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Determination of Material Properties of Gas Diffusion Layers: Experiments and Simulations Using Phase Contrast Tomographic Microscopy


Becker, Jürgen; Flückiger, R; Reum, M; Büchi, F N; Marone, F; Stampanoni, M (2009). Determination of Material Properties of Gas Diffusion Layers: Experiments and Simulations Using Phase Contrast Tomographic Microscopy. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 156(10):B1175-B1181.

Abstract

Understanding the transport properties of porous materials plays an important role in the development and optimization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). In this study numerical simulations of different transport properties are compared and validated with data obtained using recently developed experimental techniques. The study is based on a Toray TGP-H-060 carbon paper, a common gas diffusion layer (GDL) material in PEFC. Diffusivity, permeability, and electric conductivity of the anisotropic, porous material are measured experimentally under various levels of compression. A sample of the GDL is imaged with synchrotron-based X-ray tomography under three different compression levels. Based on these three-dimensional images, diffusivity, permeability, and conductivity are calculated numerically. Experimental and numerical results agree in general. Deviations are observed for the through-plane conductivity. An explanation for the discrepancy is presented and affirmed by numerical simulations on a virtually created structure model. This proves that numerical simulation based on tomography data is a versatile tool for the investigation and development of porous structures used in PEFCs.

Understanding the transport properties of porous materials plays an important role in the development and optimization of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). In this study numerical simulations of different transport properties are compared and validated with data obtained using recently developed experimental techniques. The study is based on a Toray TGP-H-060 carbon paper, a common gas diffusion layer (GDL) material in PEFC. Diffusivity, permeability, and electric conductivity of the anisotropic, porous material are measured experimentally under various levels of compression. A sample of the GDL is imaged with synchrotron-based X-ray tomography under three different compression levels. Based on these three-dimensional images, diffusivity, permeability, and conductivity are calculated numerically. Experimental and numerical results agree in general. Deviations are observed for the through-plane conductivity. An explanation for the discrepancy is presented and affirmed by numerical simulations on a virtually created structure model. This proves that numerical simulation based on tomography data is a versatile tool for the investigation and development of porous structures used in PEFCs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Date:2009
Deposited On:08 Jan 2010 14:24
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:43
Publisher:Electrochemical Society, Inc.
ISSN:0013-4651
Publisher DOI:10.1149/1.3176876
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-27032

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