In this study, the growth of graphene by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on SUS304 stainless steel and on a catalyzing Ni/SUS304 double-layered structure was investigated. The results indicated that a thin and multilayered graphene film can be continuously grown across the metal grain boundaries of the Ni/SUS304 stainless steel and significantly enhance its corrosion resistance. A 3.5 wt% saline polarization test demonstrated that the corrosion currents in graphene-covered SUS304 were improved fivefold relative to the corrosion currents in non-graphene-covered SUS304. In addition to enhancing the corrosion resistance of stainless steel, a graphene coating also ameliorates another shortcoming of stainless steel in a corrosive environment: the formation of a passive oxidation layer on the stainless steel surface that decreases conductivity. After a corrosion test, the graphene-covered stainless steel continued to exhibit not only an excellent low interfacial contact resistance (ICR) of 36 mω cm2 but also outstanding drainage characteristics. The above results suggest that an extremely thin, lightweight protective coating of graphene on stainless steel can act as the next-generation bipolar plates of fuel cells.
- Stainless steel