The effect of temperature on corrosion behavior of SS316L in the cathode environment of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Ying Yang, Liejin Guo, Hongtan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The effect of temperature on the corrosion behavior of SS316L in simulated proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) environments has been systematically studied. Electrochemical methods, both potentiodynamic and potentiostatic, are employed to characterize the corrosion behavior. Atomic force microscope (AFM) is used to examine the surface morphology and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis is used to identify the composition and the depth profile of the passive film. Photo-electrochemical (PEC) measurements are also performed to determinate the band gap energy of the passive film semiconductor. Interfacial contact resistances (ICR) between polarized SS316L and carbon paper are also measured. The experimental results show that corrosion resistance decreases with temperatures even though the thickness of passive film increases with temperature, at a given cell potential, the corrosion behavior of SS316L can be significantly different at different temperatures in PEMFC cathode environments, and the band gap of passive films decrease with temperature. The results also show that within the temperature range studied (25-90 °C), after different passivation time, the corrosion current densities of SS316L are all lower than the US DOE 2015 target value of 1 μA cm-2, but the ICR between the carbon paper and polarized SS316L does not satisfy the US DOE 2015 target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5503-5510
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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