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Technology presentation

Among the different targets for bipolar plate improvement, four main topics will be investigated in COBRA:

  • Bipolar plate forming technique with the evaluation of the innovative hydroforming process;
  • Development of high corrosion resistant coating;
  • Validation of low contact resistance of the selected coatings;
  • Evaluation of the production cost consistent with FCH 2013-AIP objectives.


These COBRA objectives are defined with respect of the state-of-the-art as follows:

Project results will be evaluated considering durability, contact resistance, corrosion resistance and price of those coatings solution as shown in the shared coating selection matrix.

Validation in-field

The project will use studied BP on real marine and automotive operating conditions to test the in-field behaviour: first, reference hydroformed stainless steel 316L with gold coating BP will be use, and then same BP using innovative manufacturing process and advanced corrosion resistant coating will be evaluated in exact same conditions.

One set of these bipolar plates will be used in a 15 kW stack integrated in the Zero CO2 sail boat belonging to CEA.

A second set of bipolar plates will be used in a 5 kW stack integrated in a range expender fuel cell system developed by SFC.

In both cases, the most degrading operating conditions will be used in order to magnify the corrosion and degradation phenomena and also to be able to evaluate the performance improvement thanks to the COBRA project improvements.

Validation with industrial partners

The industrial partners will coordinate their efforts in exploitation of the stack technology being developed within the project. Furthermore, dissemination activities will be coordinated. Accompanying to the individual dissemination efforts by all partners, workshops will be held when stack evolutions become available addressing an audience beyond the project partners.

The partners intend to disseminate project results on bipolar plates in international journals, conferences and trade fairs.

In addition, interaction with other projects relevant to the development of automotive PEM-fuel-cell-stacks and -components will be established.