RESPONSE OF U7MO DISPERSION FUEL PLATES VIA FLUID-THERMAL-STRUCTURAL INTERACTION

    SciTech Connect

    Hakan Ozaltun; Herman Shen; Pavel Madvedev

    2010-11-01

    This article presents numerical simulation of dispersion fuel mini plates via fluid–thermal–structural interaction performed by commercial finite element solver COMSOL Multiphysics to identify initial mechanical response under actual operating conditions. Since fuel particles are dispersed in Aluminum matrix, and temperatures during the fabrication process reach to the melting temperature of the Aluminum matrix, stress/strain characteristics of the domain cannot be reproduced by using simplified models and assumptions. Therefore, fabrication induced stresses were considered and simulated via image based modeling techniques with the consideration of the high temperature material data. In order to identify the residuals over the U7Mo particles and the Aluminum matrix, a representative SEM image was employed to construct a microstructure based thermo-elasto-plastic FE model. Once residuals and plastic strains were identified in micro-scale, solution was used as initial condition for subsequent multiphysics simulations at the continuum level. Furthermore, since solid, thermal and fluid properties are temperature dependent and temperature field is a function of the velocity field of the coolant, coupled multiphysics simulations were considered. First, velocity and pressure fields of the coolant were computed via fluidstructural interaction. Computed solution for velocity fields were used to identify the temperature distribution on the coolant and on the fuel plate via fluid-thermal interaction. Finally, temperature fields and residual stresses were used to obtain the stress field of the plates via fluid-thermal-structural interaction.

  12. Microstructural Characterization of the U-9.1Mo Fuel/AA6061 Cladding Interface in Friction-Bonded Monolithic Fuel Plates Irradiated in the RERTR-6 Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam; Medvedev, Pavel; Madden, James; Wachs, Dan; Clark, Curtis; Meyer, Mitch

    2015-09-01

    Low-enrichment (235U < 20 pct) U-Mo monolithic fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. The earliest design for this fuel that was investigated via reactor testing consisted of a nominally U-10Mo fuel foil encased in AA6061 (Al-6061) cladding. For a fuel design to be deemed adequate for final use in a reactor, it must maintain dimensional stability and retain fission products throughout irradiation, which means that there must be good integrity at the fuel foil/cladding interface. To investigate the nature of the fuel/cladding interface for this fuel type after irradiation, fuel plates were fabricated using a friction bonding process, tested in INL's advanced test reactor (ATR), and then subsequently characterized using optical metallography, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Results of this characterization showed that the fuel/cladding interaction layers present at the U-Mo fuel/AA6061 cladding interface after fabrication became amorphous during irradiation. Up to two main interaction layers, based on composition, could be found at the fuel/cladding interface, depending on location. After irradiation, an Al-rich layer contained very few fission gas bubbles, but did exhibit Xe enrichment near the AA6061 cladding interface. Another layer, which contained more Si, had more observable fission gas bubbles. In the samples produced using a focused ion beam at the interaction zone/AA6061 cladding interface, possible indications of porosity/debonding were found, which suggested that the interface in this location is relatively weak.

  13. Microstructural Characterization of the U-9.1Mo Fuel/AA6061 Cladding Interface in Friction-Bonded Monolithic Fuel Plates Irradiated in the RERTR-6 Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam; Medvedev, Pavel; Madden, James; Wachs, Dan; Clark, Curtis; Meyer, Mitch

    2015-09-01

    Low-enrichment (U-235 < 20%) U-Mo monolithic fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. The earliest design for this fuel that was investigated via reactor testing was comprised of a nominally U-10Mo fuel foil encased in AA6061 (Al-6061) cladding. For a fuel design to be deemed adequate for final use in a reactor, it must maintain dimensional stability and retain fission products throughout irradiation, which means that there must be good integrity at the fuel foil/cladding interface. To investigate the nature of the fuel/cladding interface for this fuel type after irradiation, fuel plates that were tested in INL's Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) were subsequently characterized using optical metallography, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Results of this characterization showed that the fuel/cladding interaction layers present at the U-Mo fuel/AA6061 cladding interface after fabrication became amorphous during irradiation. Up to two main interaction layers, based on composition, could be found at the fuel/cladding interface, depending on location. After irradiation, an Al-rich layer contained very few fission gas bubbles, but did exhibit Xe enrichment near the AA6061 cladding interface. Another layer, which contained more Si, had more observable fission gas bubbles. Adjacent to the AA6061 cladding were Mg-rich precipitates, which was in close proximity to the region where Xe is observed to be enriched. In samples produced using a focused ion beam at the interaction zone/AA6061 cladding interface were possible indications of porosity/debonding, which suggested that the interface in this location is relatively weak.

  14. Controlling the hydrophilicity and contact resistance of fuel cell bipolar plate surfaces using layered nanoparticle assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Feng

    Hybrid nanostructured coatings exhibiting the combined properties of electrical conductivity and surface hydrophilicity were obtained by using Layer-by-Layer (LBL) assembly of cationic polymer, silica nanospheres, and carbon nanoplatelets. This work demonstrates that by controlling the nanoparticle zeta (zeta) potential through the suspension parameters (pH, organic solvent type and amount, and ionic content) as well as the assembly sequence, the nanostructure and composition of the coatings may be adjusted to optimize the desired properties. Two types of silica nanospheres were evaluated as the hydrophilic component: X-TecRTM 3408 from Nano-X Corporation, with a diameter of about 20 nm, and polishing silica from Electron Microscopy Supply, with diameter of about 65 nm. Graphite nanoplatelets with a thickness of 5~10nm (Aquadag RTM E from Acheson Industries) were used as electrically conductive filler. A cationic copolymer of acrylamide and a quaternary ammonium salt (SuperflocRTM C442 from Cytec Corporation) was used as the binder for the negatively charged nanoparticles. Coatings were applied to gold-coated stainless steel substrates presently used a bipolar plate material for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Coating thickness was found to vary nearly linearly with the number of polymer-nanoparticle layers deposited while a monotonic increase in coating contact resistance was observed for all heterogeneous and pure silica coatings. Thickness increased if the difference in the oppositely charged zeta potentials of the adsorbing components was enhanced through alcohol addition. Interestingly, an opposite effect was observed if the zeta potential difference was increased through pH variation. This previously undocumented difference in adsorption behavior is herein related to changes to the surface chemical heterogeneity of the nanoparticles. Coating contact resistance and surface wettability were found to have a more subtle dependence on the assembly

  15. Development of methanol evaporation plate to reduce methanol crossover in a direct methanol fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ruiming

    This research focuses on methanol crossover reduction in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) through separating the methanol vapor from its liquid phase and feeding the vapor passively at low temperature range. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated by using commercial available membrane with different thickness at different anode catalyst loading levels, and tested under the operating conditions below 100°C in cell temperature and cathode exit open to ambient pressure. Liquid methanol transport from the anode through the membrane into cathode ("methanol crossover") is identified as one of the major efficiency losses in a DMFC. It is known that the methanol crossover rate in the vapor phase is much lower than in liquid phase. Vapor feed can be achieved by heating the liquid methanol to elevated temperatures (>100°C), but other issues limit the performance of the cell when operating above 100°C. High temperature membranes and much more active cathode catalyst structures are required, and a complex temperature control system must be employed. However, methanol vapor feed can also occur at a lower temperature range (<100°C) by separating its vapor from the liquid phase by evaporation through a porous body. The methanol crossover with this vapor feed mode is lower compared with the direct liquid methanol feed. A new method of using a methanol evaporation plate (MEP) to separate the vapor from its liquid phase to reduce the liquid methanol crossover at low temperature range is developed. A MEP plays the roles of liquid/vapor methanol phase separation and evaporation in a DMFC. The goal of this study is to develop a MEP with the proper properties to achieve high methanol phase separation efficiency and fast methanol evaporation rate over a wide range of temperature, i.e., from room temperature up to near boiling temperature (100°C). MEP materials were selected and characterized. MEPs made from three different types were tested extensively with different

  16. (Titanium, chromium) nitride coatings for bipolar plate of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, H. S.; Han, D. H.; Hong, W. H.; Lee, J. J.

    (Titanium, chromium) nitride [(Ti,Cr)N] coatings are synthesized on a 316L stainless-steel substrate by inductively-coupled, plasma-assisted, reactive direct current magnetron sputtering. The chemical and electrical properties of the coating are investigated from the viewpoint of it application to bipolar plates. Nanocrystallized Cr-Ti films are formed in the absence of nitrogen gas, while a hexagonal β-(Ti,Cr) 2N phase is observed at N 2 = 1.2 sccm. Well-crystallized (Ti,Cr)N films are obtained at N 2 > 2.0 sccm. The corrosion resistance of the coating is examined by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests in 0.05 M H 2SO 4 + 0.2 ppm HF solution at 80 °C, which simulates the operation conditions of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The Davies method is used to measure the interfacial contact resistance between the sample and carbon paper. The (Ti,Cr)N coating exhibits the highest corrosion potential and lowest current density. In a cathode environment, the corrosion potential and current density are 0.33 V (vs. SCE) and <5 × 10 -7 A cm -2 (at 0.6 V), respectively. In an anode environment the corresponding values are 0.16 V and <-5 × 10 -8 A cm -2 at -0.1 V. The (Ti,Cr)N coatings exhibit excellent stability during potentiostatic polarization tests in both anode and cathode environments. The interfacial contact resistance decreases with deposition of the (Ti,Cr)N film, and a minimum value of 4.5 mΩ cm 2 is obtained at a compaction force of 150 N cm -2, which indicates that the formation of oxide films can be successfully prevented by the (Ti,Cr)N film. Analysis with Auger electron spectroscopy reveals that the oxygen content at the surface decreases with increase in the nitrogen content.

  17. Electron Microscopy Characterization of an As-Fabricated Research Reactor Fuel Plate Comprised of U-7Mo Particles Dispersed in an Al-2Si Alloy Matrix

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis D. Keiser, Jr.; J. Gan; J. F. Jue; B. D. Miller

    2010-11-01

    To understand the microstructural development of nuclear fuel plates during irradiation, it is imperative to know the microstructure of a fuel plate after all the fabrication steps have been completed and before it is inserted into the reactor. To this end, a U–7 wt.% Mo alloy research reactor dispersion fuel plate with Al–2 wt.% Si matrix was destructively examined using scanning and transmission electron microscopy to characterize the developed microstructure after fabrication. Of particular interest for this study was how the Si that was added to the fuel matrix partitioned between the various fuel plate phases during fabrication. Si was added to the matrix so that the microstructure that developed during fuel fabrication would exhibit good irradiation behavior. SEM analysis was used to identify the representative microstructure, the compositions of the various phases, and the partitioning behavior of the fuel and matrix constituents. TEM analysis was employed to definitively identify the phases in the U–7Mo alloy and the phases that formed due to diffusional interactions between the fuel particles and matrix during fuel plate fabrication. The TEM results are the first reported for an as-fabricated U–7 wt.% Mo dispersion fuel plate with an Al alloy matrix. SEM results showed that a significant portion of the original ?-(U–Mo) fuel particles had transformed to a lamellar microstructure, comprised of a-U and either ? or ?' phases, and the fuel/matrix interaction layers were enriched in Si. TEM analysis identified an ordered fcc (U–Mo)(Al–Si)3 type of phase, which formed at the decomposed U–7Mo/matrix interface and extended into the lamellar microstructure. Some regions of the U–7Mo particles retained the single-phase ?-(U–Mo). Small precipitate phases were observed in the fuel meat matrix that contained Fe, Al, and Si. The Si that is added to the matrix of a U–Mo dispersion fuel plate to improve irradiation performance appears to result in

  18. Microstructural Characterization of a Mg Matrix U-Mo Dispersion Fuel Plate Irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to High Fission Density: SEM Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon D.; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam B.; Medvedev, Pavel G.; Madden, James W.; Moore, Glenn A.

    2016-04-01

    Low-enriched (U-235 <20 pct) U-Mo dispersion fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. In most cases, fuel plates with Al or Al-Si alloy matrices have been tested in the Advanced Test Reactor to support this development. In addition, fuel plates with Mg as the matrix have also been tested. The benefit of using Mg as the matrix is that it potentially will not chemically interact with the U-Mo fuel particles during fabrication or irradiation, whereas with Al and Al-Si alloys such interactions will occur. Fuel plate R9R010 is a Mg matrix fuel plate that was aggressively irradiated in ATR. This fuel plate was irradiated as part of the RERTR-8 experiment at high temperature, high fission rate, and high power, up to high fission density. This paper describes the results of the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of an irradiated fuel plate using polished samples and those produced with a focused ion beam. A follow-up paper will discuss the results of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Using SEM, it was observed that even at very aggressive irradiation conditions, negligible chemical interaction occurred between the irradiated U-7Mo fuel particles and Mg matrix; no interconnection of fission gas bubbles from fuel particle to fuel particle was observed; the interconnected fission gas bubbles that were observed in the irradiated U-7Mo particles resulted in some transport of solid fission products to the U-7Mo/Mg interface; the presence of microstructural pathways in some U-9.1 Mo particles that could allow for transport of fission gases did not result in the apparent presence of large porosity at the U-7Mo/Mg interface; and, the Mg-Al interaction layers that were present at the Mg matrix/Al 6061 cladding interface exhibited good radiation stability, i.e. no large pores.

  19. Microstructural Characterization of a Mg Matrix U-Mo Dispersion Fuel Plate Irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to High Fission Density: SEM Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon D.; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam B.; Medvedev, Pavel G.; Madden, James W.; Moore, Glenn A.

    2016-06-01

    Low-enriched (U-235 <20 pct) U-Mo dispersion fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. In most cases, fuel plates with Al or Al-Si alloy matrices have been tested in the Advanced Test Reactor to support this development. In addition, fuel plates with Mg as the matrix have also been tested. The benefit of using Mg as the matrix is that it potentially will not chemically interact with the U-Mo fuel particles during fabrication or irradiation, whereas with Al and Al-Si alloys such interactions will occur. Fuel plate R9R010 is a Mg matrix fuel plate that was aggressively irradiated in ATR. This fuel plate was irradiated as part of the RERTR-8 experiment at high temperature, high fission rate, and high power, up to high fission density. This paper describes the results of the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of an irradiated fuel plate using polished samples and those produced with a focused ion beam. A follow-up paper will discuss the results of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Using SEM, it was observed that even at very aggressive irradiation conditions, negligible chemical interaction occurred between the irradiated U-7Mo fuel particles and Mg matrix; no interconnection of fission gas bubbles from fuel particle to fuel particle was observed; the interconnected fission gas bubbles that were observed in the irradiated U-7Mo particles resulted in some transport of solid fission products to the U-7Mo/Mg interface; the presence of microstructural pathways in some U-9.1 Mo particles that could allow for transport of fission gases did not result in the apparent presence of large porosity at the U-7Mo/Mg interface; and, the Mg-Al interaction layers that were present at the Mg matrix/Al 6061 cladding interface exhibited good radiation stability, i.e. no large pores.

