Anodic Behaviour of High Nitrogen-Bearing Steels in PEMFC Environments

Heli Wang, John A. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus Citations


High nitrogen-bearing stainless steels, AISI Type 201 and AL219, were investigated in simulated polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) environments to assess the use of these materials in fuel cell bipolar plate applications. Both steels exhibit better corrosion behavior than 316L steel in the same environments. Type 201 steel shows similar but lower interfacial contact resistance (ICR) than 316L, while AL219 steel shows higher ICR than 316L. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis shows that the air-formed films on Type 201 and AL219 are composed of iron oxides, chromium oxide, and manganese oxide. Iron oxides dominate the composition of the air-formed film, specially the outer layer. Chromium oxide dominates passive films. Surface film thicknesses were estimated. The results suggest that high nitrogen-bearing stainless steels are promising materials for PEMFC bipolar plates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)791-796
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2008

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-560-42785


  • Bipolar plate
  • Corrosion
  • Fuel cell
  • Stainless steel
  • XPS


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