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Journal of Chinese Society for Corrosion and protection  2021, Vol. 41 Issue (1): 125-130    DOI: 10.11902/1005.4537.2020.009
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Surface Modification of TA1 Bipolar Plate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
HAN Yuetong, ZHANG Pengchao, SHI Jiefu, LI Ting, SUN Juncai()
Institute of Materials Technology, Dalian Maritime University, Dalian 116026, China
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The operation efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is primarily affected by the electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance and hydrophobicity of the bipolar plate. Zr coating (Zr-TA1) is prepared by double glow plasma method on TA1 commercial pure Ti-bipolar plate. Then the microstructure and properties of the Zr coated TA1 Ti-plate are studied. It follows that, the thickness of Zr coating is about 3 μm and the coating surface is smooth and compact. Its potentiodynamic/potentiostatic polarization curves are measured in the cathodic and anodic environments of PEMFC, which shows that the corrosion potential of Zr-TA1 is increased significantly and the corrosion current density is decreased by 1~2 orders of magnitude in comparison with the bare TA1 Ti-plate. Furthermore, the hydrophobicity of TA1 is improved by Zr coating and the water contact angle is increased from 71o (TA1) to 94o (Zr-TA1). In addition, the contact resistance of Zr-TA1 (under the compaction pressure of 140 N·cm-2) is decreased from 117.3 mΩ·cm2 to 15.5 mΩ·cm2, namely, the surface conductivity of the Ti-plate was significantly improved.

Key words:  proton exchange membrane fuel cell      Ti bipolar plate      Zr coating      interfacial contact resistance      corrosion resistance     
Received:  14 January 2020     
ZTFLH:  TG172  
Fund: National Key R&D Program of China(2016YFB0101206)
Corresponding Authors:  SUN Juncai     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

HAN Yuetong, ZHANG Pengchao, SHI Jiefu, LI Ting, SUN Juncai. Surface Modification of TA1 Bipolar Plate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Journal of Chinese Society for Corrosion and protection, 2021, 41(1): 125-130.

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Fig.1  XRD pattern of Zr-TA1 surface
Fig.2  Surface morphology of Zr-TA1 (a) and cross section morphology and EDS analysis of Zr-TA1 (b)
Fig.3  Potentiodynamic polarization curves for the Zr-TA1 and uncoated TA1 plate in simulated PEMFCs cathodic (a) and anodic (b) environment
Ecorr / VSCEIcorr / μA·cm-20.6 V / A·cm-2Ecorr / VSCEIcorr / μA·cm-2-0.1 V/ A·cm-2
Table 1  Corrosion parameters of Zr-TA1 and uncoated TA1 bipolar plate polarized in simulated PEMFC cathodic/anodic environment
Fig.4  Potentiostatic polarization curves of Zr-TA1 and uncoated TA1 plate in simulated PEMFC cathodic (a) and anodic (b) environment
Fig.5  Water contact angle of uncoated TA1 (a) and Zr-TA1 bipolar plate (b)
Fig.6  ICR of uncoated TA1 (a) and Zr-TA1 bipolar plate (b) before and after potentiostatic polarization experiment in different simulated PEMFC environments
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