  20. PLATES WITH OXIDE INSERTS

    DOEpatents

    West, J.M.; Schumar, J.F.

    1958-06-10

    Planar-type fuel assemblies for nuclear reactors are described, particularly those comprising fuel in the oxide form such as thoria and urania. The fuel assembly consists of a plurality of parallel spaced fuel plate mennbers having their longitudinal side edges attached to two parallel supporting side plates, thereby providing coolant flow channels between the opposite faces of adjacent fuel plates. The fuel plates are comprised of a plurality of longitudinally extending tubular sections connected by web portions, the tubular sections being filled with a plurality of pellets of the fuel material and the pellets being thermally bonded to the inside of the tubular section by lead.

  1. TOPSIS multiple-criteria decision support analysis for material selection of metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanian, A.; Savadogo, O.

    Several kinds of metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs are currently being developed in order to meet the demands of cost reduction, stack volume, lower weight and enhanced power density. This work shows an application of the Technique of ranking Preferences by Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) Multiple Attribute Decision Making (MADM) method for solving the material selection problem of metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC), which often involves multiple and conflicting objectives. The proposed methodological tool can aid the material designer in the modeling and selection of suitable materials according to a set of predefined criteria. After introducing the theoretical background, a case study is presented for the material selection of a bipolar plate in a PEFC. A list of all possible choices, from the best to the worst materials, is obtained by taking into account all the material selection criteria, including the cost of production. A user-defined code in Mathematica has been developed to facilitate the implementation of the method. It was shown that the optimum value of each criterion is independent of other criteria values (i.e., no interaction is allowed). The proposed approach may be applied to other problems of material selection of fuel cell components.

  2. The use of U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ dispersed in aluminum in plate-type fuel elements for research and test reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Snelgrove, J.L.; Domagala, R.F.; Hofman, G.L.; Wiencek, T.C.; Copeland, G.L.; Hobbs, R.W.; Senn, R.L.

    1987-10-01

    A high-density fuel based on U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ dispersed in aluminum has been developed and tested for use in converting plate-type research and test reactors from the use of highly enriched uranium to the use of low-enriched uranium. Results of preirradiation testing and the irradiation and postirradiation examination of miniature fuel plates and full-sized fuel elements are summarized. Swelling of the U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ fuel particles is a linear function of the fission density in the particle to well beyond the fission density achievable in low-enriched fuels. U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ particle swelling rate is approximately the same as that of the commonly used UAl/sub x/ fuel particle. The presence of minor amounts of U/sub 3/Si or uranium solid solution in the fuel result in greater, but still acceptable, fuel swelling. Blister threshold temperatures are at least as high as those of currently used fuels. An exothermic reaction occurs near the aluminum melting temperature, but the measured energy releases were low enough not to substantially worsen the consequences of an accident. U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/-aluminum dispersion fuel with uranium densities up to at least 4.8 Mg/m/sup 3/ is a suitable LEU fuel for typical plate-type research and test reactors. 42 refs., 28 figs., 7 tabs.

  3. Ex situ evaluation of nanometer range gold coating on stainless steel substrate for automotive polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell bipolar plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, A.; Ricketts, M.; Hirano, S.

    The bipolar plate in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell helps to feed reactant gases to the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and collect current from the MEA. To facilitate these functions, the bipolar plate material should exhibit excellent electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance under fuel cell operating conditions, and simultaneously be of low-cost to meet commercialization enabling targets for automotive fuel cells. In the present work, we focus on the benchmarking of 10 nm gold coated SS316L (a.k.a. Au Nanoclad ®) bipolar plate material through ex situ tests, which is provided by Daido Steel (Japan). The use of nanometer range Au coatings help to retain the noble properties of gold while significantly reducing the cost of the bipolar plate. The area specific resistance of the flat sample is 0.9 mΩ cm 2 while that for the formed bipolar plate is 6.3 mΩ cm 2 at compaction force of 60 N cm -2. The corrosion current density was less than 1 μA cm -2 at 0.8 V/NHE with air sparge simulating cathodic conditions. Additionally, gold coated SS316L showed anodic passivation of SS316L, thereby exhibiting robustness towards coating defects including surface scratches that may originate during the manufacturing of the bipolar plate. These series of ex situ tests indicate that 10 nm gold coated SS316L has good potential to be considered for commercial bipolar plates in automotive fuel cell stack.

  4. An electrochemical treatment to improve corrosion and contact resistance of stainless steel bipolar plates used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabreab, Ebrahim M.; Hinds, Gareth; Fearn, Sarah; Hodgson, David; Millichamp, Jason; Shearing, Paul R.; Brett, Daniel J. L.

    2014-01-01

    An electrochemical surface treatment is presented that improves the properties of stainless steel (316SS) used as bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The process is an anodic treatment, whereby the material is polarised beyond the transpassive region. Potentiodynamic corrosion testing, chemical and morphological surface characterisation and interfacial contact resistance measurements indicate that the improved properties of 316SS are primarily a consequence of an enrichment of Cr at the near-surface of the material. The surface treatment increases the corrosion resistance and significantly reduces interfacial contact resistance.

  5. End-of-life destructive examinations of Zircaloy maximum depletion blanket fuel plates from the Shippingport PWR Core 2

    SciTech Connect

    Clayton, J.C.; Kammenzind, B.F.; Senio, P.; Sherman, J.

    1993-10-01

    Destructive examinations were performed on four Shippingport PWR Core 2 maximum fluence and depletion blanket plates for surface integrity, corrosion oxide thickness, and hydrogen absorption of the Zircaloy-4 cladding. The Shippingport PWR Core 2 operated for 23,360 effective full power hours (EFPH) (62,235 hot hours) at an average coolant temperature of 536{degrees}F (280{degrees}C) and a peak neutron flux of 0.6{times}10{sup 14}n/cm{sup 2}/s. The end-of-life examination program included measurements on three PWR-2 beta-quenched blanket fuel plates and one alpha-annealed blanket end plate. The examinations consisted of optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) inspections, direct metallographic oxide thickness measurements, and hydrogen extraction analyses on a joined element pair from the peak fluence (132{times}10{sup 20} n/cm{sup 2}), maximum depletion (13.5{times}10{sup 20} fissions/cc)PWR-2 blanket cluster.

  6. Dispersion and thermal interactions of molten metal fuel settling on a horizontal steel plate through a sodium pool

    SciTech Connect

    Gabor, J.D.; Purviance, R.T.; Aeschlimann, R.W.; Spencer, B.W.

    1989-01-01

    Although the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) possesses inherent safety features, an assessment of the consequences of melting of the metal fuel is necessary for risk analysis. As part of this effort an experimental study was conducted to determine the depths of sodium at 600 C required for pour streams of various molten uranium alloys (U, U-5 wt % Zr, U-10 wt % Zr, and U-10 wt % Fe) to break up and solidify. The quenched particulate material, which was in the shape of filaments and sheets, formed coolable beds because of the high voidage ({approximately}0.9) and large particle size ({approximately}10 mm). In a test with a 0.15-m sodium depth, the fragments from a pure uranium pour stream did not completely solidify but formed an agglomerated mass which did not fuse to the base plate. However, the agglomerated fragments of U-10 wt % Fe eutectic fused to the stainless steel base plate. An analysis of the temperature response of a 25-mm thick base plate was made by volume averaging the properties of the sodium and metal particle phases and assuming two semi-infinite solids coming into contact. Good agreement was obtained with the data during the initial 5 to 10 s of the contact period. 16 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Multilayer graphene for long-term corrosion protection of stainless steel bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoot, Adam C.; Camilli, Luca; Spiegelhauer, Susie-Ann; Yu, Feng; Bøggild, Peter

    2015-10-01

    Motivated by similar investigations recently published (Pu et al., 2015), we report a comparative corrosion study of three sets of samples relevant as bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte fuel cells: stainless steel, stainless steel with a nickel seed layer (Ni/SS) and stainless steel with Ni seed layer coated by a multi-layered graphene thin film (G/Ni/SS). The graphene film, synthesized by chemical vapour deposition (CVD), has a moderate amount of defects according to Raman spectroscopy. Short/medium-term corrosion test shows no significant advantage of using G/Ni/SS rather than Ni/SS, both samples exhibiting a similar trend, thus questioning the short-term positive effect of graphene coatings. However, partial immersion in boiling seawater for three weeks reveals a clear superiority of the graphene coating with respect to steel just protected by Ni. After the test, the graphene film is still intact with unchanged defect density. Our results show that even non-perfect multilayer graphene films can considerably increase the lifetime of future-generation bipolar plates for fuel cells.

  8. Electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings for bipolar plates of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Cheng-Kuo

    2012-12-01

    This study evaluates the effects of an electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating on the surface characteristics of anodized 5083 aluminum alloy, including electrical resistivity, corrosion resistance of the alloy in a simulated solution of 0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm NaF in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The co-deposition and adhesion of the composite coatings on a 5083 substrate are enhanced by an anodizing process. The electroless Ni-Cu-P plating solution is prepared by adding different CuSO4·5H2O concentrations into the electroless Ni-P plating solution and adding nano-graphite (15-40 nm) particles to form the Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coatings. Experimental results indicate that the electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating enhances the hardness, conductivity, corrosion resistance of the 5083 substrate in the corrosive solution. The anodizing treatment enhances the electroless composite coatings by providing better uniformity, density, and adhesion compared to substrate without anodizing treatment. The electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite coating deposited on the optimal anodized 5083 substrate at a low CuSO4·5H2O concentration of 0.25 g l-1 with 20 g l-1 nano-graphite added have the best surface structure, highest hardness, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Therefore, this novel electroless Ni-Cu-P/nano-graphite composite-coated 5083 aluminum alloy has potential applications in bipolar plates of PEM fuel cells.

  9. Neutron Diffraction Measurement of Residual Stresses, Dislocation Density and Texture in Zr-bonded U-10Mo ''Mini'' Fuel Foils and Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Donald W.; Okuniewski, M. A.; Sisneros, Thomas A.; Clausen, Bjorn; Moore, G. A.; Balogh, L

    2014-08-07

    Aluminum clad monolithic uranium 10 weight percent molybdenum (U-10Mo) fuel plates are being considered for conversion of several research and test nuclear reactors from high-enriched to low-enriched uranium fuel due to the inherently high density of fissile material. Comprehensive neutron diffraction measurements of the evolution of the textures, residual phase stresses, and dislocation densities in the individual phases of the mini-foils throughout several processing steps and following hot-isostatic pressing to the Al cladding, have been completed. Recovery and recrystallization of the bare U-10Mo fuel foil, as indicated by the dislocation density and texture, are observed depending on the state of the material prior to annealing and the duration and temperature of the annealing process. In general, the HIP procedure significantly reduces the dislocation density, but the final state of the clad plate, both texture and dislocation density, depends strongly on the final processing step of the fuel foil. In contrast, the residual stresses in the clad fuel plate do not depend strongly on the final processing step of the bare foil prior to HIP bonding. Rather, the residual stresses are dominated by the thermal expansion mismatch of the constituent materials of the fuel plate.

  10. A review of composite and metallic bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cell: Materials, fabrication, and material selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taherian, Reza

    2014-11-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells offer exceptional potential for a clean, efficient, and reliable power source. The bipolar plate (BP) 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. BPs have primarily been fabricated from high-density graphite, but in recent years, much attention has been paid to develop the cost-effective and feasible alternative materials. Recently, two different classes of materials have been attracted attention: metals and composite materials. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the current researches being carried out on the metallic and composite BPs, covering materials and fabrication methods. In this research, the phenomenon of ionic contamination due to the release of the corrosion products of metallic BP and relative impact on the durability as well as performance of PEM fuel cells is extensively investigated. Furthermore, in this paper, upon several effective parameters on commercialization of PEM fuel cells, such as stack cost, weight, volume, durability, strength, ohmic resistance, and ionic contamination, a material selection is performed among the most common BPs currently being used. This material selection is conducted by using Simple Additive Weighting Method (SAWM).

  11. Microstructural evolution of U(Mo)–Al(Si) dispersion fuel under irradiation – Destructive analyses of the LEONIDAS E-FUTURE plates

    SciTech Connect

    A. Leenaers; S. Van den Berghe; J. Van Eyken; E. Koonen; F. Charollais; P. Lemoine; Y. Calzavara; H. Guyon; C. Jarousse; D. Geslin; D. Wachs; D. Keiser; A. Robinson; G. Hofman; Y. S. Kim

    2013-10-01

    Several irradiation experiments have confirmed the positive effect of adding Si to the matrix of an U(Mo) dispersion fuel plate on its in-pile irradiation behavior. E-FUTURE, the first experiment of the LEONIDAS program, was performed to select an optimum Si concentration and fuel plate heat treatment parameters for further qualification. It consisted of the irradiation of 4 distinct (regarding Si content and heat treatments), full size flat fuel plates in the BR2 reactor under bounding conditions (470 W/cm2 peak BOL power, approximately 70% peak burn-up). After the irradiation, the E-FUTURE plates were examined non-destructively and found to have pillowed in the highest burn-up positions. The destructive post-irradiation examination confirmed that the fuel evolves in a stable way up to a burn-up of 60%235U. Even in the deformed area (pillow) the U(Mo) fuel itself shows stable behavior and remaining matrix material was present. From the calculation of the volume fractions, the positive effect of a higher Si amount added to the matrix and the higher annealing temperature can be derived.

  12. Preparation and characterization of novel nickel-palladium electrodes supported by silicon microchannel plates for direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, Fengjuan; Tao, Bairui; Sun, Li; Liu, Tao; You, Jinchuan; Wang, Lianwei; Chu, Paul K.

    A novel anode structure based on the three-dimensional silicon microchannel plates (Si-MCP) is proposed for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Ni-Pd nanoparticles produced by electroless plating onto the Si-MCP inner sidewalls and followed by annealing at 300 °C under argon serve as the catalyst. In order to evaluate the electroactivity of the nanocomposites, Ni-Pd/silicon composites synthesized by the same method are compared. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and electrochemical methods are employed to investigate the Ni-Pd/Si-MCP anode materials. As a result of the synergetic effects rendered by the MCP and Ni-Pd nanoparticles, the Ni-Pd/Si-MCP nanocomposites exhibit superior electrocatalytic properties towards methanol electro-oxidation in alkaline solutions, as manifested by the negative onset potential and strong current response to methanol even during long-term cyclical oxidation of methanol. This new structure possesses unique and significant advantages such as low cost and integratability with silicon-based devices.

