The electrochemical performance and electrical contact resistance of chromized 316 stainless-steel (SS) are investigated under simulated operating condition in a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The corrosion resistance of the chromized stainless steel is assessed by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic tests and the interfacial contact resistance (ICR) is examined by measuring the electrical contact resistance as a function of the compaction force. The results show that the chromizing surface treatment improves the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel due to the high-chromium concentration in the diffuse coating layer. On the other hand, the excess Chromium content on the surface increases the contact resistance of the steel plate to a level that is excessively high for commercial applications. This study examines the root cause of the high-contact resistance after chromizing and reports the optimum process to improve the corrosion resistance without sacrificing the ICR by obtaining a chrome carbide on the outer layer.
- Bipolar plates
- Stainless steel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering