Novel Structured Metal Bipolar Plates for Low Cost Manufacturing

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Treadstone Technologies, Inc.
201 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ, 08540-6449
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Conghua Wang
(609) 734-3071
Business Contact:
Gerald DeCuollo
(609) 734-2368
Research Institution:

The focus of this SBIR project is to develop a low cost novel structured metal bipolar plate technology for low temperature PEM fuel cells for transportation applications. The innovative metal bipolar plate technique is aimed to meet industry revised performance and cost requirements for metal bipolar plates. This project goes beyond TreadStones current low cost metal plate technology that uses a very small amount of gold for low temperature PEM fuel cell applications. It will develop a gold-free metal plate coating technology that meets the revised requirements from industry, including: i. gold free coating; ii. lower electrical contact resistance ( & lt; 5, and iii. roll to roll coating on stainless steel foil strips, before stamping. Our initial experimental data shows the feasibility of the proposed technology. In the Phase I of the project, TreadStone plans to demonstrate the feasibility of this novel technology in the ex- situ evaluation and the small single cell demonstration experiments. In Phase II of the project, TreadStone plans to scale up this technology to roll-to-roll fabrication scale, and demonstrate the technology in full size, short stack in automobile fuel cells at Ford Motor. The proposed 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. The gold-free solution will reduce the cost risk associated with the rapid raising gold price of current metal plate technologies. The roll to roll processing capability will reduce the capital investment for the corrosion resistant plate fabrication. In combination, all these improved plate attributes will help the market penetration of in current early stage of fuel cell commercialization.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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