  13. Corrosive characteristics of surface-modified stainless steel bipolar plate in solid polymer fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaowen; Wang, Lixia; Sun, Juncai

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, corrosion behavior of an AISI 304 stainless steel modified by niobium or niobium nitride (denoted as niobized 304 SS and Nb-N 304 SS, respectively) is investigated in simulated solid polymer fuel cell (SPFC) operating conditions. Potentiodynamic polarizations show that the corrosion potentials of surface modified 304 SS shift to positive direction while the corrosion current densities decrease greatly comparing with the bare 304 SS in simulated anodic SPFC environments. The order of corrosive resistance in corrosive potential, corrosive current density and pitting potential is: Nb-N 304 SS > niobized 304 SS > bare 304 SS. In the methanol-fueled SPFC operating conditions, the results show that the corrosion resistance of bare and niobized 304 SS increases with the methanol concentration increasing in the test solutions.

  14. Manufacturing and Performance Assessment of Stamped, Laser Welded, and Nitrided FeCrV Stainless Steel Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Abdelhamid, Mahmoud; Dadheech, G; Bradley, J; Toops, Todd J; Meyer III, Harry M; Tortorelli, Peter F

    2013-01-01

    A manufacturing and single-cell fuel cell performance study of stamped, laser welded, and gas nitrided ferritic stainless steel foils in an advanced automotive bipolar plate assembly design was performed. Two developmental foil compositions were studied: Fee20Cre4V and Fee23Cre4V wt.%. Foils 0.1 mm thick were stamped and then laser welded together to create single bipolar plate assemblies with cooling channels. The plates were then surface treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation in N2e4H2 based gas mixtures using either a conventional furnace or a short-cycle quartz lamp infrared heating system. Single-cell fuel cell testing was performed at 80 C for 500 h at 0.3 A/cm2 using 100% humidification and a 100%/40% humidification cycle that stresses the membrane and enhances release of the fluoride ion and promotes a more corrosive environment for the bipolar plates. Periodic high frequency resistance potential-current scans during the 500 h fuel cell test and posttest analysis of the membrane indicated no resistance increase of the plates and only trace levels of metal ion contamination.

  15. Analysis of steam explosions in plate-type, uranium-aluminum fuel test reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Taleyarkhan, R.P. )

    1989-01-01

    The concern over steam explosions in nuclear reactors can be traced to prompt critical nuclear excursions in aluminum-clad/fueled test reactors, as well as to explosive events in aluminum, pulp, and paper industries. The Reactor Safety Study prompted an extensive analytical and experimental effort for over a decade. This has led to significant improvements in their understanding of the steam explosion issue for commercial light water reactors. However, little progress has been made toward applying the lessons learned from this effort to the understanding and modeling of steam explosion phenomena in aluminum-clad/fueled research and test reactors. The purposes of this paper are to (a) provide a preliminary analysis of the destructive events in test reactors, based on current understandings of steam explosions; (b) provide a proposed approach for determining the likelihood of a steam explosion event under scenarios in which molten U-Al fuel drops into a water-filled cavity; and (c) present a benchmarking study conducted to estimate peak pressure pulse magnitudes.

  16. Development of a brazing process for the production of water- cooled bipolar plates made of chromium-coated metal foils for PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, M.; Hoehlich, D.; Scharf, I.; Lampke, T.; Hollaender, U.; Maier, H. J.

    2016-03-01

    Beside lithium batteries, PEM fuel cells are the most promising strategy as a power source to achieve the targets for introducing and increasing the usage of electric vehicles. Due to limited space and weight problems, water cooled, metallic bipolar plates in a fuel cell metal stack are preferred in motor vehicles. These plates are stamped metal sheets with a complex structure, interconnected media-tight. To meet the multiple tasks and requirements in use, complex and expensive combinations of materials are currently in use (carbon fiber composites, graphite, gold-plated nickel, stainless and acid resistant steel). The production of such plates is expensive as it is connected with considerable effort or the usage of precious metals. As an alternative, metalloid nitrides (CrN, VN, W2N, etc.) show a high chemical resistance, hardness and a good conductivity. So this material category meets the basic requirements of a top layer. However, the standard methods for their production (PVD, CVD) are expensive and have a slow deposition rate and a lower layer thicknesses. Because of these limitations, a full functionality over the life cycle of a bipolar plate is not guaranteed. The contribution shows the development and quantification of an alternative production process for bipolar plates. The expectation is to get significant advantages from the combination of chromium electrodeposition and thermochemical treatment to form chromium nitrides. Both processes are well researched and suitable for series production. The thermochemical treatment of the chromium layer also enables a process-integrated brazing.

  17. Fuel cell assembly fluid flow plate having conductive fibers and rigidizing material therein

    DOEpatents

    Walsh, Michael M.

    2000-01-01

    A fluid flow plate is preferably formed with three initial sections, for instance, two layers of conductive (e.g., metal) fibers and a barrier material (e.g., metal foil) which is interposed between the two layers. For example, sintering of these three sections can provide electrical path(s) between outer faces of the two layers. Then, the sintered sections can be, for instance, placed in a mold for forming of flow channel(s) into one or more of the outer faces. Next, rigidizing material (e.g., resin) can be injected into the mold, for example, to fill and/or seal space(s) about a conductive matrix of the electrical path(s). Preferably, abrading of surface(s) of the outer face(s) serves to expose electrical contact(s) to the electrical path(s).

  18. Investigation of Clad Metals for Use as Bipolar Plate Material in PEM Fuel Cell Stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Rich, John S.; Meier, Alan M.; Kim, Jin Yong; Xia, Guanguang; Yang, Zhenguo; Weil, K. Scott

    2006-07-21

    Although metal interconnects offer many advantages over their carbon-based counterparts, they suffer from surface corrosion which leads to a release of metal ions that can contaminate the electrolyte membrane and poison the electrode catalysts. In addition, the formation of a passivating oxide or oxyhydroxide layer on the surface of the metal will increase the contact resistance between the bipolar plate and the graphite electrode backing. The approach currently under development employs an inexpensive clad metal laminate as the primary material for the bipolar plate. The key in making this work is in identifying an appropriate surface passivation layer that mitigates corrosion while at the same time allows for good electronic conduction. The current study investigated the kinetics of nitride formation on Nb and Ti foils as a function of time, temperature, atmosphere (N2-H2 gas composition), and the corrosion behavior. These two metals are being considered for use as a thin external cladding layer over an inexpensive steel core layer. As the nitride layer formation temperature was increased, the surface morphologies for both niobium and titanium substrates became coarser and more pitted, the nitride thicknesses of both increased non-linearly, and in the titanium system an oxide layer product layer on the outer surface grew as well. As the isothermal hold time was increased, the surface morphologies of both niobium and titanium reaction product layers did not change noticeably, and the thicknesses of the nitride layers increased. As the amount of hydrogen in the atmosphere was increased the surface morphologies for both the niobium and titanium did not change detectably, the thicknesses of the nitride layers increased, and titanium thicknesses of the oxide layers decreased. The nitrided niobium exhibited much better corrosion behavior than the nitrided titanium but no improvement was obtained relative to the pure Nb corrosion rates.

  19. Elastomer based composite materials for bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrach, Elaine M.

    2011-07-01

    In most investigations, polymer conductive composite bipolar plates have failed to achieve the low resistivity required for PEMFCs. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate whether a composite of conductive fillers and a two-phase polymeric matrix will achieve low resistivity through preferred distribution of the fillers at the interface of the two phases. The use of an elastomer as one component of the blend will impart fracture resistance. Three types of matrices were investigated, a single phase polyvinyl ester plastic matrix, a compatible one-phase blend of polyvinyl ester (VER) and polyurethane (PU) elastomer, and a two-phase system of polyvinyl ester and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) elastomer. The different phases were determined by the theory of mixing. When solubility parameters are closer together it is likely that the system will be one phase. The one and two-phase systems were analyzed within the composition containing natural Cytec DKD graphite fibers, Asbury synthetic graphite 4012 flakes and ultra high surface area synthetic graphite TC 307. Phase systems affect the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. The percolation theory analysis was applied to determine the optimal percentage of conductive fillers and polymer blends. The optimal composition for composite materials consisted of 35vo1% of conductive fillers and 65vo1% of a two-phase blend matrix. The conductive filler included 3vol% of synthetic graphite TC307, 25.5vol% of Cytec DKD graphite fibers and 6.5vol% of Asbury synthetic graphite 4012 flakes. The two-phase blend matrix included 40vol% of EPDM to 60vol% of VER. This resulted in an electrical resistivity of 0.009O-cm and a thermal conductivity of 11.6W/m-K. The two-phase blend matrix added more ductility to the composition with the ability to withstand a stress of 10MPa with over 1% strain applied to the overall composite bipolar plates. The composition also absorbed 60% more mechanical energy than that

  20. SnO2:F Coated Duplex Stainless Steel for PEM Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.

    2008-01-01

    Duplex 2205 stainless steel was deposited with 0.6 {micro}m thick SnO2:F coating; coated steel was characterized for PEMFC bipolar plate application. Compared with bare alloy, interfacial contact resistance (ICR) values of the coated 2205 steel are higher. SnO2:F coating adds its own resistance to the air-formed film on the steel. In a PEMFC anode environment, a current peak of ca. 25 {micro}A/cm2 registered at ca. 30 min for coated 2205 steel. It stabilized at ca. 2.0 {approx} -1.0 {micro}A/cm2. This peak is related to the complicated process of coating dissolution and oxide-layer formation. Anodic-cathodic current transfer occurred at ca. 200 min polarization. In a PEMFC cathode environment, current was stable immediately after polarization. The stable current was ca. 0.5 {approx} 2.0 {micro}A/cm2 during the entire polarization period. AES depth profiles with tested samples and ICP analysis with the tested solutions confirmed the excellent corrosion resistance of the SnO2:F coated 2205 alloy in simulated PEMFC environments.

  1. Photothermally induced bromination of carbon/polymer bipolar plate materials for fuel cell applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schade, Martin; Franzka, Steffen; Cappuccio, Franco; Peinecke, Volker; Heinzel, Angelika; Hartmann, Nils

    2015-05-01

    A facile photothermal procedure for direct functionalization of carbon/polymer bipolar plate materials is demonstrated. Through irradiation with a microfocused beam of an Ar+-laser at λ = 514 nm in gaseous bromine and distinct laser powers and pulse lengths local bromination of the carbon/polymer material takes place. At a 1/e spot diameter of 2.1 μm, functionalized surface areas with diameters down to 5 μm are fabricated. In complementary experiments large-area bromination is investigated using an ordinary tungsten lamp. For characterization contact angle goniometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and electron microscopy in conjunction with labeling techniques are employed. After irradiation bromine groups can easily be substituted by other chemical functionalities, e.g. azide and amine groups. This provides a facile approach in order to fabricate surface patterns and gradient structures with varying wetting characteristics. Mechanistic aspects and prospects of photothermal routines in micropatterning of carbon/polymer materials are discussed.

  2. Lanthanum oxide-coated stainless steel for bipolar plates in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Jong Seol; Lee, Jun; Hwang, Hae Jin; Whang, Chin Myung; Moon, Ji-Woong; Kim, Do-Hyeong

    Solid oxide fuel cells typically operate at temperatures of about 1000 °C. At these temperatures only ceramic interconnects such as LaCrO 3 can be employed. The development of intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) can potentially bring about reduced manufacturing costs as it makes possible the use of an inexpensive ferritic stainless steel (STS) interconnector. However, the STS suffers from Cr 2O 3 scale formation and a peeling-off phenomenon at the IT-SOFC operating temperature in an oxidizing atmosphere. Application of an oxidation protective coating is an effective means of providing oxidation resistance. In this study, we coated an oxidation protective layer on ferritic stainless steel using a precursor solution prepared from lanthanum nitrate, ethylene glycol, and nitric acid. Heating the precursor solution at 80 °C yielded a spinable solution for coating. A gel film was coated on a STS substrate by a dip coating technique. At the early stage of the heat-treatment, lanthanum-containing oxides such as La 2O 3 and La 2CrO 6 formed, and as the heat-treatment temperature was increased, an oxidation protective perovskite-type LaCrO 3 layer was produced by the reaction between the lanthanum-containing oxide and the Cr 2O 3 scale on the SUS substrate. As the concentration of La-containing precursor solution was increased, the amount of La 2O 3 and La 2CrO 6 phases was gradually increased. The coating layer, which was prepared from a precursor solution of 0.8 M, was composed of LaCrO 3 and small amounts of (Mn,Cr)O 4 spinel. A relatively dense coating layer without pin-holes was obtained by heating the gel coating layer at 1073 K for 2 h. Microstructures and oxidation behavior of the La 2O 3-coated STS444 were investigated.

  3. The flat-plate plant-microbial fuel cell: the effect of a new design on internal resistances

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Due to a growing world population and increasing welfare, energy demand worldwide is increasing. To meet the increasing energy demand in a sustainable way, new technologies are needed. The Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell (P-MFC) is a technology that could produce sustainable bio-electricity and help meeting the increasing energy demand. Power output of the P-MFC, however, needs to be increased to make it attractive as a renewable and sustainable energy source. To increase power output of the P-MFC internal resistances need to be reduced. With a flat-plate P-MFC design we tried to minimize internal resistances compared to the previously used tubular P-MFC design. With the flat-plate design current and power density per geometric planting area were increased (from 0.15 A/m2 to 1.6 A/m2 and from 0.22 W/m2 to and 0.44 W/m2)as were current and power output per volume (from 7.5 A/m3 to 122 A/m3 and from 1.3 W/m3 to 5.8 W/m3). Internal resistances times volume were decreased, even though internal resistances times membrane surface area were not. Since the membrane in the flat-plate design is placed vertically, membrane surface area per geometric planting area is increased, which allows for lower internal resistances times volume while not decreasing internal resistances times membrane surface area. Anode was split into three different sections on different depths of the system, allowing to calculate internal resistances on different depths. Most electricity was produced where internal resistances were lowest and where most roots were present; in the top section of the system. By measuring electricity production on different depths in the system, electricity production could be linked to root growth. This link offers opportunities for material-reduction in new designs. Concurrent reduction in material use and increase in power output brings the P-MFC a step closer to usable energy density and economic feasibility. PMID:22998846

  4. Current density and catalyst-coated membrane resistance distribution of hydro-formed metallic bipolar plate fuel cell short stack with 250 cm2 active area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haase, S.; Moser, M.; Hirschfeld, J. A.; Jozwiak, K.

    2016-01-01

    An automotive fuel cell with an active area of 250 cm2 is investigated in a 4-cell short stack with a current and temperature distribution device next to the bipolar plate with 560 current and 140 temperature segments. The electrical conductivities of the bipolar plate and gas diffusion layer assembly are determined ex-situ with this current scan shunt module. The applied fuel cell consists of bipolar plates constructed of 75-μm-thick, welded stainless-steel foils and a graphitic coating. The electrical conductivities of the bipolar plate and gas diffusion layer assembly are determined ex-situ with this module with a 6% deviation in in-plane conductivity. The current density distribution is evaluated up to 2.4 A cm-2. The entire cell's investigated volumetric power density is 4.7 kW l-1, and its gravimetric power density is 4.3 kW kg-1 at an average cell voltage of 0.5 V. The current density distribution is determined without influencing the operating cell. In addition, the current density distribution in the catalyst-coated membrane and its effective resistivity distribution with a finite volume discretisation of Ohm's law are evaluated. The deviation between the current density distributions in the catalyst-coated membrane and the bipolar plate is determined.

