Polymer composite materials have particular properties that meet special requirements. A conductive polymer composite is positioned to try out a progressively significant role in industry and academia, specifically in the area of electrical conductivity. Even general understanding of electrically conductive composites is available for a long time, less attention has become given in the literature to the use of conductive composites for renewable power production.
Exactly why is the application of composite materials for energy production interesting? By using a continued increase in the worldwide interest in energy, there may be increasing curiosity about alternative technologies of energy generation including fuel cells, for a number of stationary and mobile applications. In this chapter, the authors are mainly thinking about a fuel cell being an energy generator, since a fuel cell is anticipated to try out a significant role within the economy on this century as well as the near future. Numerous factors supply the incentive for fuel cells to play a role from now on energy supplies as well as for transportations, including climate change, oil dependency as well as security, urban quality of air, and development in distributed power generation.
A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is a great contender for portable and automotive propulsion applications because it provides high power density, solid state construction, high chemical-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency, near zero environmental emissions, low temperature operation (60 – 120 oC), and fast and easy start-up [2,3, and 4]. The Usa Department of Energy (DOE) also has identified the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells as being the main candidate to switch the internal combustion engine in transportation applications; however, barriers to commercialization remain. Fundamental technical challenges facing the commercialization of PEM fuel cells are manufacturing and material costs; material durability and reliability; and hydrogen storage and distribution issues. One of the leading factors limiting fuel cell commercialization is the introduction of bipolar plate, which can be one among PEMFC’s key components.
Bipolar plate characteristic requirements are a challenge for almost any class of materials, and none fits the profile characteristics exactly. Therefore, research on materials, designs and fabrications of bipolar plates for PEMFC applications is an important problem for scientists and engineers wanting to get the appropriate PEMFC dexqpky60 global commercialization. Various kinds of materials are employed in bipolar plates, including non-porous graphite plates, metallic plates without or with coating and several composite plates. Thermoplastic composite bipolar plates are an attractive option for PEMFC use.
They actually do not merely offer advantages of low priced, lower weight and greater ease of manufacturing than traditional graphite, however their properties can also be tailored through changes of reinforcements as well as the resin systems. The weakest reason for thermoplastic composite bipolar plates is their low electrical conductivity compared to conventional graphite or metallic bipolar plates. To boost the electrical conductivity of the plates, electrically conductive polymers or fillers happen to be used as bipolar plate materials.