Development of a Graphite Coating and its Transfer from Batch to Coil Process for Application in PEMFC for Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles
In the present paper, coating systems consisting of a metallic corrosion barrier and a conductive graphitic carbon layer were deposited by a DC vacuum arc process. The coatings were developed in a batch process for application in the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), and transferred to a continuous coil process to facilitate industrial mass production. The coating samples in the coil process had to achieve comparable results to the samples produced in the batch process, to meet the requirements of the environment prevailing in the fuel cell.The transfer to roll-to-roll processes is a crucial factor for commercial upscaling of PEMFC production. The experimental results showed that the electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance of the samples in the coil process were significantly improved compared to the uncoated base material and showed comparable performance to batch coated samples. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was performed to determine the depth profile and the surface composition. Additional measurements were recorded for the contact resistances using the four-wire sensing method as well as corrosion resistance using potentiodynamic methods.