Wire rod coating process of gas diffusion layers fabrication for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Arunachala Mada Kannan, S. Sadananda, D. Parker, L. Munukutla, J. Wertz, M. Thommes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Gas diffusion layers (GDLs) were fabricated using non-woven carbon paper as a macro-porous layer substrate developed by Hollingsworth & Vose Company. A commercially viable coating process was developed using wire rod for coating micro-porous layer by a single pass. The thickness as well as carbon loading in the micro-porous layer was controlled by selecting appropriate wire thickness of the wire rod. Slurry compositions with solid loading as high as 10 wt.% using nano-chain and nano-fiber type carbons were developed using dispersion agents to provide cohesive and homogenous micro-porous layer without any mud-cracking. The surface morphology, wetting characteristics and pore size distribution of the wire rod coated GDLs were examined using FESEM, Goniometer and Hg porosimetry, respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions (temperature and RH) using hydrogen and air as reactants. It was observed that the wire rod coated micro-porous layer with 10 wt.% nano-fibrous carbon based GDLs showed the highest fuel cell performance at 85 °C using H2 and air at 50% RH, compared to all other compositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008


  • Gas diffusion layers
  • Non-woven carbon paper
  • Pore size distribution
  • Surface morphology
  • Wire rod coating process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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