Electrode fabrication and membrane electrode assembly (MEA) processes are critical steps in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology. The properties of decal substrate material are important in decal coating technique for efficient transfer of catalyst layer. In the present study, MEAs are fabricated in decal method using 6 different decal substrates among which polypropylene (PP) is found ideal. Morphological, thermal, spectroscopic and sessile drop measurements are conducted for 6 decal substrates to evaluate the thermal and physicochemical properties. Studies indicate PP is thermally stable at hot-press conditions, having optimal hydrophobicity that hinders the coagulation of catalyst ink slurry cast. The pristine PP film has been identified to showcase 100% transfer yield onto the Nafion membrane without contamination and delamination of catalyst layer from membrane. The PP based MEAs are evaluated underconstant current mode in a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell test fixture. The performance is found to be of 0.6 V at a constant current density of 1.2 A.cm−2. Besides, the cost of PP-film is only 7.5% of Kapton-film, and hence the current research work enables the high throughput electrode fabrication process for PEMFC commercialization.
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