Mechanical Effects in PEM Fuel Cell: Application to Modeling of Assembly Procedure


1 Laboratoire d’Etudes Thermiques, LET UMR-CNRS 6608, Université de Poitiers - ESIP et ENSMA, 40, avenue du Recteur Pineau 86022 Poitiers Cedex France

2 Laboratoire de Physique et Mécanique des Matériaux, LMPM UMR CNRS 6617, ENSMA, Téléport 2, 1, Av. Clément Ader, BP 40109 – 86962 FUTUROSCOPE Cédéx, France

3 Frumkin Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry RAN, Moscow 117071, Leninsky prospect 31, Russia


Mechanical effects can influence significantly electrical performance and life time of PEM fuel cells. A linear elasticplastic 2D model of fuel cell with hardening is used for modeling of assembly procedure of fuel cells. The model simulates mechanical behavior of the main components of real fuel cell (the membrane, the gas diffusion layers, the graphite plates, and the seal joints) and clamping elements (the steel plates, the bolts, the nuts). The stress and plastic deformation in MEA have been calculated using ABAQUS code. The results are presented on the local and the global scales with respect to the realistic clamping conditions. The first one corresponds to the single tooth/channel structure. The global scale deals with features of the entire cell and takes into account the border effects, in particular the influence of seal joints.