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Experimental Investigation on the Mechanical Endurance Limit of Nafion membrane used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
Published: 18 March 2014 by MDPI in 1st International e-Conference on Energies session Current Problems in Energy Conversion Technologies
Abstract: Nowadays, two pressing problems face the world: the energy crisis and environmental pollution. 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 word-wide commercialization of PEMFC has not started properly yet; due mainly to the barriers of high cost and durability. These days, the performances of PEMFCs are far from achieving the target from the Department of Energy (DOE). So, 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, the yielding stresses were obtained, as well as the work of fracture.
Keywords: PEMFC, Nafion, fracture test, tensile test, hygrothermal aging, Mechanical Endurance.