Journal of Materials Research

Articles

Determination of the interfacial fracture energies of cathodes and glass ceramic sealants in a planar solid-oxide fuel cell design

Jürgen Malzbendera1, Rolf W. Steinbrecha1 and Lorenz Singheisera1

a1 Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute for Materials and Processes in Energy Systems, 52425 Jülich, Germany

Abstract

A notched bimaterial bar bend test was applied to identify weak interfaces that influence the thermomechanical performance of solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks with planar design. The experiments were focused on the weakest interface of the multilayered cells and on the rigid glass ceramic sealants between metallic interconnects of SOFC stacks. The fracture energies of these interfaces were determined. To test interfaces within the cells, they were glued to steel strips, and the notched cell was used as a stiffener in the test. The weakest part of the cells with composite cathodes was the interface between the functional part of the cathode and the remaining current collector. Values for the interfacial fracture energies of composite cathodes both freshly prepared and after aging were determined. Taking advantage of the crack extension within the anode from the notch-tip to the interface, the fracture energy of the oxidized and reduced anodes was calculated. Sandwich specimens with glass ceramic between the interconnect steel were used to determine the fracture energies for different glass ceramic–steel interfaces. Different combinations of ferritic steel and glass ceramic were tested. The fracture path developed partly along the interface and partly in the glass ceramic, which did not influence the fracture energy. However, a significant improvement of the fracture energy with annealing time was found.

(Received November 19 2002)

(Accepted January 14 2002)

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