The objective of this study is to examine the effect of heat treatment at various temperatures on the corrosion behavior of electroless silver-coated SS 304 in a simulated proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell environment. The corrosion properties of this material were studied using a potentiodynamic polarization technique. X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, polarization curves, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of coated and heat-treated specimens obtained in various heating temperatures were also utilized. It was found that the corrosion potential of the coated and heat-treated specimens shift toward a noble potential, and a significant decrease in corrosion current density was also observed. The corrosion current density decreased by a factor of about 1/500 for the heat-treated sample of 600 °C compared to the substrate. The heat-treated specimens displayed greater corrosion resistance than unheated and bare ones. According to the polarization studies and SEM images, the heat-treated specimen at 600 °C shows excellent corrosion resistance with a homogeneous dense surface morphology. These results demonstrated the coatings were suited for fuel cell applications in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) environment.

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