Single phase through-plane permeability of carbon paper gas diffusion layers

A. Tamayol, F. McGregor, M. Bahrami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Effects of mechanical compression and PTFE content on the through-plane gas permeability of gas diffusion layers (GDLs) of PEM fuel cells are investigated both experimentally and theoretically. A new test bed is designed and built which allows pressure drop and air flow rate measurement for various GDL samples. The measured values are used to calculate the through-plane permeability. Various GDLs are obtained and tested over a wide range of PTFE content and compression ratio. The experimental data show a reverse relationship between the through-plane permeability and both PTFE content and mechanical compression. An existing model for through-plane permeability of planar fibrous structures is revisited to develop a model that accommodates effects of PTFE content and mechanical compression. The proposed model captures the trends of the experimental data for the through-plane permeability, measured in the present study or reported by others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - Apr 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Experimental study
  • Gas diffusion layer
  • Mechanical compression
  • Modeling
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Through-plane permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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