A Review of Functions, Attributes, Properties and Measurements for the Quality Control of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Components
Quality control (QC) is an essential part of fuel cell technology industrialization, providing means to reduce cost of components, enhancing the reliability of the final product, and offering specification guidance for new entrants in the supply chain. The membrane electrode assembly (MEA), including membrane, catalyst layer (CL), and gas diffusion layer (GDL), as well as bipolar plate (BP), are key components of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, and the attributes of each component strongly correlate with the cell performance and longevity. To ensure the quality of the fuel cell, it is of great importance to characterize the properties with respect to the standardization of component/sub-component specifications. In collaboration with the fuel cell industry, this work aims at establishing compendiums of attributes, or so-called books of attributes, of key fuel cell components for the QC of PEM fuel cells through reviewing, identifying, categorizing, and prioritizing the main attributes/properties that determine their functionalities. The books of attributes for the major PEM fuel cell components include catalyst coated membrane (CCM) as a sub-assembly, GDL, and BP. To address the full spectrum of fuel cell components, gaskets and sub-gaskets are also included.