  5. Microstructural characterization of a thin film ZrN diffusion barrier in an As-fabricated U–7Mo/Al matrix dispersion fuel plate

    SciTech Connect

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Perez, Emmanuel; Wiencek, Tom; Leenaers, Ann; Van den Berghe, Sven

    2015-03-01

    The United States High Performance Research Reactor Fuel Development program is developing low enriched uranium fuels for application in research and test reactors. One concept utilizes U–7 wt.% Mo (U–7Mo) fuel particles dispersed in Al matrix, where the fuel particles are coated with a 1 μm-thick ZrN coating. The ZrN serves as a diffusion barrier to eliminate a deleterious reaction that can occur between U–7Mo and Al when a dispersion fuel is irradiated under aggressive reactor conditions. To investigate the final microstructure of a physically-vapor-deposited ZrN coating in a dispersion fuel plate after it was fabricated using a rolling process, characterization samples were taken from a fuel plate that was fabricated at 500 °C using ZrN-coated U–7Mo particles, Al matrix and AA6061 cladding. Scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy analysis were performed. Data from these analyses will be used to support future microstructural examinations of irradiated fuel plates, in terms of understanding the effects of irradiation on the ZrN microstructure, and to determine the role of diffusion barrier microstructure in eliminating fuel/matrix interactions during irradiation. The as-fabricated coating was determined to be cubic-ZrN (cF8) phase. It exhibited a columnar microstructure comprised of nanometer-sized grains and a region of relatively high porosity, mainly near the Al matrix. Small impurity-containing phases were observed at the U–7Mo/ZrN interface, and no interaction zone was observed at the ZrN/Al interface. The bonding between the U–7Mo and ZrN appeared to be mechanical in nature. A relatively high level of oxygen was observed in the ZrN coating, extending from the Al matrix in the ZrN coating in decreasing concentration. The above microstructural characteristics are discussed in terms of what may be most optimal for a diffusion barrier in a dispersion fuel plate application.

  6. Microstructural characterization of a thin film ZrN diffusion barrier in an As-fabricated U-7Mo/Al matrix dispersion fuel plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Perez, Emmanuel; Wiencek, Tom; Leenaers, Ann; Van den Berghe, Sven

    2015-03-01

    The United States High Performance Research Reactor Fuel Development program is developing low enriched uranium fuels for application in research and test reactors. One concept utilizes U-7 wt.% Mo (U-7Mo) fuel particles dispersed in Al matrix, where the fuel particles are coated with a 1 μm-thick ZrN coating. The ZrN serves as a diffusion barrier to eliminate a deleterious reaction that can occur between U-7Mo and Al when a dispersion fuel is irradiated under aggressive reactor conditions. To investigate the final microstructure of a physically-vapor-deposited ZrN coating in a dispersion fuel plate after it was fabricated using a rolling process, characterization samples were taken from a fuel plate that was fabricated at 500 °C using ZrN-coated U-7Mo particles, Al matrix and AA6061 cladding. Scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy analysis were performed. Data from these analyses will be used to support future microstructural examinations of irradiated fuel plates, in terms of understanding the effects of irradiation on the ZrN microstructure, and to determine the role of diffusion barrier microstructure in eliminating fuel/matrix interactions during irradiation. The as-fabricated coating was determined to be cubic-ZrN (cF8) phase. It exhibited a columnar microstructure comprised of nanometer-sized grains and a region of relatively high porosity, mainly near the Al matrix. Small impurity-containing phases were observed at the U-7Mo/ZrN interface, and no interaction zone was observed at the ZrN/Al interface. The bonding between the U-7Mo and ZrN appeared to be mechanical in nature. A relatively high level of oxygen was observed in the ZrN coating, extending from the Al matrix in the ZrN coating in decreasing concentration. The above microstructural characteristics are discussed in terms of what may be most optimal for a diffusion barrier in a dispersion fuel plate application.

  7. Effect of in-pile degradation of the meat thermal conductivity on the maximum temperature of the plate-type U-Mo dispersion fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Pavel G. Medvedev

    2009-11-01

    Effect of in-pile degradation of thermal conductivity on the maximum temperature of the plate-type research reactor fuels has been assessed using the steady-state heat conduction equation and assuming convection cooling. It was found that due to very low meat thickness, characteristic for this type of fuel, the effect of thermal conductivity degradation on the maximum fuel temperature is minor. For example, the fuel plate featuring 0.635 mm thick meat operating at heat flux of 600 W/cm2 would experience only a 20oC temperature rise if the meat thermal conductivity degrades from 0.8 W/cm-s to 0.3 W/cm-s. While degradation of meat thermal conductivity in dispersion-type U-Mo fuel can be very substantial due to formation of interaction layer between the particles and the matrix, and development of fission gas filled porosity, this simple analysis demonstrates that this phenomenon is unlikely to significantly affect the temperature-based safety margin of the fuel during normal operation.

  8. Swelling of U(Mo)–Al(Si) dispersion fuel under irradiation – Non-destructive analyses of the LEONIDAS E-FUTURE plates

    SciTech Connect

    S. Van den Berghe; Y. Parthoens; F. Charollais; Y. S. Kim; A. Leenaers; E. Koonen; V. Kuzminov; P. Lemoine; C. Jarousse; H. Guyon; D. Wachs; D. Keiser, Jr.; A. Robinson; J. Stevens; G. Hofman

    2012-11-01

    In the framework of the elimination of High-Enriched Uranium (HEU) from the civil circuit, the search for an appropriate fuel to replace the high-enriched research reactor fuel in those reactors that currently still require it for their operation has led to the development of a U–7 wt.%Mo alloy based dispersion fuel with an Al–Si matrix. The European LEONIDAS program, joining SCK-CEN, ILL, CEA and AREVA-CERCA, is aimed at the qualification of such a fuel for the use in high power conditions. The first experiment of the program, designated E-FUTURE, was performed to select the appropriate matrix Si concentration and fuel plate post-production heat treatment parameters for further qualification. It consisted of the irradiation of four distinct (4% and 6% Si, 3 different heat treatments) full size, flat fuel plates in the BR2 reactor. The irradiation conditions were relatively severe: 470 W/cm2 peak BOL power, with an approximate 70% 235U peak burnup.

  9. Swelling of U(Mo)-Al(Si) dispersion fuel under irradiation - Non-destructive analyses of the LEONIDAS E-FUTURE plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van den Berghe, S.; Parthoens, Y.; Charollais, F.; Kim, Y. S.; Leenaers, A.; Koonen, E.; Kuzminov, V.; Lemoine, P.; Jarousse, C.; Guyon, H.; Wachs, D.; Keiser, D., Jr.; Robinson, A.; Stevens, J.; Hofman, G.

    2012-11-01

    In the framework of the elimination of High-Enriched Uranium (HEU) from the civil circuit, the search for an appropriate fuel to replace the high-enriched research reactor fuel in those reactors that currently still require it for their operation has led to the development of a U-7 wt.%Mo alloy based dispersion fuel with an Al-Si matrix. The European LEONIDAS program, joining SCK•CEN, ILL, CEA and AREVA-CERCA, is aimed at the qualification of such a fuel for the use in high power conditions. The first experiment of the program, designated E-FUTURE, was performed to select the appropriate matrix Si concentration and fuel plate post-production heat treatment parameters for further qualification. It consisted of the irradiation of four distinct (4% and 6% Si, 3 different heat treatments) full size, flat fuel plates in the BR2 reactor. The irradiation conditions were relatively severe: 470 W/cm2 peak BOL power, with a ˜70% 235U peak burnup.

  10. Microstructural anomalies in hot-isostatic pressed U–10wt.% Mo fuel plates with Zr diffusion barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Y.; Eriksson, N.; Keiser, D. D.; Jue, J.; Rabin, B.; Moore, G.; Sohn, Y. H.

    2015-05-01

    Microstructural anomalies in the co-rolled-and-HIP'ed U–10 wt.% Mo (U10Mo) metallic fuel plate with Zr diffusion barrier assembly were examined as a function of HIP temperature (from 520 to 580 °C) and duration (45, 60, 90, 180 and 345 min) by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The anomalies observed in this study are carbide/oxide inclusions within the U10Mo fuel alloy, and regions of limited interaction between the U10Mo alloy and Zr barrier, frequently associated with carbide/oxide inclusions. In the U10Mo alloy, the cF8, Fm3m (225) UC phase (a=4.955 Å) and cF12, Fm3m (225) UO2 phase (a=5.467 Å) were observed throughout the U10Mo alloy with an approximate volume percent of 0.5 to 1.8. The volume percent of the UC–UO2 inclusions within the U10Mo alloy did not change as functions of HIP temperature and time. These inclusion phases, located near the surface of the U10Mo alloy, were frequently observed to impede the development of interdiffusion and reaction between the U10Mo alloy and Zr diffusion barrier. The regions of limited interaction between the U10Mo and Zr barrier decreased with an increase in HIP temperature, however no noticeable trend was observed with an increase in HIP duration at constant temperature of 560 °C.

  11. Characterization of thermal and mechanical properties of polypropylene-based composites for fuel cell bipolar plates and development of educational tools in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez Gaxiola, Daniel

    In this project we developed conductive thermoplastic resins by adding varying amounts of three different carbon fillers: carbon black (CB), synthetic graphite (SG) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (CNT) to a polypropylene matrix for application as fuel cell bipolar plates. This component of fuel cells provides mechanical support to the stack, circulates the gases that participate in the electrochemical reaction within the fuel cell and allows for removal of the excess heat from the system. The materials fabricated in this work were tested to determine their mechanical and thermal properties. These materials were produced by adding varying amounts of single carbon fillers to a polypropylene matrix (2.5 to 15 wt.% Ketjenblack EC-600 JD carbon black, 10 to 80 wt.% Asbury Carbons' Thermocarb TC-300 synthetic graphite, and 2.5 to 15 wt.% of Hyperion Catalysis International's FIBRIL(TM) multi-walled carbon nanotubes) In addition, composite materials containing combinations of these three fillers were produced. The thermal conductivity results showed an increase in both through-plane and in-plane thermal conductivities, with the largest increase observed for synthetic graphite. The Department of Energy (DOE) had previously set a thermal conductivity goal of 20 W/m·K, which was surpassed by formulations containing 75 wt.% and 80 wt.% SG, yielding in-plane thermal conductivity values of 24.4 W/m·K and 33.6 W/m·K, respectively. In addition, composites containing 2.5 wt.% CB, 65 wt.% SG, and 6 wt.% CNT in PP had an in-plane thermal conductivity of 37 W/m·K. Flexural and tensile tests were conducted. All composite formulations exceeded the flexural strength target of 25 MPa set by DOE. The tensile and flexural modulus of the composites increased with higher concentration of carbon fillers. Carbon black and synthetic graphite caused a decrease in the tensile and flexural strengths of the composites. However, carbon nanotubes increased the composite tensile and flexural

  12. Evaluation of Annealing Treatments for Producing Si-Rich Fuel/Matrix Interaction Layers in Low-Enriched U-Mo Dispersion Fuel Plates Rolled at a Low Temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis D. Keiser, Jr.; Jan-Fong Jue; Nicolas E. Woolstenhulme

    2010-06-01

    During fabrication of U-7Mo dispersion fuels, exposure to relatively high temperatures affects the final microstructure of a fuel plate before it is inserted into a reactor. One impact of this high temperature exposure is a chemical interaction that can occur between dissimilar materials. For U-7Mo dispersion fuels, the U-7Mo particles will interact to some extent with the Al or Al alloy matrix to produce interaction products. It has been observed that the final irradiation behavior of a fuel plate can depend on the amount of interaction that occurs at the U-7Mo/matrix interface during fabrication, along with the type of phases that develop at this interface. For the case where a U-7Mo dispersion fuel has a Si-containing Al alloy matrix and is rolled at around 500°C, a Si-rich interaction product has been observed to form that can potentially have a positive impact on fuel performance during irradiation. This interaction product can exhibit stable irradiation behavior and it can act as a diffusion barrier to additional U-Mo/matrix interaction during irradiation. However, for U-7Mo dispersion fuels with softer claddings that are rolled at lower temperatures (e.g., near 425°C), a significant interaction layer has not been observed to form. As a result, the bulk of any interaction layer that develops in these fuels happens during irradiation, and the layer that forms may not exhibit as stable a behavior as one that is formed during fabrication. Therefore, it may be beneficial to add a heat treatment step during the fabrication of dispersion fuel plates with softer cladding alloys that will result in the formation of a uniform, Si-rich interaction layer that is a few microns thick around the U-Mo fuel particles. This type of layer would have characteristics like the one that has been observed in dispersion fuel plates with AA6061 cladding that are fabricated at 500°C, which may exhibit increased stability during irradiation. This report discusses the result of

  13. Modeling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with metal foam in the flow-field of the bipolar/end plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Atul; Reddy, R. G.

    A unified, three-dimensional, steady-state numerical mass-transfer single cell model for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was developed. The modeled fuel cell uses metal foam in the flow-field of the bipolar/end plates instead of the conventionally used rectangular channels. Transport equations formulated under the PEMFC conditions were solved using the commercial computational fluid dynamics software Fluent ® 6.0 with Gambit ® 2.0 as pre-processor. Simulations were performed for different permeability levels of the metal foam in the flow-field. Results showed a significant effect of permeability of the metal foam on the performance of the fuel cell. For example: at 10 -6 m 2 permeability of metal foam the value of average current density was 5943 A/m 2 while at 10 -11 m 2 permeability, the average current density was 8325 A/m 2. The average current density value for the multi-parallel flow-field channel design (channel width=0.0625 in., channel depth=0.0625 in. and land width=0.0625 in.), which corresponded to an equivalent permeability value of 4.4×10 -8 m 2 was 7019 A/m 2. This value for the porous configuration with same permeability and under similar conditions of temperature, pressure and reactants flow rate was slightly lower at 6794 A/m 2. The trend indicated that decreasing the permeability of the flow-field results in better performance from the cell. However, the permeability of the channel design can not be decreased below the value of around 10 -8 m 2, due to difficulty in machining thinner channels. Consequently, the use of metal foam flow-field is proposed in the bipolar/end plate. The developed model offers fuel cell developers a scope for improvement of the bipolar/end plates in the fuel cell, by switching over to the metal foam flow-field concept.

