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Bipolar Plates

These plates are a crucial component to fuel cell stacks.
Whilst CNC machining, stamping and hydroforming can be used to produce channels on bipolar plates, traditional metalworking has limitations, such as compromising planarity (flatness) and introducing stresses and burrs. Single-point machining processes and presswork tooling can also be slow and uneconomical to produce.

Key Facts About Bipolar Plates

Economic Pricing

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE) has developed a process of producing plates stress and burr-free at an economical price.

Complex Channels

The photo etching process removes metal from both sides of the plates simultaneously so complex channels can be etched on both sides of the bipolar plates.

Any Shape or Size of Channels

Designers can vary the shape and size of channels and incorporate headers, collectors and port features without additional cost.

Low Cost & Adaptable

Digital tooling, which is low-cost and quick to produce, can be adapted easily and inexpensively to optimise designs. Unlike CNC machining, stamping and hydroforming, chemical etching imparts no mechanical or thermal stress on the plates, which can compromise stack bonding.

Benefits of the etching Process

  • Low set-up costs and fast lead times make etching a go-to process in batch sizes of one to multiple millions.

  • The tooling for etching is digital, low-cost and can be modified quickly.

  • No heat or force is used when etching so mechanical properties remain unaltered and parts are free from stresses and burrs.

  • As component features are etched at the same time, part/feature complexity is not an issue.

  • Flat blanks etched then diffusion bonded or brazed.

Typical Bipolar Plates Components

Fuel cell stacks
Bipolar fuel cell plates

Metal Grades For Bipolar Plates

  • Aluminium

  • Titanium

  • Stainless Steel

  • High-Temperature Nickel alloys






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