Together with the Physical Technology Department of the University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, the mid-sized company Hüttenberger Produktionstechnik Martin GmbH (www.huettenberger-produktionstechnik.de) from the German state of Hesse has developed a new type of bipolar plates for use in fuel cells. They form a central element of the structure of the fuel cells. Up to now, these bipolar plates have been one of the most expensive factors in fuel cell production due to the requirements placed on them. The plates are now produced using metal-plastic composite technology. The advantages include a longer service life, higher efficiency and less expensive to produce than their predecessors, which were manufactured from graphite, metal or graphite composite materials.
The bipolar plate production process used by Hüttenberger forms the basis for automated series production, which could not be carried out using previous technologies and materials. The intention is to help fuel cells to become far more widely used in their three most important fields of application — decentralized energy supplies in buildings, motor vehicles and mobile electronic devices.