Defect Detection in Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Electrodes Using Infrared Thermography


Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), Cost reduction, Platinum catalyst, Quality control diagnostics, Gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs)


Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are energy conversion devices that offer high power densities and high efficiencies for mobile and other applications. Successful introduction into the marketplace requires addressing cost barriers such as production volumes and platinum contents. The electrode is currently a cost intensive component within PEMFCs because platinum is employed as the catalyst. For cost reduction, it is vital to maximize efficiency and minimize waste during the manufacturing of electrodes, including gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs), by developing quality control (QC) diagnostics for fuel cell materials that can be applied to the moving material during large scale production. In this work, we report on developing a QC diagnostic for GDEs, involving creating an exothermic reaction on the electrode surface and using infrared (IR) thermography to measure the resulting temperature profile. Experiments with a moving substrate were conducted to demonstrate the applicability of the diagnostic for real-time web-line inspection.

Original Publication Citation

D.C. Bittinat, G. Bender, J.M. Porter, M. Ulsh, Defect Detection in Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Electrodes Using Infrared Thermography, 224th ECS Meeting, Oct 27-Nov 1 (2013), San Francisco, CA

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



The Electrochemical Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor