Effects of passive films on corrosion resistance of uncoated SS316L bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cell application

Ying Yang, Xiaohui Ning, Hongsheng Tang, Liejin Guo, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of passive films on the corrosion behaviors of uncoated SS316L in anode and cathode environments of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are studied. Potentiodynamic and potentiostatic polarizations are employed to study the corrosion behavior; Mott-Schottky measurements are used to characterize the semiconductor properties of passive films; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses are used to identify the compositions and the depth profiles of passive films. The passive films formed in the PEMFC anode and cathode environments under corresponding conditions both behave as n-type semiconductor. The passive film formed in the anode environment has a single-layer structure, Cr is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio > 1), and the Cr/Fe atomic ratio decreases from the surface to the bulk; while the passive film formed in the PEMFC cathode environment has a bi-layer structure, Fe is the major element (Cr/Fe atomic ratio < 0.5), and in the external layer of the bi-layer structure Fe content increases rapidly and gradually in the internal layer. SS316L shows better corrosion resistance owing to both the high content of Cr oxide in the passive film and low band bending in normal PEMFC anode environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-280
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume320
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2014

Keywords

  • Bipolar plate
  • Corrosion
  • Passive film
  • Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)
  • Stainless steel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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