In-plane permeability of gas diffusion backing (GDB) of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) was investigated experimentally. Toray-paper and SGL-paper were selected as GDB test samples. Several Toray-papers were treated in-house with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) using the immersion technique, dried either under atmospheric or vacuum pressure, and then sintered. The dependence of PTFE distribution in the through-plane direction on the PTFE drying conditions was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-based energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) imaging. The EDS image maps revealed that the PTFE distribution strongly depended on the drying condition, and PTFE drying under vacuum pressure yielded a relatively uniform PTFE distribution. The measured in-plane permeability suggests that the homogeneous distribution of PTFE achieved by the vacuum drying produces a porosity-leveling effect. In addition, the relationship between the in-plane permeability and porosity of the Toray-paper samples followed the Kozeny-Carman relation, whereas due to non-fibrous solids such as binder, that of the SGL-paper samples did not.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering