Protective Coatings for Metallic Components in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems

Tuesday, 28 July 2015: 14:00
Alsh (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
N. J. Kidner, S. Ibanez, G. Arkenberg, M. M. Seabaugh, and S. L. Swartz (NexTech Materials)
To make solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems more manufacturable and reduce system costs, SOFC developers, wherever possible, have substituted lower cost stainless steel into the stack design, including replacing ceramic interconnects within the stack and high-cost nickel-based superalloys in balance-of-plant components. However, for successful implementation of these steels, protective coatings are necessary to protect the air-facing metal surfaces from high temperature oxidation and to minimize chromium volatilization from the metal, because chromium volatiles poison the cathode and degrade cell performance.

NexTech Materials has developed a cost-effective coating technology to improve the high temperature performance of stainless steel components. Coatings include an electrically conductive, manganese cobaltite (MCO) coating tailored for the cathode active-area of metallic interconnects and a complementary diffusion-based aluminide coating for the non-active, seal-area of interconnects and also readily amenable to balance of plant components.

In this paper, the suitability of this coating technology for SOFC applications will be demonstrated. Microstructural analysis in combination with long-term electrical area-specific resistance (ASR), oxidation and chromium volatility testing will illustrate the stability and functionality of the coatings under application specific conditions. Stack-level testing will demonstrate the successful scale-up of the technology.