Different types of commercial stainless steels (SS316, SS310 and incoloy 800), poco graphite, composite graphite, titanium carbide, zirconium carbide and carbide base coating on aluminum substrate using thermal spray technique were evaluated as metallic bipolar plate in terms of Interfacial Contact Resistance (ICR) and corrosion resistance in a solution simulating the environment of a bipolar plate in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC), 0.5 M H2SO4 and 200 ppm HF at room temperature. In addition, a comparison between graphite composites and carbide-based amorphous metallic coating alloy bipolar plate cost analysis. Results show that stainless steels have a high ICR and undergo corrosion in both anode and cathode due to the passive film formation. Moreover, although carbide-based alloy showed an ICR much less than composite graphite, their behaviour was not satisfactory in corrosive acidic medium.
Keywords: polymer electrolyte membrane, PEM fuel cells, PEMFC, corrosion resistance, metallic bipolar plates, cost analysis, graphite composites, carbide-based coatings, amorphous metallic coatings, carbides, stainless steel, alternative propulsion