Fundamental Studies of the Durability of Materials for Interconnects in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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Ferritic stainless steels are a leading candidate material for use as an SOFC interconnect, but have the problem of forming volatile chromia species that lead to cathode poisoning. This project has focused both on optimization of ferritic alloys for SOFC applications and evaluating the possibility of using alternative materials. The initial efforts involved studying the oxidation behavior of a variety of chromia-forming ferritic stainless steels in the temperature range 700-900 C in atmospheres relevant to solid oxide fuel cell operation. The alloys exhibited a wide variety of oxidation behavior based on composition. A method for reducing the vaporization is to ... continued below

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Pettit, Frederick S. & Meier, Gerald H. June 30, 2006.

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Ferritic stainless steels are a leading candidate material for use as an SOFC interconnect, but have the problem of forming volatile chromia species that lead to cathode poisoning. This project has focused both on optimization of ferritic alloys for SOFC applications and evaluating the possibility of using alternative materials. The initial efforts involved studying the oxidation behavior of a variety of chromia-forming ferritic stainless steels in the temperature range 700-900 C in atmospheres relevant to solid oxide fuel cell operation. The alloys exhibited a wide variety of oxidation behavior based on composition. A method for reducing the vaporization is to add alloying elements that lead to the formation of a thermally grown oxide layer over the protective chromia. Several commercial steels form manganese chromate on the surface. This same approach, combined with observations of TiO{sub 2} overlayer formation on the chromia forming, Ni-based superalloy IN 738, has resulted in the development of a series of Fe-22 Cr-X Ti alloys (X=0-4 wt%). Oxidation testing has indicated that this approach results in significant reduction in chromia evaporation. Unfortunately, the Ti also results in accelerated chromia scale growth. Fundamental thermo-mechanical aspects of the durability of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) interconnect alloys have also been investigated. A key failure mechanism for interconnects is the spallation of the chromia scale that forms on the alloy, as it is exposed to fuel cell environments. Indentation testing methods to measure the critical energy release rate (Gc) associated with the spallation of chromia scale/alloy systems have been evaluated. This approach has been used to evaluate the thermomechanical stability of chromia films as a function of oxidation exposure. The oxidation of pure nickel in SOFC environments was evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) to determine the NiO scaling kinetics and a four-point probe was used to measure the area-specific resistance (ASR) to estimate the electrical degradation of the interconnect. In addition to the baseline study of pure nickel, steps were taken to decrease the ASR through alloying and surface modifications. Finally, high conductivity composite systems, consisting of nickel and silver, were studied. These systems utilize high conductivity silver pathways through nickel while maintaining the mechanical stability that a nickel matrix provides.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-02NT41578
  • DOI: 10.2172/897551 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 897551
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc891390

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  • June 30, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Jan. 8, 2018, 5:25 p.m.

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Pettit, Frederick S. & Meier, Gerald H. Fundamental Studies of the Durability of Materials for Interconnects in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, report, June 30, 2006; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc891390/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.