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Title: Numerical investigation of bipolar plates manufactured using hydroforming process

Authors: Ayotunde Olayinka; William J. Emblom

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA, 70503, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA, 70503, USA

Abstract: Simulations of forming processes using LS-DYNA and other nonlinear finite element software packages enables manufacturers to optimise processes without the attending waste associated with performing multiple actual processes. The goal of this study was to use finite element analysis to investigate microscale sheet hydroforming (MSSH) of annealed AISI 304 stainless steel for producing bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) based on the material properties of the blank that were obtained from hydraulic bulge testing. Two die geometries were used to investigate the effect of hydroforming pressure and channel width on the distribution of stress and strain across the flow field of the hydroformed channels, sheet thinning and the thickness distribution for the annealed AISI 304 sheet metal blanks. The simulation results were verified using experimental results. The results show that FEA technique accurately predicts the behaviour of the AISI 304 bank formed using MSSH.

Keywords: metal; forming; hydroforming; PEMFC; finite element analysis; FEA; LSDYNA; bipolar plate; simulation; microscale.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2021.10040114

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2021 Vol.63 No.1/2, pp.109 - 122

Received: 07 Jul 2020
Accepted: 19 Apr 2021

Published online: 02 Aug 2021 *

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