SBIR Phase I: Determining the Manufacturing Limit on Thickness and Size (length and width) of a Metal Injection Molded (MIM) Bipolar Plate for PEM Fuel Cells

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Energy And Technology
2000 Composite Drive
Kettering, OH 45420
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will expand manufacturing technology research into the limits of employing Metal Injection Molding (MIM) materials for fuel cell metal bipolar plates. The objective is to determine the design limits of a MIM bipolar plate, based on minimal thickness and widths. By working with various MIM materials and processes, a limitation based on manufacturing data will provide support for future MIM bipolar plate designs. This research is important since minimizing the MIM materials will drive the economic success of future fuel cells by significantly reducing costs. The successful outcome of this project will expand the knowledge base of metal injection molding processing which efficiently avoids metal waste by eliminating machining operations. The MIM process in bipolar plates will also augment the economic viability of fuel cells by reducing their cost, increasing reliability, and improving performance. As fuel cells continue to grow in volume, more efficient use of our fuels will result. Fuel cells are 40% to 60% efficient versus other power sources using various fuels (e.g. automobiles at 25%). Thus, the consequence of growing hydrogen based fuel cells is a reduction in green house gases which will reduce or avoid global warming issues. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).