Skip to main content
Log in

Manufacturing metallic bipolar plate fuel cells through rubber pad forming process

  • Published:
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Bipolar plates are considered one of the most important parts of fuel cells, made of different materials. Graphite bipolar cells are generally expensive, hence high machining cost. Metals are known to be suitable replacements due to their lower weight and cost. Bipolar plates can be designed and produced using either a concave or convex pattern. This study made an effort to fabricate metallic bipolar plates through two-die rubber pad forming method with both convex and concave patterns. Stainless steel sheets of 316 with the thickness of 0.1 mm were used for the fabrication. Polyurethane with the hardness of shore A 85 and the thickness of 25 mm was selected. The effect of forming forces on micro-channel filling depth, thickness distribution of channels in each of the patterns, and their appropriate states (maximum filling depth and minimum thickness reduction) were also studied. The results indicated that in similar geometry and process, the convex die would create a deeper channel compared with the concave one. Increases in forming forces would cause the filling depth of micro-channels to rise, but the thickness of critical regions to decrease due to an increase in the aspect ratio (the ratio of channel depth to channel width). Finally, the best possible version of bipolar plates in both convex and concave models was formed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Ministry of Iran. Renewable energy organization of Iran. Accessed 11 June 2015;

  2. Ma L, Warthesen S, Shores DA (2000) Evaluation of materials for bipolar plates in PEMFCs. J New Mater Electrochem Syst 3:221–228

    Google Scholar 

  3. Wang H, Turner JA (2010) Reviewing metallic PEMFC bipolar plates. Fuel Cells 10:510–519

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Mehta V, Cooper JS (2003) Review and analysis of PEM fuel cell design and manufacturing. J Power Sources 114:32–53

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kwon HJ, Jeon YP, Kang CG (2013) Effect of progressive forming process and processing variables on the formability of aluminium bipolar plate with microchannel. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 64:381–394

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Osia MB, Bakhshi-Jooybari M, Hosseinipour SJ, Gorgi A (2015) A new process of forming metallic bipolar plates for PEM fuel cell with pin-type pattern. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 77:1281–1293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. American Society for Metals (1988) Metals handbook. Forming and forging, 9th edition, vol. 14, 605–615.

  8. Liu Y, Hua L (2010) Studies of the deformation styles of the rubber-pad forming process used for manufacturing metallic bipolar plates. J Power Sources 195:8177–8184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Jeong MG, Jin CK, Hwang GW, Kang CG (2014) Formability evaluation of stainless steel bipolar plate considering draft angle of die and process parameters by rubber forming. J Precis Eng Manuf 15:913–919

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Son C-Y, Jeon Y-P, Kim Y-T, Kang C-G (2012) Evaluation of the formability of a bipolar plate manufactured from aluminum alloy Al 1050 using the rubber pad forming process. J Eng Manuf 226:909–918

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Dundar F, Dur E, Mahabunphachai S, Koc M (2010) Corrosion resistance characteristics of stamped and hydroformed proton exchange membrane fuel cell metallic bipolar plates. J Power Sources 195(11):3546–3552

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Mahabunphachai S, Cora ÖN, Koc M (2010) Effect of manufacturing processes on formability and surface topography of proton exchange membrane fuel cell metallic bipolar plates. J Power Sources 195(16):5269–5277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Aue-U-Lan Y, Ngaile G, Altan T (2004) Optimizing tube hydroforming using process simulation and exprimental verification. J Mater Process Technol 146:137–143

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Majid Elyasi.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Elyasi, M., Khatir, F.A. & Hosseinzadeh, M. Manufacturing metallic bipolar plate fuel cells through rubber pad forming process. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 89, 3257–3269 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: