Cost model for bipolar plate manufacture

Atkinson, Juan Pablo
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis gives a cost model for the manufacture of bipolar plates in South Africa. The methods for the manufacture considered are machining, using a micro-milling machine, and compression moulding. The focus of this thesis is on compression moulding. Details of the work done towards developing and validating the models are described, and then the cost models are discussed in detail. The results of the analysis done using the cost model is given with attention paid to the effect of changing design parameters, such as channel size and flow field area, and of the cost of production for both methods over various production volumes. The thesis concludes that compression moulding becomes the better option for production volumes greater than 324 bipolar plates, with a cost that eventually reaches close to R140 per plate for high enough production volumes (over 5000). The cost to produce 1000 plates using compression moulding is estimated at R294 per plate. An increase of the channel size gives a small reduction in the total cost, while the increase in cost with an increase in flow field area is large.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis gee 'n koste-model vir die vervaardiging van bipolêre plate in Suid- Afrika. Die vervaardigingsmetodes wat oorweeg word, is masjinering deur 'n mikro-freesmasjien en persvorming. Die fokus van hierdie tesis is op persvorming. Die besonderhede van die ontwikkeling en validering van die modelle word beskryf, en daarna word die modelle in besonderhede beskryf. Die resultate van 'n analise wat met die koste-model gedoen is, word daarna gegee, met die oorweging van die verandering van ontwerp-parameters soos die vloeikanaalgrootte en vloeiveld-area, en van die koste van vervaardiging vir beide metodes vir verskeie produksievolumes. Die tesis kom tot die slotsom dat persvorming die voorkeurproses is vir produksievolumes groter as 324 bipolêre plate, met 'n koste wat tot naastenby R140 per plaat daal vir hoë produksievolumes (meer as 5000). Die koste om 1000 plate met persvorming te maak, word op R294 per plaat beraam. 'n Toename in kanaalgrootte gee 'n klein vermindering in die totale koste, terwyl die toename in koste groot is wanneer die vloeiveld-area toeneem.
Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
Compressor moulding, Bipolar plates -- Manufacture, Cost model, Dissertations -- Mechatronic engineering, Theses -- Mechatronic engineering