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Energies 2014, 7(10), 6401-6411; doi:10.3390/en7106401

Experimental Investigation and Discussion on the Mechanical Endurance Limit of Nafion Membrane Used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University, 253 Yonghyun-dong, Nam-Gu, Incheon 402-751, Korea
Experimental Investigation and Discussion on the Mechanical Endurance Limit of Nafion Membrane Used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
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Received: 28 July 2014 / Revised: 16 September 2014 / Accepted: 28 September 2014 / Published: 9 October 2014
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Abstract

As a solution of high efficiency and clean energy, fuel cell technologies, especially proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), have caught extensive attention. However, after decades of development, the performances of PEMFCs are far from achieving the target from the Department of Energy (DOE). Thus, further understanding of the degradation mechanism is needed to overcome this obstacle. Due to the importance of proton exchange membrane in a PEMFC, the degradation of the membrane, such as hygrothermal aging effect on its properties, are particularly necessary. In this work, a thick membrane (Nafion N117), which is always used as an ionic polymer for the PEMFCs, has been analyzed. Experimental investigation is performed for understanding the mechanical endurance of the bare membranes under different loading conditions. Tensile tests are conducted to compare the mechanical property evolution of two kinds of bare-membrane specimens including the dog-bone and the deeply double edge notched (DDEN) types. Both dog-bone and DDEN specimens were subjected to a series of degradation tests with different cycling times and wide humidity ranges. The tensile tests are repeated for both kinds of specimens to assess the strain-stress relations. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation and water absorption measurement were conducted to speculate the cause of this variation. The initial cracks along with the increasing of bound water content were speculated as the primary cause. View Full-Text
Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC); Nafion; fracture test; hygrothermal aging; mechanical endurance proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC); Nafion; fracture test; hygrothermal aging; mechanical endurance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Xiao, Y.; Cho, C. Experimental Investigation and Discussion on the Mechanical Endurance Limit of Nafion Membrane Used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Energies 2014, 7, 6401-6411.

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