Influence of radiation-induced grafting process on mechanical properties of ETFE-based membranes for fuel cells
Ben youcef, Hicham and Alkan Gürsel, Selmiye and Buisson, Anne and Gubler, Lorenz and Wokaun, Alexander and Scherer, Günther G. (2010) Influence of radiation-induced grafting process on mechanical properties of ETFE-based membranes for fuel cells. Fuel Cells, 10 (3). pp. 401-410. ISSN 1615-6846
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fuce.200900200
The mechanical stability is, in addition to thermal and chemical stability, a primary requirement of polymer electrolyte membranes in fuel cells. In this study, the impact of grafting parameters and preparation steps on stress strain properties of ETFE-based proton conducting membranes, prepared by radiation-induced grafting and subsequent sulphonation, was studied. No significant change in the mechanical properties of the ETFE base film was observed below an irradiation dose of 50 kGy. It was shown that the elongation at break decreases with increasing both the crosslinker concentration and graft level (GL). However, the tensile strength was positively affected by the crosslinker concentration. Yield strength and modulus of elasticity are almost unaffected by the introduction of crosslinker. Interestingly, yield strength and modulus of elasticity increase gradually with GL without noticeable change of the inherent crystallinity of grafted films. The most brittle membranes are obtained via the combination of high GL and crosslinker concentration. The optimised ETFE-based membrane (GL of similar to 25%, 5% DVB v/v), shows mechanical properties superior to those of Nafion (R) membrane. The obtained results were correlated qualitatively to the other ex situ properties, including crystallinity, thermal properties and water uptake of the grafted membranes.
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