Defect Detection in Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Electrodes Using Infrared Thermography

Guido Bender, Michael Ulsh, Daniel Bittinat, Jason Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are energy conversion devices that offer high power densities and high efficiencies for mobile and other applications. Successful introduction into the marketplace requires addressing cost barriers such as production volumes and platinum contents. The electrode is currently a cost intensive component within PEMFCs because platinum is employed as the catalyst. For cost reduction, it is vital to maximize efficiency and minimize waste during the manufacturing of electrodes, including gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs), by developing quality control (QC) diagnostics for fuel cell materials that can be applied to the moving material during large scale production. In this work, we report on developing a QC diagnostic for GDEs, involving creating an exothermic reaction on the electrode surface and using infrared (IR) thermography to measure the resulting temperature profile. Experiments with a moving substrate were conducted to demonstrate the applicability of the diagnostic for real-time web-line inspection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-62695


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