Thermal Conductivity and Compaction of GDL-MPL Interfacial Composite Material
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of the Electrochemical Society. 2018, 165 (7), F514-F525. 10.1149/2.0751807jes
The microporous layer (MPL) and the gas diffusion layer (GDL) in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell assembly are often treated as separate layers in the literature. However, there exists a considerable third region where the two different materials merge in the coating process. This region has properties that differ from either of the materials that it consists of. Through-plane thermal conductivity and thickness variation under different compaction pressures were measured for such a composite region of two different commercial GDLs, Freudenberg H1410 and Toray Paper TGP-H-030, each treated with a custom-made MPL ink. Thermal conductivity at 15 bar compaction pressure for untreated Freudenberg H1410 GDL is 0.124 ± 0.009 W K-1 m−1 and for the custom-MPL-coated Freudenberg H1410 materials it was increased by the treatment to 0.141 ± 0.004 W K−1 m−1 and 0.145 ± 0.004 W K-1 m−1 for 9.9 wt% and 11.9 wt% ink, respectively. For Toray paper TGP-H-030 the thermal conductivity at 15 bar compaction pressure for GDL only is 0.449 ± 0.009 W K−1 m−1 and for the custom-MPL-coated Toray TGP-H-030 materials it was decreased by the treatment to 0.39 ± 0.05 W K−1 m−1 and 0.39 ± 0.00 W K−1 m−1 for 9.9 wt% and 11.9 wt% ink, respectively.