Contact resistance characteristics of coated metallic bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells - Investigations on the effect of manufacturing

Cabir Turan, Ömer Necati Cora, Muammer Koç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


The main purpose of this study is to understand the interfacial contact resistance (ICR) characteristics of coated metallic bipolar plates (BPP) manufactured through stamping and hydroforming. To this goal, 51 μm thick SS316L stainless steel sheet blanks were formed into BPPs using two forming techniques (stamping and hydroforming); then these formed plates were coated with three different PVD coatings (CrN, TiN, ZrN) at three different coating thicknesses (0.1, 0.5 and 1 μm). Contact resistance of the formed and coated BPP samples were measured before and after they were exposed to the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) operating conditions (i.e., corrosive environment). ICR tests indicated that CrN coating increased the contact resistance of the samples, unexpectedly. TiN samples showed the best performance in terms of low ICR; however, their ICR dramatically increased after short-term exposure to corrosion. ZrN coating, as well, improved conductivity of the SS316L BPP samples and demonstrated similar ICR performance before and after exposure to corrosion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18187-18204
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Bipolar plates
  • Coating
  • Contact resistance
  • Fuel cell
  • Hydroforming
  • Stamping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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