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Carbon-polymer composite coatings for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

Abstract

A carbon-polymer composite coating on stainless steel 316L substrates was investigated for the use as bipolar plate material for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. The coating consisted of 45 vol% graphite, 5 vol% carbon black and 50 vol% epoxy binder. The coating was applied by a spraying technique followed by hot-pressing while the binder cured. An interfacial contact resistance of 9.8 mΩ cm2 at a compaction pressure of 125 N cm−2 was measured. Ex-situ electrochemical tests showed that the carbon-polymer composite coated plates had smaller increases in the interfacial contact resistance after polarization than bare stainless steel plates at potentials of 0.0191 and 0.6191 VSHE. At 1.0 VSHE, the resistance increased similarly for both the coated plate and the bare stainless steel plate, and reached unacceptable values. The porosity of the coating was estimated with scanning electron microscope imaging of the cross-section of the coating to be about 50%.

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Author(s)

Affiliation

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Sustainable Energy Technology

Year

2014

Published in

International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

ISSN

0360-3199

Publisher

Elsevier

Volume

39

Issue

2

Page(s)

951 - 957

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