  14. High energy X-ray diffraction measurement of residual stresses in a monolithic aluminum clad uranium–10 wt% molybdenum fuel plate assembly

    SciTech Connect

    D. W. Brown; M. A. Okuniewski; J. D. Almer; L. Balogh; B. Clausen; J. S. Okasinski; B. H. Rabin

    2013-10-01

    Residual stresses are expected in monolithic, aluminum clad uranium 10 wt% molybdenum (U–10Mo) nuclear fuel plates because of the large mismatch in thermal expansion between the two bonded materials. The full residual stress tensor of the U–10Mo foil in a fuel plate assembly was mapped with 0.1 mm resolution using high-energy (86 keV) X-ray diffraction. The in-plane stresses in the U–10Mo foil are strongly compressive, roughly -250 MPa in the longitudinal direction and -140 MPa in the transverse direction near the center of the fuel foil. The normal component of the stress is weakly compressive near the center of the foil and tensile near the corner. The disparity in the residual stress between the two in-plane directions far from the edges and the tensile normal stress suggest that plastic deformation in the aluminum cladding during fabrication by hot isostatic pressing also contributes to the residual stress field. A tensile in-plane residual stress is presumed to be present in the aluminum cladding to balance the large in-plane compressive stresses in the U–10Mo fuel foil, but cannot be directly measured with the current technique due to large grain size.

  15. An investigation of the typical corrosion parameters used to test polymer electrolyte fuel cell bipolar plate coatings, with titanium nitride coated stainless steel as a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orsi, A.; Kongstein, O. E.; Hamilton, P. J.; Oedegaard, A.; Svenum, I. H.; Cooke, K.

    2015-07-01

    Stainless steel bipolar plates (BPP) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have good manufacturability, durability and low costs, but inadequate corrosion resistance and elevated interfacial contact resistance (ICR) in the fuel cell environment. Thin film coatings of titanium nitride (TiN) of 1 μm in thickness, were deposited by means of physical vapour deposition (PVD) process on to stainless steel (SS) 316L substrates and were evaluated, in a series of tests, for their level of corrosion protection and ICR. In the ex-situ corrosion tests, variables such as applied potential, experimental duration and pH of the sulphate electrolyte at 80 °C were altered. The ICR values were found to increase after exposure to greater applied potentials and electrolytes of a higher pH. In terms of experimental duration, the ICR increased most rapidly at the beginning of each experiment. It was also found that the oxidation of TiN was accelerated after exposure to electrolytes of a higher pH. When coated BPPs were incorporated into an accelerated fuel cell test, the degradation of the fuel cell cathode resembled the plates that were tested at the highest anodic potential (1.4 VSHE).

  16. Pre-Oxidized and Nitrided Stainless Steel Foil for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates: Part 1 Corrosion, Interfacial Contact Resistance, and Surface Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Wang, Heli; Turner, John; Meyer III, Harry M; More, Karren Leslie; Tortorelli, Peter F; McCarthy, Brian D

    2010-01-01

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steels can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically-conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surfaces (Cr2N, CrN, TiN, V2N, VN, etc) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents the results of scale up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. A major emphasis was placed on selection of alloy foil composition and nitidation conditions potentially capable of meeting the stringent cost goals for automotive PEMFC applications. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. Promising behavior was observed under simulated aggressive anode- and cathode- side bipolar plate conditions for both materials. Variation in ICR values were observed for treated 2205 foil, with lower (better) values generally observed for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V. This behavior was linked to the nature of the pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure, which contained through surface layer thickness V-nitride particles in the case of Fe-20Cr-4V but near continuous chromia in the case of 2205 stainless steel. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  17. Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates: Part 1. Corrosion, interfacial contact resistance, and surface structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady, M. P.; Wang, H.; Turner, J. A.; Meyer, H. M.; More, K. L.; Tortorelli, P. F.; McCarthy, B. D.

    Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr 2N, CrN, TiN, V 2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of scale-up studies to determine the feasibility of extending the nitridation approach to thin 0.1 mm stainless steel alloy foils for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) bipolar plates. Developmental Fe-20Cr-4V alloy and type 2205 stainless steel foils were treated by pre-oxidation and nitridation to form low-ICR, corrosion-resistant surfaces. As-treated Fe-20Cr-4V foil exhibited target (low) ICR values, whereas 2205 foil suffered from run-to-run variation in ICR values, ranging up to 2× the target value. Pre-oxidized and nitrided surface structure examination revealed surface-through-layer-thickness V-nitride particles for the treated Fe-20Cr-4V, but near continuous chromia for treated 2205 stainless steel, which was linked to the variation in ICR values. Promising corrosion resistance was observed under simulated aggressive PEMFC anode- and cathode-side bipolar plate conditions for both materials, although ICR values were observed to increase. The implications of these findings for stamped bipolar plate foils are discussed.

  18. FASTENER FOR AN ASSEMBLY OF PLATES

    DOEpatents

    Groh, E.F.

    1963-08-20

    A fastener is provided for a spaced-apart parallel plate fuel assembly. The fastener, attached by screws to a key that passes through the edges of the assembled plate, serves as a retainer for the outermost plate as well as a bidirectional spacer for separating the fuel assembly from two neighboring fuel assemblies. (AEC)

  19. Surface modification and performance of inexpensive Fe-based bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Ching-Yuan; Wen, Tse-Min; Huang, Mao-Suan; Hou, Kung-Hsu; Ger, Ming-Der; Lee, Shuo-Jen

    A reforming pack chromization with rolling pretreatment process is utilized to develop inexpensive and high-performance Fe-based metal bipolar plates (SS 420, SS 430, and SS 316 stainless steels) for PEMFC systems. Rolling process is previously performed to reduce the chromizing temperature and generate a coating possessing excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance on the steels during chromization. The power efficiencies of rolled-chromized and simple chromized bipolar plates are compared with graphite bipolar plates employed in PEMFCs. The results show that the rolled-chromized bipolar plates have a corrosion current (I corr) of 7.87 × 10 -8 A cm -2 and an interfacial contact resistance of 9.7 mΩ cm 2. Moreover, the power density of the single cell assembled with rolled-chromized bipolar plates is 0.46 W cm -2, which is very close to that of graphite (0.50 W cm -2), in the tested conditions of this study.

  20. Improved anticorrosion properties and electrical conductivity of 316L stainless steel as bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell by lower temperature chromizing treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Lijun; Yu, Haijun; Jiang, Lijun; Zhu, Lei; Jian, Xuyu; Wang, Zhong

    The lower temperature chromizing treatment is developed to modify 316L stainless steel (SS 316L) for the application of bipolar plate in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The treatment is performed to produce a coating, containing mainly Cr-carbide and Cr-nitride, on the substrate to improve the anticorrosion properties and electrical conductivity between the bipolar plate and carbon paper. Shot peening is used as the pretreatment to produce an activated surface on stainless steel to reduce chromizing temperature. Anticorrosion properties and interfacial contact resistance (ICR) are investigated in this study. Results show that the chromized SS 316L exhibits better corrosion resistance and lower ICR value than those of bare SS 316L. The chromized SS 316L shows the passive current density about 3E-7 A cm -2 that is about four orders of magnitude lower than that of bare SS 316L. ICR value of the chromized SS 316L is 13 mΩ cm 2 that is about one-third of bare SS 316L at 200 N cm -2 compaction forces. Therefore, this study clearly states the performance advantages of using chromized SS 316L by lower temperature chromizing treatment as bipolar plate for PEMFC.

  1. Growth kinetics and microstructural evolution during hot isostatic pressing of U-10 wt.% Mo monolithic fuel plate in AA6061 cladding with Zr diffusion barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Y.; Yoo, J.; Huang, K.; Keiser, D. D.; Jue, J. F.; Rabin, B.; Moore, G.; Sohn, Y. H.

    2014-04-01

    Phase constituents and microstructure changes in RERTR fuel plate assemblies as functions of temperature and duration of hot-isostatic pressing (HIP) during fabrication were examined. The HIP process was carried out as functions of temperature (520, 540, 560 and 580 °C for 90 min) and time (45-345 min at 560 °C) to bond 6061 Al-alloy to the Zr diffusion barrier that had been co-rolled with U-10 wt.% Mo (U10Mo) fuel monolith prior to the HIP process. Scanning and transmission electron microscopies were employed to examine the phase constituents, microstructure and layer thickness of interaction products from interdiffusion. At the interface between the U10Mo and Zr, following the co-rolling, the UZr2 phase was observed to develop adjacent to Zr, and the α-U phase was found between the UZr2 and U10Mo, while the Mo2Zr was found as precipitates mostly within the α-U phase. The phase constituents and thickness of the interaction layer at the U10Mo-Zr interface remained unchanged regardless of HIP processing variation. Observable growth due to HIP was only observed for the (Al,Si)3Zr phase found at the Zr/AA6061 interface, however, with a large activation energy of 457 ± 28 kJ/mole. Thus, HIP can be carried to improve the adhesion quality of fuel plate without concern for the excessive growth of the interaction layer, particularly at the U10Mo-Zr interface with the α-U, Mo2Zr, and UZr2 phases.

  2. Growth kinetics and microstructural evolution during hot isostatic pressing of U-10 wt.% Mo monolithic fuel plate in AA6061 cladding with Zr diffusion barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Y. Park; J. Yoo; K. Huang; D. D. Keiser, Jr.; J. F. Jue; B. Rabin; G. Moore; Y. H. Sohn

    2014-04-01

    Phase constituents and microstructure changes in RERTR fuel plate assemblies as functions of temperature and duration of hot-isostatic pressing (HIP) during fabrication were examined. The HIP process was carried out as functions of temperature (520, 540, 560 and 580 °C for 90 min) and time (45–345 min at 560 °C) to bond 6061 Al-alloy to the Zr diffusion barrier that had been co-rolled with U-10 wt.% Mo (U10Mo) fuel monolith prior to the HIP process. Scanning and transmission electron microscopies were employed to examine the phase constituents, microstructure and layer thickness of interaction products from interdiffusion. At the interface between the U10Mo and Zr, following the co-rolling, the UZr2 phase was observed to develop adjacent to Zr, and the a-U phase was found between the UZr2 and U10Mo, while the Mo2Zr was found as precipitates mostly within the a-U phase. The phase constituents and thickness of the interaction layer at the U10Mo-Zr interface remained unchanged regardless of HIP processing variation. Observable growth due to HIP was only observed for the (Al,Si)3Zr phase found at the Zr/AA6061 interface, however, with a large activation energy of 457 ± 28 kJ/mole. Thus, HIP can be carried to improve the adhesion quality of fuel plate without concern for the excessive growth of the interaction layer, particularly at the U10Mo-Zr interface with the a-U, Mo2Zr, and UZr2 phases.

  3. A 10kW class molten carbonate fuel cell test: The stack with electrolyte plate prepared with paper-making method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Izaki, Y.; Watanabe, T.; Mugikura, Y.; Hayasaka, T.; Shimazu, K.; Hamamatsu, T.; Abe, T.; Ishikawa, H.; Kusunose, N.; Shundo, Y.

    1989-10-01

    In Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) , 10kW class Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) Test Facility has been installed at Yokosuka Laboratory, and operation experiments have been performed. The experimental results are described. An operation experiment of about 250 hours was carried out, using large MCFC stack with the Electrolyte Plate prepared with a Paper Making Method made by Fuji Electric Co. Ltd. The test stack was designed by adopting internal manifold and co-flow type as gas flow structure. It was clarified that high fuel utilization operation is very important, because the energy conversion efficiency depends on fuel utilization ratio. Output power of the stack depends on the partial pressure of oxygen in cathode oxidizing agent gas, but the amount of dependency is not clear. It was recognized that the temperature control for keeping operation without any outside heater is possible, as the amount of producing heat by power generation becomes more than heat loss and gas removal heat at the electric current over 200A (2/3 load).

  4. Investigations on the corrosion resistance of metallic bipolar plates (BPP) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) - understanding the effects of material, coating and manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dur, Ender

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) systems are promising technology for contributing to meet the deficiency of world`s clean and sustainable energy requirements in the near future. Metallic bipolar plate (BPP) as one of the most significant components of PEMFC device accounts for the largest part of the fuel cell`s stack. Corrosion for metallic bipolar plates is a critical issue, which influences the performance and durability of PEMFC. Corrosion causes adverse impacts on the PEMFC`s performance jeopardizing commercialization. This research is aimed at determining the corrosion resistance of metallic BPPs, particularly stainless steels, used in PEMFC from different aspects. Material selection, coating selection, manufacturing process development and cost considerations need to be addressed in terms of the corrosion behavior to justify the use of stainless steels as a BPP material in PEMFC and to make them commercially feasible in industrial applications. In this study, Ti, Ni, SS304, SS316L, and SS 430 blanks, and BPPs comprised of SS304 and SS316L were examined in terms of the corrosion behavior. SS316L plates were coated to investigate the effect of coatings on the corrosion resistance performance. Stamping and hydroforming as manufacturing processes, and three different coatings (TiN, CrN, ZrN) applied via the Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) method in three different thicknesses were selected to observe the effects of manufacturing processes, coating types and coating thicknesses on the corrosion resistance of BPP, respectively. Uncoated-coated blank and formed BPP were subjected to two different corrosion tests: potentiostatic and potentiodynamic. Some of the substantial results: 1- Manufacturing processes have an adverse impact on the corrosion resistance. 2- Hydroformed plates have slightly higher corrosion resistance than stamped samples. 3- BPPs with higher channel size showed better corrosion resistance. 4- Since none of the uncoated samples

  5. Multifunctional polymeric nanocomposites fabricated by incorporation of exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets and their application in bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Xian

    The focus of this research is to investigate the potential of using exfoliated graphene nanoplatelets, GNP, as the multifunctional nano-reinforcement in fabricating polymer/GNP nanocomposites and then explore their prospective applications in bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Firstly, HDPE (high density polyethylene)/GNP nanocomposites were fabricated using the conventional compounding method of melt-extrusion followed by injection molding. The mechanical properties, crystallization behaviors, thermal stability, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity of the resulting HDPE/GNP nanocomposites were evaluated as a function of GNP concentration. Results showed that HDPE/GNP nanocomposites exhibit equivalent flexural modulus and strength to HDPE composites filled with other commercial reinforcements but they have superior impact strength. By investigating the crystallization behavior of HDPE/GNP nanocomposites, it was found that GNP is a good nucleating agent at low loading levels and as a result can significantly increase crystallization temperature and crystallinity of HDPE. At high GNP loadings, however, the close proximity of GNP particles retards the crystallization process. The thermal stability and thermal conductivity of HDPE/GNP nanocomposites were significantly enhanced due to the excellent thermal properties of GNP. Meanwhile, results indicated that the percolation threshold of these nanocomposites prepared by the conventional melt-extrusion and injection molding is relatively high at around 10--15 vol% GNP loading. To enhance the electrical conductivity of HDPE/GNP nanocomposites, two special processing methods named solid state ball milling (SSBM) and solid state shear pulverization (SSSP) were studied. The mechanism by which SSBM and SSSP are capable of producing lower percolation or higher electrical conductivity is to coat the polymer surface by GNP platelets which facilitate the formation of conductive networks

  6. Investigations on the micro-scale surface interactions at the tool and workpiece interface in micro-manufacturing of bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peker, Mevlut Fatih

    Micro-forming studies have been more attractive in recent years because of miniaturization trend. One of the promising metal forming processes, micro-stamping, provides durability, strength, surface finish, and low cost for metal products. Hence, it is considered a prominent method for fabricating bipolar plates (BPP) with micro-channel arrays on large metallic surfaces to be used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). Major concerns in micro-stamping of high volume BPPs are surface interactions between micro-stamping dies and blank metal plates, and tribological changes. These concerns play a critical role in determining the surface quality, channel formation, and dimensional precision of bipolar plates. The surface quality of BPP is highly dependent on the micro-stamping die surface, and process conditions due to large ratios of surface area to volume (size effect) that cause an increased level of friction and wear issues at the contact interface. Due to the high volume and fast production rates, BPP surface characteristics such as surface roughness, hardness, and stiffness may change because of repeated interactions between tool (micro-forming die) and workpiece (sheet blank of interest). Since the surface characteristics of BPPs have a strong effect on corrosion and contact resistance of bipolar plates, and consequently overall fuel cell performance, evolution of surface characteristics at the tool and workpiece should be monitored, controlled, and kept in acceptable ranges throughout the long production cycles to maintain the surface quality. Compared to macro-forming operations, tribological changes in micro-forming process are bigger challenges due to their dominance and criticality. Therefore, tribological size effect should be considered for better understanding of tribological changes in micro-scale. The integrity of process simulation to the experiments, on the other hand, is essential. This study describes an approach that aims to investigate

  7. Development and validation of capabilities to measure thermal properties of layered monolithic U-Mo alloy plate-type fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Burkes, Douglas; Casella, Andrew M.; Buck, Edgar C.; Casella, Amanda J.; Edwards, Matthew K.; MacFarlan, Paul J.; Pool, Karl N.; Smith, Frances N.; Steen, Franciska H.

