In Situ Measurement of Deformation Under Tension of ABPBI and Its Composites

  • Abhijeet DhimanEmail author
  • F. G. S. Wasim
  • M. Neergat
  • Krishna N. Jonnalagadda
Conference paper


Fuel cell devices convert chemical energy directly into electrical energy using hydrogen as fuel and are appreciated for generating clean energy, but are not yet commercially significant. Research in this area is in progress to make hydrogen fuel cells commercially feasible with good efficiency and reliability. Operating fuel cells below 100 °C temperature lead to poisoning of platinum electrodes due to small traces of carbon mono-oxide. This effect can be reduced significantly at temperatures above 150 °C. However, the commonly used Nafion membrane cannot be used at such temperatures due to the degradation in conductivity as a result of dehydration. One solution to this problem is to substitute commonly used Nafion membrane by other polymer electrolytic membrane, which can be operated at high temperatures. Recently, Poly (2,5-benzimidazole) (ABPBI) has been developed as a potential polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) for fuel cell applications. ABPBI membrane doped with strong acids like phosphoric acid enhances conductivity at high temperatures. Furthermore, operating at high temperatures poses challenges to mechanical integrity and durability of the membrane. The mechanical endurance is one of the limiting factors for the long-term durability of PEM-based fuel cells. The degradation in performance of membrane is believed to be the result of mechanical and chemical effects acting together. Taking mechanical effects in brief, variation in temperature and humidity during the operation of fuel cell produces strains in membrane. Also, high strains are generated while starting fuel cell from cold state to operating temperature of 150 °C. In this work, the mechanical response of ABPBI polymer, ABPBI polymer doped with PWAZrO2 inorganic filler, and phosphoric acid-doped ABPBI polymers was characterized. Mechanical behavior was extracted via in situ tensile experiments on 20–40 µm polymer specimens. It was found that the addition of filler increased the stiffness of the membrane while acid-doped membranes with and without fillers showed a significant decrease in the stiffness and an increase in ductility.


Fuel cell Polymer electrolytic membrane Poly (2,5-benzimidazole) Digital image correlation In situ tensile testing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhijeet Dhiman
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. G. S. Wasim
    • 2
  • M. Neergat
    • 1
  • Krishna N. Jonnalagadda
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Technology BombayPowai, MumbaiIndia
  2. 2.IITB-Monash Research AcademyPowai, MumbaiIndia

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