The purpose of this paper is to improve the surface electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance of AISI 430 stainless steel (430 SS) as bipolar plates for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), a protective Nb-modified layer is formed onto stainless steel via the plasma surface diffusion alloying method. The effect of diffusion alloying time on electrochemical behavior and surface conductivity is evaluated.Design/methodology/approachIn this work, the surface electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance of modified specimen are evaluated by the potentiodynamic and potentionstatic polarization tests. Moreover, the hydrophobicity is also investigated by contact angle measurement.FindingsThe Nb-modified 430 SS treated by 1.5 h (1.5Nb) presented a lower passivation current density, lower interfacial contact resistance and a higher hydrophobicity than other modified specimens. Moreover, the 1.5 Nb specimen presents a smoother surface than other modified specimens after potentionstatic polarization tests.Originality/valueThe effect of diffusion alloying time on electrochemical behavior, surface conductivity and hydrophobicity of modified specimen is evaluated. The probable anti-corrosion mechanism of Nb-modified specimen in simulated acid PEMFC cathode environment is presented.
Anti-Corrosion Methods and Materials – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2019
Keywords: Corrosion resistance; Surface electrical conductivity; AISI 430 stainless steel; Bipolar plate; PEMFCs