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1. WO2016083307 - ÉLÉMENT PILE À COMBUSTIBLE ET PROCÉDÉ DE FABRICATION D'UN ÉLÉMENT PILE À COMBUSTIBLE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

C L A I M S

1 . Fuel cell component, which comprises:

- a metal bipolar plate having a flow field channel pattern, which bipolar plate comprises a first metal sheet element comprising at least a part of said flow field channel pattern in the form of a channel pattern which extends over at least a part of the surface of said first metal sheet element, which first metal sheet element with said channel pattern has been produced by a process involving sheet metal deformation of a metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter,

- a flow field seal, which flow field seal has been formed on the first sheet element, which flow field seal extends adjacent to an area of the surface of the first sheet element that has been provided with the channel pattern,

which flow field seal comprises a plate-side seal layer and a electrode-side seal layer, which plate-side seal layer is a screen printed silicone polymer seal layer that on one side is attached to the first sheet element, and which electrode-side seal layer is a screen printed silicone polymer seal layer that is arranged over the plate-side seal layer and is connected to the plate-side seal layer,

wherein the plate-side seal layer and the electrode-side seal layer have mutually different compressive deformation ratios, and the plate-side seal layer has a lower compressive deformation ratio than the electrode-side seal layer.

2. Fuel cell component according to claim 1 ,

wherein the bipolar plate further comprises a second metal sheet element comprising at least a part of the flow field channel pattern in the form of a channel pattern which extends over at least a part of the surface of said second metal sheet element, which second metal sheet element with said channel pattern has been produced by a process involving sheet metal deformation of a metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter,

wherein the first sheet element and second sheet element are connected to each other with the channel pattern of the first sheet element and/or of the second sheet element providing a channel between the first sheet element and the second sheet element,

and wherein the flow field seal is attached to the first sheet element on the side facing away from the second sheet element.

3. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the fuel cell component further comprises a second flow field seal, which second flow field seal is present on the bipolar plate on the side facing away from the side of bipolar plate onto which the first flow field seal is present.

4. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the first sheet element and/or the second sheet element comprises at least two elevated areas with a lower area between said elevated areas, wherein the flow field seal is arranged on said lower area between said elevated areas, and

wherein the height of the plate-side seal layer is equal to or larger than the height of at least one elevated area adjacent to the flow field seal relative to the lower area onto which the flow field seal is arranged.

5. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the first sheet element and/or the second sheet element comprises at least two lower areas with an elevated area between said lower areas, wherein the flow field seal is arranged on said elevated area between said lower areas.

6. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the plate-side seal layer has a cross sectional shape that is different from the cross sectional shape of the electrode-side seal layer.

7. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the plate-side seal layer is made of a different silicone polymer material than the electrode-side seal layer.

8. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein at least one seal layer has a closed cell structure.

9. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein a sheet primer and/or coating is present between the metal of the metal sheet element and the flow field seal, and/or wherein the plate-side seal layer comprises an adhesion improvement additive.

10. Fuel cell component according to any of the preceding claims,

wherein the material thickness of the first metal sheet element and/or of the second metal sheet element is between 0.3 and 0.01 millimeter, optionally between 0.1 and 0.01 millimeter.

1 1 . Fuel cell comprising,

- a first fuel cell component, which is a fuel cell component according to claim 1 ,

- a membrane electrode assembly,

- a second fuel cell component, which is a fuel cell component according to claim 1 , wherein the membrane electrode assembly is arranged between first fuel cell component and the second fuel cell component,

and wherein the flow field seal of the first fuel cell component engages the membrane electrode assembly on a first side and wherein the flow field seal of the second fuel cell component engages the membrane electrode assembly on a second side opposite to the first side.

12. Fuel cell according to claim 1 1 ,

wherein the fuel cell further comprises a first gas diffusion layer and a second gas diffusion layer, wherein the first gas diffusion layer is arranged between the first fuel cell component and the membrane electrode assembly and the second gas diffusion layer is arranged between the second fuel cell component and the membrane electrode assembly.

13. Method for manufacturing a fuel cell component, which component comprises the following steps:

- providing a first metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1

millimeter with a channel pattern by a sheet metal deformation process of said first metal sheet, thereby forming a first metal sheet element,

forming a flow field seal onto the first sheet element, which flow field seal extends adjacent to an area of the surface of the first sheet element that has been provided with the channel pattern, which comprises the following steps:

- screen printing a silicone polymer plate-side seal layer onto the first sheet

element, which plate-side seal layer is attached to the first sheet element,

- after screen printing the plate-side seal layer on the first sheet element, screen printing a silicone polymer electrode-side seal layer over the plate-side seal layer, which electrode-side seal layer is connected to the plate-side seal layer, wherein the plate-side seal layer and the electrode-side seal layer have mutually different compressive deformation ratios, and the plate-side seal layer has a lower compressive deformation ratio than the electrode-side seal layer.

14. Method according to claim 13,

which method further comprises the steps of:

providing a second metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter with a channel pattern by a sheet metal deformation process of said second metal sheet, thereby forming a second metal sheet element,

connecting the first sheet element and the second sheet element to each other, with the channel pattern of the first sheet element and/or of the second sheet element providing a channel between the first sheet element and the second sheet element,

wherein the flow field seal is formed on the side of the first sheet element that faces away from the second sheet element.

15. Method according to any of the claims 13 - 14,

wherein the plate-side seal layer is cured after applying it onto the first sheet element by screen printing but before applying the electrode-side seal layer onto the plate-side seal layer.

16. Method according to any of the claims 13 -15,

wherein the sheet metal deformation process is hydroforming.

17. Method according to any of the claims 13 -16,

wherein the step of providing a first metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter with a channel pattern by a sheet metal deformation process of said first metal sheet, thereby forming a first metal sheet element and/or the step of providing a second metal sheet having a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter with a channel pattern by a sheet metal deformation process of said second metal sheet, thereby forming a second metal sheet element comprises the following substeps:

providing a coil of metal sheet material, which metal sheet material has a substantially uniform thickness of less than 1 millimeter,

unwinding sheet material from the coil and supplying unwound sheet material to a sheet metal forming device, optionally a hydroforming press,

providing said unwound metal sheet material with a channel pattern by a sheet metal deformation process,

- severing the unwound metal sheet material with the channel pattern from the remainder of the coil.

18. Method according to any of the claims 13-17,

wherein the first metal sheet element and/or the second metal sheet element is provided with a sheet primer or coating prior to forming the flow field seal.