    2014-07-19

    The uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy in a monolithic form has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world’s highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of thermal conductivity behavior of the fuel system as a function of temperature and expected irradiation conditions. The purpose of this paper is to verify and validate the functionality of equipment methods installed in hot cells for eventual measurements on irradiated uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) monolithic fuel specimens, procedures to operate the equipment, and models to extract the desired thermal properties. The results presented here demonstrate the adequacy of the equipment, procedures and models that have been developed for this purpose based on measurements conducted on surrogate depleted uranium-molybdenum (DU-Mo) alloy samples containing a zirconium diffusion barrier and clad in aluminum alloy 6061 (AA6061). The results are in excellent agreement with thermal property data reported in the literature for similar U-Mo alloys as a function of temperature.

  8. Development and Validation of Capabilities to Measure Thermal Properties of Layered Monolithic U-Mo Alloy Plate-Type Fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkes, Douglas E.; Casella, Andrew M.; Buck, Edgar C.; Casella, Amanda J.; Edwards, Matthew K.; MacFarlan, Paul J.; Pool, Karl N.; Smith, Frances N.; Steen, Franciska H.

    2014-07-01

    The uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy in a monolithic form has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world's highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium to low enriched uranium. One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of the thermal-conductivity behavior of the fuel system as a function of temperature and expected irradiation conditions. The purpose of this paper is to verify functionality of equipment installed in hot cells for eventual measurements on irradiated uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) monolithic fuel specimens, refine procedures to operate the equipment, and validate models to extract the desired thermal properties. The results presented here demonstrate the adequacy of the equipment, procedures, and models that have been developed for this purpose based on measurements conducted on surrogate depleted uranium-molybdenum (DU-Mo) alloy samples containing a Zr diffusion barrier and clad in aluminum alloy 6061 (AA6061). The results are in excellent agreement with thermal property data reported in the literature for similar U-Mo alloys as a function of temperature.

  9. Comprehensive comparison of a new tin-coated copper mesh and a graphite plate electrode as an anode material in microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Taskan, Ergin; Hasar, Halil

    2015-02-01

    This paper summarizes the comparison of a new tin-coated copper (t-coating Cu) mesh electrode with a graphite plate electrode for potential power generation and biocompatibility in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The study, which used domestic wastewater, demonstrated that t-coating Cu mesh electrode produced a power density (271 mW/m(2)) approximately three times higher than that produced by a graphite electrode (87 mW/m(2)). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) results revealed that bacterial morphology on the two electrodes significantly varied. The t-coating Cu mesh electrode surface had higher bacterial diversity because the open three-dimensional macro-mesh structure allowed an excellent electro-biofilm attachment. Kinetic performances evaluated using the Nernst-Monod equation demonstrated that the t-coating Cu mesh electrode had both higher power density and good biocompatibility in a large surface area, high chemical stability, and favorable metallic conductivity. PMID:25481116

  10. Improved corrosion resistance and interfacial contact resistance of 316L stainless-steel for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates by chromizing surface treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, S. B.; Cho, K. H.; Lee, W. G.; Jang, H.

    The electrochemical performance and electrical contact resistance of chromized 316 stainless-steel (SS) are investigated under simulated operating condition in a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The corrosion resistance of the chromized stainless steel is assessed by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests and the interfacial contact resistance (ICR) is examined by measuring the electrical contact resistance as a function of the compaction force. The results show that the chromizing surface treatment improves the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel due to the high-chromium concentration in the diffuse coating layer. On the other hand, the excess Chromium content on the surface increases the contact resistance of the steel plate to a level that is excessively high for commercial applications. This study examines the root cause of the high-contact resistance after chromizing and reports the optimum process to improve the corrosion resistance without sacrificing the ICR by obtaining a chrome carbide on the outer layer.

  11. Corrosion protection of aluminum bipolar plates with polyaniline coating containing carbon nanotubes in acidic medium inside the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deyab, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The effect of addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the corrosion resistance of conductive polymer coating (polyaniline) that coated aluminum bipolar plates in acidic environment inside the PEM fuel cell (0.1 M H2SO4) was investigated using electrical conductivity, polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize the coating morphology. The results show that the addition of CNTs to polyaniline coating enhanced the electrical conductivity and the corrosion resistance of polyaniline polymer. The inhibition efficiency of polyaniline polymer increased with increasing CNTs concentration. The best inhibition was generally obtained at 0.8% CNTs concentration in the acidic medium. This was further confirmed by decreasing the oxygen and water permeability and increasing coating adhesion in the presence of CNTs. EIS measurements indicated that the incorporation of CNTs in coating increased both the charge transfer and pore resistances while reducing the double layer capacitance.

  12. Electrochemical behavior of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer on 316L stainless steel: Novel bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel-cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alishahi, M.; Mahboubi, F.; Mousavi Khoie, S. M.; Aparicio, M.; Hübner, R.; Soldera, F.; Gago, R.

    2016-08-01

    Insufficient corrosion resistance and surface conductivity are two main issues that plague large-scale application of stainless steel (SS) bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). This study explores the use of nanocrystalline Ta/TaN multilayer coatings to improve the electrical and electrochemical performance of polished 316L SS bipolar plates. The multilayer coatings have been deposited by (reactive) magnetron sputtering and characterized by X-ray diffraction, field-emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The electrochemical behavior of bare and coated substrates has been evaluated in simulated PEMFC working environments by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarization tests at ambient temperature and 80 °C. The results show that the Ta/TaN multilayer coating increases the polarization resistance of 316L SS by about 30 and 104 times at ambient and elevated temperatures, respectively. The interfacial contact resistance (ICR) shows a low value of 12 mΩ × cm2 before the potentiostatic test. This ICR is significantly lower than for the bare substrate and remains mostly unchanged after potentiostatic polarization for 14 h. In addition, the high contact angle (92°) with water for coated substrates indicates a hydrophobic character, which can improve the water management within the cell in PEMFC stacks.

  13. Annealing induced interfacial layers in niobium-clad stainless steel developed as a bipolar plate material for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, Sung Tae; Weil, K. Scott; Choi, Jung-Pyung; Bae, In-Tae; Pan, Jwo

    2010-05-01

    Niobium (Nb)-clad 304L stainless steel (SS) manufactured by cold rolling is currently under consideration for use as a bipolar plate material in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks. To make the fabrication of bipolar plates using the Nb-clad SS feasible, annealing may be necessary for the Nb-clad SS to reduce the springback induced by cold rolling. However, the annealing can develop an interfacial layer between the Nb cladding and the SS core and the interfacial layer plays a key role in the failure of the Nb-clad SS as reported earlier [JPS our work]. In this investigation, the Nb-clad SS specimens in as-rolled condition were annealed at different combinations of temperature and time. Based on the results of scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis, an annealing process map for the Nb-clad SS was obtained. The results of SEM analysis and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) analysis also suggest that different interfacial layers occurred based on the given annealing conditions.

  14. Optimization of the preform shape in the three-stage forming process of the shielded slot plate in fuel cell manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Dong-Yol; Lee, Chang-Whan; Kang, Dong-Woo; Chang, In-Gab; Lee, Tae-Won

    2013-05-01

    The shielded slot plate, a repeated structure of high sheared protrusions, is a major component of metallic bipolar plates for the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC). In order to increase the efficiency of the MCFC and long-term operation capability, the sheared protrusion should have a relatively large flat contact area. In addition, defects from the forming process such as local thinning should be minimized. In this work, the preform shape in the three-stage forming process that integrates the slitting process, the preforming process, and the final forming process was optimized to minimize the effective plastic strain. In the simulation of the forming process, the ductile fracture criterion was employed to the user material subroutine VUMAT in ABAQUS/Explicit. Steepest descent method was utilized in the design of the forming process to minimize equivalent plastic strain. High sheared protrusions were manufactured without defects from the three-stage forming process using the optimized preform shape. The minimum thickness of one sheared protrusion was increased by 25% over that of the two-stage forming process. The three-stage forming process using the optimized preform shape enables more uniformly distributed deformation and reduces localized deformation.

  15. An investigation on corrosion protection of chromium nitride coated Fe-Cr alloy as a bipolar plate material for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zhang, B.; Li, J.; He, Y. X.; Lin, F.

    2014-12-01

    The corrosion properties of chromium nitride (CrN) coating are investigated to assess the potential use of this material as a bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Conductive metallic ceramic CrN layers are firstly deposited onto Fe-Cr alloy using a multi-arc ion plating technique to increase the corrosion resistance of the base alloy. Electrochemical measurements indicate that the corrosion resistance of the substrate alloy is greatly enhanced by the CrN coating. The free corrosion potential of the substrate is increased by more than 50 mV. Furthermore, a decrease in three orders of magnitude of corrosive current density for the CrN-coated alloy is observed compared to the as-received Fe-Cr alloy. Long-term immersion tests show that the CrN layer is highly stable and effectively acts as a barrier to inhibit permeation of corrosive species. On the contrary, corrosion of the Fe-Cr alloy is rather severe without the protection of CrN coating due to the active dissolution. Finally, the corresponding electrochemical impedance models are proposed to elucidate the corrosion process of the CrN/Fe-Cr alloy submerged in a simulated PEMFCs environment.

  16. Investigation of the effects of process sequence on the contact resistance characteristics of coated metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turan, Cabir; Cora, Ömer Necati; Koç, Muammer

    2013-12-01

    In this study, results of an investigation on the effects of manufacturing and coating process sequence on the contact resistance (ICR) of metallic bipolar plates (BPP) for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are presented. Firstly, uncoated stainless steel 316L blanks were formed into BPP through hydroforming and stamping processes. Then, these formed BPP samples were coated with three different PVD coatings (CrN, TiN and ZrN) at three different thicknesses (0.1, 0.5 and 1 μm). Secondly, blanks of the same alloy were coated first with the same coatings, thickness and technique; then, they were formed into BPPs of the same shape and dimensions using the manufacturing methods as in the first group. Finally, these two groups of BPP samples were tested for their ICR to reveal the effect of process sequence. ICR tests were also conducted on the BPP plates both before and after exposure to corrosion to disclose the effect of corrosion on ICR. Coated-then-formed BPP samples exhibited similar or even better ICR performance than formed-then-coated BPP samples. Thus, manufacturing of coated blanks can be concluded to be more favorable and worth further investigation in quest of making cost effective BPPs for mass production of PEMFC.

  17. COMPOSITE FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Hurford, W.J.; Gordon, R.B.; Johnson, W.A.

    1962-12-25

    A sandwich-type fuel element for a reactor is described. This fuel element has the shape of an elongated flat plate and includes a filler plate having a plurality of compartments therein in which the fuel material is located. The filler plate is clad on both sides with a thin cladding material which is secured to the filler plate only to completely enclose the fuel material in each compartment. (AEC)

  18. Plate motion

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, R.G. )

    1991-01-01

    The motion of tectonic plates on the earth is characterized in a critical review of U.S. research from the period 1987-1990. Topics addressed include the NUVEL-1 global model of current plate motions, diffuse plate boundaries and the oceanic lithosphere, the relation between plate motions and distributed deformations, accelerations and the steadiness of plate motions, the distribution of current Pacific-North America motion across western North America and its margin, plate reconstructions and their uncertainties, hotspots, and plate dynamics. A comprehensive bibliography is provided. 126 refs.

  19. Multilayered Zr-C/a-C film on stainless steel 316L as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Feifei; Peng, Linfa; Yi, Peiyun; Lai, Xinmin

    2016-05-01

    A multilayered zirconium-carbon/amorphous carbon (Zr-C/a-C) coating is synthesized by magnetron sputtering in order to improve the corrosion resistance and interfacial conductivity of stainless steel 316L (SS316L) as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Zr-C/a-C film contains an outmost pure amorphous carbon layer and a sub zirconium containing carbon layer. Interfacial contact resistance (ICR) between carbon paper and coated SS316L decreases to 3.63 mΩ cm2 at 1.4 MPa. Potentiodynamic polarization results reveal that the corrosion potential of Zr-C/a-C coated sample is more positive than pure a-C coated sample and the current density is only 0.49 μA cm-2 at the cathode applied potential 0.6 V. Electrochemical impendence spectroscopy also indicates that multilayered Zr-C/a-C film coated SS316L has much higher charge transfer resistance than the bare sample. After potentiostatic polarization, ICR values are 3.92 mΩ cm2 and 3.82 mΩ cm2 in the simulated PEMFCs cathode and anode environment, respectively. Moreover, XPS analysis of the coated samples before and after potential holding tests shows little difference, which disclose the chemical stability of multilayered Zr-C/a-C film. Therefore, the multilayered Zr-C/a-C coating exhibits excellent performance in various aspects and is preferred for the application of stainless steel bipolar plates.

