Use of a sub-gasket and soft gas diffusion layer to mitigate mechanical degradation of a hydrocarbon membrane for polymer electrolyte fuel cells in wet-dry cycling

Hiroshi Ishikawa, Takeshi Teramoto, Yasuhiro Ueyama, Yasushi Sugawara, Yoko Sakiyama, Masato Kusakabe, Kenji Miyatake, Makoto Uchida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mechanical durability of hydrocarbon (HC) membranes, used for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs), was evaluated by the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) stress protocol involving wet-dry cycling, and the degradation mechanism is discussed. The HC membrane ruptured in the edge region of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) after 300 cycles due to a concentration of the mechanical stress. Post-test analysis of stress-strain measurements revealed that the membrane mechanical strain decreased more than 80% in the edge region of the MEA and about 50% in the electrode region, compared with the pristine condition. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) indicated that the average molecular weight of the HC polymer increased slightly, indicating some cross-linking, while the IEC decreased slightly, indicating ionomer degradation. As a result of two types of modifications, a sub-gasket (SG) and a soft gas diffusion layer (GDL) in the MEA edge region, the mechanical stress decreased, and the durability increased, the membrane lasting more than 30,000 cycles without mechanical failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume325
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Durability enhancement
  • Edge configuration of MEA
  • Hydrocarbon membrane
  • Mechanical degradation
  • Polymer electrolyte fuel cell
  • Wet-dry cycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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