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Iron-based alloy and nitridation treatment for PEM fuel cell bipolar plates

United States Patent

November 9, 2010
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A corrosion resistant electrically conductive component that can be used as a bipolar plate in a PEM fuel cell application is composed of an alloy substrate which has 10-30 wt. % Cr, 0.5 to 7 wt. % V, and base metal being Fe, and a continuous surface layer of chromium nitride and vanadium nitride essentially free of base metal. A oxide layer of chromium vanadium oxide can be disposed between the alloy substrate and the continuous surface nitride layer. A method to prepare the corrosion resistant electrically conductive component involves a two-step nitridization sequence by exposing the alloy to a oxygen containing gas at an elevated temperature, and subsequently exposing the alloy to an oxygen free nitrogen containing gas at an elevated temperature to yield a component where a continuous chromium nitride layer free of iron has formed at the surface.
Brady; Michael P. (Oak Ridge, TN), Yang; Bing (Oak Ridge, TN), Maziasz; Philip J. (Oak Ridge, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
11/ 582,034
October 17, 2006
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract no. DE-AC05-00OR22725 between the United States Department of Energy.