Conducting Polymer Coated Stainless Steel Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)
Stainless steel satisfies many of the requirements for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell bipolar plates except its corrosion under fuel cell operating conditions. Metal oxide formation leads to contact resistance, and metal dissolution can cause contamination of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). These problems can be solved by coating stainless steel plates with corrosion resistant and conductive layers. In this study, 304 stainless steel was coated electrochemically with the conducting polymers polyaniline (PANI) and polypyrrole (PPY). Cyclic voltammetry was used for the polymerization and deposition of these polymers. The polymer-coated stainless steel plates were tested for corrosion and contact resistance under PEM fuel cell conditions, which showed improved corrosion resistance with acceptable contact resistance.