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1. WO2002023656 - BONDING ELECTROCHEMICAL CELL COMPONENTS

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[ EN ]

What is claimed is:

1. A method for preparing a subassembly for an electrochemical cell, comprising: aligning a subassembly having two or more electrochemical cell components with one or more bonding elements disposed between the two or more electrochemical cell components, wherein the bonding elements have a melting point temperamre that is lower than the melting point temperature of any one of the two or more electrochemical cell components;
compressing the subassembly;
heating the subassembly to a temperature less than 800°C; and
allowing the subassembly to cool.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
positioning the subassembly into an electrochemical cell.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
positioning the subassembly into an electrochemical cell stack.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the two or more electrochemical cell components are metal components selected from plates, shims, frames, flow fields or combinations thereof and the bonding element is a metal or metal alloy that melts at a temperamre below 500 °C.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the metal components are selected from stainless steel, nickel, aluminum, titanium, magnesium or combinations thereof.

6. The method of claim 4, further comprising:
dipping the metal component in a flux; then
dipping the metal component in a solder.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the solder comprises a metal selected from tin bismuth, lead, indium, and alloys thereof.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein the solder comprises silver and tin.

9. The method of claim 6, further comprising:
coating the metal component with a layer of a corrosion resistant transition metal prior to the dipping the metal component in the flux.

10. The method of claim 4, wherein the bonding metal is applied to one of the metal component surfaces by reductive deposition from a solvent.

11. The method of claim 4, wherein the bonding metal is applied to one of the metal component surfaces by vacuum evaporation or sputtering.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein the solvent is selected from water or a water based fluid.

13. The method of claim 10, wherein the deposited metal comprises a component selected from tin, bismuth, lead, indium or an alloy thereof.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the two or more electrochemical cell components are polymer components selected from frames, gaskets, membranes, shims, or combinations thereof and the bonding element is an adhesive.

15. The method of claim 1, wherein the two or more electrochemical cell components comprise one or more metal components and one or more polymer components, and wherein the bonding element is an adhesive.

16. The method of claim 1, wherein the two or more electrochemical cell components include a plate and a flow field.

17. The method of claim 1, wherein the subassembly includes a bipolar plate.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the subassembly further includes a frame.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the bipolar plate comprises two plates, a flow field and a frame, wherein the frame and flow field are disposed between the two plates with the frame disposed around the flow field, and wherein the frame has channels in fluid communication with the flow field.

20. A fluid cooled bipolar plate assembly comprising:
two electronically conducting plates having opposing faces;
an electronically conducting flow field bonded in electronic communication with a substantial portion of the opposing faces of the plates, between the two electronically conducting plates; and
a frame disposed around a perimeter of the electronically conducting flow field and bonded between the two electronically conducting plates, wherein the frame has channels for providing fluid communication between the flow field and a fluid source.

21. The assembly of claim 20, further comprising an electronically conducting cathode flow field and an electronically conducting anode flow field bonded to opposing sides of the assembly.

22. The assembly of claim 20, wherein the assembly is bonded with an adhesive.

23. The assembly of claim 20, wherein the assembly is bonded with solder.

24. A bipolar plate for electrochemical cells, comprising:
two or more porous, electrically conducting sheets selected from expanded metal mesh, woven metal mesh, metal foam, conducting polymer foam, porous conductive carbon material or combinations thereof;
an electrically conducting gas barrier disposed in electrical contact between the sheets; and
a cell frame disposed around a periphery of any one of the two or more porous electrically conducting sheets, wherein the cell frame has at least one surface that is bonded to the gas barrier.

25. The bipolar plate of claim 24 wherein the cell frame includes channels in fluid communication with the porous electrically conducting sheet.

26. The bipolar plate of claim 25 wherein the cell frame is metallic and is bonded to the gas barrier with a metallic bond.

27. The bipolar plate of claim 25 wherein the cell frame is polymeric and is bonded to the gas barrier with a polymeric bond.

28. The bipolar plate of claim 25 wherein the metallic bond is formed by soldering the cell frame to the gas barrier.

29. The bipolar plate of claim 26 wherein the polymeric bond is produced by an adhesive.