Failure Point Analysis of Membrane Electrode Assemblies with Coating Irregularities


Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), Manufacturing challenges, Electrode irregularities, Accelerated stress tests (ASTs), In-line diagnostic tools


Cost has been one of the primary barriers to the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), clean energy conversion devices used primarily for power generation applications. While system design improvements and the development of novel electrode materials with increased activity have helped lower costs, the primary driver of cost reduction will be manufacturing membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) at high volume [1]. Recently developed in-line diagnostic tools to monitor quality have successfully detected a variety of electrode coating variations [2]. This work studies a subset of these electrode irregularities fabricated onto MEAs operating under accelerated stress tests (ASTs) to simulate stresses of real-world driving conditions while spatially monitoring the onset and development of failure points with a thermal camera. An understanding of the impact that electrode irregularities have on MEA lifetime will subsequently allow for (i) the potential classification of these irregularities as defects and (ii) the development of threshold detection limits for in-line quality control diagnostics.

Original Publication Citation

A Phillips, G Bender, J Mackay, JM Porter, M Ulsh, Failure Point Analysis of Membrane Electrode Assemblies with Coating Irregularities, PRiME, Oct 2-7 (2016), Honolulu, HI.

Document Type


Publication Date



The Electrochemical Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor