Korean Institute of Surface Engineering

pISSN : 1225-8024 | eISSN : 3399-8403


한국표면공학회지 (44권5호 173-178)

Surface Properties of Chromium Nitrided Carbon Steel as Separator for PEMFC

크롬질화처리한 저탄소강의 고분자 전해질 연료전지 분리판으로서의 표면특성

Choi, Chang-Yong;Kang, Nam-Hyun;Nam, Dae-Geun;

한국생산기술연구원 동남권지역본부;부산대학교 재료공학부;
Korea Institute of Industrial Technology;Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Pusan National University;

DOI : 10.5695/JKISE.2011.44.5.173


Separator of stack in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is high cost and heavy. If we make it low cost and lighter, it will have a great ripple. In this study, low carbon steel is used as base metal of separator because the cost of low carbon steel is very cheaper commercial metal material than stainless steels, which is widely used as separator. Low carbon steel has not a good corrosion resistance. In order to improve the corrosion resistance and electrolytic conductivity, low carbon steel needs to be surface treated. We made Chromium electroplated layer of $5{mu}m$, $10{mu}m$ thickness on the surface of low carbon steel and it was nitrided for 2 hours at $1000^{circ}C$ in a furnace with 100 torr nitrogen gas pressure. Cross-sectional and surface microstructures of surface treated low carbon steel are investigated using SEM. And crystal structures are investigated by XRD. Interfacial contact resistance and corrosion tests were considered to simulate the internal operating conditions of PEMFC stack. The corrosion test was performed in 0.1 N $H_2SO_4$ + 2 ppm $F^-$ solution at $80^{circ}C$. Throughout this research, we try to know that low carbon steel can be replaced stainless steel in separator of PEMFC.


PEMFC;Nitriding;Carbon steel;Separator;Cr plating;