  20. Investigations on the micro-scale surface interactions at the tool and workpiece interface in micro-manufacturing of bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peker, Mevlut Fatih

    Micro-forming studies have been more attractive in recent years because of miniaturization trend. One of the promising metal forming processes, micro-stamping, provides durability, strength, surface finish, and low cost for metal products. Hence, it is considered a prominent method for fabricating bipolar plates (BPP) with micro-channel arrays on large metallic surfaces to be used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC). Major concerns in micro-stamping of high volume BPPs are surface interactions between micro-stamping dies and blank metal plates, and tribological changes. These concerns play a critical role in determining the surface quality, channel formation, and dimensional precision of bipolar plates. The surface quality of BPP is highly dependent on the micro-stamping die surface, and process conditions due to large ratios of surface area to volume (size effect) that cause an increased level of friction and wear issues at the contact interface. Due to the high volume and fast production rates, BPP surface characteristics such as surface roughness, hardness, and stiffness may change because of repeated interactions between tool (micro-forming die) and workpiece (sheet blank of interest). Since the surface characteristics of BPPs have a strong effect on corrosion and contact resistance of bipolar plates, and consequently overall fuel cell performance, evolution of surface characteristics at the tool and workpiece should be monitored, controlled, and kept in acceptable ranges throughout the long production cycles to maintain the surface quality. Compared to macro-forming operations, tribological changes in micro-forming process are bigger challenges due to their dominance and criticality. Therefore, tribological size effect should be considered for better understanding of tribological changes in micro-scale. The integrity of process simulation to the experiments, on the other hand, is essential. This study describes an approach that aims to investigate

  1. Corrosion behaviour of austenitic stainless steel as a function of methanol concentration for direct methanol fuel cell bipolar plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lixia; Kang, Bin; Gao, Na; Du, Xiao; Jia, Linan; Sun, Juncai

    2014-05-01

    The corrosion behaviour of an AISI 304 stainless steel (304 SS) is investigated in aqueous acid methanol solutions (0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm HF + x M CH3OH, x = 0, 1, 5, 10 and 20) at 50 °C to simulate the varied anodic operating conditions of direct methanol fuel cells. Electrochemical measurements including potentiodynamic polarisation, potentiostatic polarisation and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy tests, are employed to analyse the corrosion behaviour. The results reveal that the corrosion resistance of 304 SS is enhanced in solutions with higher methanol content. Scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry data indicate that the surface corrosion on 304 SS is alleviated when the methanol concentration is increased. According to the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Mott-Schottky analyses, the passive films formed on the 304 SS after potentiostatic tests in all the test solutions are composed of a duplex electronic structure with an external n-type semiconductor layer and an internal p-type semiconductor layer. Further analyses of the surface conductivity conducted by measuring the interfacial contact resistance between the 304 SS and carbon paper reveal that the passive film formed in the solution with higher methanol content exhibits lower conductivity.

  2. INL HIP Plate Fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    B. H. Park; C. R. Clark; J. F. Jue

    2010-02-01

    This document outlines the process used to bond monolithic fuel plates by Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP). This method was developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program. These foils have been used in a number of irradiation experiments in support of the United States Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) program.

  3. Nitrided Metallic Bipolar Plates

    SciTech Connect

    Brady, Michael P; Tortorelli, Peter F; Pihl, Josh A; Toops, Todd J; More, Karren Leslie; Meyer III, Harry M; Vitek, John Michael; Wang, Heli; Turner, John; Wilson, Mahlon; Garzon, Fernando; Rockward, Tommy; Connors, Dan; Rakowski, Jim; Gervasio, Don

    2008-01-01

    The objectives are: (1) Develop and optimize stainless steel alloys amenable to formation of a protective Cr-nitride surface by gas nitridation, at a sufficiently low cost to meet DOE targets and with sufficient ductility to permit manufacture by stamping. (2) Demonstrate capability of nitridation to yield high-quality stainless steel bipolar plates from thin stamped alloy foils (no significant stamped foil warping or embrittlement). (3) Demonstrate single-cell fuel cell performance of stamped and nitrided alloy foils equivalent to that of machined graphite plates of the same flow-field design ({approx}750-1,000 h, cyclic conditions, to include quantification of metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assembly [MEA] and contact resistance increase attributable to the bipolar plates). (4) Demonstrate potential for adoption in automotive fuel cell stacks. Thin stamped metallic bipolar plates offer the potential for (1) significantly lower cost than currently-used machined graphite bipolar plates, (2) reduced weight/volume, and (3) better performance and amenability to high volume manufacture than developmental polymer/carbon fiber and graphite composite bipolar plates. However, most metals exhibit inadequate corrosion resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) environments. This behavior leads to high electrical resistance due to the formation of surface oxides and/or contamination of the MEA by metallic ions, both of which can significantly degrade fuel cell performance. Metal nitrides offer electrical conductivities up to an order of magnitude greater than that of graphite and are highly corrosion resistant. Unfortunately, most conventional coating methods (for metal nitrides) are too expensive for PEMFC stack commercialization or tend to leave pinhole defects, which result in accelerated local corrosion and unacceptable performance.

  4. The Treatment of PPCP-Containing Sewage in an Anoxic/Aerobic Reactor Coupled with a Novel Design of Solid Plain Graphite-Plates Microbial Fuel Cell

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yi-Tang; Yang, Chu-Wen; Chang, Yu-Jie; Chang, Ting-Chieh; Wei, Da-Jiun

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic sewage containing high concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs, mg/L level) was treated using an anoxic/aerobic (A/O) reactor coupled with a microbial fuel cell (MFC) at hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 8 h. A novel design of solid plain graphite plates (SPGRPs) was used for the high surface area biodegradation of the PPCP-containing sewage and for the generation of electricity. The average CODCr and total nitrogen removal efficiencies achieved were 97.20% and 83.75%, respectively. High removal efficiencies of pharmaceuticals, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and sulfamethoxazole, were also obtained and ranged from 98.21% to 99.89%. A maximum power density of 532.61 mW/cm2 and a maximum coulombic efficiency of 25.20% were measured for the SPGRP MFC at the anode. Distinct differences in the bacterial community were presented at various locations including the mixed liquor suspended solids and biofilms. The bacterial groups involved in PPCP biodegradation were identified as Dechloromonas spp., Sphingomonas sp., and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This design, which couples an A/O reactor with a novel design of SPGRP MFC, allows the simultaneous removal of PPCPs and successful electricity production. PMID:25197659

  5. Titanium oxynitride films for a bipolar plate of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell prepared by inductively coupled plasma assisted reactive sputtering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, S. Y.; Han, D. H.; Kim, J. N.; Lee, J. J.

    Titanium oxynitride (TiN xO y) films are investigated for application as a bipolar plate coating material in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). TiN xO y films with various amounts of oxygen are deposited on stainless-steel substrates by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) assisted reactive sputtering by changing the oxygen gas flow rate. The interfacial contact resistance (ICR) and the corrosion resistance of the TiN xO y films are measured under PEMFC simulated conditions. When the amount of oxygen in the TiN xO y film is approximately <12 at.% (O 2 flow rate ≤0.2 sccm), the corrosion resistance is enhanced considerably, whereas the interfacial contact resistance does not change. The corrosion current density decreases from 8 × 10 -6 A cm -2 for the TiN-coated sample to 2.7 × 10 -6 A cm -2 at 0.6 V vs. SCE as a result of oxygen incorporation in the TiN film. The ICR value remains at 2.5 mΩ cm 2 at 150 N cm -2. When a small amount of oxygen is added to the TiN film, it is postulated that the oxygen atoms locate at the column and grain boundaries, and thus prevent corrosive media from penetrating into the substrate while not deteriorating the electrical property of the film.

  6. Enhanced electrochemical performance and carbon anti-coking ability of solid oxide fuel cells with silver modified nickel-yttrium stabilized zirconia anode by electroless plating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaoyan; Tian, Yu; Zhang, Jun; Zuo, Wei; Kong, Xiaowei; Wang, Jinghui; Sun, Kening; Zhou, Xiaoliang

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, silver (Ag) particles are introduced into the conventional Ni/YSZ anode by utilizing electroless plating method to improve its carbon anti-coking ability in hydrocarbons. The experimental results show that electrochemical performances of the decorated cells in H2, CH4 and C2H6 are all increased as compared to the cell with unmodified Ni/YSZ anode, which are verified by impedance spectrums as well. The durability experiment is carried out for as long as 24 h at the current density of 0.33 A/cm2 where the modified anode is subjected to dry C2H6 indicating the anti-coking ability of the anode is greatly improved. Scanning electron microscope shows that the slight decreasing in the cell terminal voltage can be attributed to the minimized carbon deposition which maybe resulted from the aggregation of silver particles at high temperature. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy line scanning results after long-term stability operation of the anode suggest that the carbon deposition can be depressed effectively both inside the anode and on the surface of the anode. Therefore, the results show that silver is a promising candidate material for modifying the Ni/YSZ anode with regard to improving electrochemical performance and suppressing the carbon deposition when taking the hydrocarbons as fuels.

  7. Catalyst layer-free carbon-coated steel-An easy route to bipolar plates of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: Characterization on structure and electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chung, Chih-Yeh; Chen, Shi-Kun; Chin, Tsung-Shune; Ko, Tse-Hao; Lin, Shiuan-Wen; Chang, Wei-Min; Hsiao, Shih-Nan

    Stainless steel coated with carbon by CVD process has been evaluated as a low-cost and small-volume substitute for graphite bipolar plate in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Carbon film was grown at 690-930 °C under gas-mixture of C 2H 2-H 2. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffractometry were used to characterize surface morphology and crystal structure of resultant carbon films, which were found to depend much on reaction temperature. Interfacial contact resistance (ICR), hydrophobicity and chemical stability of obtained specimens were measured to compare with commercial highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). All carbon films investigated in this study show improved ICR and hydrophobicity of SUS304 substrate to the level of HOPG. Amorphous carbon layer with continuous film structure prepared at 810 °C shows the best protection of SUS304 substrate against the attack of H (aq) + (anodic side) and the best resistance of the coated carbon from gasification (cathodic side) in the simulated PEMFC environment.

  8. Graphene grown on stainless steel as a high-performance and ecofriendly anti-corrosion coating for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell bipolar plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Nen-Wen; Shi, Gia-Nan; Liu, Yih-Ming; Sun, Xueliang; Chang, Jeng-Kuei; Sun, Chia-Liang; Ger, Ming-Der; Chen, Chun-Yu; Wang, Po-Chiang; Peng, You-Yu; Wu, Chia-Hung; Lawes, Stephen

    2015-05-01

    In this study, the growth of graphene by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on SUS304 stainless steel and on a catalyzing Ni/SUS304 double-layered structure was investigated. The results indicated that a thin and multilayered graphene film can be continuously grown across the metal grain boundaries of the Ni/SUS304 stainless steel and significantly enhance its corrosion resistance. A 3.5 wt% saline polarization test demonstrated that the corrosion currents in graphene-covered SUS304 were improved fivefold relative to the corrosion currents in non-graphene-covered SUS304. In addition to enhancing the corrosion resistance of stainless steel, a graphene coating also ameliorates another shortcoming of stainless steel in a corrosive environment: the formation of a passive oxidation layer on the stainless steel surface that decreases conductivity. After a corrosion test, the graphene-covered stainless steel continued to exhibit not only an excellent low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) of 36 mΩ cm2 but also outstanding drainage characteristics. The above results suggest that an extremely thin, lightweight protective coating of graphene on stainless steel can act as the next-generation bipolar plates of fuel cells.

  9. Surface characteristic of chemically converted graphene coated low carbon steel by electro spray coating method for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell bipolar plate.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Kim, Yang Do; Nam, Dae Geun

    2013-05-01

    Graphene was coated on low carbon steel (SS400) by electro spray coating method to improve its properties of corrosion resistance and contact resistance. Exfoliated graphite was made of the graphite by chemical treatment (Chemically Converted Graphene, CCG). CCG is distributed using dispersing agent, and low carbon steel was coated with diffuse graphene solution by electro spray coating method. The structure of the CCG was analyzed using XRD and the coating layer of surface was analyzed using SEM. Analysis showed that multi-layered graphite structure was destroyed and it was transformed in to fine layers graphene structure. And the result of SEM analysis on the surface and the cross section, graphene layer was uniformly formed with 3-5 microm thickness on the surface of substrate. Corrosion resistance test was applied in the corrosive solution which is similar to the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack inside. And interfacial contact resistance (ICR) test was measured to simulate the internal operating conditions of PEMFC stack. As a result of measuring corrosion resistance and contact resistance, it could be confirmed that low carbon steel coated with CCG was revealed to be more effective in terms of its applicability as PEMFC bipolar plate. PMID:23858864

  10. New architecture for modulization of membraneless and single-chambered microbial fuel cell using a bipolar plate-electrode assembly (BEA).

    PubMed

    An, Junyeong; Kim, Bongkyu; Jang, Jae Kyung; Lee, Hyung-Sool; Chang, In Seop

    2014-09-15

    A new architecture for a membraneless and single-chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC) which has a unique bipolar plate-electrode assembly (BEA) design was demonstrated. The maximum power of MFC units connected in series (denoted as a stacked MFC) was up to 22.8±0.13 mW/m(2) for 0.946±0.003 V working voltage, which is 2.5 times higher than the averaged maximum power density of the non-stacked MFC units. The power density in the stacked MFC using BEA was comparable to the stacked MFC using electric wire. These results demonstrate that BEAs having air-exposed cathodes can potentially be used in the stacking of membraneless single-chambered MFCs. In addition, we confirmed that the current in the stacked mode flowed faster than the non-stacked mode due to voltage increase by series connection, and the poorest of the stacked units quickly faced current depletion at higher external resistance than the non-stacked mode, leading to voltage reversal. These results imply that stacked MFC units require a relatively large current capacity in order to prevent high voltage reversal at high current region. To increase total current capacity and prevent voltage reversal of stacked MFC units, we suggested series/parallel-integrated MFC module system for scaling-up. This new concept could likely allow the application of MFC technology to be extended to various wastewater treatment processes or plants. PMID:24690558

  11. Fuel cell design and assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myerhoff, Alfred (Inventor)

    1984-01-01

    The present invention is directed to a novel bipolar cooling plate, fuel cell design and method of assembly of fuel cells. The bipolar cooling plate used in the fuel cell design and method of assembly has discrete opposite edge and means carried by the plate defining a plurality of channels extending along the surface of the plate toward the opposite edges. At least one edge of the channels terminates short of the edge of the plate defining a recess for receiving a fastener.

  12. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, W.F.; Tellefson, D.R.; Shimazaki, T.T.

    1962-04-10

    A plate type fuel element which is particularly useful for organic cooled reactors is described. Generally, the fuel element comprises a plurality of fissionable fuel bearing plates held in spaced relationship by a frame in which the plates are slidably mounted in grooves. Clearance is provided in the grooves to allow the plates to expand laterally. The plates may be rigidly interconnected but are floatingly supported at their ends within the frame to allow for longi-tudinal expansion. Thus, this fuel element is able to withstand large temperature differentials without great structural stresses. (AEC)

  13. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Currier, E.L. Jr.; Nicklas, J.H.

