Optical determination of membrane defects and correlation with fuel cell performance and durability
There is a strong push toward producing fuel cells on a commercial scale. This means a greater focus on production speed and yields with a need to understand the unintended features that arise from larger-scale manufacturing processes. This project requires the set up of state-of-the-art, camera-vision, defect detection equipment to find and collect observed membrane features. These features will then be catalogued and tested to determine their impact on membrane durability and whether they affect later processing steps. The samples with possible defects will be tested for electrical resistance, mechanical robustness and resistance to chemical degradation. In addition, the defects themselves will be analyzed in order to understand how they form and how they contribute to failure modes. This understanding is crucial to increasing fuel cell durability at a commercial scale.