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Deposition of gold-titanium, gold-nickel coating on stainless steel bipolar plates electropolished for PEMFCs

K.M. Kang, Y.H. Yun, J.S. Choi
Dongshin University, KR

Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cell, bipolar plates, electropolishing, chemical stability

Abstract:

The stainless steel plates were electropolished and then were deposited with the gold coating and titanium or nickel coating by electron beam evaporation process. The stainless steel plate as the substrate of PEMFC (polymer exchange membrane fuel cell) bipolar plate were electropolished with the mixed solution of H2SO4 and H3PO4. The surface regions of two stainless steel plates electropolished were deposited with two different coating layers of gold-titanium coating and gold-nickel coating by electron beam evaporation process, respectively. The stainless steel plates, deposited with the gold coating and the titanium or nickel interlayer after electropolishing, showed remarkably smooth and uniform surface morphologies in AFM and FE-SEM images compared to that of the plates deposited after mechanical polishing only. The electrical resistance and water contact angle of the deposited stainless steel bipolar plates showed the strong dependence upon the surface modification treatments such as mechanical polishing and electropolishing. The stainless steel bipolar plates, which were electropolished and then were deposited with two different coating layers, showed very excellent chemical stability from the dissolution test of coating layers through ICP-MS and XPS analysis using chemical elements dissolved with pH3 H2SO4 solution.
 
 
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