Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates. Part 2: Single-cell fuel cell evaluation of stamped plates

Todd J. Toops, Michael P. Brady, Peter F. Tortorelli, Josh A. Pihl, Francisco Estevez, Daniel Connors, Fernando Garzon, Tommy Rockward, Don Gervasio, William Mylan, Sree Harsha Kosaraju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thermal (gas) nitridation of stainless steel alloys can yield low interfacial contact resistance (ICR), electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant nitride containing surface layers (Cr2N, CrN, TiN, V2N, VN, etc.) of interest for fuel cells, batteries, and sensors. This paper presents results of proton exchange membrane (PEM) single-cell fuel cell studies of stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided developmental Fe-20Cr-4V weight percent (wt.%) and commercial type 2205 stainless steel alloy foils. The single-cell fuel cell behavior of the stamped and pre-oxidized/nitrided material was compared to as-stamped (no surface treatment) 904L, 2205, and Fe-20Cr-4V stainless steel alloy foils and machined graphite of similar flow field design. The best fuel cell behavior among the alloys was exhibited by the pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, which exhibited ∼5-20% better peak power output than untreated Fe-20Cr-4V, 2205, and 904L metal stampings. Durability was assessed for pre-oxidized/nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V, 904L metal, and graphite plates by 1000+ h of cyclic single-cell fuel cell testing. All three materials showed good durability with no significant degradation in cell power output. Post-test analysis indicated no metal ion contamination of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) occurred with the pre-oxidized and nitrided Fe-20Cr-4V or graphite plates, and only a minor amount of contamination with the 904L plates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5619-5627
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume195
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Durability
  • Metallic bipolar plates
  • Nitride
  • Polymer electrolyte/proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Toops, T. J., Brady, M. P., Tortorelli, P. F., Pihl, J. A., Estevez, F., Connors, D., Garzon, F., Rockward, T., Gervasio, D., Mylan, W., & Kosaraju, S. H. (2010). Pre-oxidized and nitrided stainless steel alloy foil for proton exchange membrane fuel cell bipolar plates. Part 2: Single-cell fuel cell evaluation of stamped plates. Journal of Power Sources, 195(17), 5619-5627. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2010.03.056