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Technical Brief

Experimental Characterization Method of the Gas Diffusion Layers Compression Modulus for High Compressive Loads and Based on a Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Younés Faydi, Remy Lachat, Philippe Lesage

IRTES-M3M,
UTBM,
Belfort Cedex 90010, France;
FCellSys,
Rue Thierry Mieg,
Belfort 90000, France

Yann Meyer

IRTES-M3M,
UTBM,
Belfort Cedex 90010, France;
FCellSys,
Rue Thierry Mieg,
Belfort 90000, France
e-mail: yann.meyer@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 7, 2014; final manuscript received September 12, 2015; published online October 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Umberto Desideri.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 12(5), 054501 (Oct 27, 2015) (5 pages) Paper No: FC-14-1028; doi: 10.1115/1.4031695 History: Received March 07, 2014; Revised September 12, 2015

In a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), gas diffusion layers (GDLs) play a major role in the overall system performances. This is the reason why many research investigations try to model and optimize the GDL physical properties. Currently, the major drawback of these models is to obtain representative GDL mechanical and physical input parameters under different excitations and, particularly, under dynamic excitations. In this paper, an experimental method using a dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is detailed to properly obtain the GDL Young's modulus in compression (or compression modulus) for high compressive loads under dynamic excitation. As an example, a very stiff GDL is characterized and analyzed. Only the first mechanical compression is considered. The GDL compression modulus is clearly nonlinear versus the compressive loads. The dynamic load amplitude has a strong effect on the GDL hysteretic behavior. However, the frequency value of the dynamic excitation seems to have no effect on the GDL compression modulus.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Schematic picture of a DMA test machine

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Fig. 3

Gripping heads with its contact surface made of three studs

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Fig. 4

Dynamic test mode input signal

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Fig. 5

Flowchart of experimental approach

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Fig. 6

Applied static compressive stress versus sample static compressive strain in dynamic test mode for the initial mechanical compression applied

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Fig. 7

Scanning electron microscope image of the GDL top surface after the first mechanical compression cycle (zoom: 20×)

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Fig. 8

Compression modulus versus applied static stress for a repeatability test and for the initial mechanical compression applied

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Fig. 9

Compression modulus versus applied static stress: effect of dynamic forces

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Fig. 10

Compression modulus versus applied static compressive stress: loading curve

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