Cost effective in-situ characterization of coatings for PEFC bipolar plates demonstrated with PVD deposited CrN

Sonja Auvinen (Corresponding Author), Thomas Tingelöf, Jari Ihonen, Jarmo Siivinen, Max Johansson

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    The corrosion and contact resistances of coated and uncoated stainless steel grades were studied. The coatings studied were PVD CrN and arc discharge deposited Au. The samples were aged in long steady-state experiments using a multisinglecell device. MEAs and exhaust water were analyzed for accumulated iron after measurements. Iron accumulation was measured from MEAs, exhaust water and gas outlet pipes from the cells. The interfacial contact resistances were measured before and after the fuel cell experiments. Low contact resistance was achieved with all coated samples. The main accumulation site of dissolved iron was found to be the MEA and GDLs. A large variation in the corrosion results due to differences in the coating quality was observed. Some coatings with low interfacial contact resistance were found to be prone to corrosion. The CrN coating was also tested in a stack, and it performed well. It was concluded that the multisinglecell is a useful tool for screening different coatings reliably and cost-effectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)B550-B556
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



    • PEM fuel cell
    • bipolar plate
    • stainless steel
    • coating

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