1Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technologies
2Institute of Materials and Energy, Iranian Space Research Center
In the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), low corrosion resistance and high interfacial contact resistance (ICR) are two controversial issues in usage of AISI 316L stainless steel as a metallic bipolar plate. For solving these problems, investigation and development of different coatings and/or surface treatments are inevitable. Corrosion behavior and ICR of AISI 316L specimens coated with 1, 2, and 3 µm thick TiN were investigated. Potentiodynamic (PD), potentiostatic (PS) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) tests were conducted at 80 °C in pH3 H2SO4+2 ppm HF solution purged with either O2 or H2 under both simulated cathodic and anodic conditions. The PS corrosion test results revealed that the current densities of the specimens were below 1 µA cm−2. In the simulated cathodic condition, an increase of coating thickness from 1 to 3 µm led to a relatively large decrease of the current density from 0.76 to 0.43 µA cm−2. Furthermore, the ICR values of the coated specimens after the PS test were lower than that of the uncoated specimen before the PS. In general, the TiN coating decreases the ICR, and has enough corrosion resistance in simulated PEMFC conditions. However, none of the coatings achieved the DOE ICR targets.
1. D.P. Wilkinson, J. Zhang, R. Hui, J. Fergus, X. Li, Proton exchange membrane fuel cells : materials properties and performance, first ed., CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL, 2010.
2. Y. Wang, D.O. Northwood, An investigation into TiN-coated 316L stainless steel as a bipolar plate material for PEM fuel cells, J. Power Sources, 2007,165: 293-298.
3. W. Yoon, X. Huang, P. Fazzino, K.L. Reifsnider, M.A. Akkaoui, Evaluation of coated metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, J. Power Sources, 2008,179: 265-273.
4. A. Hermann, T. Chaudhuri, P. Spagnol, Bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells: A review, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2005,30: 1297-1302.
5. S. Asghari, A. Mokmeli, M. Samavati, Study of PEM fuel cell performance by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2010,35: 9283-9290.
6. Fuel Cell Technical Team Roadmap, U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability), 2013, pp. Page 9.
7. G. DeCuollo, Low Cost PEM Fuel Cell Metal Bipolar Plates, Technoport 2012Trondheim, Norway, 2012.
8. B.C.H. Steele, A. Heinzel, Materials for fuel-cell technologies, Nature, 2001,414: 345-352.
9. D.A. Jones, Principles and prevention of corrosion, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, New Jersey, 1996.
10. J. Atkinson, H. VanDroffelaar, Corrosion and its Control, National Ass. of Corrosion Engineers, Houston, Texas, 1982.
11. N.D. Nam, J.-G. Kim, Electrochemical behavior of CrN coated on 316L stainless steel in simulated cathodic environment of proton exchange membrane fuel cell, JaJAP, 2008,47: 6887.
12. S.H. Lee, N. Kakati, J. Maiti, S.H. Jee, D.J. Kalita, Y.S. Yoon, Corrosion and electrical properties of CrN- and TiN-coated 316L stainless steel used as bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Thin Solid Films, 2013,529: 374-379.
13. J. Barranco, F. Barreras, A. Lozano, M. Maza, Influence of CrN-coating thickness on the corrosion resistance behaviour of aluminium-based bipolar plates, J. Power Sources, 2011,196: 4283-4289.
14. L. Wang, D.O. Northwood, X. Nie, J. Housden, E. Spain, A. Leyland, A. Matthews, Corrosion properties and contact resistance of TiN, TiAlN and CrN coatings in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell environments, J. Power Sources, 2010,195: 3814-3821.
15. S. Joseph, J.C. McClure, R. Chianelli, P. Pich, P.J. Sebastian, Conducting polymer-coated stainless steel bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2005,30: 1339-1344.
16. Y.-B. Lee, D.-S. Lim, Electrical and corrosion properties of stainless steel bipolar plates coated with a conduction polymer composite, CAP, 2010,10: S18-S21.
17. E. Cho, U.S. Jeon, S.A. Hong, I.H. Oh, S.G. Kang, Performance of a 1 kW-class PEMFC stack using TiN-coated 316 stainless steel bipolar plates, J. Power Sources, 2005,142: 177-183.
18. Y. Wang, D.O. Northwood, An investigation of the electrochemical properties of PVD TiN-coated SS410 in simulated PEM fuel cell environments, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2007,32: 895-902.
19. Y. Wang, D.O. Northwood, Effect of substrate material on the corrosion of TiN-coated stainless steels in simulated anode and cathode environments of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, J. Power Sources, 2009,191: 483-488.
20. M. Kumagai, S.T. Myung, R. Asaishi, Y.K. Sun, H. Yashiro, Nanosized TiN-SBR hybrid coating of stainless steel as bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Electrochim. Acta, 2008,54: 574-581.
