Recently, metal foam (MF) flow field has exhibited its superiority on mass transfer and potentials on promoting the power density of PEM fuel cells. In this study, the geometry of MF is reconstructed through three-dimensional X-ray computational tomography. The single- and two-phase flow simulations are then carried out. It is found that the pores in MF are relatively inhomogeneous, which has rarely been considered in previous numerical studies. Moreover, the convective flow, water retention and water split up are the unique mass transfer characteristics observed. In addition, the contact angle of MF ligaments shows a dramatic influence on the water management.
Keywords PEM fuel cell, Metal foam flow field, VOF model, Mass transfer