    1963-06-11

    A fuel plate is designed for incorporation into control rods of the type utilized in high-flux test reactors. The fuel plate is designed so that the portion nearest the poison section of the control rod contains about one-half as much fissionable material as in the rest of the plate, thereby eliminating dangerous flux peaking in that portion. (AEC)

  14. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Wheelock, C.W.; Baumeister, E.B.

    1961-09-01

    A reactor fuel element utilizing fissionable fuel materials in plate form is described. This fuel element consists of bundles of fuel-bearing plates. The bundles are stacked inside of a tube which forms the shell of the fuel element. The plates each have longitudinal fins running parallel to the direction of coolant flow, and interspersed among and parallel to the fins are ribs which position the plates relative to each other and to the fuel element shell. The plate bundles are held together by thin bands or wires. The ex tended surface increases the heat transfer capabilities of a fuel element by a factor of 3 or more over those of a simple flat plate.

  15. Peen plating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Babecki, A. J. (Inventor); Haehner, C. L.

    1973-01-01

    A process for metal plating which comprises spraying a mixture of metallic powder and small peening particles at high velocity against a surface is described. The velocity must be sufficient to impact and bond metallic powder onto the surface. In the case of metal surfaces, the process has as one of its advantages providing mechanical working (hardening) of the surface simultaneously with the metal plating.

  16. Effects of Mo content on microstructure and corrosion resistance of arc ion plated Ti-Mo-N films on 316L stainless steel as bipolar plates for polymer exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Min; Kim, Kwang Ho; Shao, Zhigang; Wang, Feifei; Zhao, Shuang; Suo, Ni

    2014-05-01

    Bipolar plates are one of the most important components in PEMFC stack and have multiple functions, such as separators and current collectors, distributing reactions uniformly, and etc. Stainless steel is ideal candidate for bipolar plates owing to good thermal and electrical conductivity, good mechanical properties etc. However, stainless steel plate still cannot resist the corrosion of working condition. In this work, ternary Ti-Mo-N film was fabricated on 316L stainless steel (SS316L) as a surface modification layer to enhance the corrosion resistance. Effects of Mo content on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of Ti-Mo-N films are systematically investigated by altering sputtering current of the Mo target. XRD results reveal that the preferred orientation changes from [111] to [220] direction as Mo content in the film increases. The synthesized Ti-Mo-N films form a substitutional solid solution of (Ti, Mo)N where larger Mo atoms replace Ti in TiN crystal lattice. The TiN-coated SS316L sample shows the best corrosion resistance. While Mo content in the Ti-Mo-N films increases, the corrosion resistance gradually degrades. Compared with the uncoated samples, all the Ti-Mo-N film coated samples show enhanced corrosion resistance in simulated PEMFC working condition.

  17. Corrosion resistant metallic bipolar plate

    DOEpatents

    Brady, Michael P.; Schneibel, Joachim H.; Pint, Bruce A.; Maziasz, Philip J.

    2007-05-01

    A corrosion resistant, electrically conductive component such as a bipolar plate for a PEM fuel cell includes 20 55% Cr, balance base metal such as Ni, Fe, or Co, the component having thereon a substantially external, continuous layer of chromium nitride.

  18. Electrochemical cell and separator plate thereof

    DOEpatents

    Baker, Bernard S.; Dharia, Dilip J.

    1979-10-02

    A fuel cell includes a separator plate having first and second flow channels extending there through contiguously with an electrode and respectively in flow communication with the cell electrolyte and in flow isolation with respect to such electrolyte. In fuel cell system arrangement, the diverse type channels are supplied in common with process gas for thermal control purposes. The separator plate is readily formed by corrugation of integral sheet material. 10 figs.

  19. Electrochemical cell and separator plate thereof

    DOEpatents

    Baker, Bernard S.; Dharia, Dilip J.

    1979-01-01

    A fuel cell includes a separator plate having first and second flow channels extending therethrough contiguously with an electrode and respectively in flow communication with the cell electrolyte and in flow isolation with respect to such electrolyte. In fuel cell system arrangement, the diverse type channels are suplied in common with process gas for thermal control purposes. The separator plate is readily formed by corrugation of integral sheet material.

  20. FUEL ELEMENT FABRICATION METHOD

    DOEpatents

    Hix, J.N.; Cooley, G.E.; Cunningham, J.E.

    1960-05-31

    A method is given for assembling and fabricating a fuel element comprising a plurality of spaced parallel fuel plates of a bowed configuration supported by and between a pair of transperse aluminum side plates. In this method, a brasing alloy is preplated on one surface of the aluminum side plates in the form of a cladding or layer-of uniform thickness. Grooves are then cut into the side plates through the alloy layer and into the base aluminum which results in the utilization of thinner aluminum side plates since a portion of the necessary groove depth is supplied by the brazing alloy.

  1. The bipolar plate of AISI 1045 steel with chromized coatings prepared by low-temperature pack cementation for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, Ching-Yuan; Wen, Tse-Min; Hou, Kung-Hsu; Ger, Ming-Der

    The low-temperature pack chromization, a reforming pack cementation process, is employed to modify AISI 1045 steel for the application of bipolar plates in PEMFC. The process is conducted to yield a coating, containing major Cr-carbides and minor Cr-nitrides, on the substrate in view of enhancing the steel's corrosion resistance and lowering interfacial contact resistance between the bipolar plate and gas diffusion layer. Electrical discharge machining and rolling approach are used as the pretreatment to produce an activated surface on the steel before pack chromization process to reduce operating temperatures and increase deposition rates. The rolled-chromized steel shows the lowest corrosion current density, 3 × 10 -8 A cm -2, and the smallest interfacial contact resistance, 5.9 mΩ cm 2, at 140 N cm -2 among all tested steels. This study clearly states the performance of 1045 carbon steel modified by activated and low-temperature pack chromization processes, which possess the potential to be bipolar plates in the application of PEMFC.

  2. Thermal conductivity of a graphite bipolar plate (BPP) and its thermal contact resistance with fuel cell gas diffusion layers: Effect of compression, PTFE, micro porous layer (MPL), BPP out-of-flatness and cyclic load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadeghifar, Hamidreza; Djilali, Ned; Bahrami, Majid

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on measurements of thermal conductivity of a graphite bipolar plate (BPP) as a function of temperature and its thermal contact resistance (TCR) with treated and untreated gas diffusion layers (GDLs). The thermal conductivity of the BPP decreases with temperature and its thermal contact resistance with GDLs, which has been overlooked in the literature, is found to be dominant over a relatively wide range of compression. The effects of PTFE loading, micro porous layer (MPL), compression, and BPP out-of-flatness are also investigated experimentally. It is found that high PTFE loadings, MPL and even small BPP out-of-flatness increase the BPP-GDL thermal contact resistance dramatically. The paper also presents the effect of cyclic load on the total resistance of a GDL-BPP assembly, which sheds light on the behavior of these materials under operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  3. Fuel cell current collector

    DOEpatents

    Katz, Murray; Bonk, Stanley P.; Maricle, Donald L.; Abrams, Martin

    1991-01-01

    A fuel cell has a current collector plate (22) located between an electrode (20) and a separate plate (25). The collector plate has a plurality of arches (26, 28) deformed from a single flat plate in a checkerboard pattern. The arches are of sufficient height (30) to provide sufficient reactant flow area. Each arch is formed with sufficient stiffness to accept compressive load and sufficient resiliently to distribute the load and maintain electrical contact.

  4. MTR plates modeling with MAIA

    SciTech Connect

    Marelle, V.; Dubois, S.; Ripert, M.; Noirot, J.

    2008-07-15

    MAIA is a thermo-mechanical code dedicated to the modeling of MTR fuel plates. The main physical phenomena modeled in the code are the cladding oxidation, the interaction between fuel and Al-matrix, the swelling due to fission products and the Al/fuel particles interaction. The creeping of the plate can be modeled in the mechanical calculation. MAIA has been validated on U-Mo dispersion fuel experiments such as IRIS 1 and 2 and FUTURE. The results are in rather good agreement with post-irradiation examinations. MAIA can also be used to calculate in-pile behavior of U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} plates as in the SHARE experiment irradiated in the SCK/Mol BR2 reactor. The main outputs given by MAIA throughout the irradiation are temperatures, cladding oxidation thickness, interaction thickness, volume fraction of meat constituents, swelling, displacements, strains and stresses. MAIA is originally a two-dimensional code but a three-dimensional version is currently under development. (author)

  5. Neutronics Benchmarks for the Utilization of Mixed-Oxide Fuel: Joint U.S./ Russian Progress Report for Fiscal Year 1997, Volume 4, Part 8 - Neutron Poison Plates in Assemblies Containing Homogeneous Mixtures of Polystyrene-Moderated Plutonium and Uranium Oxides

    SciTech Connect

    Yavuz, M.

    1999-05-01

    In the 1970s at the Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), a series of critical experiments using a remotely operated Split-Table Machine was performed with homogeneous mixtures of (Pu-U)O{sub 2}-polystyrene fuels in the form of square compacts having different heights. The experiments determined the critical geometric configurations of MOX fuel assemblies with and without neutron poison plates. With respect to PuO{sub 2} content and moderation [H/(Pu+U)atomic] ratio (MR), two different homogeneous (Pu-U) O{sub 2}-polystyrene mixtures were considered: Mixture (1) 14.62 wt% PuO{sub 2} with 30.6 MR, and Mixture (2) 30.3 wt% PuO{sub 2} with 2.8 MR. In all mixtures, the uranium was depleted to about O.151 wt% U{sup 235}. Assemblies contained copper, copper-cadmium or aluminum neutron poison plates having thicknesses up to {approximately}2.5 cm. This evaluation contains 22 experiments for Mixture 1, and 10 for Mixture 2 compacts. For Mixture 1, there are 10 configurations with copper plates, 6 with aluminum, and 5 with copper-cadmium. One experiment contained no poison plate. For Mixture 2 compacts, there are 3 configurations with copper, 3 with aluminum, and 3 with copper-cadmium poison plates. One experiment contained no poison plate.

  6. Internal baffling for fuel injector

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Thomas Edward; Lacy, Benjamin; Stevenson, Christian

    2014-08-05

    A fuel injector includes a fuel delivery tube; a plurality of pre-mixing tubes, each pre-mixing tube comprising at least one fuel injection hole; an upstream tube support plate that supports upstream ends of the plurality of pre-mixing tubes; a downstream tube support plate that supports downstream ends of the plurality of pre-mixing tubes; an outer wall connecting the upstream tube support plate and the downstream tube support plate and defining a plenum therewith; and a baffle provided in the plenum. The baffle includes a radial portion. A fuel delivered in the upstream direction by the fuel delivery tube is directed radially outwardly in the plenum between the radial portion of the baffle and the downstream tube support plate, then in the downstream direction around an outer edge portion of the radial portion, and then radially inwardly between the radial portion and the upstream tube support plate.

  7. Electrodeposited conductive polypyrrole/polyaniline composite film for the corrosion protection of copper bipolar plates in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, T. J.; Zuo, X. W.; Wang, T.; Hu, J.; Chen, Z. D.; Ren, Y. J.

    2016-01-01

    A conductive composite coating consisting of an inner polypyrrole (PPY) layer and an outer polyaniline (PANI) layer is prepared on a copper substrate by an electrochemical synthesis. Potential application of these composite coatings in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is evaluated. The corrosion performance of the copper substrate without and with the polymer coatings in the acidic solutions containing H2SO4 (0.2 M), HCl (0.1 M) and HF (3 ppm) is investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, polarization and open-circuit potential measurements. The results indicate that both the bilayered PPY/PANI and the single PPY coating can increase the corrosion potential of copper substrate by more than 250 mV (SCE), and effectively decrease the corrosion current density by an order of magnitude in comparison with the uncoated copper substrate. Long-term test further confirms that the bilayered PPY/PANI coating with acceptable contact resistance provides better protection for the substrate than the single PPY coating. The bilayered structure with different ion-permselective nature may serve as an effective physical barrier to the inward penetration of corrosive species.

  8. Effects of passive films on corrosion resistance of uncoated SS316L bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Ying; Ning, Xiaohui; Tang, Hongsheng; Guo, Liejin; Liu, Hongtan

    2014-11-01

    The effects of passive films on the corrosion behaviors of uncoated SS316L in anode and cathode environments of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are studied. Potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarizations are employed to study the corrosion behavior; Mott-Schottky measurements are used to characterize the semiconductor properties of passive films; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses are used to identify the compositions and the depth profiles of passive films. The passive films formed in the PEMFC anode and cathode environments under corresponding conditions both behave as n-type semiconductor. The passive film formed in the anode environment has a single-layer structure, Cr is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio > 1), and the Cr/Fe atomic ratio decreases from the surface to the bulk; while the passive film formed in the PEMFC cathode environment has a bi-layer structure, Fe is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio < 0.5), and in the external layer of the bi-layer structure Fe content increases rapidly and gradually in the internal layer. SS316L shows better corrosion resistance owing to both the high content of Cr oxide in the passive film and low band bending in normal PEMFC anode environments.

  9. Degradation of SS316L bipolar plates in simulated fuel cell environment: Corrosion rate, barrier film formation kinetics and contact resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papadias, Dionissios D.; Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Thomson, Jeffery K.; Meyer, Harry M.; Brady, Michael P.; Wang, Heli; Turner, John A.; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod

    2015-01-01

    A potentiostatic polarization method is used to evaluate the corrosion behavior of SS316L in simulated anode and cathode environments of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. A passive barrier oxide film is observed to form and reach steady state within ∼10 h of polarization, after which time the total ion release rates are low and nearly constant at ∼0.4 μg cm-2 h-1 for all potentials investigated. The equilibrium film thickness, however, is a function of the applied potential. The main ionic species dissolved in the liquid are predominately Fe followed by Ni, that account for >90% of the steady-state corrosion current. The dissolution rate of Cr is low but increases systematically at potentials higher than 0.8 V. The experimental ion release rates can be correlated with a point defect model using a single set of parameters over a broad range of potentials (0.2-1 V) on the cathode side. The interfacial contact resistance measured after 48 h of polarization is observed to increase with increase in applied potential and can be empirically correlated with applied load and oxide film thickness. The oxide film is substantially thicker at 1.5 V possibly because of alteration in film composition to Fe-rich as indicated by XPS data.

  10. Composite bipolar plate for electrochemical cells

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.; Busick, Deanna N.

    2001-01-01

    A bipolar separator plate for fuel cells consists of a molded mixture of a vinyl ester resin and graphite powder. The plate serves as a current collector and may contain fluid flow fields for the distribution of reactant gases. The material is inexpensive, electrically conductive, lightweight, strong, corrosion resistant, easily mass produced, and relatively impermeable to hydrogen gas. The addition of certain fiber reinforcements and other additives can improve the properties of the composite material without significantly increasing its overall cost.