Degradation of SS316L Bipolar Plates in Simulated Fuel Cell Environment: Corrosion Rate, Barrier Film Formation Kinetics and Contact Resistance

Heli Wang, John Turner, Dionissios Papadias, Rajesh Ahluwalia, Jeffery Thomson, Harry Meyer III, Michael Brady, Rangachary Mukundan, Rod Borup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus Citations

Abstract

A potentiostatic polarization method is used to evaluate the corrosion behavior of SS316L in simulated anode and cathode environments of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. A passive barrier oxide film is observed to form and reach steady state within ∼10 h of polarization, after which time the total ion release rates are low and nearly constant at ∼0.4 μg cm-2 h-1 for all potentials investigated. The equilibrium film thickness, however, is a function of the applied potential. The main ionic species dissolved in the liquid are predominately Fe followed by Ni, that account for >90% of the steady-state corrosion current. The dissolution rate of Cr is low but increases systematically at potentials higher than 0.8 V. The experimental ion release rates can be correlated with a point defect model using a single set of parameters over a broad range of potentials (0.2-1 V) on the cathode side. The interfacial contact resistance measured after 48 h of polarization is observed to increase with increase in applied potential and can be empirically correlated with applied load and oxide film thickness. The oxide film is substantially thicker at 1.5 V possibly because of alteration in film composition to Fe-rich as indicated by XPS data.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1237-1249
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume273
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-63362

Keywords

  • Bipolar plates
  • Contact resistance
  • Corrosion rates
  • PEFC
  • Point defect model
  • Stainless steel

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Degradation of SS316L Bipolar Plates in Simulated Fuel Cell Environment: Corrosion Rate, Barrier Film Formation Kinetics and Contact Resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this