21. D. Zhang, L. Duan, L. Guo, W.H. Tuan, Corrosion behavior of TiN-coated stainless steel as bipolar plate for proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2010,35: 3721-3726.
22. E. Dur, Ö.N. Cora, M. Koç, Experimental investigations on the corrosion resistance characteristics of coated metallic bipolar plates for PEMFC, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2011, 7162-7173.
23. C. Turan, Investigations on the Effect of Manufacturing on the Contact Resistance Behavior of Metallic Bipolar Plates for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells, MecEn, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, US, 2011, pp. 198.
24. H. Sun, K. Cooke, G. Eitzinger, P. Hamilton, B. Pollet, Development of PVD coatings for PEMFC metallic bipolar plates, Thin Solid Films, 2013,528: 199-204.
25. R.A. Antunes, M.C.L. Oliveira, G. Ett, V. Ett, Corrosion of metal bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells: A review, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2010,35: 3632-3647.
26. H. Wang, J. Turner, Reviewing metallic PEMFC bipolar plates, Fuel Cells, 2010,10: 510-519.
27. R. Tian, J. Sun, Corrosion resistance and interfacial contact resistance of TiN coated 316L bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2011,36: 6788-6794.
28. M. Li, S. Luo, C. Zeng, J. Shen, H. Lin, C.n. Cao, Corrosion behavior of TiN coated type 316 stainless steel in simulated PEMFC environments, Corros. Sci., 2004,46: 1369-1380.
29. H. Wang, M.A. Sweikart, J.A. Turner, Stainless steel as bipolar plate material for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, J. Power Sources, 2003,115: 243-251.
30. J. André, L. Antoni, J.-P. Petit, E. De Vito, A. Montani, Electrical contact resistance between stainless steel bipolar plate and carbon felt in PEFC: A comprehensive study, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 2009,34: 3125-3133.
31. J. Jayaraj, Y.C. Kim, H.K. Seok, K.B. Kim, E. Fleury, Development of metallic glasses for bipolar plate application, Materials Science and Engineering: A, 2007,449–451: 30-33.
32. P. Ekdunge, K. Jüttner, G. Kreysa, T. Kessler, M. Ebert, W. Lorenz, Electrochemical impedance study on the kinetics of hydrogen evolution at amorphous metals in alkaline solution, J. Electrochem. Soc., 1991,138: 2660-2668.
33. J.R. Macdonald, W.B. Johnson, Fundamentals of Impedance Spectroscopy, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2005.
34. L. Nyikos, T. Pajkossy, Fractal dimension and fractional power frequency-dependent impedance of blocking electrodes, Electrochim. Acta, 1985,30: 1533-1540.
35. L. Chen, A. Lasia, Ni‐Al Powder Electrocatalyst for Hydrogen Evolution, J. Electrochem. Soc., 1993,140: 2464-2473.
36. P. Los, A. Lasia, H. Ménard, L. Brossard, Impedance studies of porous lanthanum-phosphate-bonded nickel electrodes in concentrated sodium hydroxide solution, J. Electroanal. Chem., 1993,360: 101-118.
37. R. Jurczakowski, C. Hitz, A. Lasia, Impedance of porous gold electrodes in the presence of electroactive species, J. Electroanal. Chem., 2005,582: 85-96.
38. F. La Mantia, J. Vetter, P. Novák, Impedance spectroscopy on porous materials: A general model and application to graphite electrodes of lithium-ion batteries, Electrochim. Acta, 2008,53: 4109-4121.
39. X. Liu, J. Xiong, Y. Lv, Y. Zuo, Study on corrosion electrochemical behavior of several different coating systems by EIS, Prog. Org. Coat., 2009,64: 497-503.
40. K. Jüttner, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) of corrosion processes on inhomogeneous surfaces, Electrochim. Acta, 1990,35: 1501-1508.
41. R. Brown, M.N. Alias, R. Fontana, Effect of composition and thickness on corrosion behavior of TiN and ZrN thin films, Surf. Coat. Technol., 1993,62: 467-473.
42. J.-H. Huang, F.-Y. Ouyang, G.-P. Yu, Effect of film thickness and Ti interlayer on the structure and properties of nanocrystalline TiN thin films on AISI D2 steel, Surf. Coat. Technol., 2007,201: 7043-7053.
43. Z. Yao, Z. Jiang, F. Wang, Study on corrosion resistance and roughness of micro-plasma oxidation ceramic coatings on Ti alloy by EIS technique, Electrochim. Acta, 2007,52: 4539-4546.
44. J.L. Gilbert, Electrochemical Behavior of Metals in the Biological Milieu, Elsevier, Oxford, 2011.
45. Q. Chen, G.D. McEwen, N. Zaveri, R. Karpagavalli, A. Zhou, Chapter 9 - Corrosion Resistance of Ti6Al4V with Nanostructured TiO2 Coatings, Emerging Nanotechnologies in Dentistry, William Andrew Publishing, Boston, 2012, pp. 137-150.