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Experimental Study of the Aging and Self-Healing of the Glass/Ceramic Sealant Used in SOFCs

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High operating temperatures of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) require that the sealant must function at a high temperature between 600°C and 900°C and in the oxidizing and reducing environments of fuel and air. This paper describes tests to investigate the temporal evolution of the volume fraction of ceramic phases, the evolution of micro-damage, and the self-healing behavior of the glass–ceramic sealant used in SOFCs. It was found that after the initial sintering process, further crystallization of the glass–ceramic sealant does not stop, but slows down and reduces the residual glass content while boosting the ceramic crystalline content. Under a long-term operating environment, distinct fibrous and needle-like crystals in the amorphous phase disappeared, and smeared/diffused phase boundaries between the glass phase and ceramic phase were observed. Meanwhile, the micro-damage was induced by the cooling down process from the operating temperature to room temperature, which can potentially degrade the mechanical properties of the glass/ceramic sealant. The glass/ceramic sealant exhibited self-healing upon reheating to the SOFC operating temperature, which can restore the mechanical performance of the glass/ceramic sealant.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99352

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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